What is the Secret to Effective Weight Loss?
PART 2 – Know Your Danger Zones!
If you have decided that 2016 is the year when you get fit, lose weight and feel great…here’s the big secret that you won’t hear anywhere else…it’s all in the planning.
You need to plan around your real life, not the one where you magically become a gym freak, juicing addict, with the will power of a super hero and no social life when you wake up on the 1st of January 2016.
Most people know full well what they should and shouldn’t be eating to lose weight, it is no big secret and it’s not juicing or ‘skinny tea’ by the way.
SO, firstly you need to reflect on what happens in your life and why and how you have become overweight in the first place. This is the secret to understanding your eating ‘danger zones’ and finding strategies to overcome them. It might be those hours between getting home from work and having dinner, it might be when you’re on your own in the evening or it might be the vending machine at work. For me, it is mostly being over tired that makes me want to eat…and I don’t want to eat apples when I am tired, I want cake and biscuits and crisps.
Typically, people overeat when they are bored, tired, stressed or upset. Eating foods that we like gives us a ‘happy hormone’ boost in the brain which has been likened to taking recreational drugs! That is why we can become quite dependent on food. The problem is, the happy boost we get from these foods is short lived, because we soon start kicking ourselves about eating them, feel even worse and then eat some more. So, you need to break that cycle.
When you have identified where your overeating ‘danger zones’ are, you need to write down FIVE things that make you feel good and distract you from food, that you can do in place of eating when you reach a ‘danger zone’. You would not BELIEVE how many people I see, who can’t think of ONE thing that they can do that makes them feel good, if you have lost touch with yourself and don’t know what makes you happy anymore, you must focus on this as an absolute priority. Listening to your favourite song at your desk; dancing or singing along to your favourite song; having a long hot bath; buying your favourite magazine; exercise and sex are all great ways to give you a calorie free (and sometimes a calorie burning) happy hormone boost. Find YOUR happy – if you take 6 months to do this, that is 6 months well spent.
Secondly, write down what you might eat or drink in a typical day, in the week, at work and at the weekend. Think about a typical week, do you go to your Granny’s for tea on the Tuesday? What will she think if you only drink vegetable juice and skinny tea and can you resit her delicious Victoria Sponge?? And how will you exercise 7 days per week if you have to go to Granny’s on a Tuesday?! Think about all the things that you do in your life that are important to you and don’t give them up but plan for them. If you know that you are going to Granny’s for tea or meeting the boys for a pint after work, be more careful with your eating during the day. Don’t put your whole life on hold for a new ‘diet’ it won’t make you happy and you will end up giving up.
Once you have identified your danger zones and important social engagements that need planning for, you can finally move on to think about what you are actually going to eat! That’s Part 3!