That can't be true! Eat what you want, when you want, & still lose weight?
It all stemmed from my search for a way to get on top of my reliance upon chocolate. I couldn't and still can't get my head around diets, nor do I believe they're sustainable. I don't want to be denied, I don't want to be told something I like is a syn, I don't want on days, off days, to miss meals & replace them with shakes. I don't want to be hungry or to have to meal prep for hours on end. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually would like to plan my meals better, but I'm working on that.
Therefore, my search to lose weight but not be restricted brought me to a certain book by Paul McKenna. "I can make you thin," is the title. I didn't necessarily want thin but I did want thinner; worth a go.
I'm a bit of a skim reader so I would be lying if I told you that I read the whole book as I didn't. I skimmed a few paragraphs and picked up the gist of gaining control. The basic premise of losing weight is to eat less and move more. That is it! There must be a calorie deficit & an increase in burning energy/calories rather than storing them as fat. I'm paraphrasing but here are the basic rules/techniques that still work & make perfect sense to me today.
1. If you are hungry - eat!
Listen to your body telling you that it needs food, sustenance. Not your emotions telling you that you need comfort or that you're bored. If you get to a point of being starving you will binge & you throw your hunger system off balance. If you eat when you are beginning to feel hungry your body relaxes as you are letting it know there is food when it is needed. No metabolism confusion.
2. Don't confuse hunger for thirst.
Our brain can't recognise the difference between needing food or needing fluid. So, if you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water first (a lot of us don't drink enough anyhow). If after that glass of water you are still hungry, go ahead and eat. If not, you just needed hydrating rather than extra calories.
3. Eat what you want, not what you think you should.
Forbidden food is the most attractive thing ever! If we're told we shouldn't have something then we want it even more, we start to have inner battles. Your positive intentions and your resistance are in a fight and it gets exhausting! Freedom means no guilt, no tension & no feelings of failure that you ignored your intuition. Thin people eat chocolate, crisps, cake, cheese etc, just not to excess. So, eat what you want (unless there is a medical reason not to which you should discuss with your GP). The more you do that the more you will naturally make healthier choices. It's an odd one but it really happens, I'm living proof.
4. Eat consciously and be aware of enjoying every mouthful.
Cramming in lots of food quickly gives you that high! That's great but whilst those chemicals are dashing around your head, you don't recognise the "I'm full" signal. You then overeat, feel sick, fat & guilty - not a positive association. It can be so bad that you then repeat that process to anaesthetise the bad feelings you created before. So, slow down & little and enjoy your food, be aware of that happily content full feeling. Savour the tastes and flavours.
5. When you get there, you're full - stop eating!
Simple enough but you may not really feel this for the first few days. Give it time. It's that satisfied feeling, just before any extra mouthfuls start to get a bit uncomfortable (as you don't need them). Now, just a side note to that. A lot of us have been brought up to clean your plate, or as Mr Fieldz Caribbean Granny says, "Crape your plate," (meaning scrape your plate clean). Wasting food can also make us feel bad. So, if you're full but there's food left, put the food in a container, pop in back in the fridge and when you are genuinely hungry again, finish it then. Same if you are eating out, request a doggy bag.