What are Rituals and what do they have to do with your diet?

So what exactly do we mean by rituals?  They are things we do in a certain way over and over and which give us meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging to others.     It could be Easter, Christmas, the Sunday family roast, birthday celebrations, church, work meetings,  etc etc etc.

Look at the list above and ask yourself which ritual do you know of which does not include food.    It will be a very small percentage if you can find any at all!

The thing to learn is that when you link certain foods to a certain ritual, ie. chocolate Easter eggs to the Easter weekend for year after year as a child, a neural pathway is set.   Even when you are a 60 year old adult, that same neural pathway will be activated at Easter and you will find yourself wanting chocolate Easter eggs.    The drive to have them can be over-whelming!  Continue reading “What are Rituals and what do they have to do with your diet?”

Are you looking forward to being a piggy on Christmas day?

So you are overweight and sadly, Christmas happens to happen whilst you are still on your journey. Are you already stressing about what you would like to do and whether you can stick to your choice?

Let’s just say at the outset that whatever you choose to do is entirely up to you and you alone. Don’t let others influence your choice … they don’t live in your body.

Logically, you have 3 choices. Think them through, recognise the consequences then accept them.

Choice 1 : Give up your plan completely. Consequence: You WILL gain weight, probably a lot (because of glycogen). Accept it, enjoy it and get back on plan on the date you decide to, no matter what. Understand that by bringing sugar back into your diet, you will need to wean yourself off it again which we all know can be difficult. Use the lapse as a good learning experiment. Could you eat as much, did some foods (which) make you feel ill, how was your sleep and mood.

Choice 2 :
Stick mainly to plan but allow yourself some controlled treats. Know in advance as much as possible what is going to be available. Do your research and decide which treats you love the most / want the most and set yourself a limit of how much you can have. Fill up on protein before you eat anything else. Consequence: You will enjoy your day, you MAY put on weight, you will minimise sugar cravings, you will have a sense of achievement. Get back on plan straight away.

Choice 3 : Stick 100% to plan. Consequence: You WILL lose weight. You will have a great sense of control and achievement. You will have conquered a massive barrier. You will have mastered a massive lesson in behavioural change which will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Some stocking fillers from me….
– Christmas is on the 25th of December. It doesn’t start on the first.
– There is loads of healthy food on Christmas day too. Eat mainly healthy food and top up with treats instead of the other way around.
– A lovely client (thanks Helen) told me that if she knew she had a function, she would imagine putting the relevant meals in a lunch box. Once those meals were gone, it was straight back on plan. (Needless to say, Helen is now her happy weight).
– We often think that because we’ve been extra good at a function when everyone else has been little piggies, that we deserve to lose extra weight. Weird I know. Sadly, it’s also totally illogical so don’t expect any extra!
– Don’t beat yourself up if you have put on weight. Put your energy into losing the rest instead of moaning about something you cannot change.
– Dry champagne and vodka are the least weight affecting alcohols. Drink loads of water to minimise their impact.

Christmas is a coming and it’s not only the geese who are getting fat!

Christmas is what is known as a “Ritual”. It’s something that happens regularly and has a major significance to many of us, a time for getting together with family who you may not see for the rest of the year and a time for letting go, relaxing, having fun …. and eating!!! And drinking!!! And playing silly games!!! If you look at different cultures and religions, most rituals are associated with food.

So what happens is that as a little child, we learn by association. We associate Christmas with cards, shopping, gifts, food, pretty lights, colours, fun, decorations, a tree, soppy movies, Christmas cake, turkey, brussel sprouts, snow in the northern hemisphere, sunshine and a barbeque in the southern, etc etc etc. It kind of comes as a package and usually a package that evokes good emotions. Continue reading “Christmas is a coming and it’s not only the geese who are getting fat!”