Posted by: Jo Banks
Here are the last two fundamentals of the “Be the Weight You Want” weight loss programme...
Rule No 3 – Eat Consciously and Enjoy Every Mouthful
For me, this is the Golden Rule out of the whole programme. When a client that is doing this programme says that they aren’t losing weight, when I dig down into the cause, this is the rule that they fail to put in to practise.
Have you ever noticed that you go into an ‘eating trance’, especially if you’re having a bit of a binge ... you can eat a whole pack of sweets or crisps absent mindedly and not even notice that you’ve been eating them until the packet’s empty? Or you eat your lunch at your desk while you’re doing something else and all of a sudden, you look down and you’ve eaten it? Or you eat your meal while watching the TV and don’t realise you’ve eaten it until you wonder why your fork is empty? That’s an ‘eating trance’. It’s eating without realising what you’re doing.
Overweight people tend to shovel food into their mouths as quickly as possible in order to get the serotonin high. They don’t actually taste the food ... it’s not even the food that they really want; it’s the high it gives them. One of the many problems with eating like this is that you don’t notice the subtle sign from your stomach to your brain which says “that’s enough thanks ... I’m full” so you continue to eat and eat and eat.
With this programme, you can eat whatever you want as long as you do it consciously and enjoy every mouthful. For the next two weeks, slow your eating speed down to about a quarter of what it used to be and chew each mouthful thoroughly.
Take one piece of chocolate and eat it consciously. Turn off the TV and/stop whatever you’re doing. Take one piece of chocolate and put it on your tongue. Allow is to dissolve very slowly on your tongue (don’t chew it quickly and swallow it) – let it melt and savour every tiny bit of it.
What did that feel like? Did it feel completely different from when you wolf a chunk down and reach for another before you’ve even finished the first? Did you really taste it? It’s silky smooth sweet chocolate taste filling every part of your mouth? When you eat like that consciously every time, you will find that you won’t eat as much because you are much more satisfied with the food you are eating.
Eating consciously doesn’t just mean eating slowly; you need to remove any other barriers to being thoroughly conscious while you’re eating. You need to remove any distractions so that you can focus solely on your eating so turn of the TV/laptop/computer game, ring your friend back, move away from your computer.
Put your knife and folk down (or prise your fingers from your sandwich and actually put it down) between mouthfuls. That way you’ll be fully aware of the food in your mouth and not concentrating your thoughts on loading up your fork for your next mouthful. Doing this is so simple, yet so powerful as it allows you to really taste and appreciate the food you’re eating.
Rule 4 – Stop Eating When You Think You’re Full
Sounds simple doesn’t it? But how many of us do it? How many of us actually hear the message from our stomachs that tell us we’re full? Most of us don’t.
Our bodies are designed to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full. Over the years for the various reasons I’ve mentioned previously, we’ve overridden our natural feeding habits and so we no longer listen to what our bodies really need. Our body sends a message to the brain when we’ve had enough to eat (this can actually take up to 20 minutes for the message to reach the brain) so by slowing our eating down, it gives are brain the chance to actually hear that message when it comes.
The message is usually a warm feeling we get in our solar plexus – if that’s too subtle for you, when you are actually full, you’ll notice that each mouthful doesn’t taste quite as good as the last. The more you pay attention to these feelings, the more able you will be to be control your eating.
When you get that feeling, no matter how much is left on your plate ... STOP EATING! “What happens if I’m hungry 10 minutes later” I sometimes get asked by clients who are panicking at this suggestion, “Then as long as you can identify where you are on the hunger scale and are actually hungry – EAT! When you become full again – STOP!” It’s that easy.
You are never denying yourself food as long as you’re hungry ... therefore, there’s not need to fill yourself up to popping point or gorge on your favourite food because you may never get to eat it again!
The Clean Plate Club
I’ve had clients say, “I just can’t do that. There’s no way I can leave food on my plate” If that’s the case, use a smaller plate or put less on your plate. Once you’ve eaten that plate of food and listened to your body, if you are truly still hungry, then you can have some more!
Using these very simple principles daily will change your relationship with food. Unlike a traditional diet, you won’t be denying yourself you are changing your relationship with food and how you manage it. Here are the principles again...
Next time I’ll answer some commonly asked questions about the programme. Until then, if you have any comments or issues you’d like to raise with me regarding this or anything else I’ve written about, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Have a wonderful day.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.