All you can eat…

October 24, 2009

There has been some interesting research of late looking at the relationship between BMI and eating behaviours in all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurants.

In short, the research hints at some interesting observable behaviours that we can use to help us with our weight.

Some of the behaviours observed in the overweight group were using larger plates, using a fork instead of chopsticks, and just serving themselves rather than first observing the buffet. While there is no direct relationship between these behaviours and being overweight, we can use this knowledge to help us lose weight.

Whenever you go out, do all of these three things:
1. Select a smaller plate. That might mean you order entree sized meals or even tell the staff to make you a smaller portion.
2. Use chopsticks in an Asian restaurant. If you don’t know how – what better way to learn!
3. Look over the menu or buffet first. Consider your choices before making your decision.

And as an added extra, leave more food on your plate than anyone else at the table. If you think you’re wasting food, you’ll be waisting food either way (I love a good pun ;-)).

Are there any other behaviours that you’ve observed in yourself or others that might be useful?

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It’s somewhat old news now, but here is the link to the Time article describing the research. Exercise doesn’t make you thin, and might actually be making you eat more.

Sure exercise helps you in many different ways; however as a method to lose weight, it makes no difference. Think of your own life, how do you feel after a big gym session? Do you justify eating that extra dessert with a longer gym session? Or the other way around, justify extra dessert because you had a longer gym session.

Read the article. Then become more curious about how that affects you.

Not enough willpower?

October 1, 2009

Recent research suggests that maybe you have too much!

To save you the trouble of reading it, I’ll summarise: They suggest the best way to deal with eating (drinking, smoking or other addictive behaviour you’re trying to stop) is to avoid situations that tempt you.

When I was helping smokers, many had difficulty when they went out for a drink with friends. The environment made it very difficult to resist the urge. While at other times, there was no urge to smoke. This holds with eating, and everything else.

If you think you have strong willpower, the research suggests that you overestimate your ability to resist the temptation. In short – stay away from tempting situations!

The article also goes onto to suggest that if you’re not hungry, you overestimate your ability to resist temptation. So again, avoid walking into the cake shop will vastly improve your chances when compared to using willpower to resist the cakes.

Of course, if you’ve joined the program, you’ll already know that I don’t believe we can change using willpower, anyway.

Setting goals are easy…

September 17, 2009

… it’s the follow through that’s difficult.

I know some of the readers here don’t set goals – and the only reason you don’t is that you don’t want to fail. I understand this. I know how difficult, hard, destabalising, unbalancing and depressing not achieving a goal is. So to save us that pain, we don’t set them.

That doesn’t make it ok to not get what we want, it just makes it less painful.

There are many books, many programs, many recordings out there to help you set goals. I also spend quite a bit of time in my Butterfly Transformation Program on goal setting, including the main keys to ensure you overcome the difficult parts – like getting up early, exercising and making the correct food choices – easily.

One of the keys to make sure you reach your goals is to understand that the only way you can fail is to stop. You may not reach the target in the timeframe you set and there may or may not be some good reasons. Either way the only way you’ll fail is if you then stop.

Think about this next time you get frustrated because you didn’t achieve your goal.

As humans, we are really bad as estimating how we’ll feel emotionally after we do something.

Most people expect that when they win the lottery, their life will be much better. They’ll be much happier, enjoy life more, have better friends, live in a nicer house, drive a better car…

And yet, most people that win the lottery end up spending all their winnings inside 5 years. They end up being in more debt, and having less friends and more problems. I’m sure you think you’re different.

The thing is, you’re thinking that you’ll be different is the exact same thinking that will ensure you’ll spend it all!

But I know you don’t believe me. So rather than just writing my writings off as fantasy, do you believe I’m wrong enough to prove to me that I’m wrong?

Here’s a simple test that will prove me wrong (or right) if you do it. For the next few days, write down on a scale of 1 to 10 how you’ll feel after your next meal before you eat it. 1 being the worst ever, 10 being the best ever. Then when you’ve finished the meal write down the number that it actually was using the same scale.

I dare you, prove me wrong.

P.S. Apologies to anyone who’s gone through the Butterfly Transformation Program. They know that me being right or wrong is about as useful as you being right or wrong. To give those who’ve not done the program a hint, that usefulness is almost zero.

Scared of being thin?

August 29, 2009

One of my old client weighed over 110 kilos. She hated it. She worked hard to lose the weight, and did. Yet every time she dropped to around 90kg, she suddenly rebounded and put all the weight back on. She did this several times, causing much frustration, anger, confusion and sadness.

It wasn’t utill a chance comment that we discovered the problem. Whenever she was approaching the 90 kg mark, her body fat had dropped to a level where her natural curves and muscles were beginning to show through. Because of that, she had to change her clothes and with the change of clothes came a very big change of looks.

This was all superb for her. Everyone around her was excited for her and complimented her on how good she looked. Including strange men.

And that was the problem, suddenly she was attracting a whole bunch of unwanted attention. And she only had one method to deal with and respond to that unwanted attention: Put the weight back on!

Once we realised this was the case, she quickly learnt new ways to deal with the unwanted attention, and next time she went through that 90kg mark and last I heard has kept it off.

This is just one of  many examples of how someone might be scared of being thin.

They don’t mean to be scared and they often they don’t even realise that this is a major factor in stopping them from losing the weight.

If you’re overweight, you interact with the world in a very different way than if you’re thin. And if you’ve been overweight for a long time, there is more things that you need to learn. Things that no one else can teach you.

There is a rule of thumb that states: 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort.

The problem with this is that we never know what that highly effective 20% is. So, I’ve given this rule a slight shift when it comes to dieting: Focus on eating right for 80% of the time and the other 20% will take care of itself.

Very few can stick to a rigid diet long term (and all of those that can are elite sports professionals – never someone wanting to lose weight). Every one else ‘slips’ sometime. Maybe it’s a chocolate bar, lunch out, or something else.

Some people, after dieting for a week give up after one slip. This is silly. We all fail – we’re human. One slip on a diet doesn’t mean the diet will fail or that we’ll fail. Just means there was one slip.

Hence my 80/20 diet rule: As long as you can keep your diet 80% of the time, the other 20% will take care of itself.

TV dinners are a fantastic invention. It made the creation of dinner in a hectic lifestyle easy. It was a quick and easy way to create a somewhat healthy meal.

It did have a few unwanted side effects. One unwanted and usually unrecognized side effect of eating dinner in front of the TV (or internet), is that you’re not attending to what you’re eating.

What this means is you notice the messages from your body that you’re full much later. It means that you often shovel the food into your mouth, chew a few times then swallow, quickly filling your mouth again. You might have had the experience with a packet of chips while you watch a movie. Happily munching away only to suddenly notice the packet is empty.

If you’re part of the Butterfly Transformation Program you’ll know how to eat anything you want, as long as you make it a constant conscious choice.

One added side effect of doing this, is that you notice how the foods you eat actually taste, and your choice of foods changes naturally as a result.

I taught this method to a client last year. She was a big fan of a particular doughnut, eating several each day. She told me she was addicted, needing one in the morning, one after lunch, one before dinner and sometimes one before bed. She boldly told me once she smelled one, she had to have one.

Then I taught her how to eat consciously and got her to sit and eat one consciously. After two bites she was struggling and by halfway, she couldn’t finish it. “Way too sweet” was her comment.

One of the first steps of eating consciously is to not multi task. No eating unless your full attention is on the food; how it tastes, the texture and how every mouthful you swallow makes you feel.

One size fits all!

August 1, 2009

Have a look at the diet books, visit a gym, or just scan your local ads. You’ll notice that every single one of them offers a ‘one size fits all’ solution to your problem.

From the diet books, it’s a straight X number of calories per day by making these fantastic, tasty and healthy meals.

From the gym it’s an specific exercise regime that’ll get you fit and thin.

From any of the other ads, it’s not so much about you and your problems, but how their solution can fix your problems.

No one knows you better than yourself. Only you can know the best way to achieve the goals you want. You can get help from the diet books, gym and others, but only if you really know what you want. This relates to my last post and you being the only one that can make the change.

Of course, this now begs the question: How do I know what I want?

It’s a tough question to answer without knowing you, but there is a large portion of the Butterfly Transformation Program that focuses on helping you build, understand and discover the goals that are best for you.

P.S. Apologies for the pun in the title.

Do you like icecream?

July 27, 2009

Personally, I love ice cream. I’ll eat any kind, even some of the more confectionary things that are called ‘ice cream’. Even though I know the closest they’ve come to cream is a cow had walked past the production plant a few months ago.

Normally when I spoon out my ice cream, I select a small bowl that overflows when two scoops are plopped in. Yet the other night, I selected one of the larger soup bowls by accident. This bowl was over twice the size of my usual bowl choice.

After the third scoop say in the bowl and I was reaching for a fourth, I realised what I was doing. I stopped and smiled.

It’s easy to overeat: Simply use a larger plate. Open a large packet. Open a 25% more can.

We all hate wasting food, but if we don’t remain conscious when we are preparing or selecting the food we eat, we waist that food instead.

Learn about how to remain conscious by joining the program!