If I had to carry this home?

November 19, 2009

As part of the Butterfly Transformation Program (completly free to join!), I get members toplan their shopping even before they leave the house.

Sometimes we all end up at the supermarket without a list or a good plan. In that case, here is a very quick and dirty method to help you make a better decision while shopping:

If I had to carry this home with my own hands, would I still buy it?

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?

restaurant

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.

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.

Stick it in your mouth

July 21, 2009

Are you stuck with the desire to eat and eat? Do you find yourself eating too many bad things, and not enough good things? Do you eat good things, until you have a bad day, and then all your good work is out the window?

This is more common that you think, and if you have difficulty shifting this behaviour, it might be because of the conditioning you received as you grew up.

How often do you see a baby that begins to cry be soothed or ‘pacified’ by a bottle or dummy? You know from your own experience that when that baby cries, most likely it’s after food and food is presented soon afterwards.

A little later in life, say about the age of 2 or 3, what I like to call the ‘food battles’ start. Things like brussle sprouts are refused, things like lollies, cookies and other sweets are coveted. Most parents I’ve seen or heard of, often use the sweets as a bribe to eat the sprouts.

A little later in life, say about the age of 6 onwards, punishment and rewards are now firmly set with food. If you’re a good girl you’ll get a cookie. If you’re a bad boy you get sent to bed without dinner.

Years of training go into this. These time honored methods work and work well. They train the child many things that are useful in later life. And in some cases enable that child to get to later life (imagine a baby that got to eat only whatever it wanted). The results are consistent: The child grows up healthy. But as an unwanted side effect: We like sweet and ‘bad for us’ food, we hate the peas, sprouts, and other ‘good for us’ foods. So with these side effects, is it any wonder some of us have eating problems and find dieting difficult?

You can overcome this conditioning. With attention, focus, and the right training, it’s easy to notice the past conditioning and re-condition yourself for better results.

P.S. Now, this is not an opportunity to blame your parents for your current situation. You have to remember, every single parent that ever lived, is an amateur. Even the most skilled parents, have raised only a few children. Your parents did the best they could at that time, and now it’s up to you to thank them for what they gave you, work with it, and learn and grow so you can raise your own children better.

I’m a big believer in what we do is who we are. That’s why I encourage you to watch this video.

The presenter, Anne Cooper, is talking about feeding school children in America. It will open your eyes to how adults treat food. And more importantly what this is teaching our kids about food.

Watch it, and think about what your own relationship with food is teaching the children and adults around you – even if you’re not a parent.

(It seems wordpress strips out the embedded video. You can find it here.)

Now think about your own upbringing; what did your parents teach you through their behaviour? Do you have to eat everything on your plate? Were you sent to bed without dinner? Was food always available? Were you scolded for eating outside regular meal times? Did you have to steal or hide food?