This is for those of you who missed my 12 days of January on my facebook lives. You can catch them on my Facebook page or read about it below:
It’s that time of year again when everyone, including dietitians, are feeling the extra pinch on our skinny jeans. Well the first thing I would say is let it go! Don’t get upset or hung up about it. You had a good time, right? You enjoyed the fun, food and festivities. It’s time to move on. Feeling guilty about it just makes you want to eat more, right? STOP! Don’t let yourself get into that vicious cycle of food, binge, guilt, lack of control, crash diet, out of control, starvation, fast and famine madness.
TOP SECRET: it’s not worth it and you don’t achieve your goal! Pointless. Don’t allow it. You are much stronger than that!
Enjoy Christmas and New Year for what it was – indulgence. Be thankful for all the abundance and our amazing lives and move on.
So, rant over with. Have we cleared our heads and got our mindsets in a good place to move forward and start to visualize the new YOU. The you that has control not the food? Then here are my 12 days of January, my dietitian said to me (can you hear me singing it!).
- Plan all my meals and snacks the night before. Planning is key. Just a few minutes the night before saves you so much time, effort and calories the next day when you are trying to make the right choices on a low blood sugar. Hard to make the right choices when starving.
- Make sure all your meals contain-
- Carbs – wholegrain, brown, wholemeal or high fibre ideally
- Protein- it shouldn’t dominate the meal. It should be in equal proportions to carbs on your plate.
- Veg/salad – pile your plate high. This is the gold dust that will make you feel fuller, skin look great, sort that sluggish bowel out and keep you lean. Remember varied as much colour as possible. More colour equals more nutrition. Eat it whole, not juiced or smoothied- we have teeth so let’s use them. Eating it whole makes us eat slower, eat less and feel full sooner and for longer.
- Take time out to eat all your meals. 20 mins if you can. It’s so important to notice what you have eaten. Have you ever eaten a meal and then thought did I eat it? And then go for more food, often a sugary snack because you weren’t satisfied with your meal. Time out Its vital and you will be more productive having had a break from work.
- Chew your food and notice the flavours. I know it sounds mad, but how many of us inhale our food? Chewing is the first process of digesting our food. It adds to the whole experience, it’s when we taste all the amazing flavours and gain satisfaction and pleasure. Isn’t it a shame to be missing out on all that fun?
- Eat when hungry- I know it sounds obvious, but how often do you skip lunch or breakfast because you are just too busy, then eat anything insight when you walk through the door? Eat when hungry. Unsure of the signals? Get in touch I can help you identify your individual hunger signals with my NLP model.
- Stop when full. Again, stating the obvious but how many of us actually stop and leave food on the plate when we are comfortable and satisfied? How often do you finish everything on your plate even though you know you are full half way through the meal? How often do we feel over full after a meal? Stop when you full don’t be tempted to over eat. If you are struggling to understand your full signals, get in touch I can help you identify them with my NLP model.
- Avoid screens when eating, yes that’s right screens. IPad, IPhone, TV’s, laptops, computers are you catching my drift? Why? I hear you ask me. What has checking my messages while eating lunch got to do with managing my weight? Well, have you ever eaten sandwich or a meal sat at your computer and not realised you have eaten it? Or munched at a 3-4 biscuits and not realised you have just consumed 200 kcals plus? (not that I count calories, but it’s just to illustrate the point!) I call it distracted eating. When you are distracted you aren’t paying attention to the food and the flavours and the choices. Often this leads to poor choices or over eating. Move away from the screen. No multitasking ladies, in this instance it doesn’t save you calories in the long run.
- Plan and choose healthy snacks. The key here is having your snacks ready before you get over hungry. Planning is so important because if you wait until you are starving and then go searching for food you are more likely to choose the chocs or biscuits, muffins or cakes because they are a sugar fix to lift your blood sugar quickly and you are less likely to want an apple. Am I right or am I right? Healthy snacks include all fresh fruit, ideally in the whole form, yogurts, veg sticks and hummus, oatcakes, rice cakes. For more ideas go to http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/healthy-snacks.aspx
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day. Now I often get asked, ‘Is that 2 litres of water or do other drinks count i.e.. Tea, coffee?’ Well water is the best drink to hydrate so if half can be water and then the other drinks are low fat and sugar then yes tea and coffee are fine. Remember if it’s a double creamy vanilla latte then that is not going to help your waistline but if it’s a skinny no sugar cappuccino then great. See? It’s all about choices and having the stuff you enjoy in moderation. I love my cuppa in the morning and my 3pm coffee break. Balance and moderation.
- Have at least 5 whole fruits or veg a day, smoothies don’t count. The process of chewing and having the fruit in the whole form slows down the whole eating experience. So, you notice the flavours, are less likely to over eat and more likely to stop at one portion. When fruit is changed into the smoothie form a lot of the chewing is done for you so it is easy to have 3-4 serving in one go and this is when the sugar content of fruit becomes a debate. You wouldn’t eat 3-4 whole bananas or apples or pears in one go would you? Hence, by eating the food in the whole form you are stopping yourself from over eating fruit sugars in one go as well. Make sense?
- Notice the good days. We all too often focus on the days we fell off the wagon, well what about the rest of the time when we are on the wagon, so to speak? If we notice the days, we are going good and really praise ourselves. I use positive affirmations, ‘like I am a healthy eater’ or ‘I am in control of my eating’ or ‘I got this’ then we are more likely to continue with this behaviour. If your focus is the bad days, then you’re asking for and will get more of those. Stay focused on the good stuff.
- Use healthy language around food with yourself and your family. Shift the focus from weight to health. ‘I am choosing to live a healthy life around food because it keeps me feeling well both mentally and physically.’ Treat you and your family with experiences, memory making rather than food treats.
And there it is The twelve days of January, my dietitian said to me …..
If you like what you read and you want to know how to make these rules apart of your life for ever get in touch. I would love to hear from you, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you like what you read, please share and spread the word and quote #foodfreedom Bye for now, Dimple the dietitian with a difference. x