Mind Matters April 2019

A Weight off the Mind

Now Spring is here it is the time to start thinking about the warmer sunnier days which lie ahead. The prospect of putting the jeans and heavy winter jumpers further back in the wardrobe and bringing the lighter clothes of Spring forward brings a smile to my face. The weather this year so far has been mild and so I have not overly indulged with comfort food which, although, normally helps me through those bleaker colder months do have a tendency to make the spring wardrobe fit a little more snug!

Spring can be a time when thoughts of change come to mind and losing weight can be among them. When it is time to lose weight, for me it can feel a little like when a holiday is coming to an end, you know you have had a really good time but now its back to work! When I was young I could eat as much as I liked and my weight would stay the same. But after having my first child that all changed. By reducing my portions at meal times and cutting out snacks between meals I would gradually see and feel the positive signs of my clothes feeling comfortable to wear again.
If anyone had asked me at that time did I have any issues around food I would have answered 'No' but since being a hypnotherapist I realised now that I did. 

Rewarding with food is not good practice but unfortunately it is all too commonly used especially when growing up. I, like most children, was a fussy eater and from a parents point of view, and one I can resonate with, this can be a worrying time thinking that your child is not eating enough. From memory I recall sitting in front of dinners which I would pick and push around my plate but a reward, if I was to eat the dinner, was pudding! Ahh... something sweet and nice for finishing my dinner. Unfortunately this conditioned behaviour continued in to my adult life to 'reward' myself with a sweet treat after doing the cleaning or the ironing for example. Thankfully I worked with the issues which were causing me to over indulge and I am now mind aware and able to control sensibly what I eat and, for me, no food is considered a reward.
Food culture has changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years but the reasons for over indulging have not and like everything else it all starts in the mind! To eat when watching television, reading or doing anything else will take the mind away from the food being consumed and can cause overeating. Drinking plenty of water during the day should help to stop snacking between meals and also stop thirst becoming confused with hunger. When thirsty the mind gets dehydrated and this can cause confusion so eating instead of drinking could happen. Emotions play a big part in over eating so, whether its a positive or a negative thought when linked to an emotion could result in rewarding with food.
Sometimes it is not about the pounds and ounces self acceptance can help, especially those who have always struggled with their weight.
Try these few tips to help if you are wanting to lose weight;

  • Take time to sit, enjoy and not be distracted when eating 
  • Try using a smaller dinner plate
  • Regulate dinner to a time of no later than 6.30pm or move it to midday
  • Wait 10-15 minutes before eating dessert
  • Go for a walk after dinner
  • Having a clear mind before eating will help to enjoy the food and stop feelings of guilt afterwards