azekeil: (Default)
[personal profile] azekeil
I don't know how many of you will know, but I have slowly been putting on weight since adolescence (and I don't just mean weight through height). I have been becoming unpleasently overweight over the last year or so, and getting depressed about it as well.

The other day I saw an advert for a programme by Paul McKenna: I can make you thin. I haven't tried diets because I understand science and it comes down to calorie intake. I also understand that a diet that is non-maintainable is worse than useless as well.

So, what I was looking for, without really realising it up until now, was a way to tackle the psychological issues surrounding food, rather than attempting to directly modify what I actually take in.

What Paul McKenna is saying actually made a load of sense, and also links in with 'good table manners'. If only people explained the reasoning behind good table manners, I would have been a lot more careful to make sure I stick to them ;)

Anyway, the crux of it is that the body is very good at regulating itself. Fat people have learned to override that with the seratonin rush that comes from eating food, and hence ignore it. Being very hungry is bad: it puts your body in starvation mode and it stores fat from what you eat rather than use it as energy. Being overfull is not good either as this simply means you've eaten more than you needed to: ie. you're going to get fatter. Additionally, learning to recognise the growing feeling of physical hunger vs. the emotional 'sudden craving' for something. 75% of the time you think you're hungry, you're just dehydrated. Drink a glass of water.

So, Paul's solution: Eat consciously. Eat when you're hungry, not otherwise. Make sure you think about everything you put in your mouth. Concentrate on just eating - no reading or watching television while you eat. Eat what you feel like, but eat slowly - your food will go cold if you do this properly. Chew your food properly - at least 20 chews for each mouthful. Put your cutlery down between each bite. Consciously leave something on your plate at the end of every meal, to undo the conditioning that you must finish your plate. STOP when you've had enough.

Additional positive psychology to reinforce this, such as practising eating slowly and putting down cutlery is useful (even if it does make you feel stupid). Also, imagining what it would be like to be thinner and thinner, thinking how you'll look, how it will feel, makes a plan in your head.

Don't give up if you slip up.

It's all obvious stuff, but having it put together and explained in a coherent manner just makes sense.

So far, this morning, I have had a bowl of cereal which I didn't have time to take slowly unfortunately. But at lunch I ate my food slowly, and threw about half of it away, much to my surprise. I'm drinking water. I will have a bag of crisps (remember, eat what you like) later on if I get hungry, but I will think about each mouthful and stop if I don't need to eat it.

There are two more episodes in the series, about dealing with cravings and other bits and pieces, but I think the core of the message is here. It's what thin people do - indeed, a lot of the things have been said by a thin person quite close to me ;)

Date: 2006-01-13 01:10 pm (UTC)
ext_157651: face (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Good luck with it - I head about the hungry is thirsty thing a time ago, and it's true, especially for evening/night-time cravings for me.

Date: 2006-01-13 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Good luck!

If you can introduce some decent exercise (e.g. half hour walk to Tescos?) every day you'll burn off any excesses very very quickly...

Date: 2006-01-13 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, exercise was mentioned. This will become easier as our home situation consolidates.

Date: 2006-01-13 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Good luck!

Date: 2006-01-13 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, yes, thanks for the link - I'd forgotten about that. I don't have scales to weigh myself right now but if we remember we can do it this evening.

Perhaps then, with some decent shoes and our improved stamina, I might like to do more of the things you've been wanting me to do with you :) *kiss*

Date: 2006-01-13 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah yes, shoes. A trip to Macruss (sp?) in Bristol soon sounds like a good plan. :)

I shall also try to do more 'high tea' type things at weekends (when we've already had a cooked meal at lunch time) so that you can serve yourself as you eat. Portion sizes should also be much smaller for cooked food, and yes, leave at least a little of it on the plate. *Kiss*

*Wants to be helpful and also wants to lose weight*

Date: 2006-01-13 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Marcruss might not cater for you, I don't think they do child sizes unfortunately. :/ Somewhere like Millets would probably be better for you to be honest.

But Marcruss is still so much fun!!! :D

Portion sizes should also be much smaller for cooked food
Not necessarily, we rarely bother to do BIG meals, we usually have 'enough'. But stuff that is small and can be eaten at will easily is good, which is why when I shop for myself, I always get things like pot noodles, packs of crisps, bread for sandwiches, savoury snacks. My meals also tend to be things that can be prepared very quickly, so that I really can 'eat when hungry'. (Beans on toast ++ *grin*)

Date: 2006-01-13 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually meant that [ profile] azekeil should get some shoes from there. :)

Date: 2006-01-13 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, he should. :)

But you do need to get some walking boots too, you really don't have anything suitable for lots of walking. Especially if you count the possibility of mud/water.

New rocks are not hiking boots. ;)

Date: 2006-01-13 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That sounds like a very realistic approach to things... it's good to have a plan that makes such basic sense.

Date: 2006-01-13 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, one that I don't have any misgivings about from a scientific point of view. It's like religion - I don't subscribe to it because there are too many flaws. This one makes sense from all aspects; and it shouldn't be too hard to maintain either!

Date: 2006-01-13 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also the timing of your food intake, any exercise you do during the day even if it's just the walk from the bus stop or something, try to eat within 1hr of the exercise as your metabolism is higher during this time. Weight lifting is fantastic for upping metabolism as muscles burn energy and you can do it while watching tv and without going out in the cold.
I think what you've said in your post must be very true, i find it hard to keep weight on but.... i spend ages over meal times, nearly always leave something coz it's cold or i'm full/bored, and chatter away to everyone else inbetween and happily dig into whatever i feel like without worrying about calorie intake... it's not genetic... you should see my sister.... i hope this plan goes well for you... if you want any other techniques and stuff email me... i did a bit of research into diet plans that work recently and have quite a bit of it lying around... lots of it did involve exercise i'm afraid, though note that the metabolism increasing part of the exercise is mostly seen in the first 20 minutes so it doesn't have to be tough.
Also... know that you're pretty damn cute as you are, so anything you do, do for yourself and your health. *hugs* Goodluck.

Date: 2006-01-13 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks :) I'm kicking off this new way of thinking about food first, then I will see about incorporating exercise. This will all become a lot easier when our living arrangements have been consolidated, and the weather isn't so crappy :)

Oh, and that's a lovely comment, thanks *blows kiss* ;)

Date: 2006-01-13 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's a really useful comment actually... It makes me feel very pleased with myself for going to the gym right before lunch! :)

Date: 2006-01-13 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First off: the first step is deciding you want to do something about your problem and working out what you want to do, so well done for that. :)

Secondly, sounds like what you are planning is perfectly sensible and healthy, so go for it! If you get stuck at any point I have a large number of diet books that you're welcome to borrow/leaf through.

Exercise is a very necessary part of losing weight though. All you need to aim for is 30 minutes of exercise a day that slightly raises the heartrate - so a bit of walking or something would do you the world of good; walk to Tesco, or town, or to Kitty's instead of taking the bike. Just simple little things like that, basically. :)

Date: 2006-01-18 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Put your cutlery down between each bite.

This is something I pretty much always do - especially if using a knife. I've always thought it was an American thing, but maybe it's just a family thing - when I cut food, I have my fork in my left hand. Since I'm not left-handed, when I finish cutting, I put my utensils down, and then pick up the food with the fork in my right hand. Takes longer to eat your food, but it's just habit for me.... and by all accounts, a good one.

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