This month’s blogger is Deborah Cripps who runs a successful weight management business. Deborah is the LighterLife Counsellor for West Swindon. She specialises in working with small groups of clients to help them explore their relationship with food and to help them make changes to their lifestyle so that they can manage their weight effectively in the future.
Over the last three years, I have worked with hundreds of clients to help them lose, and maintain, weight through lifestyle change. A lot of the work I do involves getting clients to think about whether the way they communicate with themselves and other people helps them achieve their goals. Often, the answer to this question is no. We are constantly deleting, filtering or editing information that we don’t want to know, choose not to listen to or prefer to ignore. Often the goal is one thing, e.g. to lose weight, but we miscommunicate with ourselves so that we either never achieve the goal, or take a long time to get there. Never more do I see this in evidence when I get clients to list all the times they tell themselves calories don’t count. Below is a list I have compiled over the years, I am sure it is not exhausted yet.
1. It’s Christmas. Clearly all calories are removed from food on Christmas day, in fact food stops containing calories around the 1st December and is not put back into food until around the second or third week in January.
2. It’s my birthday – the above rules apply, including anywhere from one or two weeks before and after the birthday, depending on the age being celebrated.
3. The above rules also apply during any other bank holiday, someone else’s birthday, wedding and when away on holiday.
4. Someone made it for me – no calories, fact.
5. If you take it from someone else’s plate – the calories belong to them, so aren’t included in your daily allowance (children’s leftovers also fall into this category)
6. The item is broken (normally relates to biscuits, two halves do not make a whole).
7. The calories are not printed on the packet, or there is no packet – surely these foods contain no calories at all?
8. You eat it when no one else is watching – no one can see you, therefore it doesn’t count.
9. When you are preparing food – it’s all part of the process and included in your daily allowance.
10. When calories are in liquid form – I’m not just talking about alcohol, but in full fat lattes, cappuccinos, soft drinks etc. These items are not chewed, therefore the calories don’t exist or count.
11. An hour before and after exercise. Any calories consumed then do not count, regardless of what the exercise is and how long carried out. I run for the bus today, therefore I can eat this muffin.
12. I skipped breakfast, lunch, mid-morning snack etc. Any food consumed if these conditions apply contain no calorific content at all.
13. When eating standing up or on the move. Calories are instantly burned off.
14. When eating in front of the television, playing on our phone or during other distractions. Generally the mind doesn’t register these items and therefore only food we sit down to eat at a table counts.
These are just a few I come across every day. Of course the reality is that calories do count in everything we eat. A pound of fat can be gained just by eating an extra 500 calories a day for a week and over the course of a year that adds up to nearly four stone. In fact an extra 100 calories a day can lead to a 10-12 pound gain in a year.
So if you really want to maintain your weight, you really need to start with how you communicate with yourself.
If you enjoyed Deborah’s article you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and visit her website for more helpful information