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The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Why Counting Calories Will Not Achieve A Beach Body

Its that time of year when the world goes “Beach Body Crazy”.

Of course it can be pretty hard to not feel a certain pull of beach body worthiness when our society is so image obsessed. Put to one side for a moment that a lot of the images we look at in our media are not real, having had the support of some tech wizard and the mighty Photoshop pen.

But if you are hitting the beach or poolside this year then it’s quite natural to want to feel good.

Feeling good poolside is very different from a desire to look like a Photoshop model poolside and just to be clear, there is no such thing as a beach body…your body is your body, summer, winter, spring and autumn. Feeling good inside and out is a 365 option not just for two short summer weeks. Ok…rant over.

But if you have been thinking that you want to shed your winter poundage (those unwanted pounds that have crept on since you layered up and started hibernation eating over the winter) then I want you to think differently about how you approach your weight loss this year.

In the interest of full disclosure I will say that I am much more an advocate of Gaining Health , not Losing weight. But I live in the real world and I know that there are times when we all want to trim down and tone up.

For decades now we have been told that when it comes to weight loss you need to count calories and then reduce them.

Put less in than you use up and hey presto you lose weight. It’s the perfect equation…except that it isn’t!

Playing the calorie counting game doesn’t work in the long term and even in the short term it may do more harm that good as you can actually gain weight and upset the hormones that control your metabolism, your sleep patterns even your sexual appetites!!

Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

Firstly,

All calories are not created equal.

For example you want an afternoon snack and you have budgeted about 250 calories. What to have?

How’s about a chocolate bar? A Mars bar has 260 calories or a Kitkat is even better at only 230 calories.  Or how about a boiled egg and half an avocado coming in at 270?

The chocolate bar will give you a real rush, your blood sugar levels will be flying for about 30 – 40 mins then you will feel totally flat as you crash and burn. Your insulin levels will be sky high coping with the sugar. You are also training your brain to respond to sugar and so set yourself up for a lifetime sugar addiction.

By contrast the Egg & Avocado option, while not as attractive from a calorie perspective of is full of good fats and proteins and so the energy is slowly absorbed, avoiding those blood sugar and insulin spikes. You will literally feel fuller for longer and you will have had the vitamin, mineral and antioxidant boost from this snack. It’s also much less likely to have you chewing your arm off on the journey home from work or craving carbs in the evenings.

Choose the chocolate and you could have saved yourself 30 calories, but you will most likely eat much more than that to climb out of the sugar crash.

It’s not about the amount of calories but rather the type of calories that you are choosing to consume.

You May Be Tempted to Eat “Fake Food”

The saviour of any calorie counting diet plan are the artificial sweetners, and processed foods.

“Need an afternoon snack? Why not enjoy our chocolate flavoured yoghurt with mini crispy balls on top for only 99 calories!!!”

Why not? Well, before you tuck in take a quick look at the ingredients list. Does it read like a chemical experiment? Are there lots of words you cannot pronounce and have no clue what they are? You are consuming chemicals, chemicals which fool your brain into thinking you are eating real food. Yes you have only consumed 99 calories but you have consumed a whole lot more “stuff” that messes up your metabolism and endocrine system.

Hormones Regulate Metabolism, Not Calories.

This is a good time to give a quick plain English explanation of metabolism.

We tend to think of metabolism as a furnace that gets switched on or off depending on what you eat and how much you exercise. But actually is much more than that.

Metabolism in your biochemistry, its actually hormonal reactions in your brain, your gut and even your fat cells that tells the body what to do with the energy you have consumed. Burn it as energy, store it as fat or use it to build muscle its your hormones that dictate that and its much more about what type of food you eat rather than the calories composition that makes these reactions.

When you eat Fake Food or very low calorie food you aren’t giving your hormones much to work with and so your metabolism gets sent into free fall.

You might lose weight this week and then having eaten a fewer higher calorie food the next you put on 3 or 4 pounds!! How did that happen? Well your metabolism’s is out of whack. You need start eating real clean food all the time…no exceptions and no exclusions. Your hormones will love you for it and so will you waistline.

When You Calorie Count You Stop Listening to Your Body.

We have all done diets. Day after day of having a fixed reduced calorie intake goal. “Today I’m eating 1,200 calories” and so you plan the day out, splitting the calories into manageable portions.

Picture the scene, you are sitting down to dinner with your calories counted portion and towards the end of the meal you start to feel full. But you still have all those calories left on the plate that you allocated, it would be a shame to waste them…so full or not… most people keep eating and clear the plate. After all they are still within their calorie budget so no problem right????

Not really.

Firstly, when you eat to feeling full that means exactly that, your stomach is full. Which means that you are every so slightly stretching your stomach. So the next time you eat, you find that you need to eat just a little bit more to gain the same feeling of fullness, then the same thing happens the day after and the day after… before you know it your stomach has stretched and you cannot seem to find that same feeling of fullness you once did.

Admittedly you are not very likely to stretch your stomach on a diet of lettuce leaves, but the problem with diets is that they never last…never! And once you have created the habit of always eating until you are full you continue this habit with the higher calorie foods, consuming the same sized portions of food that will now stretch your stomach and are stored as fat.

You Can Become Obsessive About Food

 Viewing foods only in terms of their calorific value encouraged disordered thinking about food. You can so easily become obsessed about hitting the lowest number of calories per day or working out to burn off as many calories as possible…leaving yourself under nourished and over exerted. What you fail to see is the real nutritional value of the food. Often times choosing a high calorie whole food is a better option for your waistline. Note the word whole food, we are talking organic meat and diary, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and great oils…not donuts and takeout.

What’s the Alternative?

We our top tips at The Body Retreat when you want to tone up and trim down are pretty simple..and nothing to count, measure or weigh.

Eat Clean Whole Foods…cut back on the starchy foods and increase the lean proteins and lots of green. Green is Good!

Only Eat When You Are Truly Hungry…get out of the habit of eating. Don’t eat when you are bored, stressed, upset. Learn to listen to your body, listen out for the signs of real hunger.

Never Skip Meals, (if you aren’t hungry after about 4 hours or so are you listening to your body?) You will probably eat about 4 times a day, about every 4 or so hours, this is about how long it takes for your body to use up the energy you have given it along with some of your fat stores.

Keep Hydrated…don’t confuse hunger with thirst. Stay hydrated all day, your skin, hair, eyes and waistline will love you for it.

Move More Every Day…there is no getting away from it. You do need to move. Aim for about 20 – 30 mins of activity every day to help control your blood sugar levels.

Get Your Rest….sleep helps to reset those all important hormones meaning your energy levels and hunger levels are better balanced during the days.

Relax… your body is already beach ready. When you make the decision that it’s ok, but you now choose to nourish your body and mind with real whole foods, enjoy moving your body and feeling how strong it is, how much it can do then your confidence to peel off those extra layers will be right there.

Tried & Tested Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan

Today’s post is part advisory guidance and part confession…..

You see on Sunday this week I had a blow out… I was having a celebratory lunch with a girlfriend. We had planned it months in advance and so I knew it was going to be a feast of a lunch. Somehow….no additional questions please 😉 … my planned lunchtime indulgence cascaded over into the entire day.

The Belly Busting Food Diary
Breakfast : Large bowl of Bran Flakes
Mid Morning Snack: Slice of home made Pork Pie
Lunch: Crab Tiane with Smoked Salmon, Roast Pork & Mash, Baileys Creme Brûlée, Sauvignon Blanc
Supper: Vegetable Crisps, Smoked Mackerel Crostinis, Garlic Prawns, Garlic Mussels. 2 Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Unsurprisingly the next day I felt ROUGH…. now I cannot blame the cocktails or vino as I actually drank in moderation… what I didn’t do was eat in moderation. I was overcome by the “What the heck, it’s a celebration” voices in my head and had over indulged at every stage.

It wasn’t just the amount of food I ate but the type of foods. Just the amount of processed carbs alone was enough to throw my digestive system out of balance and left me feeling bloated, uncomfortable, groggy, with a fuzzy taste in my mouth. The next morning I felt sluggish and really quite down and unhappy. My entire mood being affected by how I felt physically. My stomach was stretched and felt as tight as a drum. Physically and emotionally I was not in a good place. To be honest I felt so bad that all I really wanted to do was lie on the sofa. I was very thirsty and because I felt so sluggish I was craving sugar to give me an energy boost.

It’s a Slippery Slope!!

Does this sound familiar?  This is the point when in the past I would have given in the physical craving for sugar, carbs and diet coke and hit the corner shop… but now I know that only leads to a serious downwards spiral.  One that ends up with about an extra stone around the middle.  I’ve been there.  I know only too well how slippery that slope is!!!

I also see it with my clients, time and again I see the same self destructive behaviour the day after a blow out.  Its as though the blow out wipes out all good intentions, cancels out any good work gone before, confirms that you can’t do this healthy living stuff! They worry that this over indulgence will stop their weight loss.

But Im here to tell you that is just the cravings talking….like any addiction this is when you are at your most vulnerable.  So now is a time for action…but mostly now is a time to be kind to yourself.  Pick yourself up, accept that the blow out happened, but just more forward.  No looking for excuses, no guilty recriminations , no negative self talk…the blow out was yesterday. Today is a new day and you can make a new choice right now.

The question is…what choice do you want to make?

To help you get back on track I’d like to share with you my tried and tested Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan. Just five simple steps to having in you feeling like yourself again in now time…and more importantly to stop you slipping down that slope into daily over indulgence.

The 5 Step Belly Busting Blowout Recovery Plan

1. EAT
Yes I know this might seem a contradiction when feeling over indulged. But it is important to keep your metabolism moving  and your blood sugar levels stable. So today it is important to eat but EAT LIGHT.

Belly Busting Recovery Food Diary

Breakfast : Detox Greens Juice (You can find the recipe in our blog or on our FB page)
This will set you up for the day, flooding your system with goodness while at the same time being very light to digest.

Lunch: Green Eggs & Ham
A great protein based lunch, add chopped spinach to two scrabbled eggs and serve with a a slice of ham. The ham helps to satisfy salt cravings.

Afternoon Snack: Apple & Walnuts.

At the apple with help to keep you hydrated while irving natural sugar and fibre and the walnuts really pack a nutritional punch as the oils also help to balance your insulin levels.

Supper: Chicken & Barley Soup

Again keeping it really light and hydrating this tasty soup helps to satisfy your hunger which will have begun to build during the day. Again you can find a great recipe for Chicken soup on our blog.

2. DRINK
Water, water, water. Today it is especially important to drink lots of water, aim for about 2 litres in total of fresh plain water. If you really feel like you need something bubbly (I know I did) then avoid carbonated soft drinks. Instead add the juice of one whole lime and one whole lemon to a large glass of sparkling water. This will refresh you instantly.

3. WALK
You really need to get moving and not become a couch potato…even though every part of you will be urging you to just sit it out and wait for the discomfort to pass. Get outside into the fresh air…regardless of the weather. Walking for an hour is great, half an hour is good and 15 mins is the absolute minimum. This walk will lift you physically and mentally.

4. SUPPLEMENT
Having consumed a large about of dairy, sugar and proceed carbs my system was totally acidic. I was feeling totally backed up and very uncomfortable (if you know what I mean!!). I needed to get my system back into alignment as soon as possible. Gentle exercise and light eating both help to achieve this but you can super-charge this process by adding supplements into your diet right now. Both Julie  and I always have Alkalising Salts at home. (I take them for Gastro Oesphical Reflux Disorder and Julie  for an energy boost when she feels sluggish) Making up a glass of alkalising salts morning and evening will help to

Also if you have them take 2 probitotics before you got to bed at night they will also help to bentley get things moving regularly by morning.

5. TREAT YOURSELF
The day after a blow out is usually when the guilt and negative self talk sets in. I was disappointed in myself. I hadn’t meant to over indulge…it sort of crept up on me!! My mood was so low that I found myself ruminating on negative thoughts….. in short i was beating myself up for my behaviour the day before. This isn’t helpful. Instead, acknowledge that you perhaps didn’t stick to you plan, but also acknowledge that this one day doesn’t make you a bad person. There is no reason to be guilty and punish yourself. Instead lift your mood by treating yourself to something you really like to do, maybe its have a massage, a manicure, run a bath and take a magazine to enjoy a whole chunk of you time. Whatever is going to lift your spirits.

Let me know how you get on with the plan…it never fails to make you feel better fast.  Follow this plan and you will undo that over indulgence in no time and find yourself back on track.

Please leave me a comment in the box below, I’d love to hear how you get on.

Is Dieting Adding to Your Stress Levels?

Stress and food & drink have always been linked.

Wether that be comfort eating, drinking to forget or even feeling so sick with worry that you can’t stomach a thing.

We now know that certain foods and drinks can aggravate stress.  Coffee, sugar and processed foods all interfere with our bodies natural ability to deal with stress.

Did you know that how you eat can aggravate your stress levels too?

Most people think of “stress” as emotional stress like anger or anxiety, but really stress has a much broader definition. Anything that raises stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can be thought of as stress.

The body loves to be in balance, in fact it is always trying to regain this balance at all times, you shiver when you are cold telling you to put a sweater on, your mouth feels dry when you are dehydrated telling you to drink water and when your body needs energy it sends you a clear message through your hunger pangs to eat.

The body needs fuel to perform its basic metabolic functions. When there is no answer to its call for energy the brain starts to reduce the energy you expend, so you start to feel a bit tired and weary.  While at the same time it is looking for back up energy sources and can start to release stress hormones to give the “Umph” you need to go out there and score some calories.

The brain really doesn’t like diets.  It views restrictive diets, those that recommend the regular intake of less than 1200 calls for a woman, as being the signs of imminent famine.  Survival mechanism kicks and and slows down your metabolism so that you do not use all the energy you take in, then when it detects a feast, for example when someone falls off the diet cycle and has a blow out, the body in its infinite wisdom lays down these extra calories as fat for your future survival.

At the same time being on a diet can be an emotional roller coaster, lots of Must Do’s, Should Nots and Can’t Haves to cope with.  The guilt and the shame of what’s allowed and what isn’t and  the pressure of breaking the diet add yet another negative emotion for your brain to process.

This is why diets fail.

Going on a diet changes how your body responds to the fuel it receives, how the hormones responsible for all your basic metabolic functions work and may even change the way that your brain reacts to stress, changing both how you express stress and whether you start eating more because of it.

Signs of Being Caught in The Vicious Diet Stress Cycle

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Here are a few common warning signs that your stress hormone levels are out of balance:

  • Tired all the time.
  • Digestive Problems, like IBS, yeast infections, food intolerance etc
  • Little aches and pains that have no real source
  • Constant colds and bugs.
  • Low sex drive
  • Brain Fog.
  • Poor Sleep
  • Craving carbs and high sugar foods
  • A tyre of fat around your middle that never seems to shift

If you have more than one of these symptoms for any length of time its your body’s way of telling you something isn’t working for you.

Breaking Free from The Diet Stress Cycle

Ditch the Diet

Ditch The Diet!

Let’s be honest: life is stressful enough without us worrying over every bite we eat.  Yes it is prudent to watch what you eat, to choose clean healthy foods most of the time to provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs and yes if you are looking to shed some unnecessary weight then you will want to look at what you have been eating and may need to make some changes to support your goal.  But following a rigid and restrictive diet is not the answer, listening to your body and looking at your current behaviours from a holistic health and wellbeing approach is key.

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Take time to Relax.

When was the last time you really relaxed?  I don’t just meant sat and mindless watched TV.  I mean really took time out, slowed down and had some time when you were able to switch off and allow your body and your brain to rest.  Many women we see at The Body Retreat have become very good at putting their own needs to the bottom of the To Do List.  There is always something or someone with a prior claim on their time.  But you can be stretched too thin, just like pulling an elastic band… there may seem like a lot of give but eventually there will be a snap!  So commit to yourself that you will no long wait to find the time to relax but that you will make the time to relax.  It really doesn’t take long, we recommend you start with a simple 3 minute mindfulness exercise…. 3 short minutes out of 24 hours really can make a huge differnece.

The Body Retreat Answer 

Stress can be a major trigger for weight gain, emotional eating and ill health.

The answer to breaking this vicious diet stress cycle is a very personal one.

At The Body Retreat we discuss each guests personal situation and their requirements to make sure that they get the result they want and need. For some that might be attending our Weight Loss Retreat but for many others we are now recommending that they join us at the Stress Reset Retreat in order to balance their mind and body before beginning their weight loss journey.

While the Stress Reset Retreat is aimed at rebalancing body and mind and providing you with new resources to support you in your day to day life as a bonus on this retreat , you can lose up to 7 lbs in just 5 days as well see your mood, skin and muscle tone improve.

If  you would like to discover more about how your diet may be contributing to your stress levels and feel that it may be time to take some action, then give us a call.

What to expect at a Women Only Weight Loss Retreat

If you are thinking about attending a women’s weight loss retreat (not just a Body Retreat one… although of course we think we are the best), you will probably have a few questions as to whether it will be suitable for you,  There a lot of options out there, from weight loss bootcamp to weight loss holiday the choice seems vast so the following information may help you make your decision.

First of all, note that a “women’s weight loss retreat will mean different things to different people, no matter whether they are running the retreat or attending it! We all have different ideas and expectations, so, you will need to do your research first to ensure you find the retreat that is most suitable for you.

Questions to Consider when choosing a Weight Loss Retreat:

  • What sort of events / activities will you be taking part in? Are they a mix of cardio, plus high and low impact exercise to not only burn those calories off, but shape and tone your body too? A variety of exercises and activities will help keep you engaged in what you are doing, so you (should!) enjoy them more;
  • How big are the groups at each retreat? Obviously, the smaller the groups, the more personalised and individual attention you will get – helping you to achieve your goals that much quicker and prevent the likelihood of injury;
  • Also who else is attending the retreat?  Often the staff on Women Only Retreats are male and its not unheard of for advertised women only to take men, so ask the question.  Is it a mixed retreat, could you be the only female in the group?  Will you be in good company that can help and support you or is the environment competitive and strict?
  • What sort of diet will you be on? Some retreats will severely restrict your calories or put you on to a liquid only diet. Others, such as ourselves, provide tasty and nutritionally sound meals that provide the foundations to helping you shed the unnecessary weight – and maintain that weight loss;
  • Is the focus purely on losing weight, or does the retreat programme include looking at all areas of your health and well-being? For example, our weight loss retreats are designed to help you think about the relationship between your lifestyle, weight, nutrition and health – and creating a balance.
  • What is the age range on the retreat? Not only of the clients but also the instructors and experts.  You will want to feel comfortable and have common ground with those around you.
  • And last but by no means least, what results can you expect to gain and maintain?  This is an important question because the truth is that when you eat less and move more you will lose weight, but will you continue to lose or maintain the weight loss?  Read the testimonials, ask to speak to a past client so you can find out for yourself what the post programme support helped them to achieve.

What happens at The Body Retreat Weight Loss Retreat?

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There are a few things that make our retreats different to some others – our groups are small for a personalised service and we have an online support community after the event where you can talk to other women who have been, or are going on, the same life changing journey as you.

Ours is a holistic approach, and all our retreats are based on our 4 Pillars of Wellbeing, they are Behaviour, Nutrition, Exercise and R&R so our days are balanced to ensure that you have the time you need to not only make change but to really embed it so that it becomes habitual.

The experts we have chosen to support us on our retreat are women who have studied female health and wellbeing extensively, they have years of experience and more than that as all our team are women they understand the nuances of the journey each women makes to achieving the body and fitness she wants and deserves.  You can be confident that you are always in the very best care.

And last but by no means least The Body Retreat venues offer you every comfort and luxury you would expect at a spa retreat, from the spa facilities,  power showers and deep bath tubs, fluffy bathrobes and towels through to beautiful healthy food that not only is a delight for your eyes and tastebuds.  We have designed a unique retreat experience that is based on results but hasn’t neglected pleasure and relaxation.

What is a typical day like on Weight Loss Retreat?

Depending on the type of weight loss retreat you are attending, a typical day may consist of around 8 hours of different activities – for example, a variety of toning and cardio activities such as circuits, Nordic walking, kettlebells, pilates, yoga, and boxing etc as well as health, nutrition and well- being workshops. Most retreats will have an early start with exercise before breakfast, we start our days with our Wake Up Workout, a short and snappy workout deigned to wake your metabolism and get you into fat burning straight away.

On some retreats you will be exercising outside all day.  We try to get outdoors as much as possible (weather permitting) and show you how you can exercise and get fit without the need for lots of equipment or gym memberships. We are also lucky to have indoor exercise areas so that if…or should that be when the good old British weather lets us down we can still follow a full programme dry and safe from the elements.

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Our  venues have a pool and most have sauna, hot tub and steam room, so as well as take part in aqua aerobics sessions or pool workouts  you can also have a leisurely swim and relax those muscles at the end of the day.

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R&R is a very important part of making change stick, you will work hard on a Weight Loss Retreat and there will be challenges and change to overcome, so having time every day to relax, enjoy a complimentary massage treatment, have time to reflect on your decision to join the retreat, just have time for you …when was the last time you had time just for you?

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While the other ladies at the weight loss retreat will be people just like you, you don’t have to worry about needing your own space. It is up to you as to how sociable you are during your free time. Some of our ladies will go off to their room for a hot bath and to watch the TV while others may sit together and chat over a herbal tea – it’s your choice!

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At The Body Retreat, we don’t advocate any diet, diets do not work!  What does work is making a healthy conscious choice that is just right for you and your body.  Making a positive healthy choice because you want to, because you care about your body. And anyway, life is too short to spend it worrying about what to eat and not eat…or worse eating bland tasteless food in the quest for weight loss.  When I hear of the latest Diet trend I’m always reminded of a great quote by Dolly Parton

 

I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book.

I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”

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Our retreat workshops will help you identify just what aspects of your life are influencing your weight and fitness choices. Lifestyle is a generic concept that encompasses a range of factors, all of which are important to understand and take control of if you are to start to improve your body and the way you feel about it.

There is more to a Weight Loss Retreat than “Eat Less & Move More”

So,  you see a Weight Loss Retreat is more than simply doing exercises and learning about eating the right sort of foodstuffs. It is about establishing mechanisms to empower you to start having more self-confidence and to do things differently in terms of your overall lifestyle.

If this all sounds a little theoretical, then be reassured that at our retreats there’s lots of emphasis on fun and practicality! This is about groups of women coming together to participate in sessions that have been designed by women and for women, with the ultimate objective of helping you achieve your goals.

Whatever your age or fitness level ,or long term goal you are likely to find the approach here at The Body Retreat to be thorough, practical and above all enjoyable!

I hope you found this article helpful to support you in asking the right questions and making the right choice for a Weight Loss Retreat that works for you.

And if you ave any questions about our women only weight loss retreat, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

 Good Luck

Ditch the Diets…7 Healthy Ways to Eat Less

We hate Diets at The Body Retreat!

Now both in our 40’s and like a lot of the ladies who join us now on our Weight Loss Retreats we have both been through the gambit of almost every Diet going, The F-Plan, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The South Beach Diet, The Dukan Diet, The 5:2 plan…… the list goes on and on and on.  We are yet to meet a happy Dieter.  The idea that excluding whole food groups or by meticulously weighting and measuring every mouthful is going to make you healthy let alone happy is really quite ridiculous to us.

What diets do is set individuals up for disappointment and dysfunctional relationship with food and yet it is almost a national pastime.  Every new Diet fad to hit the shelves brings with it a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe this will be the one.

The problem is that chronic dieting can actually lead to weight gain in the long term, as metabolism and hormones are thrown out of balance.   So, women have been left feeling unhappy about their weight and their bodies.  They are confused about what they can and cannot eat and when they should eat it.  Should  they fast, or graze, or stick to three square meals a day?  Is fat the enemy or is it now sugar?  Many see the plethora of Diet foods available in he supermarkets as the answer, after all its all weighed and measured for you, surely those who produce the meals will know what is good.  Yet the unwanted and unnecessary weight stays put.  Diets don’t work in the long term, they are not deigned to be a way of life.

Dear Diet…Its Over!

At The Body Retreat no real whole food is off limits.  Following the 80/20 principle we advocate that you cut the CRAP from your diet.  80% of the time you eat clean and  as close to nature as possible. Choosing meals based on meat, fish, grains, pulses, fruit and veggies with small amounts of diary and good fats.  Then 20% of the time you enjoy eating whatever you like…literally.  No points, no syns and most importantly no guilt!!

You can read more about the 80/20% Principle for Weight Loss here.

On our Weight Loss Retreats we look to empower women to regain control of their health first.  Making conscious choices that respect and protect their body, learning to listen to what the body really wants and needs. When you put health first, weight loss will follow.

Our 7 Healthy Ways to Eat Less is a great place to start to build a better relationship with food while at the same time supporting your body to shed the weight that is unnecessary for it.

1. Only Eat When You are Truly Hungry.

How often have you confused hunger with thirst or emotion.  Very often we eat when we are not really hungry and so it is difficult to hear the “I’m satisfied” signal from your tummy.  This can easily lead to overeating and weight gain.  Learn to listen to your body and only eat when you are truly hungry.

2. Eat Real Food.

If you can pick it, plant it or catch it then eat it.  If the ingredients sound like a school chemistry experiment then stay well clear.  I know that many of you will say “but I don’t have time to prepare and cook real food”  but healthy food doesn’t  have to be long winded.  Scramble some eggs, grill a piece of fish or throw a potato in the oven.  Yes it will take some time to get used to a new way of preparing food, but it is change that is well worth making the effort in the first instance.

3.  Eat Protein with Every Main Meal.

Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like good organic meat, fish or dairy, nuts, or beans at meals.

4. Use a Smaller Plate.

Did you know that the average dinner plate has grown from 9 inches to 14-16 inches?  Not to mention those lovely bistro bowls that are so popular now, you know there really deep ones so you can get all your delicious sauce to stay put.  In their infinite wisdom some marketing chap decided that they can make more money selling us bigger plates and so the average dinner plate has evolved into something quite huge.  The trouble is, is that your tummy hasn’t evolved to keep up, our stomach is the size of our own clenched fist.  So in any one sitting you should not eat more than what would fill your clenched fist.  Choosing to eat from a smaller plate helps your brian to become accustomed to less food without feeling deprived as a full plate sends a signal to the brain that you are having a full meal.

5. Sit Down & Pay Attention.

When you do eat you want to eat mindful of the healthy nutritious foods you have chosen.  You want your body to have the time it needs to properly digest the foods so that you get the maximum energy and nutrition from every bite.  So don’t eat on the go, sit down, even if its only for 5-10 minutes.  Pay attention to the food on your plate and most importantly when its in your mouth.  Chew slowly, really savour every mouthful.

6. Put Your Cutlery Down Between Each Mouthful.

This is one of the healthy habits we adopt on all our Body Retreats.  Putting your cutlery down between each mouthful slows down your eating by about 25% therefore giving you time to properly digest the food and very importantly allowing time for the “I’m Satisfied” signal to reach your brain telling you to stop eating.

7. No Water While You Eat

Back in the day I can remember specifically being told that drinking lots of water with every meal made you feel full up faster and so you didn’t eat as much.  True..BUT..and its a big BUT here.. the water you drink is absorbed in about 15 minutes and so you are left feeling unsatisfied and more likely to snack on fattening foods later in the day.  Also drinking water at meal times dilutes your digestive enzymes and so your body is not able to get the maximum nutrition form the foods you have chosen, so it is kind of a lose, lose situation.  Drink right up until you start eating and stop until about 15/20 mins after you have finished your meal.

Follow these simple 7 Healthy Steps to Eat Less and you will soon notice a huge difference in not only your waist line, but in your energy levels and digestive health too.

It really is time to ditch the diets and instead focus on making healthy choices about what we put into our body, because we care about our body, because we care about ourselves.

 

Ditch the Diet

Ditch the Diet

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your experience of dieting or even better how you quit dieting and started losing weight.  Please leave me a comment in the box at the bottom and if you know a serial dieter who would benefit form reading this blog then please do share it with them…a ll you need to do is click the social media button and woos its done.