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The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

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.

The Danger of Pre Supper Snacking

Do you often arrive home from work feeling so ravenous you could eat a donkey with the saddle on?!?!

If you do then you might find yourself routinely grabbing snacks before you’ve prepared a proper meal in the evening. This isn’t the worst crime in the world of course but if you’re aiming to gain control of your weight and what you’re eating then pre supper snacking can be a real problem.

I can tell you from my own experience that keeping hunger pangs at bay after a long day at work is not easy. In fact, back in the day when I was office bound I even found myself coming home from a day at the office and rummaging through my fridge without even having taken my coat off!

But it doesn’t have to be this way. At The Body Retreat we believe that balance is the key to keeping hunger in check.

Follow our simple tips below and you will soon find yourself in almost zen like control as you open your front door of an evening. Believe me, you will feel a whole lot better for it!

The Hunger Scale

You may already have read or heard about the Hunger Scale but even if you have then it is worth looking at again because it is a really amazing tool. We use it all the time at Weight Loss Retreats because it really helps provide a focus when we’re trying to take back control of what we’re eating.

The Hunger Scale is all about thinking more precisely about how hungry or full you are whenever you eat. It isn’t a magic solution that works wonders overnight but if you use it for a while you are sure to see some very worthwhile benefits. The scale is easier to use on retreat because there’s more time to focus but, if you find a way to use it in everyday life too, then it can make a massive difference to the way you think about and enjoy food.

As you can see below, the Hunger Scale goes from one, which is where you are so physically faint from hunger you could barely lift a fork to your mouth, through to ten which is feeling so full up that you could be sick in a bucket…(yes it really is that gross).

The Hunger Scale

1. Physcially Faint
2. Ravenous
3. Hungry
4. A Little Hungry
5. Neutral
6. Satisfied
7. Full
8. Stuffed
9. Over Faced
10. Sick in a Bucket!

Ideally we want to stay between 4 and 7. When we don’t eat or when we don’t eat well and we allow our blood sugar levels to drop down into the realms of 1,2 and 3, we find ourselves at the mercy of a brain in survival mode.

The Problem with Flagging Blood Sugar

When your blood sugar levels drop low your brain, which always has your very best interest at heart, senses the lack of energy and sends out a very compelling message that it needs high energy sources ASAP.  The result is that your brain will literally send you in search of fast acting carbs that can be easily converted to energy.

Now there is great sugar in a carrot, but, here’s the thing, when you are low down the Hunger Scale you make bad choices.  You open the fridge door, you see the carrots, you see the hummus you see the natural Greek yoghurt, but no.  You need or rather you want starchy CARBS!!!  So you close the fridge and turn to the bread bin…

The problem with eating starchy carbs on an empty stomach

As starchy carbs are quickly converted into glucose you start to feel better, but your body is also producing insulin to convert the glucose either into muscles for energy or into your fat stores.

In large amounts insulin prevents fat burning and stores surplus nutrients in the fat cells. After some time (a few hours or less) this may result in a shortage of nutrients in the blood, creating feelings of hunger and cravings for something sweet. Usually at that point people eat more. This starts the process all over again and that’s why snacking can be such a problem and why the associated cravings are often so hard to control.

In a recent study at Cornell University, students who consumed starchy carbs before or at the very start of a meal ate 47% more calories in their meals than those who ate vegetables or salad.

If this all sounds a little too familiar then you will be pleased to know that there are some very simple steps you can take to break this vicious cycle.

The Body Retreat’s Top Tips for Avoiding Pre Supper Snacking

Avoid having a glass of wine while cooking.

There is no need to come over all Keith Floyd in the midweek kitchen.  Not only is the sugar in the wine converted in exactly the same way as the sugar in the starchy carbs but on an empty stomach you may find yourselves being a little too enthusiastic in tasting the meal as you prepare.  Ever found yourselves saying…. “Mmm, nice” and then having another couple of spoonfuls?  Leave the vino until you are at the table eating.

Drink a glass of warm water and lemon juice instead of wine.

Lemon juice is traditionally understood to support digestive hydrochloric acid in the stomach to aid digestion. This is why in ayruvedic or yogic traditions it is drunk upon waking.  But drinking a glass while you are preparing your meal can also help to take the sting out of your appetite.

Eat a good lunch.

Soup or Salad makes a great lunch

Soup or Salad makes a great lunch

Having a high carb lunch will leave you feeling empty by supper time (see our blog on why sandwiches may damage your waistline).

Having a mid-afternoon snack is a MUST!!

Back to our Hunger Scale.  If you allow your blood sugar levels to drop too low then you will put yourself into the snacking danger zone.  Ideally you should aim to have a small protein based snack midway between lunch and supper.  So if you lunch at 1pm and have supper at around 7.30pm then having a snack around 4.00pm will help to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

The thing to remember is that no one plan suits everybody, so you need to learn to listen to your own body and eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.  That way you are respecting your body and giving it the nutrition it needs and deserves.  At The Body Retreat we work with all our clients to create a plan that works for their lifestyle and their goals so that they can build healthy habits that work for them. Our Weight Loss Retreats are based on the principle of balancing blood sugar which combined with the behaviour element of the programme ensure that clients are set up for long term success once they return home.

What are your thoughts and experiences of Pre Supper Snacking?  We would love to hear from you, so please leave us a comment below.

If you have found this article helpful then sharing is caring so please spread the word on your favourite social media.

 

 

The Surprising Reason Why The 80/20 Weight Loss Blueprint Really Works

No doubt you are already aware of the 80/20 Principle.  Often referred to by its full title of The Pareto Principle, its the fundamental business and mathematical equation that states that 80% of the results come from just 20% of the actions or input.

Now, I’m not a great fan of statistics, equations or numbers to be fair, I’m much more comfortable with ideas, feelings and words.  So the thought of exploring the finer details of an equation that is the key to sustained weight loss leaves me pretty cold. Or rather it did.  Until I spotted a trend in sustained weight loss at The Body Retreat.

Patterns of Successful Weight Loss Maintenance at The Body Retreat

Over the last few years of working on The Body Retreat I have been tracking the longer term weight loss performance of some of our clients.  From a behaviour point of view I was very keen to learn what was the difference that makes the difference.  I have undertaken numerous studies and profiled key clients who not only lost the weight, but more importantly kept it off.

At first the findings were inconclusive, but there were patterns forming around the shift in mindset and adoption of key behaviours that seemed to come up time and time again.  One of the main drivers of successful weight loss maintenance  was the shift in mindset that these clients did not feel they were on a diet when they returned home from their retreat.  Our eating plan at The Body Retreat is not about excluding certain foods, its not about deprivation and will power, that doesn’t work.  What does work is adopting the 80/20 principle.

The 80/20 Principle for Eating

The 80/20 principle basically means that 80% of the time you choose to eat balanced healthy nutritious foods and you cut the CRAP* and then the other 20% of the time you can have a little treat, enjoy a splurge meal, have a night out with the girls.  Its all about balance and moderation.  Its about planning.  In the beginning healthy eating doesn’t just happen by chance, its a new skill that must be practised until it becomes a natural habit.

“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”

For most of us 100% abstinence from any food , especially those diets which advocate exclusion of carbs, sugar or  fat is not only not achievable or sustainable its down right unthinkable… Its just not normal.  You can end up feeling unable to set foot over the door again as eating becomes a chore, a puzzle that is a lot easier to solve in your own kitchen.  Yes its true,  reduce your calorie consumption for a couple of weeks and you will lose weight, but…and its a pretty big BUT… its not sustainable.  Repeated studies have found that  weight lost during crash or extreme “dieting” is almost always regained and the negative impact the diet has had on your appetite hormones can take-up to 2 years to rebalance, making you more likely to Yo Yo for that period.  Total abstinence leads to boredom and feeling deprived, which almost always results in your swinging back the other way and over eating those very items you were avoiding.

The Importance of the 20%

So back to Pareto and this equation for successful weight loss. Would you be surprised to know that on our post weight loss retreat meal planners we mandate that our clients have one treat meal and one treat snack every week, non negotiable?  Believe it or not , its not the 80% of “being good” that produces sustainable weight loss, it’s the 20% of the treats and splurges that does.  Really????  Eating treats helps you lose weight!! Yes …if you do it correctly.  The Body Retreat clients who not only lost weight but kept it off never thought of themselves as on a diet but they only had their mandatory treat meal and snack every week, there was no cheating on the cheating!

The 20% is what keeps you on track, its the difference that makes the difference.  The 20% helps you to keep focused on your goal, it rewards you for your efforts in the week of planning, preparing and enjoying healthy and nutritious foods.  Having those treat meals, that afternoon tea and cake, the cocktails with the girls make you feel normal, makes you feel like you are living a full and balanced life.  Nothing is off limits, nothing is excluded, there is no deprivation and abstinence , only balance, control and moderation.

You Still Need to Stand Up to Yourself

There are few rules and restrictions on the 80/20 Weight Loss Blueprint, but it is not an invitation to eat everything that you want every time that you want it.  It is important that you keep a sense of balance, you have an innate ability to know when you are full up, to know when something tastes good and when it doesn’t.  So you do need to listen to your body and stand up to yourself.  Check your portions sizes, are you serving yourself and your partner the same about of food? When you do eat, do so mindfully and slowly, really savouring every single mouthful and when you are satisfied stop eating.  You do not need to finish everything on the plate.

NOT 20% Treat Behaviour

On our Weight Loss Retreat we show our retreaters how to eat consciously for life.  So that the 80% begins to feel natural, easy, desirable. While at the same time the 20% feels balanced and controlled.

“Perhaps the time has come to Stand Up for Your Health by Standing Up to Yourself?”

Anxious about Splurging?

We have ladies on our weight loss retreat who have literally battled with food for year and have become anxious about eating perceived “unhealthy” foods, worried that if they allowed themselves to have a biscuit that they would eat the whole packet, have a glass of wine then order a large pizza. They are worried that if they start to have the treat meal that they will not be able to stop and will spiral out of control.  If this sounds like you then this may be a sign that you have an unhelpful emotional connection with eating or food and it may be helpful to discuss these feelings with a professional as this is something that you can work on making you free to live a more balanced nutritious life.

There is NO One Size Fits All Plan

Some of you eagle eyed mathematical types may have spotted a potential calculation flaw in my equation for successful weight loss.  On the basis that you eat 20% of your basic three meals as treat or splurge meals thats an awful lot more than the one meal and one snack I’ve set out above.  Heres the thing the Pareto Principle isn’t exact science, in some cases its 70/30 and in others 90/10 dependant upon the variables.  Likewise with weight loss , unfortunately it is not an exact science, if it were then the person who found that formula would be a gazillionaire and everybody would be slim.  The old weight loss equation of calories in vs calories out or “Eat Less Move More has long since been proved to not work long term.  The reality of weight loss is that there is no one size fits all plan.

Making the 80/20 Blueprint Work for You

So how does the 80/20 Blueprint work in practice.  Well, you can choose the method that suits your lifestyle.  You can have 20% of your Meal.  So having a grilled chicken breast salad with a few fries on the side.  Or you can have 20% of your Day.  So eating three clean healthy meals with one small treat snack, perhaps a couple of digestive biscuits with your tea.

In practice we have found that both of these methods become too complicated and can lead to “treat creep”  where two biscuits becomes three, a few fries becomes the full portion etc etc.  What we have found works is to have 20% of your week, so one treat meal and one treat snack each week.  This way you can plan it into your week, have dinner out with friends,  sunday lunch with all the trimmings or that deliciously decadent favourite pudding.  Your choice.  But remember to listen to your body and enjoy them consciously.

The 80/20 Blueprint can release you from the guilt of eating the “wrong” foods, save you from the dreaded diets and give you the energy and motivation you need to choose to eat healthily for life. Perhaps now is the time to Ditch the Diets for good, stop counting calories or grams of fat and instead choose to eat clean and healthy for 80% and then enjoy the planned 20% splurges. Literally you can have your cake and lose weight too.

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Enjoy your 20%

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*CRAP = Carbonated Soft Drinks, Refined Carbohydrates, Artificial Sweeteners & Processed Foods