Weight loss - changing mindsets
Updated: Mar 18
Let’s start with a few facts…
‘In 2018/19 there were 11,117 hospital admissions with a primary diagnoses of obesity, an increase of 4% on 2017/18’. (1)
‘Once a person is obese their risk for diabetes goes up 77 times.’ (2)’. As a nation we eat too much sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Counting calories remains firmly in the mindset of many as a way to lose weight. Pounding the treadmill also is considered the only way to address weight gain.
But let’s just stop this thinking there. There are other factors at play here and for each individual they will have a number of factors which may contribute to their own weight gain. These range from psychological difficulties with food such as bulimia, anxiety or stress, but also pressure on the liver, or even a lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin found in the brain. Whatever your story, genetic make up and lifestyle choices, there will be a way you as an individual can approach weight loss that works for just you. It simply comes down to your relationship with food, as pioneer Marc David, founder of The Institute for Psychology of Eating’ suggests, and as Patrick Holford confirms ‘metabolism – how the body turns food into fat’(3). You must maintain an even blood sugar level. Without this balance blood sugar levels raise up, your body produces the hormone insulin carrying sugar out of the blood and into the cells converting excess sugar into fat. The more insulin being produced means more excess sugar converting to fat. If you can’t use this fat is sits on you. So the key is finding a way to balance this blood sugar – reducing those cravings and getting to the root cause of your individual weight gain. During this process of balancing blood sugar there is a tendency to start labelling food ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But this leads us back to calorie counting. An easier way is to shift your mindset to an acceptance of healthier foods, find foods that are heathy and you enjoy to eat. Understanding that you are making a choice in the foods you eat to support your health takes away the guilt and you see food with all the benefits it brings and you enter an acceptance phase. Low calorie and low fat foods are ‘often devoid in essential nutrients and high in sugars’ (4). Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about changing those mindsets; -Consider when you eat, and what you eat at those times. Do you have regular eating habits? -Start with a couple of obvious food swaps, change high refined carbs to slow release carbs such as wholewheat pasta and rice, grains, couscous. -Swap normal potatoes for sweet potatoes. -Try putting food together on the plate in a different way. Layer with different textures such as croutons, or mix cold and warm ingredients such as roasted carrots on raw spinach or salad leaves. -Controlling portion size can be achieved by using smaller plates or by grating ingredients. A pile of grated cheese will look more appealing that fat slices. -Swap your sugary snacks for things like sliced banana on oatcakes, nuts and seeds or fruit with a protein yogurt. Sources 1. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/england-2020/part-1-obesity-related-hospital-admissions-copy 2. Holford, P, The Optimum Nutrition Bible, reprint 2013, p317 3. Holford, P, The Optimum Nutrition Bible, reprint 2013, p317 4. https://bant.org.uk/2021/03/15/bant-calls-time-on-counting-calories-over-promoting-food-quality-and-nutrients