One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to weight loss

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One size does not fit all

We all need different sizes and shapes of shoes, and yet when it comes to weight loss we often turn to one-size-fits-all diets. Appetite Retraining offers advice on how to devise a weight loss plan that is tailored for you and your lifestyle. It is radically different from other approaches, as you’ll see.

Weight loss requires a change in eating patterns. For weight loss to be permanent, the change in eating patterns needs to be permanent. For any behaviour change to be permanent it helps to use small manageable steps to move from your current eating pattern to a new pattern which sustains a lower weight.

If conventional diets haven’t worked for you, perhaps you need to take a different type of approach. One that starts where you are now and instead of radically overhauling your eating patterns overnight, makes a series of stepwise changes. By helping you to make small stepwise changes to your existing eating patterns, the psychological strain caused by conventional diets (which is a major reason for diets failing) is reduced.

With Appetite Retraining, the eating behaviours that keep people heavier than they want to be divides “problem eating behaviours” into four categories:

a) Problems with your eating routine (or lack of it)

b) Eating too much at a time

c) Eating when you’re not hungry

d) Problems with what you’re eating

You identify which specific eating behaviours you need to change and work on changing these specific behaviours.

  1. First, you work on shaping your current eating pattern into a routine which is as regular as your lifestyle will allow. Scientific research shows that maintaining your desired weight is easier if you have a regular routine for eating instead of a haphazard approach. Not everyone needs the same routine. This does not matter. What does matter is that your routine fits around your lifestyle so that you can maintain it easily.
  2. The next step involves learning how to stop eating when you are full. Using the Appetite Pendulum you learn to stop eating each meal at the point of being “just full”. This teaches you portion control based on your body’s signals, rather than how much you think you should eat or what someone has served you.
  3. The following step involves learning how not to start eating until you are definitely hungry. Because of the earlier work on routine this will be at a meal or snack time.

If you weigh too much, you probably eat too much.

Perhaps because you have no eating routine and eat when you think of food rather than whether it is a mealtime or whether you are hungry. Perhaps because you eat meals and snacks that are larger than you need to satisfy your hunger. Perhaps because you snack in response to emotional states such as boredom or anxiety. When you establish a reasonably consistent eating routine, learn to stop eating when just full and learn how not to eat when not hungry, your weight will naturally fall.

Appetite Retraining guides you through a series of simple steps to change your unhelpful eating habits one at a time until you reach your goal weight. The aim is gradual weight loss of about a pound (half a kilo) a week and for that weight loss to be permanent. Once your weight is falling, the rate of weight loss will tell you whether you are losing weight at a comfortable rate. You will then use this information to see whether you need to make more behavioural changes to adjust the rate of weight loss.

As you do this you will learn, perhaps to your real surprise, that you are more capable than you thought of being in control and more relaxed around food. You learn to embrace mild hunger and use it every day. The food you eat will taste better than ever as your taste buds will be ready and sensitive to taste it. With this approach, you eat the food you love. There is no diet, no special foods, no calorie counting and no additional costs. In fact as you learn to eat less, this approach actually saves you money because you buy the same foods but consume less of them.

Just about every other approach to weight loss (apart from the Fast Diet and the 5:2 diet) implies that hunger is to be avoided. Appetite Retraining is different. You will learn to embrace mild, gentle hunger every day, to tune in to what your body needs. We have evolved to be hungry before we eat and to feel full when we have eaten enough. Having said this, hunger naturally causes anxiety so I shall help you deal with this while you learn to discover that far from being scary, mild gentle hunger is your greatest ally when it comes to permanent weight loss.

To summarise,
You use mild gentle hunger every day to guide your eating. Changes to your current eating patterns are made in small manageable steps. You start with your existing eating patterns, identify the eating behaviours which are keeping you overweight and then work through simple steps to change these behaviours one at a time. You keep making steps until you reach your goal weight.

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