My number 1 tip for losing weight without giving up your favourite foods

First, I want to show you the cover of my new book

I was very excited to receive the image of my book from my publisher this week. Here it is, and the publication date has now been confirmed as Thursday 3rd January 2019! It’s a how-to guide of how to change your eating habits one step at a time so you lose weight permanently. There are lots of practical tips in the book, but what’s the number one tip of all of them?

I was asked recently for my number one tip

Chatting to a colleague recently, she asked me, “What is the key tip from Appetite Retraining that has helped most people?”

This is a great question, and one that is hard to answer as everyone is of course different and different things chime more with one person than another. But there is one tip that above all others elicits the most surprise. It’s something that is a basic fact of our biology and yet it’s not widely known. Because Appetite Retraining is about re-learning to eat in tune with your body, understanding this bit of biology is central to losing weight without giving up any of your favourite foods. Here it is:

When you start to feel slightly hungry, and don’t eat, your hunger signals switch off for a while

Dealing with hunger is one of the trickiest things to deal with when you’re trying to lose weight, but that is partly because hunger gets such a bad (and misinformed) press. Loads of approaches to losing weight help you avoid getting hungry at all costs. Whereas in fact, mild gentle hunger is your greatest ally when it comes to losing weight for good.

There’s a whole chapter in the book on how the appetite system works, but let me share this one point with you here.

Hunger is our body’s way of telling us that it is running out of energy from our last meal and that it’s time to eat, because it is having to switch to using up its energy reserves. The energy reserves are our excess fat, so those mild hunger signals are telling us that we are now burning a bit of stored fat (which of course if you want to lose weight that is exactly what you want to happen!)

As that bit of fat is burnt for energy, your body registers this and switches off the hunger signals for a while, so that the feelings of hunger go away.

What this means is that hunger comes in waves – it’s not constant –

so you just need to surf the smaller gentle hunger waves, and then really enjoy your meals when you are definitely hungry.

In a while, once that bit of fat is used up, the hunger signals will return, probably a bit more strongly. You can use the Appetite Pendulum as a simple guide for when to eat so that you don’t get overly hungry.

How can you use this information to lose weight without giving up any of your favourite foods?

These simple steps will allow you to wait until you are definitely hungry (minus 3 on the Appetite Pendulum):

  1. When you notice any feelings of hunger, check in with your gut and judge where you are on the Appetite Pendulum right now.
  2. If you are not yet definitely hungry (-3), distract yourself – with anything at all – for a few minutes, by which time your body will have started burning a bit of fat and the hunger signals will subside.
  3. Remind yourself that this mild hunger is a signal that you are burning fat and tolerating this mild hunger without eating is the only time you are really losing weight. It’s like giving up smoking in the sense that the only time you are actually giving up smoking is when you experience the desire for a cigarette and don’t light up. The rest of the time you’re just getting on with your life.
  4. Whenever you tolerate mild hunger without eating and wait until you’re definitely hungry, notice what this tells you about yourself. “I can do this” or “I’m able to be in control of my eating” for example.

What questions do you have about learning to eat differently?

If you and I sat down over a cup of coffee, what is the one thing you’d want to ask me?

I’m serious about asking this – I would really like to know what you need to know.

Please email me or contact me via social media with your questions and I’ll try and answer in future blogs.

Related articles:

The Appetite System

How to stop feeling anxious about feeling hungry

How mild hunger allow weight loss without dieting

How to wait to eat until you’re hungry

Feeling anxious about feeling hungry

Using distraction to help weight loss

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