Creating your own food rules


I was reading this very interesting article by Susie Burrell (below) and it made me think about how I was able to shift 10 kilograms of post baby weight with a mindset change about 5 years ago.

My rules are:

1.  Make an appointment for exercise.  Yes I would rather be meeting my friends for a coffee after school drop off but they know that's when I get my run or weights in.  It's an appointment in my diary that I prioritise.

2. Avoid wasting calories.  I think this is one of the reasons that the 5:2 diet and other intermittent fasting models work.  For me a weekday lunch where I am grabbing something quick on my own I make it a salad with protein or a salad packed wrap and protein.  I save beautiful sourdough bread, aged cheddar and ham off the bone for weekend lunches with my family.  This is similar to what Susie is mentioning about avoiding the cheap office birthday cake.

3.  I always make myself/pack something to eat for 3 or 4pm before I get really hungry. I grab a corn thin with ricotta and tomato, some almonds and grapes or some veggie sticks and humous.  If I do this I don't start hunting for food at 530pm and eating two dinners.

4.  I don't have packaged biscuits in the house (otherwise see point 3)

5.  I try to only have wine with company.  My husband is away a lot for work so I don't drink unless he is at home too.  I also skip wine at school P&F meetings and the like.  But not book group - when I'm having a nice night out with friends it is lovely to share a beautiful bottle of wine.

One of the subjects that I'm studying at uni this term is Food Behaviour, I am finding it fascinating so far.

Developing your own food rules


Did you know that we are presented with more than 200 food decisions every day? Is it any wonder that with our brains already overloaded that we struggle at times to make good choices? Research suggests that the brain can handle a certain amount of control and restraint but once it becomes overloaded, it can be challenging to maintain this control. This would somewhat explain why individuals have no issues sticking to certain regimes for short periods of time but find it challenging once other aspects of life require attention. To make things simpler, rather than subjecting yourself to more and more food decisions, developing your own set of guiding dietary principles that guide your food decisions every day can make things a lot easier. Here the brain is not pressured and you have a default set of guidelines that help you to make default diet decisions and keep your diet on track. Each and every one of us will have different rules that fit into our lifestyle but here are some ideas to get you started.

I only eat sweet foods in the evening

Relenting to sugar cravings throughout the morning or after lunch can leave your sweet tooth stimulated and see you overdo the high calorie biscuits, chocolates and snack food. Keep your diet filled with more savoury flavours for most of the day – Greek yoghurt; nuts; cheese and proteins and notice how much more in control of your calories you are throughout the day.

I only eat treats on special occasions

Forget the office cake or afternoon chocolate run, separating out your work and social life means that you leave higher calorie indulgent treats to your personal time for close friends and family events rather than wasting them on a cheap office cake for a birthday of a person you hardly know.

I only drink alcohol on these nights

Your rule may be one glass per night or only on certain nights each week but this makes the nightly debate of whether you should have a drink or not much clearer.

I only have this many coffees a day

It may be one in the morning or 2 piccolo cups per day but cutting back on your coffee calories from milk based coffees is a good guide for all of us.

I only eat this after dinner

You may be able to limit yourself to 2-3 squares of chocolate or to a single ice cream or you may need to ban snacking after dinner altogether but having a set reference will help you to take control and stop the after dinner binge.

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