Are You Overweight and Addicted to Food?

Is food more powerful than your desire to lose weight?

Does food control your life?

Is it almost impossible for you to stop eating once you are full?

Being addicted to food is a strange idea. After all we can’t do without it, can we? So food addiction must be something different from just eating, or just eating a bit too much because that’s, well, that’s just normal.


If you:

  • Eat faster than normal
  • Eat well past the point of fullness
  • Eat frequently when not physically hungry
  • Eat alone or in secret
  • Feel bad or guilty after overeating
  • Feel that you must be different somehow

Then you may have a problem with food that is beyond what most people experience.

If this is you then recognise that losing weight is going to be much tougher for you than it is for others. However, you may like to know that you are not alone in this. There are 12 million people in the UK that suffer from a compulsive eating problem to some extent. Some scientists would like to point to the problem being a genetic disorder, but to my mind if one fifth of the population have the same thing then it’s not really a disorder – it’s normal.

So if it’s not genetic, what else could be causing it?

Genetic? Well sort of

Well it sort of is genetic, but not in a bad way. When you think about it these bodies we appear to inhabit were designed for a very different world from the one they live in now. They were designed as survival machines for life around 100,000 years ago when, if you wanted to eat, you had to go catch an antelope or dig up some roots, or spend all day picking tiny berries. Just finding something to eat used up a huge amount of calories and sometimes food was scarce.

That occasional scarcity of food was what allowed us to develop the ability to carry a surplus around with us in the form of fat deposits. Apart from anything else these helped to keep our bodies warm, and as I mentioned in my book How to Lose Weight Easily, fat burns less energy than muscle so the metabolic cost of carrying it is minimal.

The Sweet Stuff

Survival, back then, was all about the balance between calorie output and calorie input. Sugar is just dense calories; calories are energy; and energy is survival. So we developed a taste for sweet stuff. So much so that we would risk stings and death by climbing trees to raid hives for their honey.

Sweet also came in the form of fully ripened fruit.

There wasn’t a lot of sweet around in the world back then, so what there was, was highly prized and savoured when it was available. Because it was not readily available and life was very physical, a taste for sweet was never detrimental to our health and well-being.

Nowadays everything is sweet. Go to your kitchen cupboard and pick out half a dozen packaged foods. Check the nutrition label, or the ingredients list and I bet most of them will have sugar in some form. If it ends in ose it’s probably sugar e.g. Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), Glucose solids. There’s a whole load of other stuff that’s also sugar but you probably got bored reading that list, so I’m not going to inflict an even longer one on you.

Fat too

Fats are another problem. Fats are compact calories just like sugar. When you mix fat and sugar together it’s heaven to a body that is, basically, an energy seeking device. The problem is the body has only one way of really letting you know that your calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure and that’s hunger.

When you pay attention to your body’s messages and eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full, then everything stays nicely balanced. But the body was never designed to work with sugar or fat in everything. The craving for sweet comes from sweet being in short supply – not available in your kitchen cupboard 24 hours a day. Consequently sweet bypasses the hunger control. Usually the warning for eating too much sugar is nausea or vomiting.

They deliberately trigger an addictive response

This sugar-fat thing is taken advantage of by food manufacturers and they carefully balance sugars, fats and chemical flavours to trigger the same brain receptors that are activated by substances like heroin or cocaine. And they do it quite deliberately to get you hooked and to trigger binge eating.

They do it so successfully that 12 million in the UK now have a serious problem and once they get a taste of sweetness, often mixed with fat, it bypasses conscious control and they just keep on eating.

What can you do?

There’s been a lot of research done around this problem, looking at ways to help people, so here are a few tips.

The first thing you need to do, assuming you’d really like things to change, is to stop beating yourself up when you fail to stick to limits you set yourself. 12 million others, in this country alone, are having the same problem. Manufacturers are working hard to ensure that you fail. So if you do fail, just acknowledge that you did your best, and that there is always next time. Failure is not the end of the world. It’s just a temporary setback on the road to being slimmer.

The next is the easiest, and this works with smokers too. Just don’t buy the unhealthy stuff. I know supermarkets are open 24 hours a day but quite often the effort of going out to buy something sweet and fatty is enough to let you off the hook. You may feel uncomfortable for a while but if you have a glass of water or cup of tea or coffee without sugar, then the urge will pass. Pretend that you have a bad habit that you want to get rid of. The way to remove habits is to engage in alternative behaviours and make it difficult to engage in the habit. Eat an apple, or a banana. I know it’s not what the craving is for, but part of the habit is wanting something sweet in your mouth. But fruit, although containing sugars, does not have them as freely available as in, say, a chocolate bar or biscuit. The body has to work harder to extract them and so fruit satisfies you for longer. Once you start to do that regularly you will find that the sweet things you used to enjoy are starting to taste a little too sweet and you don’t enjoy them as much.

One last tip for you. One of the triggers for compulsive eating is the taste in your mouth. You will find it is actually much easier not to start eating than to stop. This is a case where you can’t get away with just one. If you eat one you’ll eat the packet. It’s much easier to say no to the first than to the second, so don’t eat the first.

This is a complex problem and I’m not suggesting this article will solve it for you. But it will help you to make a start and enjoy a little success. If you would like some more help then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily which has hints and tips on how to go about losing weight without dieting. Or for a more in depth look at how to take control of your mind-body check out Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis which includes a chapter on using self hypnosis to help you lose weight.


Losing Weight Is Easy – If You Do This One Thing

You want to lose weight. You want it to be effortless. You want to be three dress sizes smaller when you wake up tomorrow. You don’t want any loose skin where the fat used to be. But most of all you want to know where to find the magic wand so you can wave it to make this happen.

You want all this even though you have been putting on that weight for ten, twenty, thirty years. You want to lie on the beach, look sexy and feel gorgeous. Now, when you have a health problem, you go to the doctor’s, he gives you a pill, and you get better. When you want a new TV, fridge, hi-fi, computer, book – almost anything – you go to your computer and within 24 hours it’s brought to your door. Or you go to your local retailer and fetch it home within an hour or two.

Instant, instant, instant…

We live in a world of instant everything.

Instant Everything

We are like children living in a perpetual NOW. When a child wants something it is wanted now, by tomorrow she will have lost interest so now is the only time to have anything. We teach children about waiting – waiting for birthdays, Christmas, holidays to exciting new places… but they really don’t understand, they want it now. They see parents getting everything they want when they want it and just don’t understand why they have to wait. Yet, because they are surrounded by so much of this stuff, they lose out on a sense of appreciation for what they have.

We too, lose our sense of appreciation because we are bombarded with stuff. Our homes are filled with stuff. Nothing is cherished any more. Nothing is repaired. Nothing is truly valued. New is the Holy Grail that we seek.

New Stuff

You only had to look at the news to see the queues outside Apple stores the day they released the new iPhone 6. People queued up all night to have the latest bit of technology that’s a gazillionth of an inch slimmer than the phone they were using to facebook all their friends about how excited they are about getting more new stuff.

They’ll all be doing at again in six months when the iPhone7 is released.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not knocking technology. It’s great. But the desire to posses something just because it’s new, when you have no real need of it, and you have something almost identical that’s barely six months old, suggests to me that there is something missing. An emptiness in the soul perhaps, or a longing for fulfilment.

The mistake is to seek fulfilment in things.

You must know that feeling when you buy something special. You look forward to it. You imagine having it. You obtain it. You enjoy its newness for a week or two. Then its wonder fades and after a week or two, or a month or two you wonder what all the fuss was about and you start looking for the next new thing to excite and stimulate you.

You are seeking happiness outside of yourself.

This is the problem with weight loss.

You are looking in the Wrong Place

We are so used to instant gratification; we are so far removed from appreciating what we have; and we have lost touch with reality to such an extent that we expect miracles with our bodies. We treat our bodies like iPhones. We want to throw the old one in the bin and come out of the shop with a brand new one – instantly. We are just not prepared to wait any longer than a day to possess this new body, but at a push we’ll hang around for a week, but if all that excess fat hasn’t disappeared after a month then we might as well give up, binge, and undo whatever we have managed to achieve.

Then we look at ourselves in the mirror, cry, despair, eat some more, look in the mirror some more, eat some more, look at those beautiful clothes we’d like to fit into, and maybe start all over again and give it another month. We must have been doing it wrong, we figure. It must be the diet’s fault. Let’s go to the bookshop, join a club, find the right diet and everything will be fine.

It won’t.

It won’t because you are missing the point.

The point is your attitude to you.

When you change your attitude to you, then everything changes.

When you treat yourself gently, lovingly, and with a huge sense of appreciation for who and what you are, then change can take place.

Just Change Your Mind

The one thing that you need to do, in order to successfully lose weight, is easy. It’s easy because it’s just a choice. You make choices every day. Whether to have tea or coffee, a doughnut or a Danish, new iPhone or wait till they iron out the problems and get the next one, get up or have another five minutes. Life is filled with choosing. You can already do that. So the choice you have to make is to make losing weight more important than eating. That’s the choice you have to make. It has to be a real choice. It has to have unfailing determination behind it. You have to really mean it. You have to choose losing weight over eating – every minute of every day.

Once you have made that absolute choice and you really mean it because you want what it will give you – a more attractive, slimmer body – the rest is easy. You never again need to give in to temptation because temptation no longer exists. You have made your choice. You will eat as much as you need and no more. You will no longer feel any sense of losing out on what you are not eating because eating is not who you are any more. You achieve fulfilment now by watching your body get a little slimmer each week. You know that food is sustenance, and you will enjoy what you eat, but you will only eat what you need.

You see, that choice you made – that losing weight is more important than eating – makes all your food choices for you. You don’t have to bother any more. You know what you need to eat and you know how much.

That’s all you need to do.

Please Sir, Can I Have Some More

But if that seems too simple, and you want more, then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself from Diets Forever to find out in more detail just exactly what you need to do in order to successfully lose that excess weight and keep it off.


Break Your Addiction to Fattening Foods – Hypnosis Session


With hypnosis it is easy to focus on specific aspects of a problem so that it can be resolved in manageable chunks rather than to trying to fix a big problem in one attempt. To that end I have created this ‘video’ hypnosis session designed to help you succeed with that first important step in winning the battle with excess weight.

This video is designed to help to ease you away from fattening and unhealthy foods. This is that vital first step in losing weight. So, as you feel less and less drawn to fattening and sweet foods, you will naturally find much greater pleasure in making healthier choices. You may find it totally effortless, or you may discover that you can make the right choices more of the the time. Either way, you may find that listening to this on a daily basis will give you the encouragement that you need to succeed with your weight loss goal.

Good luck.



Being Overweight Is Not About Will Power – It’s About Manipulation

I was working on my new video called Diets Make You Fat and I got totally sidetracked by something I discovered while I was doing my research.

One of the reasons many people are overweight is because they are being deliberately manipulated by Big Food into eating very much more than they need, simply in order to make sales.

Many people think that being overweight is about will-power, or rather the lack of it. But overeating has nothing at all to do with Will-Power and everything to do with the way your brain chemistry is being deliberately manipulated by the chemical additives in food.

I had no idea about the full extent of this, and to be honest, I was disgusted that Big Food just treats people as a source of wealth no matter how much damage is done to their lives. And let’s face it, being obese has a seriously damaging effect on almost every aspect of life. But perhaps the most pernicious is the low self-image that tends to be created, followed by the isolation, loneliness, and hell of being unable to control what you feel you should be able to control. Then, because you can’t, you think the fault lies with you.

Big Food manipulates us into overeating and this manipulation is the real source of the obesity epidemic.

What Are They Doing?

So what exactly are they doing?

They are by-passing your natural full signals and deliberately stimulating dopamine release. Dopamine is a neuro-transmitter created in the brain. Its effect is to make you feel good. It’s the same chemical that, when over-stimulated on a regular basis, creates physiological addiction.

It’s the mental stimulation derived from these highly palatable foods that makes so many people crave them, not hunger. This mental stimulation is responsible for re-arousing your appetite even after you are done eating.

This multi-billion-dollar food industry has discovered that three things: fat, sugar and salt, are the key ingredients for creating that mindless nibbling that never leaves you feeling satisfied but always leaves you wanting more. They use specific combinations of fat, sugar and salt — but different combinations for different foods — to make you crave these products. What you are after is your fat-sugar-salt fix. These are, as often as not, pre-packaged snack foods. But there is one more feature – the chemical flavouring. It is this, along with the specific combination of fat, sugar, and salt that you crave, which makes the whole thing supremely palatable to you yet leaves you permanently unsatisfied and always able to eat more regardless of how full you feel.

Is it any wonder you, and so many others, are overweight?

I don’t know about you but this makes me feel angry.

Too Big is the New Small

But that’s not the end of the story.

Portion sizes of innocuous seeming pleasures get ever bigger and there is a hidden calorie load here that you may be unaware of.

Coffee Houses

For instance a Starbucks Mocha Cookie Frappuccino Blended Coffee Venti (24oz – a little over a pint) with semi-skimmed milk has almost 700 Calories in it. If you drink one of these a day, 5 days a week – which many people do, it will add 52lbs to your body weight in a year. That’s almost 4 stone. And you wonder where the weight came from! That’s a four stone penalty for the simple pleasure of an enjoyable treat that makes work tolerable.


Of course a trip to the cinema would not be the same without a snack of something or other would it?

But this is where cinemas make their money, so you have to walk the gauntlet of these tantalising offerings before you get to your seat. For instance, at my local Cineworld cinema, a large (8oz) salted popcorn is over 1200Calories, so a trip to the Cinema once a week plus a popcorn will add 18lbs to your weight in a year. Throw in a large 32oz Coke, and you are adding 24lbs to your body weight each year. Keep that up for just 4 years and you will find yourself 100lbs (7st) heavier. This is how the weight sneaks up on you and again you wonder why you’re fat.

This snack is part of the enjoyment of the Cinema experience for a lot of people and to watch a film at the cinema without the Nachos, or the popcorn, or the ice cream, or the soft drinks would be no fun at all – might as well just be boring and stay at home. Still, the boring people don’t find themselves wondering where that 100lbs came from.

The Fizzy Stuff

Soft drinks are another huge source of hidden calories if you drink them regularly.

10 teaspoons of sugar, or the equivalent in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), are found in a standard can. HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar, and it doesn’t stimulate insulin or leptin production. Leptin is part of the body’s feedback mechanism that lets you know when you are full, so HFCS actually prevents you from triggering the body’s signals for being full and this in turn leads to over-consumption and increased Calorie intake.

If you buy bottles rather than cans then you are drinking 17 teaspoons of sugar in a 20oz bottle. Many soft drinks, particularly energy drinks, contain caffeine which is something else that people appear to get hooked on.

In the UK in 2002 the average soda consumption was around 2 litres per week per person. I don’t drink the stuff so someone must be having my 2 litres as well. US consumption was roughly double this.

So what’s the way out?

The way out is to slowly reduce your consumption of these products. Just going cold-turkey will leave you with strong cravings that you will probably give in to. So reduce consumption slowly and get into the habit of reading the labels that tell you what is in the product you are thinking of consuming. And beware the term natural. Manufacturers use this to trick you into thinking something is good when it isn’t. Natural caramel  is sugar reacted with sulphites and ammonia. Ammonia is what makes bleach work.

Think before you eat, that’s all you need to do. And if you are hungry, then have a banana or an apple, or a handful of grapes and check in ten minutes later. If you still want the snack then have it and enjoy it.


Weight Loss and The Trouble with Diets


I decided to have another go at video production and used a chapter out of my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself from Diets Forever for inspiration. Above is the result of my efforts. I hope you enjoy it.


Does Breakfast Really Boost Metabolism and Help You To Lose Weight?

I’m a breakfast eater. I like breakfast. If I don’t have something to eat in the morning then I feel ill, so I have a tough time understanding people who skip breakfast. But skipping breakfast is an easy way to lose a few hundred calories from your daily intake if you are on a diet. However, the almost universal advice for dieters is that you need to eat breakfast because it boosts metabolism. It also prevents you from over-eating the rest of the day just to catch up on what you missed – as if your body is keeping some kind of a check list.

Until very recently no one has actually completed any research on eating breakfast and its benefits regarding weight loss. The results are surprising.

The first study looked at 33 slim participants. They were split into two groups that either ate a 700 calorie breakfast or nothing at all. The study ran for just six weeks so it’s difficult to draw any earth-shattering long-term conclusions from it, but the results were interesting nevertheless. At the end of the study resting metabolism was measured and there was no difference between the two groups, so eating or skipping breakfast appeared to have absolutely no impact on how well the body burns fat. There was no difference in lunchtime eating either, so skipping breakfast didn’t make anyone hungrier by lunchtime. The breakfast eaters also lost no more weight than the non-breakfast eaters. So from this study eating or not eating breakfast appears to have no impact on weight loss. It doesn’t make you fatter and it doesn’t make you slimmer.

Of course there are problems with this study when you look at the participants. They were all lean people, therefore, I can only assume that they had their eating under control and have no problem stopping eating when their body says enough or eating when their body says hungry now. People who have a weight problem generally have difficulty listening to what their body is suggesting regarding food consumption and they eat because they want to, not because they need fuel. It would be interesting to repeat this experiment with a group of overweight people because their psychology, in relation to food, is quite different from normal weight people.

However, there was another study. This one did work with overweight and obese people – 300 of them – so the study size was quite large and suggests that sensible conclusions can be drawn from the results.

These 300 people were split into three groups. One group was told to skip breakfast. One group was told to eat breakfast. The final group, the control group, was given the vague instruction to eat a healthy diet. Again there was no difference in the weight change among the three groups. This is looking bad for compulsory breakfast eating. Mind you, since there was no weight loss for the breakfast skippers it does suggest that if you are struggling to miss breakfast in order to help with weight loss then you are wasting your efforts and you might as well just enjoy your morning meal. Similarly if you are eating a breakfast that you don’t really want, in the hope that it is boosting your metabolism, then that also is a waste of time.

It seems, as far as breakfast and weight loss go, you can just do whatever you like best because it won’t make any difference.

There was, though, one really interesting finding that emerged from the smaller of the two studies. The breakfast eaters moved more and burned an extra 442 calories a day – which apparently is the same as an hour on the treadmill or the equivalent of a MacDonald’s Chicken McGrill and Garden Salad Shaker, whatever that is. Breakfast eaters just seemed to be more active throughout the day, and also maintained steadier blood sugar levels.

So maybe breakfast is good for you after all. This is what I love about science, it never really answers any questions. As soon as you look at a piece of research you just start thinking well what about this and what about this, and why if breakfast eaters are burning 440 calories more per day, why aren’t they losing weight at the rate of 2oz/day?

Still, it appears that there is now evidence that if you like breakfast, and you are attempting to lose weight, then eating it will not make any difference to your short term weight loss/gain. So go ahead and enjoy it.


Inspired by:


Do You really Need to Lose Weight?

Most overweight people want to lose weight to help them look better. The TV and billboards, subliminally and through association, suggest that the slimmer you are the more attractive you are, and consequently, the greater your success in life.

All absolute nonsense of course.

But the images are powerful; the hidden messages are powerful; and the fears are powerful.

There is nothing wrong with feeling good and looking good.

But it isn’t worth making a career out of it and spending your whole life fighting how you look.

There is this thing called a set-point. This is the weight your body thinks it should be. If your weight is over your set-point it is not too difficult to restore it to normal, but it is a real struggle to keep your weight below that point. It used to be thought that the set point was stable, but it isn’t. If you keep yourself overweight for any length of time your set-point will move upwards. So if you’ve been overweight for many years, then reducing your weight may well be much more difficult for you to achieve than if you have only been overweight for a relatively short period of time.

Of course, if you are prepared for the additional difficulty and can maintain your weight below the set-point, your set-point will eventually reset to the lower weight and you will then find it much easier to maintain that weight.

Your set-point is that weight that your body naturally assumes when you are eating a normal healthy diet, satisfying your hunger, but not overeating.

My feeling about the perfect bodyweight is that if you can bend over comfortably and your stomach doesn’t get in the way you are probably okay. Not everyone is built the same. There are different body shapes and since changing your body shape is pretty much impossible, stop trying to be something you aren’t. Be yourself at a comfortable, healthy weight and be happy with that.

Another problem you have to deal with is the medical world’s take on being fat.

If you are overweight your doctor will almost certainly encourage you to lose weight for health reasons. They may even tell you about all of the diseases that you are likely to enjoy from being overweight – including the early death you are likely to experience as a result of heart disease or one of several other weight related complications.

Recent research has shown an interesting connection between the length of your life and your weight. It seems that, under certain conditions, being overweight doesn’t kill you any sooner than being a normal weight. Obesity is a different problem. Obesity does shorten your life unless you do one thing.

If you aren’t sure about the difference between being obese and being overweight then go here and at the top right of the page I’ve provided a little calculator where you can enter your weight in pounds (lbs), and your height, and it will tell you whether or not you are obese.

So what are the conditions that allow you to be overweight and still have a normal life expectancy?

It seems that there are four factors that influence this.

  1. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables
  2. Exercising at least three times a week
  3. Not smoking
  4. Drinking alcohol in moderation

If you are overweight then doing just one of these pulls your life expectancy into the same range as normal weight people.

If you are obese then the one thing you need to do is all four of the above in order to bring your life expectancy into the same range as normal weight people.

The important thing to get here is that you can be overweight, or obese and still have a normal life-expectancy.

Does this mean that I’m encouraging you to be overweight?


My encouragement is always to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full. My recommendation is always to eat a little less and exercise a little more.

But I see so many people who are miserable because of the continuous battle they are in with their bodies. Move towards being reasonably fit; move towards a diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables rather than pre-packaged meals; and move towards listening to your body – it will tell you when it needs food and it will tell you when you’ve had sufficient.

You don’t need restrictive diet plans or calorie counting that makes you think about food all day long. You don’t need to join a club which encourages you to see yourself as someone with a problem that needs fixing – a problem for which they have the perfect solution. But most importantly you don’t need to beat yourself up.

Just decide that you will add a little more fresh fruit and veg to your meals and eat a little less of the sweet fatty foods you normally eat. Plan a little more exercise and decide that you need to look after you body rather than abuse it.

And on those occasions when you find yourself eating a cream cake or a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps – so what. Just remind yourself of your intention to eat a little healthier and ask yourself if it is helping you to achieve this – then do whatever feels most appropriate.

Losing weight is only a battle if you make it one.

Be gentle with you, always.



Inspired by, and some research data from:


If You Want To Lose Weight – There Are Two Things You Need To Know

The Western World is fat.

There is no doubt about that.

Two out of every three Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. For children aged from 6 to 19 that figure is 1 in 5 just for obesity. So in a typical classroom of 6 year olds there would be 7 or 8 obese children. When I think back to my school days, obesity in children just wasn’t there.
So what’s gone wrong?

It’s probably a little easy to blame fast food, but it didn’t exist in my youth. A bag of chips on an occasional Friday night was about the fastest it ever got. Food was cooked at home by Mum from fresh ingredients. Yet most kids had a full meal in the school canteen at lunchtime and another in the evening when they got home.

I remember getting lots of exercise as a child. I walked everywhere. Very few families had cars and the only way to go anywhere was by bus or train; and that involved a walk to the stop or the station, and then, at the other end, to wherever you wanted to go.

So what has this got to do with losing weight?

I was doing some research on Calorie counting for a new weight loss book I’m in the process of writing and came across some interesting information. Some foods, like sugar, give up their Calories so much more easily than other foods like raw vegetables. When the body has to work harder to extract the energy from food, it burns more Calories. The end result of this is that you could have a doughnut and handful of walnuts, say, both with the same reported number of Calories, but the net gain of energy to your body would be much higher with the doughnut because the energy is more readily available as sugar and so is easy to release.

In other words, a doughnut makes you fatter than a pile of walnuts – even though the Calorie count is identical.

All Calories are not created equal.

This new piece of information also led me down some other avenues regarding sugar and how the body treats it.

Sugar is one of the two things in the title that you need to know about.

The First Thing

The first thing you need to know if you want to lose weight concerns a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure inducing chemical that the brain releases in response to certain things. Increased blood sugar is one of those things. Sugar causes a rapid release of dopamine and that creates a pleasure response in the body. This falls off quite quickly and leaves us with a craving for more sugar. This is highly problematic when you are eating less in order to lose weight because it triggers uncontrolled binge eating.

Just imagine, you have been following your diet plan all week, feel very pleased with yourself, and have managed to convince yourself that since it’s the weekend and you’ve been so good you deserve a small treat. A treat in these circumstances will always be something loaded with sugar – cake, chocolate, ice cream… This sugar hit causes a dopamine release that makes you feel good, which is what you wanted, but then as the dopamine dissipates you are left with an uncontrollable urge to eat more and you find yourself having not one small treat but several large ones until you start feeling bloated or nauseous and then wonder what happened. After all you were so good, and only intended to have a small treat and know you’ve undone all the good work of a whole week and you have no idea what just happened.

Your body chemistry took control of your mind that’s what happened.

In order to ensure this does not happen, just avoid eating overly sweet foods as a treat. Buy yourself a small gift instead if you need to reward yourself. Sugar, especially when you’ve abstained for a while, triggers binge eating and it is very difficult to gain control once the dopamine craving has you in its grip because this process interferes with rational thought. You are, for a short while, quite literally out of your mind.

The Second Thing

The other thing you need to know if you want to lose weight also relates to dieting in order to lose weight. And oddly enough also connects with dopamine again.

The way our brains are wired is such that they seek out novelty. New stuff stimulates us and makes us feel good and alive and interested. Stuff that’s been around for a while has little stimulating effect. When you eat something tasty that you haven’t eaten before, you may find yourself seeking it out again so that you can re-experience that pleasure. You will be surprised to discover that by the third time you eat that particular meal it is starting to become very ordinary and you wonder whether they are cooking it differently somehow because it’s just not as good as you remember that first time.

Diets can tend to be a bit repetitive in the meals you have available. After all how many low-fat, low-sugar things can you do to lettuce and tomatoes to make them interesting?

Each time you eat the same meal, the dopamine response gets lower and you enjoy it less. Because you stop enjoying something you previously enjoyed then mealtimes get boring and this also leads to the search for stimulating food and ends up with a sugar binge.

Variety is the key, you need to vary your meals as much as possible because that helps you to maintain the enjoyment of eating less that is so important to successful weight loss.

weight control

Is Weight Loss Really that Difficult?

Round about lunchtime I nip down the road to my local ASDA coffee-shop and meet for a chat and a cup of coffee with some friends. Mostly it gets me away from the computer screen, gives my eyes a rest and lets me connect with the rest of the world. One of the group mentioned she was going to start losing weight for the summer, so next time we met I gave her a complimentary copy of my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Dieting Forever. Her dad asked me what the book was about. Obviously it was about weight loss, but that isn’t what he meant – he meant what was my approach to losing weight and how was it different from everything else.

I answered that question in four words “eat less, exercise more”.

“That’s it”, he responded with a smile.

“Well yes”.

I am a man of few words – except when it comes to writing. But essentially that’s what the book is about. But, it’s not just about that. It’s about how to do that easily and effortlessly so that you don’t even really notice you are eating less and exercising more.

As I explained to my friend, it’s about discovering ways to identify those foods that you don’t really want, but eat out of habit and eliminating them. Because you eat them unconsciously, you don’t notice not having them. I encourage you to eat whatever you enjoy and explain how the denial aspect of conventional dieting is one of the major pitfalls and one of the reasons so many people fail when they engage in weight loss using a conventional diet plan.

The book also looks at attitudes to food and where they come from; triggers for emotional eating and how to break that pattern; as well as the reasons why diets just don’t work as a long term solution to weight loss.

Weight loss is an industry worth billions. The weight loss industry is not interested in you being successful. What the weight loss industry needs to do is to convince you that you are the reason you fail. So the whole process is geared around short-term weight loss which proves that their system works (whichever system it might be that you are using), and that your subsequent, and inevitable, weight gains are therefore down to your failure rather than the failure of the system they sell.

This is why weight loss is always a battle when you sign up for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slimming World, or buy the latest celebrity-authored crazy fad diet book. Even food-type based diets like Atkins are just the same. They have been created with one goal – to convince you that they work, and that when you fail to sustain your weight loss that it is you that has failed.

My book is about how to avoid all of those traps, how to eat whatever you want whenever you want, and still lose weight. There are almost 100 pages so it’s got a lot more in it than “eat less, exercise more”. People who follow the advice in this book lose weight and keep it off.

To make it even easier for you the book ends with a 10-point action plan to make it really simple and there is even a downloadable food diary designed to help you conquer that emotional feasting you do in the hope that feeling bloated and heavy will make you happy.

Check it out the whole book costs less than the attendance fee for just one meeting of Weight Watchers, Slimming World, or Jenny Craig and you can lose weight enjoying ordinary food rather than the high-priced branded stuff these companies want you to eat.

The weight loss industry took $61 billion from its customers in 2012.

Alternative health weight control

Goal Weights: What Are They and Why Do I Need One?

Your goal weight is the target you are aiming at. It is also, for about half of dieters, a place that is forever in the future. For those who keep up the struggle and achieve their goal weight, it is the point at which celebration takes place, and a return to normal eating, which very quickly puts that goal weight back in the past.

The goal weight is important. It lets you know where you are aiming and when you get there. These are good things. Using arrival at this goal as a signal to return to normal eating; that’s a bad thing.

The goal weight needs to be attainable and maintainable.

It also needs to be thought about, rather than a number you just pick out of the air.

I have had many clients sitting in my consulting room, carrying anything up to 7st (100lbs ish) excess weight, deciding that their goal weight is what they weighed at 16 when they were sylph-like and hadn’t yet discovered the joy of over-eating to solve a whole stack of emotional problems.

The goal weight needs to be realistic.

Targets that are attainable with just a little effort, create huge internal rewards. There is nothing like success at something that was at least a little challenging to make you feel really good about yourself. It also sets you up with an increased chance of success with the next target. So if you need to lose 7st (100lbs) then do it in 1st (14lb) steps. Or even 7lb steps.

The goal weight does not need to be your final weight.

The goal weight is really just a tool – something to help you get where you want to go. One of the big problems, if you are very overweight, is that the job of returning to a normal weight is really difficult. There is no other way of looking at it. It is no use kidding yourself it will be easy. You can’t undo years of food abuse in a couple of weeks. There isn’t a pill you can take that will let you off the personal responsibility hook.

Acknowledge that the weight is there because you eat too much and exercise too little.

It’s no big deal. But taking responsibility means you can own the results and the successes that will come your way. So think sensibly about the weight you are aiming for. Bear in mind also that this is just a number you are picking influenced by the weight of all the people around you who are a healthy weight. They are not you. It does not matter what other people weigh. What you probably want is to be a specific shape, or clothes size, (again influenced by the opinions of others) and are guessing the weight that matches that vision of the future you. That’s ok as long as you understand what you are doing.

But bear in mind that fat and muscle have different densities and you can be shapely with lots of muscle or blobby with lots of fat and be exactly the same weight. So choose your goal weight wisely.

If you need to lose a lot of weight then set an easily reached goal initially like 1st or maybe 10lbs to give yourself a taste of success. Learn to maintain that lighter weight for a couple of months before moving on to the next step of losing a little more. The key to successful weight loss is not losing the weight – it’s keeping it off.

If  you want to know a little more about how easy it is to keep that weight off once you have lost it then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily and Free Yourself form Diets Forever.

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