Can you have your cake AND eat it?
The secret sauce of weight loss
I wonder how long you have spent over the course of your life searching for the magic pill when it comes to weight loss? And how much money you have spent on miracle products that promised to make the weight drop off over night – or at least not make the business of losing weight seem so tricky?
The nutrition world was shaken last week by the release of (yet another) promise of magic pills to acheive good health. Can you / should you take a pill before your cake and eat it? The Glucose Goddess is the recent launcher of a pill to stop your blood sugar levels spiking if you have cake.
This got me thinking as it coincided with some brave souls who had signed up to my 7 day sugar free challenge the same week. A massive thank you again to you if you showed up, you are all champions. Some realised how addicted to sugar they were, or how they didn’t actually want that cake, or how mindlessly they ate biscuits. The improvements ranged from losing weight to having more energy, a clearer head, lower blood pressure and better skin. All in one week.
Is there a magic pill?
So… a pill to have your cake and eat it? Genius, or is it? Everyone loves a shortcut and a health hack. But, even if your blood sugar level doesn’t spike (which is what this pill corrects), there are still plenty of (negative) effects of eating cake. Like the sugar and processed foods in the cake, and the lack of fibre or nutrient-dense alternative foods you could have eaten instead that will feed your billions of microbes in your gut and make you both happier and healthier.
You literally are what you eat – it becomes your cells, your DNA and so it affects how you look and feel. A bit like my advice at the end of my sugar free challenge, eat less cake. Have it a proper treat (not the ‘treats’ that you have every day) and really enjoy it – who you’re with, what it tastes like.
Eat the foods your body will love
First things first, if you are someone who has spent a significant amount of times in slimming clubs, what you should know is that almost certainly you have been taught to eat the wrong things. And the community mindset seems to be about finding ways to cheat the diet. It’s no wonder people lose weight and put it straight back on again. Of course, actually eating the right things will help you lose the weight naturally, without calorie counting. And eating the way I show my clients has them naturally wanting to eat the foods that will love their body rather than deciding to seek solace in a bag of Haribos.
The magic pill totally ignores the essential reason for eating. Here are three to start you off:
- Fibre – to feed the billions of beneficial gut bacteria. Instead you have a tonne of sugar to feed the pathogenic ones and any yeasts lurking around. We all have a little yeast and this is totally normal, but yeast feed on sugar and that’s where symptoms can creep in.
- Nutrients! There are thousands of phytonutrients (ie nutrients that come from plants), will seemingly endless benefits. How many veg are in your typical cupcake?
- Protein – sadly lacking in most meals as it is, and also lacking in your cake.
Self care is critical
What the slimming clubs miss is the vital mindset element of losing weight. Part of that is taking care of your self care. That is the real secret sauce for losing weight, and here’s why.
If you are an emotional eater, no ‘diet’ in the world is going to help you deal with what the REAL issue is – your wonky relationship with food. You need to – and totally can – rewire your food brain. Emotional eating or binge eating are major causes of diet failure but, unless you get to the root of the problem, you’re destined to yo-yo diet … forever.
Self care is the recognition that only YOU can make yourself happy. If you make sure that you dedicate some time EVERY DAY purely for your own enjoyment, you will have more fun, you will be more fun to be around, and you will have far greater reserves to deal with the stresses of everyday life.
The miracle of self care doesn’t end there. When you dedicate a small amount of time each day to your own happiness, there is less need to reach for the chocolate biscuits. I’m guessing you’re like many of my clients – you are so time poor that rewarding yourself with treat foods like cake and biscuits is the easiest way to show yourself some self love.
My experience in running a nutrition clinic is that so little of why you eat or what you eat has to do with nourishing your body. The far greater part is to do with how you feel about yourself and about life in general. Eating half a packet of chocolate biscuits is much easier than figuring out – not to mention getting – what you really need, which might be a way to de-stress, feel loved, get attention, kick back your heels and even sleep.
I am sure that you get what I am saying conceptually, but this is not enough for the magic to work. Just understanding won’t get you the benefits. You have to be in action. Are you doing AT LEAST three things EVERY DAY just because they make you happy? I thought not.
Self care is a skill – and a discipline
It is something that can be very easy to do (which is why it is something you often don’t bother to do). So, this week’s challenge: make a list of at least 20 things (even really frivolous things) that you LOVE to do just because they delight you. Some take hardly any time; some take a little longer. You don’t have to spend long for this to be effective. You have to write them down, too. Make a list. I LOVE a list!
You will need to keep your list somewhere handy so it is easy to turn to for inspiration.
I absolutely promise you that if you make a commitment to yourself to this business of self care, your life is going to be even more fantastic than it already is.