How to lose weight without dieting

Dieting... Such a nasty word.

Let's make a clear distinction here at first. Being on a diet is bad. Having a balanced diet is good.

Dieting translates to deprivation, forbidden foods and ultimately failure. I mean I would hate to live my life if I wasn't allowed chocolate or red wine! Scientific research has shown over and over again that it is very rare for people to go on a diet and be able to keep the weight off afterwards. And basically this is just because on a diet you're not eating like you normally would. You're not learning to build new habits, because your dieting guidelines are so strict your brain doesn't want to focus on yet another complication.

Instead, having a balanced diet means you've learned to control your weight, no matter what you eat. You've learned to recognise when you're hungry. You have learned to stop eating when you're satisfied instead of stuffing yourself. You've learned that having a bite of chocolate feels good (now and afterwards), whereas having masses of chocolate makes you only feel good in that exact moment it's in your mouth, but then you'll feel shit about it afterwards (both mentally and physically).

What people should realise more often is that as human beings we are on top of the food chain. We are a species who don't struggle to access food. Our ancient mammalian brain does in fact love sugar and fat, but that's just residue from the times when food was scarce and someone would actually have to go out there to gather & hunt for it. We rarely crave cucumbers (although I do :D), and that's because it's low in calories and therefore doesn't provide a lot of energy. A cucumber doesn't make you sprint faster, whereas a sugar glazed doughnut does. (But we know that's not the best option as it spikes up blood sugar levels way too quickly and makes you crash - i.e. feel like shit)

What's good news is that we also have the brain capacity to affect how we think. Understanding that you don't need to obey your mammalian brain is a great start. You can ultimately be in control of what you desire. Reshaping your food and drink preferences can take time, but it certainly is doable. Just because my mouth is watering when I see a stack of ribs and a pint of coke doesn't mean it's the best option for me. Instead, I can learn to be a bit more long-sighted and appreciate the flavour of spiced steamed veg, some succulent chicken breast and Mexican spiced rice. And why I love it is how it makes me feel afterwards. (The danger in ribs and coke comes with the ratio of sugar and fat it has in - and that makes it very hard for your brain to even let you know you're full so you are much more likely to over eat)

If you want to learn to control your weight, you need to start shifting your mindset. Dieting is deprivation, whereas building habits for a better diet helps you enjoy life to the max and achieve your dream weight.

A kickstart is sometimes a nice way to reset your mind and body, but you need to also think about how you're going to change your habits/lifestyle so you can control your weight better afterwards.

And remember, you can lose weight eating Mars bars and drinking coke. But you'll also be feeling like shit all the time.

OR you can eat a shit ton of veg, turkey, quinoa and salads and have people tell you they wish they 'have your metabolism' cos you're eating all the time.

But the best possible way to maintaining your dream weight forever is to just get the balance right. Have various colours in your diet (not the artificial ones though...) and then have a treat when you want it.

If you want to foolproof your success with flexible dieting and logging your foods, just get in touch and I'll help you out. That way you can know you're not overeating, and therefore never putting on weight. No matter what you eat. But first... Get the basics right. Remember that you are in control, not ancient part of you brain.

Lots of love,


Top 3 practical tips for sustained weight loss

If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to stop doing diets. They’ll only fuck your body up (read more about it —here—), essentially because they’ll reduce your BMR.

My three most important tips for losing weight to you are: 1) Eat less than what your body burns by tracking your food, 2) allow yourself treats (YES!!!) and 3) do something active you actually enjoy.

1. To lose weight you need to know you’re eating fewer calories than what your body burns. Research shows that even just keeping a handwritten food journal makes you eat less, mainly because you become more conscious of what goes into your mouth. This is good.

If you’re serious about losing weight, log your food and drinks onto an app like MyFitnessPal. It takes the guesswork out of it. If you eat less than what your body burns, you’ll lose weight. Simple as that. You can calculate how many calories your body burns in a day on my BMR calculator, and then when you on average eat fewer calories than that number, you’ll be on your way to sustainable weight loss.

2. If you don’t allow yourself the things you enjoy the most, you’re doomed for failure in the long term. The beauty about flexible dieting is that you can eat whatever you want, as long as it’s in moderation. So you can eat cake, but if you eat cake all day you’ll feel shit after the sugar crash. And hungry. If you eat a ton of vegetables instead you’ll feel like you’re eating loads and cant get enough of food. So just find your balance, eat healthy things that you like - that’s the base of your nutrition. Then add treats, preferably at special occasions only (like eating out, going out with friends, at parties etc.). But even if you want to eat a chocolate bar every night, that’s not really a problem. Just log it on MFP and make sure you’re not going over your calories.

3. Doing something active you enjoy is so so so so important. The worst thing is when people see exercise as something horrible, a chore to do. Don’t go from zero exercise to getting a gym membership with no trainer or a plan, because it is veeeeeery unlikely you’ll keep doing it long term. Plus deep down you’ll probably hate going, even though it makes you feel better afterwards.

Instead, think of active things you actually enjoy doing. Is it walking? Cycling? Rock climbing? Swimming? Even just playing pool? No matter what it is, if it gets you up on your feet it’s a hell of a lot better than lying down on the couch eating crisps.

The bottom line. Losing weight should not be a chore, but something quite fun because you know how good it’ll make you feel when you’ve lost some. I personally LOVE veg, because I so strongly associate them to feeling and looking good. I LOVE feeling sore after exercise, because I know I’ve done something really good to my body. That’ll make me healthier and stronger, and live longer.

To life!