Do you listen?
I mean truly listen?
Because most of us don't. In fact, we've completely forgotten how to.
In order to combat this, we'll try everything we possibly can - throw the kitchen sink at the problem even - when the one super-simple, easy-peasy, time-saving thing we could be doing is just... listening.
A calorie counting system you can take anywhere at anytime...
It's been there all along. Forget WW, SW, MFP, IIFYM, FitBit etc. These are all tools we can use to help us track our calorie intake and they can be useful but they're not a long term solution. How often do you record every Harribo that passes your mouth or every glass of Prossecco you supped on that hen do?
No, these have their place but you have an amazing system already with you, all of the time, that enables you to stay within your required calorie intake for the day, you just have to stop for a moment and listen to it.
This system is so perfect it works all the time, even when you're not aware... in fact, it even works when you're ignoring it. Sometimes, it screams so loudly at you, it makes you feel a little sick, dizzy or tired... yet, you still ignore it.
Because the diet industry is worth big bucks and if you realised you had this awesome built-in system that you only had to listen to, you wouldn't need to go on another diet again!
Hang on a minute... let's just consider that for a moment...
You could lose weight, without having to go on another diet??
You'll never want for food, you'll never feel deprived, you'll have all the energy you ever dreamed of!
Introducing the awesome, never fail, calorie counting system...
That's right... good old, plain and simple hunger.
This is how it works.
Your body is designed to help you understand when to eat and when to stop eating. It gives you signals all of the time; it's constantly chatting away to you... you just need to listen.
Let's do this now... tune in for a moment. How do you feel?
- Over-full and bloated from the last meal you ate?
- So hungry, your tummy just gave a little grumble?
- ready to jump up and give me 5 burpees? Ok... maybe the burpees are going a little too far...
Tuning in like this will mean you never need to track another calorie again... unless of course you've health issues and have been advised to do so, or you're trying to get to super lean, low body fat levels which does require a more extreme and precise approach.
Those of us however, who are just aiming to lose a bit of weight, tone up and reduce those wobbly bits can use the super-awesome, built in, take anywhere with you calorie restriction system.
Here's how you can make it work...
- BEFORE you eat, check in with yourself and ask 'Am I hungry?'.
- If the answer is yes, establish whether this is real hunger or head hunger (a craving for something because you're bored, emotional, wanting to eat out of habit...)
Struggling to decipher this? Ask yourself if you fancy some chicken and broccoli (or similar based on your likes and dislikes). If you couldn't eat something like that, you're not actually hungry.
If it's head hunger, you need to talk yourself out of it so go for a walk, move away from temptation, wait 15 minutes and ask again, involve yourself in something that distracts you.
If it's actual hunger, eat. And don't leave it too long. If you get to the point where you feel like you're going to faint you're so hungry, you're brain's survival mechanism will kick in and you'll be seeking the most sugary, fatty, emotionally satisfying thing in front of you! Plus, you'll also eat too quickly and therefore you'll eat too much.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Concentrate on the food you're eating and chew every mouthful properly. Only eat until you're 80% full. STOP eating when you start to get full and box up the left-overs for another time or later in the day when you're hungry again.
If you listen, you will notice these signals, don't ignore them because you've been taught to finish everything on the plate, or because you 'can't leave food on the plate'; that's not a real thing, it's just a habit you've ingrained in yourself.
- Choose foods 80% of the time which will stop you being hungry for at least 3 hours and will provide you with energy and fuel for your day.
Sometimes you can choose other foods like ice cream, sweets, cake, biscuits, crisps, chocolate etc... but not when you're hungry. If you're truly listening, you need to provide your body with what it's asking for... fuel.
How does this help me lose weight?
This is the simplest, most effective way to reign in your calorie intake. It works no matter where you are, what you're doing and how far away from home you are.
You don't need to attend any meetings to do it and it won't cost you a penny.
Fancy that cake at 3pm because it's staring at you from the other side of the table?
Are you hungry?
No? Move it away from you or move away from it. You don't want it, be mindful of how you're feeing and remember your greater goals.
Yes? Then that cake is going to do nothing for you. You will still be hungry afterwards, you will definitely be hungry again in an hour's time... helpful? Of course not.
An automated system
To begin with, this won't be easy - but then dieting isn't easy either is it? How often do you fall 'off' it at the weekend, have a major blow-out, beat yourself up and call yourself a failure only to go back to the strict regime on Monday and repeat the cycle?
Maybe, just maybe, it's worth giving this system a chance. And maybe, just maybe, once you become adept at listening you'll never have to count another calorie again... and you'll never have to worry about losing weight... again!
Spark Fitness is passionate about helping you feel, look and be your very best. Why not come and join in the conversation on Facebook?