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Change your frame of mind and watch the kilos drop off. Anna Magee discovers how changing our own self-talk can lead to successful weight loss.
If you've tried dieting, but never seem to be able to drop that dress size you desperately want to, the problem may be not the way you eat, but the way you think. Here are the 10 of the most common ways we think ourselves fat, and how to change them.
Think-me-fat trap #1
I've had a beef burger, I might as well have the chips, too.
One treat at a time. The burger is a treat and I'll save myself gaining heaps of kilojoules by ordering a salad.
"The kilojoules from one hamburger won't show up on the scales next week," says Dr Judith Beck, a cognitive behavioural therapist and author of The Beck Diet Solution (available at www.amazon.com). "But eat a large serve of chips alongside it and they might." Just swapping
a large serve of chips for a green salad will save you about 1788kJ.
"At every meal, think about eating smart by balancing out treats with something healthy, and not depriving yourself," says dietitian
Sian Porter. "Have your burger, but make smart choices by ensuring it's grilled, foregoing the chips and pairing it with plenty of greens." Suddenly, at about 2093kJ, the burger you really want isn't so 'bad' after all.
Think-me-fat trap #2
Going to the gym has earned me fish and chips.
I've worked hard, I deserve the VIP treatment.
It's always easier to eat kilojoules than to burn them up, says nutritionist Laura McLoughlin. "If you overeat after working out, you may even gain weight," warns McLoughlin. Remember, it takes a 64kg woman about an houris jog to burn off fish and chips! Have a snack before the gym, such as a banana or a handful of almonds, to ensure youire not famished afterwards, suggests Naomi Beinart, a medical nutritionist and psychologist. "If youire really hungry post-gym, youill get the same satisfaction from indulgent roast chicken and potatoes with steamed vegetables [as a serve of fish and chips] ' and much less fat. Then rethink how you reward yourself. Instead of food, try a warm bath or book yourself into a day spa."
Think-me-fat trap #3
I've had a bad day at work a packet of chips makes me feel better.
What do I really need to make myself feel better?
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Scientists have shown that compulsive eating is regulated by emotional centres in the brain ' that's why we overeat to feel better. "But after the chips or chocolate, you're still stressed," says Ursula James, hypnotherapist and author of You Can Think Yourself Thin.
"Instead of numbing your feelings with food, ask yourself what you really
need to feel better. If you're stressed, that could mean taking a walk then writing down everything you have to do. If you're sad, it could be listening to bluesy music and crying it out."
Think-me-fat trap #4
If I had the life of a celebrity, with trainers and personal chefs,
I would be thin, too.
There are plenty of slim, healthy people who aren't rich and famous everywhere.
"Every single celebrity or model I have ever worked with is unhappy with their body," says Beinart.
Try the healthy hook-up. "If you think only celebrities stay skinny, look around at people at work or a friend who maintains a healthy diet and steal their secrets, or ask them if they'd fancy a daily power walk with
you at lunchtime. Healthy lifestyles are catching."
Think-me-fat trap #5
From tomorrow, I'll stop all 'bad' foods.
From today, I will plan to eat only small amounts of my favourite foods.
"All-or-nothing thinking makes dieters fail because it's not sustainable long-term. Eventually people return to eating what they see as 'bad' foods and regain the weight," says Beck. "At the beginning of each week, plan to eat 837kJ a day of your favourite foods," she suggests. "When you're tempted by an offer of cake, think about the ice-cream you've planned for tonight, that you really want, and how guilty you're not going to feel afterwards!"