How many diets have you been on in your life? Come on be honest? One, five, ten, more? We all have the best of intentions when we start off but rarely achieve the goals we set out to. Here at MC we have been thinking about diets and decided to look to our fabulous business members for help. Emma Randall, runs local business Mindful Eating. Here she tells us all about her work with weightloss.
Tell us about Mindful Eating…
“I set up Mindful Eating with the aim of helping people to lose weight. It’s unique because it’s an educational programme, where I teach clients about how food, nutrition, psychology and lifestyle all play a key role in weight management. I’m a great believer in knowledge because knowledge is power, and during my experience working as a Nutritional Therapist it’s been great to see clients learn things about themselves and food which they wish they’d learned sooner, and it’s so rewarding to see them become more equipped with the tools they need to lose weight- and keep it off for good.”
Tell us about your Dual Approach to Successful Weight Management…
“In my practice, I’ve also come across people who have embarked on all sorts of weight loss diets, only to re-gain a lot of their weight. Lack of nutritional knowledge, such as not realising the importance of balancing blood sugar levels to control hunger, and certain beliefs about food and dieting can result in unhelpful food choices. For example, some people mistakenly believe that all dietary fat is bad for you, and that all low-fat or ‘diet’ foods help you to lose weight. Certain ingrained beliefs can also make it more difficult to lose weight, such as believing that you don’t have any choice over what you eat, or believing that you’re hopeless at losing weight.”
“My programme invites clients to look at not just the nutritional aspects of weight loss, but the psychology too- effective weight loss requires this ‘dual approach’. Addressing unhelpful thoughts and beliefs is key, such as thinking you deserve to eat a certain food, thinking that you’ve ‘blown’ it after eating a biscuit, and thinking there’s no point in watching your food intake until the holiday period is over. Our repetitive patterns of behaviour tend to stem from ingrained attitudes and beliefs, so it’s really important to address our mindset too.”
“Our environment constantly bombards us with tempting food, so if we want to control our weight, it can really help to eat more mindfully- this can be as simple as thinking before we eat. For example, considering whether a particular food really will taste as nice as it looks- maybe it won’t, so maybe it’s not worth eating after all.”
What is the Problem with ‘Quick Fix’ Diets?
“The problem with diets where everything is done for you, such as being told which foods to eat and avoid, or a diet where your day’s food intake is rigidly ‘prescribed’ in a calorie-controlled format, is that the diet will inevitably end. The trouble is, people don’t always have the skills and knowledge to prevent themselves from going back to how they ate pre-diet. Many short-term weight loss programmes don’t address underlying beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and habits- my programme encourages you to do just that.”
You talk about Health, Not Just Weight Loss what does that mean?
“What I love seeing when clients lose weight is all the improvements in health that they notice: more energy, better digestion, less joint pain, improved mood, more inclination to get active and improved blood cholesterol results. If you have a lot of weight to lose and your weight loss goal seems a long way off, you can start to enjoy improved health benefits almost straight away, which can help motivate you. I encourage clients not to think purely about the weighing scales, but also about how they’re improving their health along the way.”
Tell us about your Weight Loss Programme…
“My programme moves away from the restrictive, often unsustainable ‘diet’ approach, and instead focuses on long-term behaviour change. It helps clients to build the skills and habits that they can then use for the rest of their life- habits that you no longer have to think about, a bit like cleaning your teeth. This programme aims to help you gradually build new habits that become automatic, whilst phasing out those habits that have prevented you from managing your weight in the past. Importantly, it aims to help you achieve a way of eating that is sustainable- and enjoyable!”