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by | Jan 18, 2021

Bar of chocolate

Steps to keep your weight where you want it to be! 

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you will find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience, and connections in our unprecedented times.

How did you get on with the tips last week to keep well?  If you missed it here is the link to our free online course on ‘Keeping Well’ that includes a video and workbook.

This week I want to explore another challenging topic of lockdown – how to keep your weight at the level you want it to be.  Have you put weight on during lockdown?  Research from the covid symptoms study app shows that 29% of those surveyed had put on weight since the start of the pandemic. The factors that may have contributed to weight gain during lockdown include increased snacking (35%), decreased levels of physical activity (34%), increased alcohol consumption (27%) and a less healthy diet (19%). 

How might this affect future health? 

Once weight has been gained it is hard to lose and research from many other studies shows that each kg (~2.2 lbs) of weight gained annually over 10 years was associated with a 49% increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 5 kg (~11 lbs) increment in adult body weight was associated with a 12% higher risk of heart disease over 10 years. Sarah Berry, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London  comments: 

“Typically people snack 2-3 times a day and this accounts for 22% of total energy intake. The increase in snacking during lockdown, especially with unhealthy, highly processed foods is likely to be a contributing factor in our observed weight gain of the UK population.’’

Replacing unhealthy sugary snacks with healthy snacks, and limiting late-night snacking, is a simple dietary strategy to improve health.  If you have sugar cravings it’s important to remember that highly refined sugar, such as that found in biscuits, cakes, etc., is not food at all, it is a chemical. Sugar makes you fat, ages your skin, rots your teeth, disrupts your digestion and is extremely addictive. It doesn’t really have much going for it, does it?  

This Thursday at 8pm I am running our first Team NLP Members group of the year and the focus is on keeping a healthy weight.  It is only £50 a year and we post a developmental video and hold a live meet up every month.  If you feel like joining our tribe will give you the motivation you need to keep going find out more here :

Your brain is very clever and sets out to get you whatever you focus on. For example, if I say to you ‘don’t think about a blue elephant’, what happens? Exactly. The same works for weight. So, if you focus on what you don’t want (‘I don’t want to be fat’), your focus is still on being fat. And, because everything we focus on grows in our awareness, being fat is most likely what you get. However, the opposite is also true. If you carry a positive image of yourself in your thoughts and are excited about your future, you will feel much better about yourself and will be much more motivated to achieve what you want.  

Here is a technique to help you banish those cravings for unhealthy food:

Step 1: Think of a food or drink that you hate – one that really revolts you. You can make it so that it’s gone off for even more effect! You should be on the point of retching as you think about it now.

Step 2: Now vividly imagine a plate of that food or a glass of that drink right front of you. Imagine smelling it and then putting some large mouthfuls right into your mouth and on to your tongue. Notice the texture of it in your mouth. As you start to feel awful, squeeze your thumb and index finger together. Keep your fingers squeezed together until you start to feel better (typically up to 15 seconds). Repeat several times, ramping up your revulsion each time. When you are nauseous, stop and relax your fingers.

Step 3: Now think of the food or drink you crave and notice that you have a picture of it in you eating or drinking it in your mind.

Step 4: Now make that picture of you eating or drinking it much bigger and brighter. Imagine turning up the dials on the colour, brightness and size, and bring it closer and closer to you.

Step 5: Now this is the exciting part! While you have the picture of the food or drink you like in your mind, squeeze your thumb and index finger together. Remember the taste and texture of the food or drink you hate and imagine some of it mixed in with the food or drink you love. Notice how the food or drink you like begins to change now. Imagine eating both foods together, especially the taste and the texture. Keep eating them both in your mind and imagine swallowing them down and how awful they taste. Keep squeezing your thumb and index finger together as you eat. Continue until you can’t eat any more it’s so awful. Then stop.

Step 6: Think about that food that you used to like and notice how you feel differently about it now. You can repeat this process as often as you like until you have completely eliminated your desire for that particular food.

Hope to see you on Thursday.

Take care and keep safe out there from Lindsey and Team NLP