Saturday, 25 May 2013

What kind of diet saboteur are you?

In a previous post I talked about those people who are doing really well with eating healthy foods in sensible quantities, finding themselves losing fat and fitting better into their clothes and then BAM! something happens and they find themselves tucking into a burger, fries and milkshake or a huge piece of cake and then deciding that they might as well eat whatever they like because they have ruined their 'diet' anyway. This is self sabotage. 

I've just read a very inspirational book called 'Finding the Future that Fits' by one of the UK's leading life coaches, Louise Presley-Turner. In the book she talks about how we sabotage our best efforts to move our lives forwards and how she tends to come across certain sabotaging styles when working with clients. I could really identify with these sabotaging behaviours in our efforts to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. So which kind of diet saboteur are you?

Procrastinator - these people are always going to start eating well tomorrow, or after their exams, or after their house move or after their birthday or holiday. There is always a reason to start another day. The best way to deal with this is to just start NOW! Start now and then make some adjustments around the event you were waiting for and then get back to the plan as soon as it's over. You can enjoy a holiday or a birthday just as much if you are eating well and allowing yourself a few treats, in fact you may enjoy it more as you should be feeling much more healthy.

Perfectionist - this is when you expect 100% adherence with a diet plan and won't settle for anything less. It generally means an all or nothing approach to weight loss, if you are not on a strict calorie controlled diet you might as well eat whatever you like whenever you like. Instead focus on an 80/20 approach, if you eat a paleo style diet of fresh unprocessed foods 80% of the time you can have some flexibility to eat out with friends or have a glass or two of wine at the weekends. You are far more likely to stick with it.

Dreamer - this person spends so much time thinking how great life will be when they lose the extra weight they are carrying. Instead enjoy life NOW and live in the moment as much as possible. Be aware of the benefits of being a healthy weight and eating good food but don't put your life on hold until you reach these goals, it may be that taking the pressure off will enable you to change your behaviour to support your goals.

Lazybones/Blaming others - it's our partner's fault because we have to cook for them, our parents fault for passing on a genetic predisposition to carrying excess weight, our boss's/children's fault for making us stressed so we comfort eat etc etc etc. Its very easy to blame others but we have to take responsibility for our bodies and our lives. We are the ones who put the food into our mouths, we are the ones responsible for making sure that food supports our health.

Airhead - you are disorganised and never get around to buying the right supportive foods or organising yourself so you have good healthy food with you and don't have to resort to eating junk foods. Eating well does require some planning, use the weekend to spend some time looking at your week and planning packed lunches, snacks and main meals that will support your health and weight loss goals. Cook some batches of healthy muffins, soups and casseroles that you can freeze. Put some raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds and madadamia nuts in a pot and  take them everywhere with you in case you find yourself hungry and with no other options.

Identifying if you are one of the above (or a mixture of some or all of the above!) may help you recognise the signs and stop the endless cycle of diet and diet sabotage that some people are on. The very best way to avoid this cycle is to a eat diet of fresh unprocessed foods with plenty of protein, good fats and vegetables and to avoid grains and sugar as much as possible. If you eat like this at least 80% of the time you will find you body gets used to being nourished and doesn't fight against you like it does when you count calories and eat 'diet' foods.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Carrot and sunflower seed muffins

These muffins are so light and moist and packed full of nutritionally dense ingredients such as carrots, seeds, coconut oil and coconut flour. They are gluten and wheat free - a sweet treat for those who want to try and cut grains from their diet.

You will need:

50 g coconut nectar (I used Tiana from Holland and Barrett)
70 g coconut oil
30g coconut flour (also Tiana from Holland and Barrett)
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
40g sunflower seeds
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs beaten
110g grated carrots (about 2 medium sized carrots)
50g raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 fan oven)

Mix the coconut sugar and coconut oil together until well combined

Add the eggs and beat well until eggs are mixed in. Add vanilla essence.

Mix together the coconut flour, baking powder, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, mixed spice, raisins (if using) and salt.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.

Mix in the grated carrots.

Spoon mixture into cake cases or muffin cases and bake for 15 minutes for cakes and 20 minutes for muffins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


The tag line on my promotional postcards reads 'make this the last diet you ever have to do'. Nourishing your body with the right foods is the physiological part of the plan - but what about the psychological part, the voice inside your head that makes you reach for the biscuits and cakes when you might not even like them, makes you sabotage your efforts when you have been doing so well? Here are some strategies to use to help you overcome this inner sabotage.

1. Successful weight loss and good health are made up of small steps and decisions you take each day. Every time you make a good decision that will support your health and weight loss goals use your inner voice to praise yourself. Tell yourself how that decision was the first of many that will help you to reach your goals.Really give yourself a very strong pat on the back, most of us are very bad at being nice to ourselves.

2. Find a goal that is about weight loss and good health as a means to an end rather than the end itself. Although a large majority of people say they would love to lose some weight the fact that most don't do it or that they do and put it back on again points to the fact that the goal is not compelling and important enough in itself. Three very good motivators for me personally are remaining in good health into old age, being able to fit into my clothes comfortably and, probably the most compelling one, keeping my IBS at bay. Find your motivators yourself, or work with a friend or a coach to find them. These will keep you on track much more than just 'I want to lose half a stone'.

3. Ditch the guilt when you do eat something that is not on plan. Make a conscious decision to eat it and then savour every mouthful. See this as a choice not a mindless action. One meal or one day off the plan won't sabotage your goals too much but one week or one month sure will. Remember - progress not perfection!

4. There is evidence to suggest that good healthy habits need to be formed over a period of time. In the same way that you may be in the habit of having a biscuit every time you have a cup of tea or a glass of wine (or two) every night at dinner you can make new more supportive habits. Replace the biscuit with a small portion of nuts. Replace the wine with a glass of cold sparkling water with fresh lime. Do these things every day for a couple of weeks and they will become new habits.

5.You may having limiting beliefs at the core or your identity about your ability to be slimmer and more healthy. For example you may just know 'I'm not someone who exercises' or 'I'm not meant to be slim' or 'I don't deserve to be slim'. Replace this with some positive self talk such as 'I am someone who consistently chooses healthy foods to support my health and weight', I am someone who exercises every day to support my health and weight' and choose actions that match. For me personally when I see bread or pasta now I just know that 'I am someone who doesn't eat grains'. After a year this is a core belief. 

6 DO NOT put your life on hold until you lose weight!!! This is so important. Yes losing weight may make you feel better about yourself and hopefully you may feel many other benefits to your health that will improve your quality of life. However life is going on around you NOW and your future is made up of what is happening in the NOW. Try and be in the present as much as you can, make consistently healthy choices NOW and you will reach your goals.