Diet Mind Tricks

Diet Mind Tricks 101 – Carb Substitutes!

As a massive snacker I am always looking for easy ways to save my WW SmartPoint budget during the day.

Eating vegetables in a ‘carb-like’ form with meals may be the answer to my prayers!

Rice – 6sp
Cauliflower rice (providing it’s the plain one) – 0sp

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Curry & Cauliflower rice
Spaghetti – 6sp
Courgetti/Boodles (Butternut squash noodles) – 0sp

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Spaghetti Bolognese with Boodles
Chips – 6sp (or more!)
Butternut squash chips/chunks/squaffles – 0sp

My lunch today – BNS chips & chicken nuggets – 7sp
Other examples are out there, but you get the picture… I think the great thing is that providing your put enough flavour into your meals then you don’t even notice the carbs are missing.  For example if you have cauliflower rice with curry the curry sauce gives the rice a better flavour (it’s not the best plain).

Have you tried these or any other substitutes – what do you think?

 

Diet Mind Tricks

Dieting Mind Tricks 101 – How to keep to your healthy eating habits by avoiding ‘loopholes’ in stressful situations.

It was only when I read Gretchen Rubin’s inspirational book ‘Better than Before’ and listened to her podcast ‘Happier’ that I really became aware of the idea of having a ‘Loophole’ in a habit.

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Gretchen’s definition of loopholes are ‘Justifications that will excuse us from keeping a particular habit in a particular situation.’  She divides these habit loopholes into 10 categories (see the links below if you’d like more information on what these are).

Whilst moving house I have been conscious that I have been using 5 of these loopholes in order to eat unhealthily – Here are the loopholes and how I’ve been using them:

Tomorrow loophole — “It’s ok to eat unhealthily today, because once we are settled again I will eat healthily.”

Lack of control loophole — “Because we’re moving I don’t have access to my normal food/cooking facilities etc, so I have to eat this burger/drink this wine etc”

“This doesn’t count” loophole — “It’s different because we are moving”

Fake self-actualization loophole — “You only live once! Embrace the moment!”

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One-coin loophole“What difference does it make if I break my habit this one time?” (whilst we are moving…)

Being aware of the loopholes you are using definitely helps you to avoid them more, but maybe I should have used ‘an exception’ instead?

I hope that by reading about how I struggled with loopholes it will help you guys to see that we are all only human and in stressful situations keeping to habits is hard for everyone.

The Exception – In Gretchen’s other work she also talks about making ‘exceptions’ for certain situations/habits.  Perhaps, whilst we were moving, rather than beating myself up about how I was eating,  I should have given myself a bit of a break as it wasn’t a long term situation?

I should have treated this time as a ‘Planned exception’ and therefore kept better control over the situation – that might have made me feel better about it…I could have made a few more rules for what I ate  to control and manage this allowed exception to my healthy eating habits.

Do you find yourself using ‘Loopholes’ in order to break your healthy eating habits?   What are they?  I recommend you check out this page of Gretchen’s website to learn more about habit related loopholes.  In future posts I will be discussing the other loopholes and ways in which you can try to avoid them.

Diet Mind Tricks

Dieting Mind tricks 101 – A good kind of portion distortion!

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These are the diet mind tricks you are looking for…

The brain is a wonderful organ that can be our best friend or worst enemy at times, especially when it comes to dieting.  During my 11 years following Weight Watchers I have come across various ‘tricks’ that can be used to help you stick to the plan and I wanted to share them so that other people can benefit from them.  This is the first:  Using smaller plates/bowls.

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US examples – but UK is similar…

 

Using smaller plates/bowls:
This sounds ridiculous but does actually work.  According to my WW leader, the size of bowls/plates have gone up a lot over the years as we’ve become more affluent and could afford to eat more (See image above).  This of course is not great for someone trying to lose weight.  If you have large dinner plates  and are used to filling them with food then when you start following WW and your portions are a lot smaller it will be a real downer!  Cereal is a perfect example of a food that when you put it in a bigger bowl it doesn’t look very much so you want to add more.

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Same amount of cereal – different bowls…

When my OH and I bought plates a few years ago, we just happened to buy some with a coloured rim, which means the actual area you can put food in is a lot smaller, and makes your food look bigger – I would recommend you do the same or just buy smaller plates and bowls.  If you have a treasured set that you don’t want to change or your family loves, then you could just buy one set of smaller things for you – Although really it’s good to encourage everyone to have smaller portions and set a good example…

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Our current dinner crockery (the bowls are annoyingly massive so I use different ones)

So, the main message here is – if you want your food to look like more and for you to feel that you are getting value for points, then put it on smaller plates/in smaller bowls – it really works!  Try it and let me know how you got on!

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Same dinner – smaller plate!

 

More diet mind tricks to follow in future posts!