The Five Keystones To Weight Loss - Part 5

In this post, I'll be mentioning the last of the five basic keystones to getting weight under control .... Exercise.

Remember, these are only the basics at this stage. However, by being more mindful of the basics and by having some hints and tips to help in mastering each of the five keystones, it's amazing just how much more control and discipline you can develop over your eating habits and patterns.

Activity For Life

Before all that, this seems a very appropriate post to remind everyone of a program that's being run by Central Lancashire NHS called, Activity For Life.

Activity For Life is an excellent FREE exercise support program where your own GP can literally 'prescribe' you a gym membership along with your very own one-to-one personal trainer!

For those of us who are serious about shedding a few pounds, becoming fitter and more active, this really is a superb opportunity to amplify all the great work you're already doing.

For more information on the program, along with contact numbers etc, click here.

Your Experiences .....

I had another interesting email from a client of mine last week that I'd like to share with you ....

"Hi Tony
Just thought I would share a couple of interesting experiences with you.

Have just read the Power of Expectation article. Yes its all about our state of mind. I found a phrase that helps me – you can write it out as many times as you like – stick it on the fridge – on your wardrobe – in your underwear drawer -  put it anywhere – and no one needs to know that it is diet related if you dont want to tell them –

We are never given a dream without the power to make it come true! 

All your clients have the dream of being slim and you are empowering us to make it come true, make it a reality.

Just after being hypnotised I cleaned out my fridge and now I keep everything in white plastic boxes with lids. My reasoning is simple. When I open the fridge nothing ‘jumps’ out at me and says EAT ME NOW!!! I have the power over whether I take a box out of the fridge, I have the power whether I open that box and ultimately I have the power as to whether I eat anything out of that box. In other words I have total control over the food, it has no power over me.

Although talking about power over food, the other day I realised how very easily that power balance could be upset by eating the wrong thing. A member of my family had gone away and left an almost full loaf of white bread, and not wishing to waste food I decided I would have it for my lunchtime sandwich. I then went out for the afternoon and as always drank plenty of water. I find if I get dehydrated I get headaches – so I am careful to keep my fluid consumptuion up.

I always plan roughly what I am going to eat each day, and try to do a supermarket shop once a week, so that I am not shopping in a rush and impulse buying. I returned home to find there was a power cut, so I was unable to cook the meal I had planned to have – Cottage Pie and steamed vegs. Eventually I had to get the camping gaz burner out and had soup and another white bread sandwich. I was not happy, I felt angry, upset and downright grizzly. Before I knew it I was back in the kitchen searching for food, fortunately there were no cakes and biscuits in the house otherwise it could have been a disaster. But I did manage to go through 2 yoghurts, 2 bananas, a bag of mixed fruit and nuts, an oranage and an apple and several cups of tea, oh yes and I almost forgot a Cornetto!!

I went to bed early to save myself from eating anything else. The follwing day was just as bad, except that I pulled myself together and avoided the binging. But I still couldnt understand what had gone wrong, I felt horrid, in fact I was on the point of phoning you to see if you could suggest what had gone wrong. But I went to bed early again and then started to analyse what I had done differently for the previous two days  - then it came to me WHITE BREAD.

I remembered all the things I had been told previously about the ‘hit’  you get from processed food and that made sense. I did honestly feel as though I had been thrown off a precipice. It was the only thing that could explain my sudden change in mood. The next morning I threw the white bread in the bin; went shopping and got some wholemeal bread and I am delighted to say that I am back to my old self again.  Previously I dont suppose I would have felt this so strongly because of course then I was constantly over-eating and would have consumed enough other food so that I would not have noiticed the change. No more white bread for me – it will go straight in the bin -  I dont want to feel like that again.

I know that you like us to try and visualise the amount of weight we have lost and I remember in the very beginning you and I were discussing the number of packets of butter I had lost in weight. Well I got quite a shock the other day realising just how far I had come. I went shopping and as I dont drive had to rely on public transport to get me home then I had to trudge to my front door-uphill by the way. By the time I got in I was exhausted. I have no idea why, but I decided to weigh my shopping – it was over 2 stones – I have lost more than that. But what struck me was how I must have struggled to walk and move carrying all that weight – cos I know just how hard it was to walk up the road with that 2 stone bag.

Thanks for your support Tony, I really appreciate it.


This is a great email from Elaine and I think she makes a number of very interesting points.
Noteably, if ever you do happen to have have an 'off day' or an 'off couple of days', there really is no need to panic. It's fine. In fact, it opens up an opportunity to look into 'why' the change has occurred (as Elaine did here and as Bernie mentioned a couple of weeks ago). 

And how empowered does it make you feel, when you work a solution out for yourself, make a few minor tweaks and Hey Presto ... everything's back on track!!

I also love the bit about carrying the shopping bags that weighed 2 stones. For those of you that have already lost 2 stones in weight, you'll be amazed if you pop you shopping bags on the scales and discover exactly how 2 stones feels!

Many thanks again Elaine for that and Well Done for reaching 2 and a half stones on Good Friday. Keep it going!!

Exercise (Reducing Inactivity)

So, on to the final basic Keystone to weight loss .... Exercise.

Now, the word 'exercise', cunjures up all kinds of negative associations for lots of people, particularly those in the very early stages of a weight loss regime. For that reason, I like to talk about 'reducing inactivity', which comes across a little less harsh. From a logical 'common sense' perspective, it's also quite obvious .... if we reduce the amount of time we are 'inactive', we will burn off more calories.

There are a few key points here;

Keep it Safe: First and foremost, whatever activity you look to enguage in, you must begin at a level which is safe for your own personal level of fitness, and build up from that. It's clearly important not to do too much too soon. Remember, this isn't an 'event', it's a 'journey'. Remember, even a small amount of additional activity will burn off some calories. Building upon this over time and allowing this to become a regular feature, will begin to have the effect of speeding up your metabolism, so that you'll be burning off calories more efficiently round the clock.

If you're on medication or in any doubt about what might be safe, do seek advice from your GP.

Keep it Enjoyable: One of the main reasons peoples enthusiasm for exercise wains is simply because they're not enjoying it. How many people do you know who have set out with all the best intentions at new year and join a gym ... only then to allow their memberships to lapse within a few weeks, using all kinds of excuses as to why it isn't for them?

It isn't easy for us to motivate ourselves to do things we don't enjoy doing, so choosing something we actually enjoy getting involved in significantly increases our chances of staying with it. There are also other things that can influence how much we enjoy certain activities. The weather can raise our levels of motivation to go out walking, jogging, cycling or taking the dog out. So, get out there and make the most of the mild spring weather to get you kick started.

Games Consoles such as Nintendo Wii's really are offering people a thoroughly enjoyable way of getting fit. Amongst other things, they track your weight, your BMI and calculate how many calories you've burned. And because you're being 'entertained' you simply don't realise how much energy you're using as you take part.

Be Competitive:
Maintaining a competitive spirit can help to maintain your motivation to exercise.
Whether you're competing in a team sport, a 'one-against-one' sport, trying to beat your friends best time for jogging round the park or simply trying to improve on your own performances, keeping competitive and striving to improve really is a great way to maintain motivation. (Just read Peters contribution to the last blog if you don't believe me!)

Keep Yourself Well Hydrated: Make sure you continue to increase your fluid intake in proportion to your level of increased activity.

Monitor Your Progress: In the same way that it's useful to monitor your weight loss progress, it can also be a good idea to keep tabs on how many calories you're burning.
Bear in mind, a 16 stone person walking a mile will use more energy (and therefore burn more calories), then a 10 stone person walking that same mile. So in order to work out how you're doing, it's best to use a 'calculator' that takes account of your weight.

Here is a super Calorie Burning Calculator that, in exchange for your current weight in pounds and your number of active minutes, will tell you how many calories you're burning for a huge array of activities from aerobics to weight lifting! Find it here.

Have a great Bank Holiday Weekend



The Five Keystones To Weight Loss - Part 4

In this post I'll be highlighting the fourth of the five basic keystones to losing weight ... Snacking.

Remember, these are only the basics at this stage. However, by being more mindful of the basics and by having some hints and tips to help in mastering each of the five keystones, it's amazing just how much more control and discipline you can develop over your eating habits and patterns.

Also in this post, I'd like to share more of the inspiring comments and experiences of some of my clients, detailing their own weight loss progress, in their own words.

(By the way, all of the content from clients is included with their full consent. So please don't worry, I won't include anything on this site that hasn't already been pre-agreed with yourself first!!) 

So, with that in mind, I would like to share with you an unedited email I received a few weeks ago on 12th March ....

"Hi Tony.

My name is Peter McIver. I've just seen your advert in the Chorley Citizen local paper and I'm very intersested in if you could do anything to help me. I'm 44 years old and upto probably these last 4 or 5 years I'd kept myself reasonably fit. Unfortunately about 4 years ago I had a small operation on my right shoulder due to wear and tear. Whilst waiting for my op and subsequntly afterwards, I could no longer do my usual routine of press-ups, dumbell work and pull-ups and therefore I slowly piled the pounds on. Once I was able to physically do my exercises again I found it very hard to get back into 'The Zone' again. Over these last few years I've tried several times to get back in the same mind set, but keep coming up with excuses to myself why I can't kickstart my exercise routine again. Due to this I've now put about 3 stone on that I would love to lose asap. Would there be anything you could do for me to get my lifestyle back on track and if so, could you give me some idea of the cost please.

Yours sincerley

Peter McIver"

For the benefit of those receiving this who are yet to become a client, you might find some parts of Peters email strike a few home truths!

You may even know of someone who has found themselves in a similar situation to Peter, who just needs a 'kick-start' to get them up and running, that would perhaps benefit from receiving these blog updates?

We'll to give an idea of just what can be achieved in a reletively short space of time, here's what Peter had to say in an unedited email to me last Saturday (16th April) ....

"Hi Tony.

I cant believe that just 5 weeks down the line since I first emailed you, I'd  be sat here emailing you once more to thank you for your help and expertise in getting me to where I am today. The transformation in my lifestyle now is a complete reversal to what it was just over a month ago and I can't thank you enough for it.
My old routine was basically as follows. Get up in a morning as late as possible, no breakfast, just a brew. Do my stint at work for 8 hours or so, come home have a huge meal (probably enough for two people), watch tv till late o'clock, go to bed, then the cycle would begin
all over again. At the weekend, I'd do abit of shopping then as little as possible for the remainder of the weekend.
Always though in the back of my mind, I was trying my damnedest to strike up the energy and motivation to go on my very redundant exercise bike, but to no avail.
Today however, I feel full of energy and have lost around 16 lbs. After I came to see you, I fully took on board what you told me and have never looked back from day 1.

I needed to get myself 'BACK IN THE ZONE' as I call it. A number of years ago I was very fit and loved pushing myself to my limits, but when I got a shoulder injury I couldn't train and lapsed into an extremely lazy routine which in time made me pile on the pounds and get me in a rut from which with every passing day became harder and harder to get out of.
Now though Tony, my life is back to how things used to be for me.

My usual routine now is as follows; I wake up a little earlier in the morning and have a light breakfast, it might be an apple or a banana or a small bowl of cereal. I do my stint at work, but constantly throughout the day I'll drink loads of water. Once I get home, I immediately get changed into my trackies & trainers and go to the garage where my exercise bike is. At first I'd do 10 mins which would be around 150 calories on the bikes monitor. I'd be sweating like mad and even though it wasn't a long bout of exercise
I got immense satisfaction from the fact that I'd actually done something constructive about losing some weight that the rest of the night I was quietly pleased with myself and was quite honestly looking forward to the following evening to see if I could be the previous nights calories burned in the same number of minutes. I succeeded in this task which spurred me on to better it again the following evening. After a long soak in the bath, I'd have
some tea, automatically, (because of the graft I'd just put in on the bike) I'd go for a much smaller meal than I'd usually have and a much healthier one at that, so as not to undo what id just done on the exercise bike. I now go to bed a bit earlier too to compensate the slightly earlier time I now wake up to have my breakfast and I feel much better for it.

Im about 4 weeks into my new lifestyle now and although the 16 lbs I've lost may not seem alot to some people, to me it's amazing. I've got bags of energy and feel fantastic my self esteem has gone through the roof and whats more I can now easily put my socks on in a morning without breaking into a sweat and puffing and panting like I've just run after my last bus. I now do 23 mins on the bike during the week which equates to around 500 calories and on Friday, Saturday and Sundays I do around 47 minutes on my bike which is around 1000 calories burnt. I am now totally back in the zone. Cheers Tony. A top tip I've found is that if I listen to the radio whilst I'm working out, I tend to focus on how long I've been on the bike and how many calories I've burned. This to me seemed to be like watching and waiting for the kettle to boil, in other words it seemed to take an age for me to finish my exercise routine. What I've found works for me personally is this; I 've rigged a portable tv up in the garage and put it on a channel that really interests me, for me it's a good documentary. When it's on, I become totally enthralled in it and become oblivious to the time I've been exercising and any twinges I might have had from the previous evenings workout seem to become so insignificant I don't give it a second thought.

Anyway, top and bottom of it Tony is...... I'm so made up after I had my hypnotherapy session with you is that I've got back in my zone where I wanted to be and slowly but surely I'm getting my weight down and my self esteem up.
So a massive thank you once again Tony for my new lifestyle and to anyone who reads this other than Tony, give it a try. 'He who dares wins'. Believe in yourself, stick to your guns and in time you'll be rewarded, BIG TIME.

All the best


Well, I think that just about says it all. In addition to the actual content detailing Peters progress, you can actually feel the energy, passion and enthusiasm literally 'jump off the page' as you read that second email.

Many congratulations Peter for your achievements so far, you're doing fantastically well. Thank you also for allowing me to include those emails in this weeks blog, I'll be sure to keep everyone up to speed with your progress as you continue.


So, onto the fourth keystone of weight loss ..... Snacking.

Habitual snacking or comfort eating represents a big challenge to many of us who are wishing to bring our weight under control. So, what causes us to pick at food in between meals, late at night, when we're bored or 'because we can'?

So, here are ten of the main reasons we may find ourselves snacking and ways to combat it;

1. Dehydration. This water stuff gets everywhere! But it's true, we're far more likely to snack if we're a little de-hydrated. Ironically, a lot of the snacks many of us turn to are high in salt (crisps, nuts, etc), which compounds the effect! When ever you find yourself rumaging through the cupboards or the fridge for 'no apparent reason', try a glass of cool, clean fresh water. 19 times out of 20, you'll notice that 'snacky' feeling disolve away.

2. Don't allow yourself to become famished! In a previous 'Keystone' blog, I mentioned that people who leave it until they're absolutely starving before they eat, are far more likely to eat much faster and consume much larger portions (missing the signals the stomach sends to the brain). Also, a person allowing themselves to become absolutely famished significantly increases the likelyhood that they'll snack on something, given the opportunity.

3. Comfort Eating or Boredom. Yes, we've all been there. Feeling rotten about ourselves for some reason, so we head off to the fridge to see if we can find something to cheer us up!
Or we might just explore the fridge because there's nothing else to do .... and in either case, more often then not, once we've consumed whatever snacks we could unearth, we either feel 'completely riddled with guilt' or are totally bemused as to 'why we've just done that!' 
Sometimes, it's just possible to catch this before it happens. Whilst your at the 'pre-snack rumaging' stage, just ask yourself, "Am I really hungry, or do I just want to change the way I feel?". This is a great question because quite often, once you realise you aren't hungry at all, you can actualy feel a real sense of achievement and discipline as you walk away from the fridge having resisted the urge .... well done you!

4. Plan your snacks and stick to the plan. Of course there are snacks that can help contribute to your vitamin  / '5 a day' intake, so don't just chose them, plan them. This way, not missing planned meals or snacks won't leave you uncontrollably hungry.

5. Never eat meals or snacks in front of the TV. If your mind is enguaged elsewhere other then on your food, you will almost certainly miss the signals from your stomach and continue eating way past the point of what would be considered a 'sensible portion'.

6. Don't buy snacky food in the first place. The overwhelming majority of my clients agree that if the stuff isn't in the house in the first place, it doesn't bother them. So, when you're doing the weekly shop (by the way, don't even think of doing the weekly shop when you're hungry or snacky!), it's worth making a conscious decision to avoid some of those 'snacky' foods in the first place.

7. Chew sugar free gum. Doing this between meals make you far less likely to snack.

8. Resist snacking on meals that you are preparing. Okay, you may want to test the sauce is hot enough or check the pasta is 'al dante', and that's okay. However, polishing off a stray lamb chop because there's an odd number in the packet is just going too far!
But of course, we've all done it. Snacking or picking when preparing a meal is quite commonplace and clearly catches most of us at our most vulnerable ... just before a meal.
A client of mine recently shared a great tip with me of preparing an amount of salad with most meals (this could be part of the main meal or perhaps a side salad), but by picking at bits of the salad whilst preparing the evening meal, she was still satisfying her craving to 'test' the meal, but with far less significant consequenses. 

9. Don't finish off the food other people leave. Sometimes, people find themselves doing this out of pure habit. It isn't that difficult to break this particular habit with a little conscious effort. In addition, if for example, you find yourself frequently finishing off your partners meal, consider adjusting their portion size in the same way as you would your own.

10 Brush and/or floss your teeth after each meal or planned snack. This will help you stay away from food for an hour or so. Long enough for you to become enguaged in omething else.

Okay, So It Isn't Always That Easy ....!!
Of course it isn't. And losing weight and becoming fitter isn't something that happens in an instant, it's a journey. Some times you may feel alone on that journey, whilst at other times you may feel surrounded by all manner of people or situations that drive and motivate you to feel great and carry on.

The actual time it takes to achieve your targets or goals in what ever it is you've set out to do, is the very thing that gives them their precious value. The length of time it takes to achieve something represents your commitment, dedication and dogged determination and is what makes it feel so valuable once you arrive at where you want to be.

So. at all times, keep going. Keep going and you'll continue to add more value and more meaning to your end result.

The following video is a wonderful example of something you simply cannot create in a short time. But just look at just what can be achieved when you keep going ...... 
(If you've seen this before, it's always worth another look!)


The Five Keystones to Weight Loss - Part 3

In this post, we're continuing to look at some of the basic 'keystones' of weight loss, this week, Keeping Yourself Hydrated 


1. Sometimes it's easy to overlook the basics and these can often provide a 'quick fix' to some degree once re-focused.

2. It's also good to look into the basics in slightly more detail. Quite often, you'll discover they're not so basic after all and a better understanding can sometimes bring about a more resourceful perspective.
Drinking More Water
You simply cannot understate the importance and effectiveness that drinking plenty of fluids has on bringing weight under control. If you've come to terms with enjoying a nutritious breakfast each morning and have mastered portion control, all that good work can be amplified tenfold, simply by staying well hydrated.
There are so many articles on the internet that highlight the link between 'Water' and 'Weight Loss', so here's one that sums things up quite nicely ...
Click Here                                                                     
.... and, from a more scientific perspective ....

The Power of Expectation:

When you have set out on something new in the past, for example a new diet, did you 'hope' to succeed, or did you 'expect' it?

The trouble with 'hoping' for something, is that it is too close to, 'if only ...'.
Most of us don't go to bed at night 'hoping' we're going to wake up in the morning, we 'expect' to.
If we had to 'hope', we'd probably be so nervous that we'd never get to sleep!

Richard Bach

American writer, Richard Bach once said, "In order to win, you must expect to win. That is the secret of success. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals. Belief has the power to transend all hurdles, real and imaginary. Trust your faith, despite the 'Stop' signs on the road ahead"

So, why am I telling you all of this?

You see, it's all too easy as we go about our daily lives, to allow our minds to engage on 'Autopilot' in order that we can churn through the list of day to day activities that come our way. The problem with 'Autopilot', is that it just allows us to continue with the same old thoughts, feelings and beliefs that we've always had, without ever pausing to question them.

If we believe, expect or accept that we're destined to be overweight, then it's likely that we'll remain overweight, because all our decisions and actions will be aligned with our beliefs.

That is a very significant point. If a person believes, expects or accepts that they're overweight because of x, y or z, then every action that person takes (lifestyle, food choices, portion sizes, etc), will be that of a person fully accepting the situation they find themself in (not neccessarily 'liking' their situation, but 'accepting' their situation). For example, they might accept having an Indian take-away or a pizza five nights a week because this aligns with the kind of person they think they are. Of course, this behavioural pattern adds to their unhealthy lifestyle which re-enforces their beliefs even more. And the cycle continues ....

But, what happens when you challenge or change those beliefs .....?

Click here ... Placebo Pills 

This is an amazing example of something most of us are aware of to some degree .... the effects of placebo pills in medication.

They work because the recipient believes and expects them to work. Why? .. Because the subconscious mind will try to create the results you expect. The opposite can also be said in some cases of actual medication used to treat specific conditions. If the recipient believes and expects this medication will to fail to treat the condition successfully, then this significantly increases the likelyhood that it actually will fail.  

Be positive. If you expect your weight loss efforts to succeed, you're far more likely to be successful.

So, what exactly is 'success' then?

Well, if a person defines 'success' as 100% perfection and anything less then that is a 'failure', then that person is clearly stacking the odds in favour of a 'failure' (using that specific definition)

But, if your definition of success is less rigid and is more focused on deeper, more meaningful goals such as .....

Being conscious of drinking more water each day.
Being mindful of eating slower and savouring each mouthful.
Aiming to lose (for example) 5 or 6 pounds during the month.
Committing to (for example) a 30 minute walk, four or five times per week.

...... then success becomes far more likely.

Your subconscius mind knows exactly how to utilise your belief and expectation to reward you with goals beyond your wildest dreams.

Whatever you set about doing, no matter how challenging the task ...

                                    Believe It Can Be Done!

When you believe something can be done ... really believe ... your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing in an outcome, paves the way to the solution.

Best Wishes



The Five Keystones To Weight Loss - Part 2

In this post, I ask the question Are You Eating Enough? - This was inspired by an experience of one of my clients recently.

We're also continuing to look at some of the basic 'keystones' of weight loss, this week, Portion Control.

1. Sometimes it's easy to overlook the basics and these can often provide a 'quick fix' to some degree once re-focused.

2. It's also good to look into the basics in slightly more detail. Quite often, you'll discover they're not so basic after all and a better understanding can sometimes bring about a more resourceful perspective.

Keystone 2 - Portion Control 
Learning to moderate your portion sizes at mealtimes will have a huge impact on your weight loss progress.
We all know there are lots of reason why many of us eat more then we need to at mealtimes, not least, having it 'conditioned' within us from an early age to 'clean our plate'!
So here are 10 Top Tips to help you moderate your portion sizes ...

1 Don't wait until you're 'absolutely famished' before deciding to eat. As a rule of thumb, the hungrier we are, the more we will eat at a given mealtime. If you're moderately hungry, it might be a good time to eat. If it's inconvenient or thewrong time to begin preparing a meal, then a healthy snack may just satisfy that hunger craving until meal time.

2 Drink plenty of water. You'll see this crop up time and time again, water really is a miracle ingredient for a whole host of reasons when you're losing weight. As well as keeping your skin hydrated and flushing out toxins, drinking water before a meal partially fills your stomach meaning you'll eat less. Drinking water when you're feeling 'snacky' will also allow that 'snacky' feeling (usually dehydration) to just disappear.

3 Use smaller plates. Simple, but effective. Just using a smaller dinner plate allows you to trick your own mind into feeling that your not being 'short changed' at meal times.

4 Weigh out your food. Weighing out individual portion sizes can be a useful way to become acquainted with reccommended portion sizes of certain foods.

5 Eat slowly, really chew and savour each and enjoy every mouthful, then as soon as you begin to feel full, STOP and push your plate away. Your stomach will alert you that you've had enough for your physical needs.

6 Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. This is another way of slowing down your eating speed and might seem awkwardat first. But after a surprisingly small amount of time doing this consciously, you'll be amazed at how easily it becomes second nature.

7 Don't eat in front of the television, or any other disraction for that matter, books, newspapers, etc.
Becoming 'absorbed' in something else whilst you're eating can distract you from noticing the signals sent by the stomach when you've eaten enough

8 If you've made more then you need of a certain dish (e.g, chilli, spag bol, etc), don't pile it onto your plate or leave it lying handily around for seconds. Far better to dish up more portions then you need and freeze some.

9 When eating out, avoid 'All You Can Eat' restaurants such as carveries and banquets. Also, instead of a starter and main course, try two starters.

10 If you find yourseld being overfaced, particularly in a restaurant, decide what you're going to leave BEFORE you start the meal. Almost sounds like a daft idea, but in your heart of hearts, you know how much smaller that portion sizeshould really be. Therefore, before you begin eating, deliberately push some of the food to the side of your plate making a conscious decision to leave that amount. Then just plan to eat the rest. Those feelings of guilt will soon start to disappear when you leave food on your plate. In fact, you can feel really good about leaving food behind because it reminds you that you really are in control.

How many of these Ten Tips to Controlling Portion Sizes do you find yourself tripping up on?

Which ones could you easily become more mindful of on a regular basis?

Do you have any more 'portion control' tips that you think are worth sharing? Drop me a line in the comments box below.

Are You Eating Enough?

This might seem like a strange question to ask people that are concentrating on keeping their weight under control, but are you eating enough?

Bernie from Blackrod came to see me at the end of October last year looking to get her weight under control once and for all. She told me, "I'd tried hypnosis in the past for other things, but it didn't work. In fact, the hypnotherapist told be I couldn't be hypnotised, although my twin sister, who went with me could".

Luckily, Bernie didn't let her previous set backs get in her way and decided that now was the time to do something about her weight once and for all. Since then, she has literally never looked back. The hypnosis went very well as we set about modifying some of the old eating habits and patterns, particularly portion sizes, that had left Bernie overweight in the first place. After the session she commented, "I don't feel as if I've been anywhere", nevertheless, Bernie has continued to steadily lose weight ever since.

It hasn't always been easy, as Bernie would be the first to admit, "I have had one or two blips along the way!". But of course, out there in the real world, life does tend to throw the odd 'blip' in our direction from time to time, and that's okay.

Bernie has now developed a passion for walking and has joined a gym, knowing that "putting the effort in" is by far the best way to generate the results she's looking for, fast. She's been making great progress, with steady and sustained weight loss week after week.

But a few weeks ago, Bernie felt things had started to 'not quite go to plan'. It was really strange. She was continuing to put the effort in at the gym and not over-indulging at home, in fact, not even feeling hungry, but noticed that her progress had slowed. The weight didn't seem to be coming off at the rate she was expecting.

So Bernie then did something that wouldn't always be considered an obvious thing to do .... she decided to eat a little more in order to "kick start her weight loss again".

I think this is a wonderful piece of insight, that lead virtually immediately to her progress getting straight back on track again. Sometimes, if you're eating healthily, perhaps with a reduction to your old portion sizes, not snacking, keeping well hydrated then increase your activity levels significantly enough, it's quite possible that your body may need more energy (calories) coming in from time to time to sustain everything you're striving to achieve.

This is exactly what happened in Bernie's case, who I am delighted to report has now lost 3 stones in weight since her Hypnotic Gastric Band 'proceedure' 5 months ago and is absolutely over the moon with her overall progress so far.

Finally - apologies to everyone who tried leaving a comment last time, the comments box wasn't set up properly. I'm told it's working fine now, so please feel to send me your insights, they'll be much appreciated.

Best wishes