The Holiday Weight Challenge
Trying to keep our weight under control is challenging at the best of times. We’re inundated with advertisements and cooking shows and increasingly our social interaction centres on food. It used to be that we’d go out for dinner or have a dinner party maybe once or twice a week, these days it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner too with a café late or 3 thrown in for good measure. At the same time we’re more sedentary with even housework requiring less physical effort as appliances and products become more sophisticated. In the 21st century balancing our calorie intake verses our energy output requires conscious effort. The holiday season compounds this challenge with even more rich food and calorie laden drinks being offered at every turn.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts if you feel you’ve been losing the battle against weight gain and you want that to change it’s important to find a strategy that works for you. In this blog I’m giving my personal opinon on 5:2 intermittent fasting as a possible antidote to holiday excess.
What is the 5:2 intermittent fasting?
It has a few variations but my personal preference is for the one which suggests you follow your standard eating pattern for 5 days and pick two days a week to reduce your calorie intake to 500 calories. Some followers of this regime don’t eat anything at all on the 2 days, but personally I think it’s more realistic to go down no lower than 500 calories because from my own experience if I don’t eat anything at all I feel hunger to the point that I can think of little else and find it difficult to concentrate, I also feel as though my blood sugars plummet which negatively impacts my mood and energy. I think given that we all most likely need to function, drive safely, interact patiently and respectfully, work etc. that having some food intake is safer than not eating at all.
What I like about 5:2 intermittent fasting for weight loss
Not much that I can think of at this date!
There’s some great information available about recipes and options for the low calorie days, check some of them out here. To be successful you need to be realistic and ensure that on the 5 days while you’re eating normally, the emphasis is on making healthier choices your new normal. There are ways you can introduce healthier options, using zucchini and carrot threads to replace spaghetti in pasta dishes, using lettuce cups instead of taco shells etc. replacing sweetened soft drinks and juices with sparking water and ditching the milky coffee in favour of something like a long black with maybe a dash of milk. Alcoholic drinks can be halved with soda water or make every second drink a water. These changes won’t really deny you too many of lifes’ culinary pleasures but they’ll certainly make a difference to your overall calorie intake and will help create the deficit that has to be achieved if you want to lose weight.
With all of my clients the first thing I like to address when they want to lose weight is stress. Stress is a big contributor to weight gain for a lot of people, taking some time out to relax be mindful and stop activity may turn out to be as important as increasing your activity levels at other times during the day. Stress causes the release of Cortisol which can lead to fatigue and hunger particularly cravings for sugar and carbs. If you are highly stressed this can make it hard to stop eating once you start. This is a challenge that we can address in therapy. As always I’m going to suggest you manage and reverse the effects of stress by having a 10 minute daily mindfulness practice.
If you'd like help in losing or managing your weight please feel free to give me a call on 0435 923 817 or use this contact from
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Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person