7 ways to think yourself thin
Is a devil on your shoulder wrecking your diet plans? A few clever tricks could be your key to weight loss. By Helen Foster
Diet devil says: It’s only an extra glass of wine; it won’t matter
Hmmm, it might – a large glass contains about 180 calories. If you’re prone to ‘extras’, photograph everything you eat, then scroll through the pics when temptation strikes.
Diet devil says: I know I shouldn’t eat this, but I don’t care
If you didn’t care you’d wolf it down without thinking! Try clenching your fist, as new research says tensing muscles sends energy to the willpower part of your brain.
Diet devil says: I've been really busy all day, so I deserve my 4pm chocolate fix
Research from the University of Wurzberg says any mood lift from chocolate will only last about three minutes. Try the Bach Flower Remedy Chestnut Bud (£6.69, Holland & Barrett) – it’s claimed it can help you break negative habits.
Diet devil says: My family won’t eat diet food, so I can’t diet in the evenings
What counts is your total calorie intake, and you can reduce that by watching portion sizes. We bet that if you dieted during the day, then ate a fist-sized portion of whatever carbs your family’s having, plus a palm-sized portion of the protein, then filled the rest of your plate with veggies, you’d still lose weight. Skip the pudding, though.
Diet devil says: I’ll re-start the diet on Monday
Yes, weekends are meant to be enjoyed, but if doing so is ruining your diet every week, switch to a plan like Weight Watchers, which builds in daily treats, or the Five Factor Diet, which gives you a whole pig-out day at weekends.
Diet devil says: I’ve got nothing healthy in the fridge, so I’ll have a takeaway
Order the healthiest thing on the menu, but resolve to fall back on a Survival Dish in future. This is a low-cal meal you enjoy which can be made quickly from ingredients that don’t go off – a favourite is half a can of Stagg chili with half an Uncle Ben’s rice sachet and frozen peas!
Diet devil says: I had a takeaway last night, so I might as well pig out today
‘All-or-nothing syndrome’ is the main reason diets fail. Try to live by the rule of three: one treat meal mustn be followed by at least three healthy ones. You’ll lose weight slower, but won’t feel deprived.