Paul McKenna says forget diets and listen to your body if you want to lose weight

I’ve got a real soft spot for Paul McKenna; I went to see him at one of his phobia seminars in London and in a lunch time break I talked to him for a few minutes. Despite the fact he had around a hundred of people, all anxious (literally) to speak to him about their various problems, he took the time to consider my particular worry and offered some very practical advice.

What I really like about Paul is that his advice comes from years of research, solid medical science and has proven results. He also uses a lot of practical common sense, and does not need to know what past events caused you to end up with your present day problems, whether that be over-eating, lack of confidence, fear of flying or whatever. He has the tools that will allow you to overcome your problem, without delving deeply into your psyche.

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As for dieting, Paul believes that there are four golden rules when it comes to losing weight, and dieting is not one of them. His rules are:

1. Eat when you are hungry

Being hungry is a physical response to having no food in the stomach. You can feel it and it builds up gradually over time. If you are not sure if you are hungry or not then you are not really hungry. Hunger is not a response to boredom, being upset or angry. Real hunger is a biological response telling you that your body needs fueling up.

2. Eat what you body tells you

There was a case where a man who was in a dinghy lost at sea and was catching fish to eat and survive, suddenly began to eat the eyes and livers of the fish he was catching. This was his body telling him that he needed the water in the eyes and the minerals in the livers. We don’t listen to our bodies enough these days, and instead, are bombarded with adverts telling us what we should be eating. Learn to trust your instincts more.

3. Enjoy every mouthful

If you are not enjoying eating then stop. It is important to enjoy and relish every mouthful of food that enters your body; otherwise you can fall into the trap of overeating for the sake of it. And make sure that when you eat that is all you do, so no distractions such as watching the TV, or reading or doing a crossword, concentrate on eating.

4. Stop when you are full

Your body will tell you when it is full, but the stomach takes a good 20 minutes to send that signal up to the brain, so it is very important that at the first sign of you feeling full up, you stop eating. People who eat for emotional reasons have learned to turn off that signal so they may have to relearn it.

These are just four ways of keeping weight off and feature in Paul McKenna’s new book Freedom From Emotional Eating by Paul McKenna, available from January 2, £12.99 from Amazon, or for £11.49 (P&P free), call 0844 472 4157.