Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Paul McKenna: I Can Make You Thin!

My wife and I recorded "I Can Make You Thin!" on TLC with our DVR last Sunday and finally had a chance to watch it. The show is based on Paul McKenna's book of the same name. Paul's rules make sense, and reiterate a few things I've said previously. His 4 golden rules are:

  1. When you are hungry, eat.
  2. Eat what you want.
  3. Eat consciously.
  4. When you feel full, stop.
First, when we starve ourselves, our metabolism slows down, saving precious energy and storing fat for later. When we feel physically hungry, as opposed to emotionally hungry, we should eat, so our body knows food is available and our metabolism can maintain burning calories. Paul also revealed a very important weight loss tip: if you think you are hungry, you might simply be dehydrated. It seems that 75% of the time we think it’s hunger, it’s actually thirst. McKenna recommends drinking one glass of water and waiting to see if the hunger passes, common to the "15 minute" trick I mentioned previously.

Second, appetite only increases in the absence of the thing we desire. If we eat the foods we have cravings for, the cravings go away. If we deny ourselves that which we want, we only want it more, and will most likely binge on it when we get it. The foods we desire, however, will change when we follow rule 3.

Eating consciously means to eat slowly and deliberately. Don't multitask while you are eating, focus on the food. Take small bites and enjoy each bite of food. Place your silverware down between bites and relax, savoring the flavors of the food. Instead of getting a rush from quickly eating foods high in sugar, you will begin to actually taste them and find you no longer crave some of the processed garbage you used to like.

Despite what your mother told you, don't feel guilty for not cleaning your plate. Better for the unused food to go into the trash than to your hips and thighs. Eating to excess is one of the largest causes of weight gain. It is far easier to guiltily consume 500 calories than it is to burn it off afterward, you will always be under the control of the calorie equation.

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