Some of you will already know about Beyond Chocolate and Intuitive Eating whilst some of you will be wondering what I'm going on about. Beyond Chocolate is not a diet, though many women do lose weight when they follow the principles. I do not believe in dieting. I know that it does work for some people, OriginalBestFriend lost weight with Weightwatchers and never put it back on and I really hope The Girl's sojourn with them will continue to be successful. If you must diet WW seems the most supportive, sensible and sustainable, but for the majority of women dieting does not work because it doesn't address the underlying issues that cause the overeating in the first place, because the moment we come off the diet we pile the weight back on, and because restricting what we eat just leads us to obsess about food.
In January 2008 I went on a Beyond Chocolate one day workshop in London and my life changed.
I started to examine my reasons for eating; I started to look at my behaviour when dieting and when eating "normally", I started to mend my broken relationship with food. I don't claim to have all the answers and BC is an ongoing process but it has stopped me turning to food for comfort and helped me to cope during the stresses of the last few years. I'll write more about life "After" on another occasion and will let Sophie and Audrey Boss speak for themselves.
Beyond Chocolate Website
THE BEYOND CHOCOLATE PRINCIPLES
The starting point for a healthy relationship with food. Learn to listen to your body – it will tell you plenty about what it needs right now, both physically and emotionally. Tune in to find out how hungry you are, tune in to know how much is enough. The more we tune in, the easier it becomes to identify situations that trigger us to overeat and tempt us into the dieting mentality.
Eat when you’re hungry
The best way to avoid gaining weight is to eat when you are physically hungry. But how do you know when you are hungry? We have become so out of touch with our bodies that many of no longer know how to read the cues. Learning how to do this and finding out how to overcome the practical obstacles that stand in the way of eating when we are hungry is a fundamental part of Beyond Chocolate.
Eat whatever you want
The diet mentality has taught us that some foods are good and some are bad, often depending on how ‘fattening’ they are. But what is truly fattening is to deprive yourself of the food you really want. Repeated studies show us that deprivation leads to craving and craving leads to bingeing. Beyond Chocolate will show you how to bring banished foods back into your life. Worried about a healthy diet? Think about it this way – yo-yoing between deprivation and overindulgence has been proven to be more harmful than being overweight! By knowing that EVERYTHING is allowed, you offer yourself a real chance to choose healthy foods if you want to, without feeling deprived!
Put it on a plate, sit down and focus
Ever sat in front of the TV and munched through a packet (or two!) of crisps without even noticing? Grabbed lunch and barely registered what you’ve eaten? It’s so easy to eat and eat and eat with repeated trips to the fridge or sitting at the computer in the office. If you eat on the go or while doing a thousand other things, you miss the experience and the signals that let you know when you’ve had enough – making you more likely to eat more! When you sit down, put food on a plate and focus, you acknowledge to yourself that you are eating and if eating is THE activity, you are much less likely to binge, graze, nibble, pick… We all deserve time to satisfy our hunger and Beyond Chocolate will help you explore how to make it work for you.
Food can be a delicious, nurturing, sensual experience. Why deprive ourselves of this pleasure? Make each meal a feast and bring back the pleasure of eating!
Stop when you're satisfied
If you are hungry to start with, your body will let you know just how much is enough and knowing when to stop is a central piece of the puzzle in learning how to stop overeating and losing excess weight. Unlike the dieting world, notice we say satisfied, not full - Beyond Chocolate will give you strategies to understand the vital difference between these two.
Own your body
If we truly want a healthy relationship with food, then we also need to develop a healthy relationship with our bodies. Motivation for change does not come from daily reminders that we are unattractive and unlovable. By criticizing and judging our bodies we crush our self esteem, which often leads to more eating. We can learn to feel good about ourselves and our bodies even when we think they are far from perfect. Discover how to start connecting with the body you have NOW - the best way to ensure that you get the body you want in the future.
With its reminders of plans, regimes and dieting schemes, the word ‘exercise’ has become far too loaded! Instead we think of it as movement – essential for health and well being, rather than a means to weight loss and toning. This disassociation is key – if we can see beyond the aim of losing weight and toning muscle, we can find ways of looking after our health and maintaining an appropriate level of fitness that is not only good for us but also satisfying. Beyond Chocolate will help you get a flush on your cheeks and a smile on your face!
As women, we often become so good at supporting everyone around us that we forget that we too need support. Under pressure, overwhelmed and over-stimulated at home and at work, we expect ourselves to be superwomen and everyone else does too! For many women, this translates into an unhealthy relationship with food - the only way we know to give ourselves a break or a pat on the back is to eat something nice. Support works in different ways for different people and Beyond Chocolate will show you how to find the ways that work for you. As a community, Beyond Chocolate offers you support yourself with a thriving members’ Forum, local support groups, personalised email contact, telephone seminars and much more…
Be your own Guru
For so long the dieticians, nutritionists, diet books, celebrities and doctors have proclaimed themselves our ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’. They’ve told us what, when and how much we should eat and, in turn, we tell ourselves that others must have all the answers. In fact the truth is that we know best - we are the only ones who have the answers to these questions. Beyond Chocolate will help you to ask the right questions so that you come up with answers that are tailored to you.
Whether you come to a Beyond Chocolate Experience, BiteSize sessions or follow the course online, our Chocolate Fairies will show you, step by step, how to put these principles into action and transform your relationship with food and your body without ever having to diet again!
Start now! Fit them into your life in any way that works for you. Apply any one of them and start making positive changes to your approach to weight loss.
You can read the reviews and buy their book on Amazon here