Be big, be bold
Don't pussyfoot around
Many diets advise restraint and moderation. 'Counting calories' or 'watching what we eat' are familiar phrases. But that won't make a chocolate chip in hell's difference in Traybake Britain, especially with Amy Brain in control. That's like trying to stop a hungry hippo by making polite suggestions.
The behaviour we use to control our weight has got to be dramatically brutal. No pussy-footing around. Amy Brain does not finely weigh the pros and cons of different options. She does not take time to make considered decisions. Amy Brain acts with lightening speed on the minimum of information.
Her decision-making is instinctive; so simple it’s not really even making choices.
If we ask ourselves to make judgements every time we eat then Amy will never learn to behave. We’ll always be struggling rationally with Thoughtful Brain trying to keep control, but with Amy jumping in any time she feels like it.
Like a toddler learning about hot stoves, Amy responds to absolutes. Hers is a black and white world. The amygdala is our original instant decision maker so the Diet Groove operates at an instinctive level by taking an all or nothing approach to what we eat. It's a pre-fixed pattern that makes it easy to stick to.
It makes for great results too, and that's important for keeping Amy on board. You can't make black and white decisions when it takes days and days for the results to show up on the bathroom scales. You have to know that something dramatic is happening. There's nothing less motivating than a diet that's slow to act.
It's time to get brutal, be dramatic. No moderation, no indecision, no judging how big a portion to take.
The ‘all or nothing’ approach works in three ways:
- 'Nothing' - Fast Days
- 'All and Nothing' - Burn Days
- 'All' - Reload Days
Fasting. Straight and simple, but with help if you need it. These are pure days of simple, minimal eating. And they drive the results that we want from the Diet Groove.
All the Pure Protein or Fibre Filled Vegetables you like. And Nothing else. These are days where you burn off what you eat and then some. These are about great food, heavenly flavour and they’re entirely healthy. The stuff that will keep you on track and feeling great.
The Fun Stuff. An anything goes time when you can let go and not give a damn about anything but personal pleasure. These provide a powerful ‘reload’ function that helps build the long term reset. It’s not mandatory to eat like a glutton, and you can keep these down to just one Reload meal in the day for even faster results, but the idea of behaving like a complete porker is a marker of just how free this time can be.
A Dramatic Mix
On any one day (or for any one meal) you have to commit to the kind of day its going to be. We'll get on to how many of each day you need later.
When you're in the Diet Groove you will learn how to use these days as tools. Simple functional actions to get immediate, controllable results. And it’s these Amy friendly eating tools that make it work in real life, not just in glossy diet books. Simple rules and clear boundaries are good. They are a lot easier to follow than constant judgement.
Once we have her on board with these simple decisions, Amy becomes a lot easier to manage and we enjoy flexibility and variety in return. We eat differently on different days and so nothing ever gets monotonous and we never get so frustrated that Amy forces us to quit.
But we are not free to drift off-course either, so we keep losing weight. It is a far more comfortable way of living with the restrictions of a diet. The ‘don’ts’ become small inconveniences not long-term commitments. You’ll feel them shrink before your eyes. You know that you can stick to a simple rule for a day. It’s nothing like the fear of a perpetual regime. Try following a stable programme and you’ll feel like you are walking a treadmill of tedium that stretches monotonously, meal after meal. But give yourself the freedom to switch between behaviours and you’ll feel comfortable managing your own habits and weaknesses without needing willpower of steel. You’ll find patterns and rhythms that suit you and your body and you’ll be on the way to permanently resetting your weight.