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Tips and Recipes for Weight Loss

by Andrew West(more info)

listed in weight loss, originally published in issue 196 - July 2012

90% Of Diets Fail – Be One Of The 10%

Andrew West, owner of a weigh-loss retreat in Alicante, Spain, explains why so many diets fail - and offers tips for successful weight-loss, including recipes from his amazing new diet, based on studies from across Europe and the US, that keeps you full and not craving processed foods. 

Why do most diets fail?

“Well it is not the diet that fails”, says Andrew. “If the diet follows the principal of you consuming less calories than you burn it will be successful. 

“But it’s the way the human mind works that’s the problem. As humans we only do any activity for one of two reasons: to move towards pleasure or to move away from pain. Unfortunately to move away from pain is the main driving force for most diets.”

Dieting is often triggered by something – maybe clothes no longer fit, a photo or maybe the comments of others – and we got at it with gusto. After some initial success, and thinking that you’ve cracked it, the pressure cooker syndrome kicks in.

pressure cooker
Pressure Cooker

The Pressure Cooker Syndrome

We often start a diet because we’re under pressure to change. We put in great effort and see success; this reduces the pain and ‘releases the pressure slightly’.  It is usually at this point that we decide to modify the plan we have been following, maybe we reduce the exercise or start adding things to the diet. The result of this is that we don’t lose weight at the same speed and we start to get frustrated.  We keep on modifying but do not do the one sure fire way to success, repeat what we did to start with, as that now seems really painful.

Once the brain knows that a diet is painful, as it means avoiding the so-called pleasures and treats, it won’t go towards pain. Also, if we enter a diet with the wrong mindset, we set ourselves in a program of deprivation. The brain will do everything it can to avoid pain so our pain threshold for putting on weight will now be less than our pain threshold for being overweight. This means it will take even more pain before we are kicked into action; and this is why we put on even more weight each time following a diet program.

Tips for Successful Weight-loss

1. Move towards pleasure

“Rather than thinking that you must change you start thinking of what success would be like for you.  You have to see and feel a really strong compelling reason. It might only be a slight change in mindset but it will make all the difference. Learn to cook and enjoy healthy food.

2. Create the correct mindset

  • To create the right mindset, the first thing is to set a compelling view of what you want the result to be;
  • Write down every single reason why this MUST happen;
  • Write down every single way you can achieve this;
  • Pick the 20% that will give you 80% of the results and start working a plan around them; 
  • Start taking massive action towards it. If you have large amounts of weight to lose, break it down into small manageable sections with goals at each stage. This way you can celebrate every goal along the way.

3. Think Nutrition not Calories

Remember - The body doesn’t understand calories. What the body does understand is nutrition.  If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices and vegetables it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories.

4. Make a Plan

Write out a seven day eating plan, incorporating the above, which you believe you can stick to for the next week based on the following criteria:

  • Design your eating around how you normally behave;
  • Identify the times you ate last week when you didn’t need or want to eat. Try to eliminate those completely this week;
  • Identify the times when you ate out of habit or because you were bored. Try to eliminate those completely this week;
  • Identify your snacking habits from last week; either cut out those snacks OR choose something you can snack on which is healthier;
  • Look at the places you ate last week and see if avoiding those places this week reduces your habit of eating.

5. Mindful Eating

“You can develop strategies to take more control over food and eating. Two of my favourite and most successful techniques include, thinking about a food that we absolutely love and one we detest – then think about the nice item smothered in the horrible one. Most of us then go, yuk, I really couldn’t eat that. This shows us that we CAN change judgement and our thoughts on food – a desire for food doesn’t control us.

“The second even easier approach is to ensure we’re concentrating on what and how we’re eating – not allowing our minds to be oblivious to it as we might be while watching TV or simple scoffing it down while doing something else; and really try and look out for the signal from your stomach that it’s full. Even, get into the habit of leaving something on your plate.”   

Recipes

Andrew’s diet uses successful methods of many of the world’s health and nutrition experts and it is all about nutrition.

“If you feed the body food full of nutrition such as salads, juices, pulses, beans and vegetables, it fills the stomach quicker, makes you feel fuller for longer and is usually much lower in calories, helping you to achieving your weight loss goals.

The more you can add fruit, vegetables, pulses and beans to your diet the less you will want and crave other foods.” 

Try juicing for breakfast and lunch, followed by a healthy plant based meal.

juices

Juices

Breakfast Juice

  • Half an avocado
  • Two apples
  • Half a cucumber
  • One handful of spinach
  • Quarter of a lemon (with the rind left on)
  • Juice the apples, cucumber, spinach and lemon. 
  • Add this to the peeled, de-stoned avocado and pulp until smooth in the blender.

Lunch Juice

  • Two apples
  • One celery stick
  • A one-inch piece of beetroot (raw not cooked)
  • Quarter of a cucumber

Snack Juice

  • One pear
  • Two handfuls of spinach

Meals

Bean power

  • 400g beans – can be cannellini, kidney or mixed
  • 1-tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1-tablespoon French mustard
  • 1 red pepper – deseeded and chopped
  • (Other variations – try adding some tomato paste and paprika)

Rinse the beans, put into a bowl with the other ingredients and mix well.

Add to a delicious green salad, and enjoy

diet

Lentil Meatless balls  (Makes around 20)    

  • 400 g lentils cooked  
  • 1 onion finely chopped  
  • 1 grated courgette  
  • 1 tbsp Basil  (or fresh basil chopped)

Tomato paste 

Put the lentils, onion and courgette into blender and whiz till a paste   consistency. Mix  well. Make  into  small  ball  shapes  and  bake  in  the  oven     

Energy Nibbles

  • 12 – Dates (pitted)
  • 8 – sundried apricots
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 20 almonds

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz till smooth. The mix will make 8-10 small balls, or you can make them into small pattie shapes. They can be eaten raw, or you can dry them out in a very cool oven (180 degrees for around 20 mins)

Aubergine Bake   serves 6 

  • 2 aubergines sliced evenly  
  • 1 courgette sliced evenly  
  • 12 mushrooms   sliced  
  • 2 onions   finely chopped  
  • 2 garlic cloves   crushed  
  • 6 tomatoes   chopped  
  • 2 tsp   basil   1 tbsp   tomato puree        

Slice the aubergine and courgette and layer in a baking dish. Slice onion and cook slowly, add the garlic, tomato, mushrooms, basil and   tomato puree. Once the sauce is cooked pour over the aubergine and courgette put in the oven for around 30 mins.

Further Information

For more recipes and a free report on Why 90% of diets are not successful and how to be one of the 10% that are Tel: 0843 207 9616; visit www.obsidianretreat.com

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About Andrew West

Andrew West is the owner of a weight-loss retreat in Spain. Having studied approaches in the US and Europe for the past five years, Andrew is now a recognized speaker in the UK in health and well-being.  Andrew works alongside medical professionals and his personal background is in nutrition and alternative therapies.  Andrew teaches people how to modify his diet to their own needs and conditions, tackling the mind, diet and lifestyle – not just encouraging a new diet in isolation, without introducing mindset change. Andrew may be contacted via www.healthretreatspain.com

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