weight loss

Weight Loss: How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too much each meal

At first this seems like the most obvious thing in the world. The reason I say this is not so obvious so stick with me and let me know what you think.

Another common pattern I have noticed about my own hunger is that the more I generally eat for a meal the more eat I have to eat to satisfy my hunger. It is literally as though my stomach expands and needs more to fill it.

Technically that is what happens. Your body simply adjusts to what you are doing. If you give it a lot to do then at first it finds it tough but soon it gets good at clearing all the food from the stomach and moving it through the digestive system. It doesn’t care about calories and what your body needs. The stomach is in charge of digesting food and if you give it lots of food regularly it will simply ask for more resources and get the job done.

What this means is that the stomach just creates more digestive juices and everything it needs to do its job. The brain tells it when it next needs to be ready to digest a meal again and so the stomach gets more and more efficient and digesting food. Kind of obvious really.

Since you’re now eating so much it seems silly to set your signals for feeling full at your original smaller level so the brain and stomach also agree on new standards of fullness. Essentially they wait for the stomach to expand more than they they used to before triggering the feeling of being full.

That’s the basic idea. The bigger the meals that you eat the bigger the meal your body will expect. I’ve been playing with this principle for years now and found it pretty reliable. So if I want to lose weight I find ways to eat less per meal. Most importantly though I find it takes 2-3 days for your brain and stomach to realise this is a permanent change and adjust their sensitive signals. So you have to wait a few days before your feeling of being full will correspond with eating a smaller meal and being full.

I don’t encourage really small meals. You need to eat enough to be healthy. That is why I prefer activity so you can eat plenty and still lose weight. I just wanted to share what I’ve learnt about controlling my hunger. It no longer rules me and hopefully it will no longer rule you.

Have you tried this before. How did it go?

Weight Loss: How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too regularly

One common pattern I have noticed about my own hunger is that the more regularly you eat the more you start wanting to eat.

What this means is that your body literally responds to what you do with it. If you eat regularly then it creates a habit. It’s worth knowing that your body actually sets up its own internal cycles according to your habits and what happened over the last few days. 
One time I was eating 5 meals a day. It was part of a diet I was trying. I found that I would then be hungry 5 times a day or more at about the times that I normally ate. Being a food addict this wasn’t helpful. I find it hard enough to resist food. Being constantly reminded wasn’t useful. 
I notice the same problem during Christmas and other feasts. I snack during the day and I snack a lot. At first I feel really full but my body quickly adjusts. It starts to expect this regular snacking pattern leaving me hungry throughout the day. It doesn’t actually matter whether my body needs the food. It just seems to adjust. 
What’s actually happening is that my body is making sure it digests food faster so the stomach is ready for the next meal. The regulatory systems also adjust to remind you to eat at the relevant times. 
The point is that it becomes really easy to eat a little more than usual and often a lot more. So since my rhythm is out of sync I need to get it back in sync. It is as simple as reverting to normal meals but you have to wait 2-3 days before your body fully accepts the change. Until then you’re likely to feel hungry at regular intervals. 
Now that I know this I can regain control my hunger making weight loss easier. Another tool I use to restore my balance is intermittent fasts
I hope this helps. What techniques do you use to control or eliminate your hunger?

How to exercise more in normal life. Toddlers and Ikea

Visiting Ikea

Visiting Ikea

So I just want to be more active in general but most decisions now involve a toddler!! Big challenge huh. Being active is in some ways easier because he keeps you on your toes all the time. The problem is getting anything useful done. He’s at that stage where he needs a lot of attention, is very inquisitive and constantly wants you to do stuff.

At the same time my wife and I have been talking about things we want to do to our home. It’s great having ideas but it just adds a ton more stuff to do doesn’t it. So last night we tried to get a bunch of things done all in one event and it turned out really well.

The things we wanted to achieve were:

  • Get some ideas for the lounge
  • Have a nice cheap meal out
  • Have a change of scenery, don’t stay at home all the time
  • Do a bunch more walking and moving than usual
  • Free up our weekends for fun stuff

In all it was a really good experience and broke up the week. Too often we just go home, cook dinner and put the little one to bed. A good normal routine but dull. Just being out of the house made things more interesting for us and more fun for him and saves his toys at home for another day so he doesn’t tire of them or of being at home.

During our visit we saw a bunch of useful things to give us ideas. We didn’t buy anything because that wasn’t the point and our little man loved it too. He kept trying out the beds and pretending to go to sleep, was he trying to tell us something :-). and it was a lot of fun chasing him round the store to wear him out.



Dinner was actually really good too. I’ve eaten at IKEA a couple of times but I had forgotten what the food was like and for the price I was quite impressed mainly because it was different than you get anywhere else. I had salmon and spinach lasagne which is kinda nice for like £2.50 or something. Nate, our little one, loved it because he had cool pasta shapes with a little sauce. My wife had gravy with her meal and he loved dipping chips into that and it was so much less fuss feeding him out of the house than it can be at home. We also sat next to their play area in case he wanted to take a break.

So we achieved all we wanted and during a week night so we didn’t have to leave this all to the weekend and freed up some time for fun instead. We’re obviously lucky to live in a city with an IKEA but it’s not the only time we’ve done this kind of thing. Garden centres like Frosts are good too but the food there is a lot more expensive.

You notice how I didn’t talk about the walking and exercise. It’s all we did but we didn’t notice it either which was the point. The idea was to Get stuff done, live your life, have fun and use the activity that comes with it with no extra effort or time needed. As a result we saved time and energy instead of creating more work.

I bet you do the same kind of thing so feel free to tell me about it. Maybe you can give me some more ideas I can try out and it always helps to have more options.

Weight loss: Avoid empty experiences. Make the most of each experience.

One specific thing I have changed is a focus on being in the moment more. I am a confessed workaholic always on the go. Previously I often rushed meals not really noticing what I was eating. So often I would pick something that filled me up instead of something that tasted good. I focused on quantity over quality.

These days I make sure I take time each day to properly enjoy food or anything else fun. I didn’t realise before but my brain can only process so much information at once. Taste and other sensations are just part of the information the brain can process. If there is too much information flowing around these simple information like this can get loss in all the noise just like anything else.

So I tried an experiment to see if I could really appreciate a meal while also reading something interesting like Facebook. I found I couldn’t because I was too distracted by reading. I could enjoy strong flavoured foods, generally fast food type stuff but not the really special stuff with more subtle flavours. What I also found is that if I didn’t appreciate the taste and sensation of the meal then it felt like I hadn’t eaten at all. To the point that I was still hungry.

My stomach might not have been crying out for food but my mind was because it was expecting some food based entertainment. So I reach for a biscuit, get another drink or pop to the shop for food even though I had already eaten a full meal.

This got me thinking. Is it then possible to completely forget a meal? So I carried on doing the normal things I do at the same time as eating. True enough I started to notice times when I couldn’t remember whether I had eaten. I was not yet hungry but the meal time had passed. You know that situation when you weigh up whether you will be really hungry if you don’t eat. I checked with my wife what I had eaten. Even when she reminded me of the meal I had enjoyed including a whole pizza I couldn’t remember the experience of eating it all. It was my favourite pizza as well but I had rushed eating it. Paying no attention. I felt like I had been robbed of a special moment. It seemed weird but I felt empty.

Food does have a special place in my heart. But now I was in that unhappy place where I couldn’t or shouldn’t eat anything more. I had eaten plenty but I felt empty because I couldn’t remember it. I had the urge all night for more. I paid attention to breakfast I can tell you. That was a special meal that day 🙂

Experiences like these remind me to make sure I experience my food and other special moments because they really are good for my soul as well as my body. This small change has made a huge difference. I can really feel just how much it helps me to enjoy my food more and as a consequence, eat less.

So tell me am I alone or have you experienced this yourself or anything like it? Does paying more attention to your meal help you enjoy it more and maybe crave less extra food?

How to lose weight: Is Weight Watchers any good?

Is it any good? 

As a tool to help you shift some pounds I’m actually quite impressed with what I have seen and heard of Weight Watchers. I’ve known a few people who have done it and I find it is based on fact and practical advice over hype and fashions.

Does it help?

I have seen it work. I’ve seen people lose weight. Keeping it off is the challenge like all other interventions. It has some really useful tools to help you monitor and manage the food you eat and a lot of thought has gone in to making food fun.

You can see the expert advice that has shaped the programme and the benefit of experience the brand offers. The regular group sessions seem to be what help people the most. That regular dose of inspiration, encouragement and progress checking is what so many say makes the difference.

Do you learn much

This is where it falls down. I like the education given. It’s better than its competitors but its still not enough. I don’t feel that those who have gone through the Weight Watchers programme know much more about how their bodies work than before they started. 
That means they don’t know that much about how to keep the pounds off. There isn’t much support in how to adjust you life to keep off the weight you have lost and continue losing as you go.  So I would prefer more practical education in this aspect on the transition into a real long term lifestyle. 


Sadly Weight Watchers is still mainly a short term fix and needs more support to help its followers transition to make the weight changes  a long term success.
I would recommend it but only as part of a wider strategy. It can be great when you are in the right mindset. It’s like a turbo boost for weight loss. It just doesn’t offer much when the turbo runs out. It’s still too dull than normal food and the lifestyle that put on the pounds. They haven’t figured out how to live a full life and lose weight. No one in this sector has.

How activity and exercise improves your health

Child running around a wet play area

For years we have been told that exercise is good for us. Now the evidence is becoming indisputable.  Being inactive is as bad as smoking or drinking too much alcohol. It could even be more serious than that.

Over the years I’ve found so much information I didn’t know what to do with it. I mainly shared it through my original blog or kept it private hoping to share it when I found the right approach. For many of these articles I’ve now been waiting years which just isn’t helping anyone.

I recently realised my blogs are the perfect medium on which to share because I’m most interested in the discussions and debate around this topic. I don’t feel I have the answers, I share because I’m interested in learning and using what I learn to help me on my journey through life.

I have now started to organise all I have found and it’s re invigorating my dreams because the message really is about living your life. The act of living itself is what we must do. Moving is living. Activity to me isn’t just physical it is mental and emotional. Thinking about things makes your brain active, experiencing emotions involves both your brain and your body.

For now most information will be about physical activity because that is what is most available. Though I am looking for and finding interesting articles in all three areas. Over time this and all the other posts will grow as I continue this life journey.


For now I’m creating a series of articles covering the various topics related to activity and health. So far I have published:

Key articles

Activity is so useful throughout life that I’ve also compiled a list of the main articles worth reading to build your general knowledge.

Useful Reading

Here is more useful information

How to lose weight

Over the years like everyone I’ve tried all sorts of ways to adjust my weight. Some times gain it and some times lose it. I’ve now got to a point where I am very comfortable getting to the weight i want to be so I feel I have the control and freedom I always wanted. So I thought I was in a position to share a few things I learned along the way. I hope they help.

The thing is though, I am still learning and exploring. So I’m really just sharing the lessons from my journey so far. The most important thing to me is that I’ve found an approach that brings a smile to my face and lots of fun to my life. That’s why I find it works so well. What it does require though is searching for new ideas to keep things fresh but that’s part of the fun.

Here are the articles I have written so far presented Fit2Thrive Play, Compete and Create approach to improving your lifestyle


Enjoy what you do. All the research shows that keeping up your weight loss activity is the most important thing you can do. If you learn to enjoy your life while you lose weight then you have the best set up for success in the short, medium and  long term.

  1. How can you lose weight and be happy?
  2. Create a daily feast and famine cycle
  3. Find your weight loss dynamic
  4. Be active, keep motivated and have fun
  5. Weight loss and Christmas. The food addicts guide to feasts part 1 part 2
  6. Running or just moving. What is most important to losing weight?
  7. Get fit to make the most of every minute
  8. Avoid empty experiences: Make the most of each experience
  9. find your happy place and simplify your life


How do you fit it all in and get on with your life?

  1. food addiction linked to obesity
  2. Why walking is good for you
  3. Why a food addict can not go ‘Cold Turkey’
  4. The men who made us fat
  5. Calorie and nutrient intake over time
  6. 1 mile a day burns over half a stone in a year
  7. Confessions of a foodaholic
  8. Losing weight is like paying off a loan part one part two
  9. Losing weight: Don’t limit yourself by having a limited goal
  10. Could losing weight be made easier by just taking longer to eat and enjoying every mouthful?
  11. You can’t burn fat without a carbohydrate flame.A general point that must be made clear The body has an abundant supply of fat for energy but a very limited (generally around 500g) store of sugar (carbohydrate) in the form of glycogen. Carbohydrate is crucial to providing energy because you can’t burn fat without a carbohydrate flame. This is because the citric acid cycle
  12. Horizon: The truth about exercise. Brilliant episode: In line with everything I believe. Much of his research is from Loughborough. Shows that 3 mins High intensity Training per week has major health benefits, and that just being active in general is most important. Common theory is being challenged. It’s easier than we thought to get fit. High intentsity exercise and can 3 minutes of exercise a week help make you fit
  13. Daily habits: they can make or break you
  14. Constant stress and weight problems?
  15. Body Rhythms: Hunger
  16. Smarter Goals are key to successful weight loss
  17. Activity doesn’t have to be physical
  18. Body economy
  19. pay off your fat loan
  20. help your body access stored fat


Keep learning and expanding your knowledge of how your body works and what options are open to you.

  1. Exercise and weight loss: Do we know it all yet?
  2. Lose weight and save on heating bills with brown fat!!!
  3. Can we predict calorie consumption so accurately? and could this partly explain yo yo dieting?
  4. Training your intake: Intermittent Fasting
  5. Acheiving your goals means being good at fixing mistakes
  6. Can we both enjoy our meals more, and become healthier?
  7. What’s the fat story? Why do some gain pounds while others stay thin?
  8. Understanding individual uniqueness and complexity is the only true way to finding permanent solutions
  9. Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.
  10. How crucial is your diet to your health?
  11. It’s not what you eat but the way that you eat it
  12. What can snooker tell us about obesity part one part two part three
  13. How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too much each meal
  14. How do you control hunger? Don’t eat too regularly
  15. Is weight watchers any good?
  16. How activity and exercise improves your health
  17. more exercise helps
  18. Surprising new clue to the roots of hunger, neurons that drive appetite
  19. Lifelong BMI patterns: analysis shows that losing weight at any time can reduce cardiovascular risk.
  20. Do fit flops work?

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Further references

  1. Enjoyment is the way to go

How to lose weight. Create a daily Feast and famine cycle

When I started thinking about turning my weight gain dynamic into a weight loss dynamic I decided I would like to have a feast and famine every day. As humans we’re built to require both feast and famine to the point that the feast sets you up for the famine which sets you up for the feast. I won’t bore you with the technical details. There are many. The research though becomes pretty clear. We have thrived for millenia on feasts and famines. So a pattern you find with many who have good health and a good waist line is they have a healthy attitude to feast and famine. They use both to get the best results.

Don’t believe me. Lets work through an example. Do any of you generally have amazing health by the end of this Christmas holiday season of indulgence? If you do then you’re lucky. I never used to, and most I talked to felt sluggish and bloated.

These days I do actually feel pretty good. I used to binge like everyone else and I was kind of surprised how bad I felt after a week or two of constant eating. I normally feel pretty good but during a holiday season with so much rich food in such a short period overloaded my system. It just felt backed up as though it were still processing the food I had eaten. In fact I think that’s exactly what used to happen. My body simply had too much energy flowing through it and got bogged down. Like any system that is overloaded.

So why not make it all work for you. That’s ny point here. Once I began to use feast and famine in my daily routine I had fun throughout the holiday season. I look forward to the famine (fasting) part of the day as much as the feast.

Outside the holidays my normal work day involves both feast and famine. Dinner generally being the feast, sometimes it’s lunch, often its from lunch to dinner then maybe a snack later, you guessed it, I like to eat :-). The famine actually starting at work in the morning before playing tennis at lunch and occasionally skipping breakfast. Work is kind of obvious but running so hard during tennis is quite an extreme famine that I use to rebalance my body. Force it to need the feast that is about to come.

The famines remind my body to use food properly and clear out anything left over setting me up for the feast. The famine sets my taste buds and other senses up for the feast and also gives me the nice guilt free experience.

Of course that’s a normal day, so what can I do during the holidays. I’m not playing tennis right now becaue I’m letting my body recover from a few injuries. We’re having a roast for dinner so that’s the feast sorted, right now I’ve gone out to costas for a little me time. I looked after our little one this morning and we’re potty training so I’ve earned my rest. I’m just trying Costas spiced apple drink while writing and reading. Just quiet time. It’s a beautiful day so far and when I take cali, our dog, out I may go a little further than just down the road. Yep, I know what you’re thinking but this counts as a famine. I know it’s not a full on hunger strike but it’s more about the principle of not eating. Letting your body get by on its own resources. If you don’t then it gets lazy n only functions when you constantly feed it.

The idea is to have periods in your day where you enjoy a feast and a famine. Both will be small and both will help make your day complete. If you are never more than a few hours from a feast then the famines become really enjoyable. I really start to look forward to them. They make the food taste better and make sure my body needs the food I give it.

Famines also prepare my body for the hustle and bustle of normal life. Those times when you need a drink or some food but there isn’t any around. If you’ve prepared your body like this you will find it handles the situation well because it’s well trained in sparing water, energy and whatever else it needs.

The important thing is to keep these things short. Its just a small thing you can do each day.

So tell me, What is your day like today? and What will you do today to fit in a feast and a famine?

How to lose weight: Find your weight loss dynamic

Losing weight is all about setting up a weight loss dynamic which simply means figuring out what makes you gain weight, then changing the process to make you lose weight. The key is about constant learning by making it a part of your long term life. Something you do all the time or something you bring out when you need to lose a little weight. The confidence it gives you is crucial.

The question you must keep asking then is what makes you gain weight. It’s a very personal question to which you have to be totally honest. If you are not then you’ll be tackling the wrong problem. and that is just a waste of time.

Generally it’s complex too. One week I’m bored and there’s lots of food around, so I eat. Another week I’m on holiday, that’s my challenge right now. Its Christmas and there is just so much good food around to tempt me plus my regular routine is out the window so I have nothing to keep me on track. In fact there are tons of reasons why I put on weight and they change daily. So the only way I’ve learnt to deal with it all is to be aware, pay attention and be ready to explore and learn.

I know that I am good at things I do regularly and things I enjoy. Remember, the weight you lose in the short term isn’t important, it’s the long term that counts. Losing As little as 100 calories a day adds up to half a stone over a year. If you are 100 calories over you will put on weight, 100 calories under and you lost weight. With this principle I’ve made tiny tweaks to my daily routine that took advantage of this and then just chilled out. The big numbers really haven’t been as important as these small ones.

So, what’s your weight gain dynamic. Why do you put on weight? And what is your weight loss dynamic to reverse the trend. What is your equal and opposite reaction?

It always helps to have more ideas.

How to lose weight: Be active, keep motivated and have fun

In other posts I’ve talked about the obvious, physical activity. It is key but I remember now that simple activity is more important. Keeping your mind and soul busy is as important as your body. That just means doing stuff. I often eat because I’m bored. When I plop down in front of the tv I always end up thinking of food. So when I’ve lost weight it’s because I’ve had stuff to do. Either I’ve been busy at work or home or both but I’ve had stuff to occupy my mind.

I still watch TV but I found it a lot easier to do other things when I listen to stuff so podcasts and radio were more helpful. It didn’t particularly matter what I did. As long as it didn’t mean I ate more of course. Just whatever took my fancy. Useful stuff like cooking, cleaning or DIY or fun stuff like going for a walk, playing tennis, visiting the cinema or reading a book.

The point was it was taking my life forward and adding fun. Activity became a useful and fun distraction. So often I would start a little lethargic. After a long day, all that kind of stuff and really quickly I would forget my tiredness and be immersed in what I was doing and happy.

Tell me what you are going to do today to have a little fun. I always like ideas. Most of all have fun 🙂