Forget the ghostly ghouls and spooky specters who may be knocking at your door tonight. Instead, let’s investigate something far more frightening – the devilish dieting industry who, through magazines, adverts and social pressure, haunt people every day of the year. So this Halloween, join us on a Beyond Chocolate style Trick or Treat….
Trick: Countless cookbooks and monotonous meal plans tell you exactly which pots of low fat gloop and calorie counted sachets are on the menu, whilst powders, pills, shakes and bars fight for space on dieters’ shelves.
Trick: 30 grams of cereal, 8 small nuts, a 500-calorie dinner….no more, no less. Dieting days are measured out in calories, syns and points and meals are brought to a swift end by jotting down the total consumed.
Treat: Enjoy whatever you eat and measure your food only in ‘mmmms’ and ‘aaaahs’! Ignore arbitrary portion controls and whether it’s two squares of chocolate or two bars, learn to stop when you are satisfied.
Trick: Strip off and stand in line at the weekly weigh-in, waiting for the digits to tell you how to feel. Half-hearted applause and a shiny sticker await those who have succeeded….sadness and dejected promises of ‘a better week’ for those who have failed.
Treat: See beyond the numbers, own your body and embrace the person you are today. It’s time to stop ‘living life in the waiting room’ and take steps to do the things you want right now! Failure can be banished too – every step of the way is success as you build new understandings about your relationship with food.
Trick: In their DVDs, television programmes, websites and magazines, dieting celebrities and weight loss ‘heroes’ claim to know what’s best for you!
Treat: How can one person know the bodies and minds of millions? Learn to trust yourself….you are your own guru, the person who knows best about your hunger and needs.
Trick: Grueling hours of exercise form an essential part of the weight loss quest and dieters up and down the country puff out the words ‘no pain, no gain’ as they sweat through that obligatory exercise plan.
Treat: Shimmy away at a laughter-filled belly dancing class, hula-hoop like crazy or pound the streets if it takes your fancy. Move your body in a way you love without worrying about calories burnt or making unfulfilled promises about guaranteed attendance five times a week.
And the biggest trick of all? Repeated studies reveal that more than 95% of dieters regain any weight they have lost within a few years, with the majority gaining even more weight besides. All those wasted worries, pointless portion controls and meaningless measurements – for nothing!
Now, that’s something really scary to think about this Halloween!