CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PARKER PRACTICE
For best results, you need balance. Think of these four pillars as legs of a chair. Sit on all four and you’re safe. Rely on three and chances are you’ll stay up, it’s just going to wobble. Two legs and you’re going to topple over quickly. One, and you’re going to fall over. You get the idea…
Forget Superfoods: There isn’t one food you should prioritise over another – balance and consistency are the real heroes. Superfoods are confusing and unhelpful, it’s all marketing spin. Instead, eat three meals and two snacks per day, balancing each meal with the necessary macronutrients – protein, fat and low-GI carbs.
Make Your Food Look Good: With every element of my method there’s a ‘feel-good’ and scientific purpose. Presenting food with care is no different. The feel-good element is simple – it’s a nicer experience, you savour the food and you’ve time to be more grateful for the food you’re eating. The scientific purpose is that it’s a great trigger for more mindful eating and helps you to become more aware of your hunger cues. It’s a win-win.
Retune Your Hunger Signals: We live super busy lives with never-ending demands placed upon us and are surrounded by endless instant gratification – many of us live on autopilot and hunger is a symptom of this. We like to think of a proactive and reactive part to hunger. The proactive element is getting the building blocks in place to manage your appetite (e.g., drinking lots of water and regular meals) but the reactive part is the awareness of your hunger cues and knowing how to respond. Both parts are important – you can be brilliant at recognising hunger cues, but if you’re not being proactive then every day will feel tough.
Be Wary Of Overdoing It: We coined a phrase in the clinic for clients who were ‘organically overweight’. They were eating fresh, raw, organic foods but when you’re piling in foods like agave nectar and cashew butter, your body will deal with the calorie load in the same way as it would a Mars bar.
Change Your Habits: Our programmes focus on behavioural change as well as changes to nutrition and movement. In some cases, we’ll work to unpick 40 years of habits, so a lot of mental rewiring may be necessary. The idea is that we guide you through this transformation and create a blueprint for your new normal.
Take A Leap Of Faith: You should assume nothing but success for your weight loss journey and ditch any negative thoughts, which can sabotage your success from the inside. Be bold in terms of what you aim for and aim higher than you think possible.
Be Kind To Yourself: We encourage the cultivation of a positive mindset and self-compassion. We believe that fostering a true sense of self-kindness is the engine behind lifestyle change and weight loss as opposed to a self-critical voice.
Set Goals: Whilst you might want to lose two stone, there’s a deeper ‘why’ that’s the driving force, and that’s exactly what we want to explore. We want our clients to crave their goals and visualise them in technicolour, whether it’s the warm sea lapping at your feet whilst wearing your new swimwear, or the feeling of confidence you’ll have in your favourite power suit presenting to the board at work.
Weave Activity Into Your Day: A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing and I’m a huge believer in the habit of movement. This doesn’t mean you need to become a fitness bore – instead build a small amount of movement into your day. Even on the busiest of days, there’s time for ten minutes of some activity.
Aim For 10,000 Steps: I can’t stress how powerful steps are – whether you’re at the start of your journey or going to the gym every day, there’s still a role for steps and 10,000 is a great target to aim for. It’s unlikely to happen by accident though, so you’ll need to make an effort to carve out time to walk. If you’re not at 10,000 steps yet, focus on progress and aim for every week to be a little better than the one before.
Know Your Options: Activity needs to be enjoyable or it won’t stick. At The Parker Practice, we encourage you to find a way of working out that you love – options range from cardio and HIIT to LISS, cycling, brisk walking and swimming. We also encourage you to incorporate some form of movement that encourages flexibility, such as Pilates or yoga, as well as strength training.
Think About The Afterburn: I’m not a gym bunny so when I train, I want to get the most bang for my buck, and this is where the afterburn comes in. By including plenty of resistance training in your workouts (instead of solely focusing on cardio), your body takes longer to recover, which uses up more energy, often up to 24 hours after your session, meaning you continue to burn calories long after you’ve completed a workout.
Fine-Tune Your Surroundings: Dealing with everything from sleep to relationships, this pillar has an almost ‘domino-like’ effect on everything else. For example, planning and scheduling your eating, movement and rest can help you feel more organised and create lasting lifestyle change.
Hit The Pillow: Sleep is so important for many facets of your health, including weight loss. A lack of sleep throws your hunger hormones out of whack, meaning you’ll be ravenous the following day. It makes everything seem so much harder and like you’re fighting your appetite. If you can prioritise sleep, it makes a huge difference. You spend a huge chunk of your life asleep, so invest in your sleep – buy the best mattress you can afford and declutter your bedroom to make it a sanctuary.
Set A 9pm Curfew: We encourage clients to turn off screens every evening by 9pm, which comes back to a good night’s sleep and those hunger hormones. Screens emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin, which in turn influences your circadian rhythm.
Stress Less: Chronically raised levels of cortisol and adrenaline – the two stress hormones – can increase appetite. Plus, many of us turn to comfort food when stressed. Secondly, raised stress hormones in the body can impact the way we use fuel from the food we eat, leading to fat storage. We’ll help you manage stress, providing strategies and solutions.
Take A Brain Nap: Give yourself 20 minutes a day just for you – allow yourself to totally switch off in this time. Doing this, alongside other lifestyle tweaks, will create a sense of calm, help you manage your hormones and optimise weight loss.
For more information on Louise Parker and the Parker Practice Method visit TheParkerPractice.com. Follow @TheParkerPractice & @LouiseParkerMethod
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.