The 'Get a Grip' Eating System © Sue Renger    
    
*Disclaimer: I am not a medic nor a trained nutritionist.  This system has been designed by myself, for myself.  If you choose to follow it, seek medical advice first.    


(** Research evidence: I've been doing it for 35 years now and I seem to be OK, although slightly bitter about the lack of cheesecake in my life.)    
    
When eating gets out of control, the only way to get it back under control is to firmly commit to doing something different - permanently.

 

When I say permanently, I mean for the rest of your life.  This system is therefore based on the principle of setting rules for yourself and sticking to them.  


The main principle of the system is that the rules are designed to be so easy to follow, that you don't notice them.  I.e. they happen 'by stealth' or under the radar.  That way you don't feel like you're on a diet.    


The rules start off very simply.  By the time you get on to advanced rules, because you're used to following rules, they feel easy too (mostly).    
    
Principles:    
Principle #1    Never go on a diet, they're soul destroying.
Principle #2    Mindfully savour and relish every single mouthful, even if it's a sprout.
Principle #3    Stick to the rules, (except for special occasions - to be arbitrarily decided by you).
Principle #4    Implement rules one by one. Don't introduce a new rule until the previous one is seamlessly and unnoticeably part of your life. 

Principle #5    The rules need to be really really easy, step by step, implemented over years.  For example, 5 biscuits down to 4 biscuits, not 5 biscuits down to none, all in one go.

Principle #5    Make up your own rules.  These are mine.
    
My Level 1 Rules    

  • Switch to sweeteners in tea/coffee.    

  • Stop putting butter in sandwiches (except ham, obs).  You will literally never notice.    

  • Ditch sweeteners from tea/coffee altogether - they rot your brain.    

  • Cut the fat off bacon and pork chops.    

  • Change from full fat, to semi-skimmed milk.  Don't bother drinking skimmed milk, it's a pointless waste of money.    

  • Eat tons more veg.  Fill up on them as much as you can.  Find ways to cook them that taste good - i.e. forget plain steaming or boiling them.    

  • Have one less biscuit each day. (That will take half a stone off in a year).    

  • Have a slightly smaller slice of cake each time.    

  • Have one less takeaway a month/week.    

  • Change from milk to dark chocolate, it's less moreish.    

  • Go for lower sugar booze - slimline mixers, less beer.    

  • Eat lots of different colours.  I have a blue breakfast (blueberries/black grapes) for the anthocyanins, orange at lunch (e.g. peppers, butternut squash), green at night (broccoli, peas etc).    

  • Only eat half the avocado.    

  • Always eat breakfast.    

  • Let yourself get hungry, and enjoy the feeling.    

  • Limit snacking bit by bit until you're down to 3 snacks a day.    

  • Limit white products - eg sugar, bread, pasta.  Eat brown alternatives.    

    
My Level 2 Rules    

  • When anyone in a fast food outlet or coffee shop says "medium or large", say "I'll have a small one".  You can always go back for another later.  (But you tend not to because it's too expensive.)    

  • Use 'smallish' dinner plates.    

  • Give yourself a smallish portion.  Eat it, wait 10 mins, then go for seconds.  (Socially, it's less acceptable to go for seconds, so you're less likely to.)    

  • Keep slowly reducing your alcohol intake until it's no more than 2 glasses a day.    

  • Make some low cal mocktails on a couple of days each week to give you alcohol free days.    

  • If you want a takeaway, have the lowest calorie option on the menu.  Or, just have a small portion.    

  • When you eat things one at a time out of a bag, like crisps or peanuts, when you get to 10, stop.    

  • Change snacking to healthy alternatives (rather than biscuits etc.) - fruit, nuts, seeds.    

    
My Level 3 Rules    

  • Eliminate dairy.  Switch to plant based products.      

  • Go veggie. (Take Vitamin B12 supplement)    

  • Stop carbs with the evening meal.  Load up with veg.    

  • Only have desserts on special occasions.  Otherwise have fruit.   That's a toughie I know. 

  • Limit chocolate to 3 squares a day.    

  • Ditch fizzy drinks.  Make fresh infused water and keep it in the fridge. (E.g. with cucumber, or strawberries and basil)    

  • Limit takeaways to one a month.    

  • Limit snacking to twice a day, - piece of chocolate, few nuts/raisins, low sugar macaroon.    

  • Limit caffeine    

    
*Obviously there's loads more potential rules, I've just provided these as a sample of the ones I use.  Yours will probably be different.    Aim for low calorie alternatives, less quantity, more flavour and lots of colour.

* Also, walk for at least half an hour a day, unless you're sporty, in which case, you're probably not reading this anyway.