Clinical psychologist and founder of The Appetite Doctor, Dr Helen McCarthy is this week’s guest on the 33Fuel podcast. Helen specialises in the psychology of weight loss, particularly how to change habits and ensure you lose weight while still eating your favourite foods
Listen to Dr Helen McCarthy on the 33Fuel Podcast
Founder of The Appetite Doctor, Dr Helen McCarthy specialises in the psychology of weight loss. She utilises science-based psychological research to direct her practice, producing incredible results for her clients. Ultimately, she gives people the tools they need to make long-term habit changes.
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In this episode, you’ll hear some of Helen’s most successful and effective strategies for weight loss. We all know fad diets and rapid weight loss campaigns don’t work long-term – the advice Helen shares will help you lose weight sustainably while ensuring you still get to enjoy the foods you love.
Listen to the interview on your favourite platform
Show snippets – weight loss: what we can learn from pigeons and rats!
“A lot of people have a large evening meal. If you want to change from having a large evening meal every day to having a smaller meal, that requires a specific habit change.
What you first need to do is remove from the plate a quarter of the food (or just don’t serve it in the first place). Now you have three quarters of what you normally eat, a portion size much smaller than usual.
Once you’ve eaten the meal, it’s likely you’ll feel a little short-changed and perhaps still hungry. So, the key here is to do something to take your mind away from food immediately on finishing the meal.
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Because that meal won’t feel ‘normal’ and won’t necessarily fill you, have a specific plan of what you’re going to do immediately after eating. And this is where we can learn from pigeons and rats!
Rats and pigeons have what behavioural scientists call a ‘satiety sequence’ – a specific behaviour sequence which leads them, after eating, onto a different behaviour: grooming or sleeping, for example.
For those looking to lose weight, that means that at the end of a meal, begin your predetermined action that’s going to take you away from food, the kitchen environment and that’s distracting. It could be a jigsaw puzzle, a card game or a specific household chore. After 20 minutes, fullness signals will have registered in the brain. It also creates a new sequence which, within a couple of months, develops into a new habit.”
Learn more about Helen
- Visit The Appetite Doctor
- Connect with Helen on social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Buy Helen's excellent book 'How to retrain your appetite'
- Register for one of Helen's events.