The Belief Distillery Melanie Parker Hypnotherapy Uncategorized Going out, without the scales going up

Going out, without the scales going up

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Are you struggling to stick to your diet when you go out? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study found that 71% of people struggle to stay on track when they eat out. But don’t give up just yet – there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.

close up shot of a birthday cake
Photo by Jill Wellington on

Whether you are going to a children’s party, a high end restaurant or drinking with friends, don’t go hungry.

When we start to feel hungry and the only things available are turkey dinosaurs and cakes, or we feel ‘starving’ by the time the menu shows up when we are out, we are more likely to over-eat and any diet goes out the window. I’m not saying go out for dinner on top of a full meal, but making sure you have had a handful of nuts or a light snack before you leave and you will make it easier to order the food you want and stay away from the buffet table.

If you are eliminating certain things from your diet or just trying to cut down on fat, check the menu in advance and make sure they cater for your diet. Most places will serve sauces on the side or swap a side if you ask, however don’t expect them to completely change a recipe because you don’t want cream in your creamy mushroom pasta!

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You don’t have to eat everything on your plate!

Portion sizes in a lot of ‘family’ restaurants are ridiculous. Too much food makes you feel uncomfortable, bloated and sluggish. Waste food, is waste food. Whether you put it in the bin or store it as fat, it is still waste and sabotaging your diet goals.

You can and will find it empowering to leave food on your plate. If someone else is paying and you don’t want to seem ungrateful, ask for a ‘doggy bag’ and discretely throw it out when you get home or save some for another day.

The same for birthday cakes, sweets and chocolates. You don’t need to feel like you are making someone else feel bad or that you are in any way being rude when there are biscuits in the office, or great-aunt Mildred has baked you a cake. You can tell your friend or family member, “Thank you so much, I’m a little full right now but please can I have it to take home to enjoy later”. Then you haven’t refused or found yourself in an awkward conversation with that one…you know who I mean. The one that says, “go on, it’s only a little bit”.

Finally and most importantly to keep you making the choices that you want to make for your diet, have the body and life you want, is that you need to change your associations with food.

A vegetarian doesn’t feel tempted to eat meat, a vegan doesn’t feel like they are battling with the urge to devour a fry-up. Why?

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The pictures and images they associate in their minds with these foods create a powerful blueprint. Rather than images of a juicy burger and thinking at how yummy it is, they have locked onto an image of a distressed animal. That image is so powerful that they become indifferent to, or even disgusted by things they may once have enjoyed. They no longer link pleasure to eating meat but instead link images of immense suffering and pain.

You can do this with any food, when you think of flour you can conjure images of delicious cakes and memories with grandma, or you can choose to re-wire your mind to see images of making glue in school with flour and water. Wallpaper paste. That disgusting gloopy mess clogging up your insides. You can do this with any food, in either direction, making the things you want to eat more of even more appealing.

If you’re feeling motivated to make some changes but could use a little help, don’t worry. I have plenty of advice and support available here on the blog, as well as my free 30-minute chat service. So book a call with me today! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in socialising!


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How memories can keep you from reaching your weight loss goalsHow memories can keep you from reaching your weight loss goals

I have always loved cakes.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

I remember the smell in my house when grandma was baking them, and how that sweet sugar coated everything around me – the racks of cooling papers on either side as they let out their fragrance to meet me at eye level.

Needing fattening up as my grandmother would say, I entered her care at 6 years old. I had known what it was to be truly hungry at that point and be without food. So my grandma would always make this creamy chicken and tagliatelle dish on a Saturday, I would be encouraged to have seconds and told to clear my plate.

I was given mountains of Beef Stroganoff and I cannot remember an evening that we didn’t have a desert (unless we were being punished).

And the deserts were amazing. If I was sad or needed attention of any kind, there would be a cake, a chocolate bar, a biscuit.

food man people woman
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However, when I was living with my now husband in our twenties, I was getting bigger and bigger. I tried dieting, but I always ended up giving up and planning to start again tomorrow. I had never made the connection between my comfort eating and my learning food was a comfort.

Food, especially rich butter and cream laden dishes or sugary treats became the way I felt closer to my grandma. My type 2 diabetic, highly unhealthy and wonderful grandma. When I realised this, I also realised something else.

man people woman girl
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on

My grandma would be horrified if she had lived to see the damage I had done to my body trying to remember the love and affection I felt when she fed me. She would not want me to make myself as unwell as she was in order to feel close to her. She would be heartbroken if she ever knew that her amazingly well intentioned acts had helped inform the choices I had made time and time again over food.

The amazing thing about knowing this about myself is it has enabled me to recognise these characteristics in myself. I never need to eat cake or chocolate to be comforted as I am able to comfort myself in other ways. I realised that the reason I was unable to diet is that diets aren’t made for people like me, people who have a strong emotional connection to food (which is most of us) and need to understand and overcome those barriers. Once you overcome them, you never need to diet again as your diet naturally changes. You automatically cut down on the foods that are making you unhealthy and unwell because you can unlink those memories to the action of eating.

I can show you how to do this and more in my FREE Webinar. Join me on the 15 February 2022 at 8pm in my Facebook group Radiant Balance to be part of this incredible process.


How to do Valentines in LockdownHow to do Valentines in Lockdown

For the last year we have spent almost every waking moment together. Every evening we eat together, put our children to bed together and sit on the sofa together. With Valentines Day approaching fast, I have been racking my brain to find ways to make the evening special, when all of the usual ways we would celebrate are not available to us.

Even if you have not been able to be with your partner during lockdown, and are facing a Valentines spent on webchat, please read on as these ideas are perfect for you too.

I have spent hours, pawing over Pinterest, looking at recipes and Etsy shops only to realise that with us both home 23 hours a day that I was going to have to up my game, at the same time feeling stressed, exhausted and having nothing to wear! I know I’m not alone in this situation, so I have created this Lockdown Valentines List to make your night wonderful and a little out of the ordinary ‘Netflix and Chill’ but as easy as possible.

The Card:

MAKE YOUR PARTNER A CARD. I cannot stress enough how important this is. I don’t care if you think you can’t draw or you suck at art, and neither does your partner. It is all about time and effort to make something small for the person you love.

 If you still find this a scary concept or have no idea where to start, I have found so many ideas perfect for everyone, from novices through to the craftiest of us. You can see all my card making pins here.

The Gift

Since Lockdown, you haven’t been able to purchase a new pair of shoes or  bike part without your partner knowing everything about it, the idea of not just buying but wrapping a gift for my husband is sending me into a spin. This year, we have decided to get a joint gift.

Of course, the most important gift we can give each other is our time, so put down the devices (unless you are communicating on them) and give your partner the very best of you.

It’s all in the preparation

Photo by cottonbro on

Have a long shower or a bath, make sure you are feeling your best. Get dressed up as if you were going out together and make the effort. Even though you may not be going much further than the dining room, getting dressed up tells your mind it is going to be a special evening and you are more naturally inclined to behave as though you are on a date.

The Meal:

Rather than eating with the family (5pm and a battle over vegetables in our home), Order takeaway or an oven-ready meal for yourselves. You have just cooked and washed up after your tiny humans, the last thing you want is to have to do that again, not to mention that you don’t want to spend your date in the kitchen.

Yes, a wonderful meal was important in 2019, but half the country can’t even taste their food right now; spend the evening together.

You can make it special by laying a table cloth, serving the meal on plates (even if it’s McDonalds). And if you are doing this via webchat, order your meals ahead for the same time and find a restaurant background for your chat. Source pictures from your favourite restaurants website or you could set out an indoor picnic or day at a theme park.

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The most important thing is, unless you require your technology to communicate at this time, everything should be put down. COMMUNICATE and BE PRESENT with your partner, even if you do nothing else in this list, be together, not just inhabit the same space.

The Evening

Photo by cottonbro on

Take these ideas as far as you feel comfortable with and remember the most important thing is you are making time to communicate with your partner and mindfully be with them.

I’m almost certain over the last few months, you have watched every movie there is together so please don’t spend yet another night on the sofa, at least, not in front of a film.

If you are spending your Valentines date on webchat, then my favourite idea is to check out some of the games available either through your webchat provider, or via a third party such as JackBox. Or, if you both have a copy of the same game in the cupboard, why not go old school and play a board game together while you talk?

If you are together, then all the better. Get out the board games and find something to play together to keep you talking. Remember NO PHONES.

Implement some forfeits into your game to bring you closer together, think ideas such as truth or dare, losing items of clothing or revealing a kinky fantasy.

If you can’t meet in person, then I’m sure you have already found some creative ways to feel connected. There are also some toys you can play with over the internet so you and your partner can have the control to each others sensations.

Aromatherapy massage

Photo by cottonbro on

Massage oils are relatively easy to come by on line, this one is my favourite, but you can find what works for you.

There are loads of tutorials on YouTube, pick one that resonates with you and remember to have fun.

If you don’t feel very confident, even with no experience, just lightly gliding your hands over your partners body will bring you closer together and feel amazing. Remember this isn’t a serious, solemn experience, talk and laugh with your partner while your touch them….A word of warning though about getting carried away – switch to a good water based lubricant before moving anywhere sensitive.

Talking of anywhere sensitive, if the plan is to get carried away, why not try something more mindful than your usual play time.

Yoni massage – How To Give A Yoni Massage: A 12 Step Guide To Make It Life-Changing (

Photo by Moe Magners on

Lingham massage – How to Give an Out-Of-This-World Lingam Massage (

Photo by Kimona on

Some of these ideas may not be new to you, some of them may even seem a little shocking, but being in love is about having fun. That is if you have been together a few months, or married for years. Make Valentines 2021 about fun and togetherness and that feeling will stay with you, and help carry you both into the spring with smiles on your faces.


3 Reasons why you should exercise today3 Reasons why you should exercise today

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I know you don’t want to right now, I used to find it so hard to motivate myself to workout too. In fact, I didn’t want to run an hour ago, it’s raining and cold and I have so much to do today – including inspiring you to improve your overall wellbeing – but I did, and I’ve just got back, sat down at my computer and have all the energy and motivation I need to get shit done!

That is actually #1. When you feel lethargic and need a pick-me-up, exercise is a fantastic way to give both your mind an body a boost. I often used to think, “I’m so tired; I don’t have the energy to work out”. My mind would feel sluggish and I would find motivating myself to do anything really hard. The thing is I only needed to motivate myself to do one thing – Run.

Rather than what you would expect, exercise doesn’t deplete our energy levels but actually recharges them more than having a nap would. Exercise increases our endorphins, leading to more energy, improved mood and motivation, making everything else that comes after that much easier.

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As well as the instant “endorphin high” energy boost you have from a workout, in a study published by the Psychological Bulletin shows that regular exercise gives you more energy in general.

“More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise,” according to researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD. “It’s a very consistent effect.”

Exercise Fights Fatigue, Boosts Energy (

The second reason you should put your phone or tablet down and get active (when you have finished reading this article) is to support your brain function. Before I took this time for myself I was literally staring at a blank screen. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, just my mind was sluggish and I couldn’t find it.

Just like any other muscle and organ in the body, the mind’s performance is improved with the increase in oxygenated blood flowing to it. The mind is sharper, cognitive function is improved by exercise. Just like with our energy, our brain also becomes healthier and works more efficiently with regular exercise.


Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School talks in this article about the benefits increased exercise have on reducing inflammation in the brain and encouraging new cell growth.

 “Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,”

Dr. McGinnis.

My 3rd reason for getting off the sofa and into some Lycra is my emotional wellbeing. When I run, when I’m on my yoga mat ( and starting this week I can add a pole to that list) I am taking time for myself when no one is needing a snack, the potty, just me. I am free in that time, there is nothing else to do and a sense of acheivement and accomplishment for just showing up. In it’s own way it is a form of meditation that keeps me in a healthy state of mind.

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Physiologically as well exercise is proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing.

I mentioned that along with the energy you get from the endorphins released during exercise, you actually get a buzz from it. Multiple studies have also shown that exercise has a positive effect on mental health, both indirectly through the improved sleep and physical symptoms that affect our mood, and directly by giving us a sense of accomplishment, community, pride and admiration for ourselves.

If that’s still isn’t enough to get your running shoes on and you need some extra help finding the motivation to get out the door, book FREE a call with me and we can talk about ways to find your get-up-and-go.