Cambridge Diet is very popular in the Netherlands (also called Holland) and in the rest of Europe. I read in a Dutch magazine that 130,000 people in Holland, a country with 16 million people, are on the Cambridge diet. That is a lot of people for such a small country.
The story in the magazine was about Rohida (39) and she was born in Surinam (South America) where eating is an important element of the family life. Perhaps comparable to the Mexican culture where food is also very important at family gatherings. But she also admits that she is actually always eating. She eats when she is sad to console herself. She also eats when she is happy about something so there is reason to celebrate. Sound familiar? We have a lot of clients in our practice who tell us the same. Food is important because they control their emotions with eating, and not by eating a little but mostly by eating a lot. All these clients need to learn to decouple food from happiness, sadness or other moods. That is hard but once they learn, their life changes.
What we also hear is that the people surrounding our clients are often not helping. Rohida tells in her story that she realized at some point how much food was on the table at a birthday celebration of her nephew. Without really realizing it she was easily eating 3000 calories that evening she confessed. Sounds familiar, right? What bothers some of our clients is that family and friends are quick to say things like “wow, you look so thin now, you should stop before you get too skinny”. Perhaps they are saying that because the difference between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ is so large that the client seems indeed skinny or perhaps they say that to hide their own failure to lose weight. Their reactions make it sometimes very hard for our clients continue their weight loss journey until they have reached their goal weight. Fortunately that is where our coaching kicks in; we keep them on the right track.
Slowly but surely our client’s eating habits start to change. They start with the Cambridge Diet shakes and soups but over time they introduce regular food again but now they eat more salads, they take less appetizers, they have less cheese, they skip desserts and they control better what they eat. And that change is what it is all about; the change in lifestyle and eating habits.
Fortunately we have clients who have not only lost weight but who also regained health. Diabetes gone, blood pressure normal. Makes the effort all worth it!