A look into Last Supper syndrome with some tools to help you
In nutritional medicine there are lots of syndromes- Leaky gut syndrome, Metabolic syndrome, False hope syndrome and Last Supper syndrome to name but a few.
You probably know of someone who suffers from Last Supper syndrome- it may even be yourself. Its not someone who is addicted to viewing and analysing a religious painting!
I discuss Last Supper syndrome with many of my clients who chose to work with me on a weight management and weight loss education journey. Helping them remove Last Supper syndrome from their lives does not happen overnight. It takes work on both mindset, acquiring knowledge and putting the knowledge into action as well as ensuring nutritional density to enable their body and mind to function optimally.
How do you know if Last Supper syndrome has made its way into your nutrition habits?
A few questions to ask yourself
1) At Christmas do you eat and drink as much as you possibly can because it doesn’t matter as in January you are going to go on a diet?
2) Over the Easter weekend do you make sure all the chocolate is eaten as after the Bank Holiday you are going to start eating healthily and not let chocolate into your life?
3) Do you ever finish all the biscuits in the packet tonight as tomorrow your diet will start properly this time?
4) Do you deprive yourself all week on a restrictive food diet and then at the weekend because you feel you deserve a "treat" eat and then feel you have ruined your diet so you may as well continue as you are, and start again on Monday?
5) Where food is freely available at a buffet or an all inclusive set price menu . Do you eat as much as you possibly can, telling yourself, this may not be available later and tomorrow I will start my diet?
If you answered yes to any of these questions and you would like to find out how I can help you, read on and also follow this link to book a discovery call with me.
Last Supper Syndrome accompanies individuals who are often on the hamster wheel of Yo Yo dieting. They plan with precision the day they are going to start their diet, Often it’s a Monday. So, at the weekend they gather together and eat up everything they consider to be “bad” foods and “treats” because they will not allow themselves to eat these forbidden fruits when they are on their diet. Inevitably they end up consuming more calories over this particular weekend than they would normally consume if they were not planning to diet on Monday!
And Monday comes along. The start of a new diet that this time really is going to work. They restrict, and despite feeling fatigued and lethargic and possibly really hungry! they feel in control. All week they are “really good”. They may even go all out at the gym pushing themselves and looking at their smart watch observing the calories they are burning in every session.
So, the weekend comes, their internal dialogue will go something like this
“I have been good all week so it wont hurt if I don’t quite stick to my diet. I deserve a “treat” (note the vocabulary here!) “Just one won’t hurt.”
So, they “treat” themselves to this food or drink they have deprived themselves of all week, they possibly weigh themselves next morning and shock horror they have not lost weight or even worse have gained weight! and now feel totally desolate- “What’s the point, Iv blown it now I may as well just go all out this weekend- I can start my diet on Monday”………
And so, the cycle continues.
Last Supper syndrome may not be a weekly event, it can often accompany people who are “successful” dieters. I am being ironic. How can a regular dieter be successful? Individuals who Yo Yo diet maybe even for months, restricting and dieting and then reaching the magical target weight of a number on the scales which dictates their every living thought. Then BOOM!
This behaviour can and does have a massive negative effect on both physiology and psycholog1) Eating in excess and then depriving your body by restricting has a profound effect on blood sugar, which in turn has a huge effect on other systems of the body. The pancreas ends up being over worked and under paid which can lead to insulin resistance.
2) The stress response is activated which again has an impact on carbohydrate metabolism. which may then lead to carbohydrate cravings. As well as having an impact on the thyroid gland which controls metabolism.
3) Your digestive system will suffer especially when it is overloaded and you may get bloating, bouts of constipation and diarrhoea, skin inflammation and joint pain, fatigue and lethargy. as well as other issues linked to “leaky Gut syndrome”- more about that in another blog!
4) Restriction of vital nutrients has a major impact on many physiological and psychological processes, including neurotransmitters associated with hunger and appetite as well as gut health, metabolism and digestion.
What can you do to help rid yourself of Last Supper Syndrome?
1) STOP DIETING! – Throw away the scales. Literally!
Try instead to eat a nutritionally dense diet.
Have as many brightly coloured foods on your plate. As the micronutrients in these foods help to nourish the body and reduce physical and psychological cravings.
Beige and neutral colours are great for interior design but not good for optimal nutrition!
2) PLAN-if you do want to lose weight, plan to have foods you enjoy as part of a health relationship with food. Totally removing them will not work.
3) REMOVE vocabulary from your diet linked with foods- treat, bad, naughty, good, sin, etc.
4) EAT MINDFULLY- see my earlier blog on mindful eating. Enjoy your food and savour every mouthful. https://www.herolifestyle.co.uk/post/how-mindful-eating-can-have-an-effect-on-both-your-physiology-and-psychology
5) ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST- studies have shown that successful weight loss and weight maintenance works better when people eat a good healthy breakfast- protein based ideally as this will help you feel more nourished and reduces blood sugar peaks and troughs.
6) FOCUS ON GUT HEALTH- start from looking after the inside workings of your digestive system.
7) EAT LITTLE AND OFTEN, avoid large gaps between meals and get into the routine of eating nutritious snacks- nuts, seed, fruit. Big gaps can cause fluctuations in blood sugar and initiate a stress response which in turn can lead to carbohydrate cravings!
7) FOCUS ON YOUR BEHAVIOURS AND SEE IF THEY ARE CONGRUENT WITH YOUR END GOAL!
If you want to climb mount Everest, you need to start to behave like a mountain climber. If you want run a marathon or win the Tour start behaving like a runner or a cyclist. If you wan to be slim, start behaving like a slim person.
8) SPEAK TO A NUTRITIONIST- not someone who will tell you that wrapping yourself in cling film will help you shed pounds, or that there are magic pills to speed your metabolism. Please get in touch if you feel this is an area that you feel I can help you with.
A 121 discovery call costs nothing only 20 minutes of your time and it may be the best call you ever made.
Below are just a few of the testimonials from clients who I have had the honour to work with and help them on their nutrition journey.
I can say that I have really enjoyed working with Helen. I learned a lot about my body and this knowledge made me aware of what I put into it. I seem to be thinking before I eat more and I am definitely listening to my body more. I am now in control of my food rather than my food being in control of me. Thank you!
The amount and quality of information I received is invaluable. Until you get a picture of what’s really going on in your body, it is so easy to fall into diet / sugar traps. Now I have a set of “reality checks” now when it comes to eating and food shopping! Thank you!
You become engaged instantly with Helen’s presence and passion to share with you her knowledge on nutrition. She genuinely wants to help you understand more about your relationship with food. Providing handouts for you to keep, she explains clearly how food works, fuelling both your physical bodies and mental health.
I’m 10lbs lighter & an overall 12” slimmer, after working with Helen for a few months. I’m amazed! Helen is an incredibly knowledgeable health & fitness professional, who takes an honest, kind & compassionate approach to your well-being. She takes the time to understand who you are, before developing a personalized program that cuts through to the core issues & offers strategies to help you achieve whatever results you are looking for. Somehow the way she does it sticks & here I am at 55 years old, looking better & feeling stronger than I have in decades.