Drop the Diet Course FAQ’s

I have been asked some questions about the Drop the Diet course that starts end of January 2022. If you have anymore questions, please let me know as I’d love to hear from you.

Isn’t this just a diet really?

No, not at all. You will be able to eat anything, no restrictions or counting calories. Yes, I know that sounds counterproductive, but remember we have 6 weeks. It’s about challenging and re-programming the way you think about food, eating and dieting.

Won’t that mean it won’t work then?

Because what you have been doing (dieting) hasn’t worked we will be doing something very different.  You may know the quote ‘ the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Diets don’t work.  This does.

Will you tell me what I should eat?

No, you can eat what you like.

Will I lose weight on this diet?

Probably, but I can’t guarantee that. If you take on board what we explore then it is highly likely, but actually losing weight will probably be the least interesting thing you learn on this course. It is designed to change your mindset regards eating and dieting.

What is a mindset?

Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation. If we change our mindsets we think about things in different ways and hence get different results. Hopefully you can guess what that could mean.

Why does it cost more than a weigh-in session at a slimming club?

This is not a slimming club!  I won’t be encouraging you to weight yourself, because that is diet behaviour!  We won’t discuss how much weight you lost in a week.  We have more important, long-term strategies to work on. You’ll be learning so much more.

What do I get for my money?

This is excellent value for money. If you consider that 1:1 coaching costs at least £50 an hour, often more. Yes, we are in a group but lots of people actually enjoy the group aspect as there is lots of support, and you are not on the journey alone. We are together for 1 ½ hours a week, so £15 (£90 in total) is excellent value.

You will get lots of easy tools and strategies to use for life.  There’ll be recipes, and an example meal plan to try out and lots of ideas of what to eat that nourishes your body.

I can’t afford it

When people say this, sometimes that is not the real reason they are hesitating, it’s not the price it’s the fear of failure and it not working. This could be because they’ve tried so many diets before that didn’t work.  They are fed up chasing the answer and so give-up, which is a form of self-sabotage. This is a very different.

How does it work if it’s not a diet?

We’ll explore why diets don’t work, what we’re doing wrong and what does work. It’s a bit like exploring the secrets of people who don’t diet and can eat anything they like and don’t become overweight. These ‘secrets’ include lots of tools you can use for life taken from many disciplines. They are very practical and easy.

Will this really work for me?

Well diets don’t work. There is no reason it shouldn’t work for anyone.  It’s completely safe (unlike some diets) and won’t harm you.

Drop the Diet, Slash the Sugar – Strategies to Change your Mindset around Food course

Really excited to announce this course. See details below. So many people treat food as the enemy and struggle with food in their life. They constantly tell themselves what they mustn’t eat and create all sorts of rules and beliefs. Really, the secret is to understand that food is our friend, designed to nourish and enjoy. Remember that diets don’t work, they don’t fit in with your lifestyle or household, they are often about deprivation, aren’t fun. Some appear to work short-term, but in reality are just a short-term fix.

By changing your mindset and learning to enjoy food, guilt free and be able to eat anything at anytime is liberating. We will learn what are healthy meals so we understand how food does affect our bodies, but we’ll also learn how to love food and yourself.

Please email me for anymore information or questions. This is local course, look out for an online version soon.

Eat your way out of stress

The NHS states ‘Stress is usually a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. It’s often related to feeling like you’re losing control over something, but sometimes there’s no obvious cause. When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.’

Stress Failure Depression Pressure Panic Concept

The workplace is the perfect place to raise awareness and influence behaviours towards healthy eating. 

Often people are dismissive of the role food plays in their work lives, seeing it as just a fuel for energy, but it is ultimately responsible for their general wellbeing.

Stress is a normal part of life, we all feel different levels of stress throughout our day, the concern begins when we go through prolonged periods of stress and it begins to affect us detrimentally.

So what is stress?

Psychological eg depression, Physiological eg temperature, surgery, pain, illness, and Social eg social anxiety.

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. 

Eustress is a good type of stress, either psychological, physical (e.g. exercise), or biochemical/radiological.  Examples include a roller-coaster ride or a scary movie. Eustress is not defined by the stressor type, but rather how you perceive that stressor.  Eustress is uncomfortable but can lead to personal growth.   

Chronic stress

So the problem arises when we begin to suffer chronic stress, which is stress overload, where hormones are released promoting symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

Because of the effects on the body of stress it becomes harder to lose weight and we can gain weight round our middle, we lose more nutrients and can become deficient in some, there is a greater risk of chronic diseases.  Immunity is impaired (more colds and infections you just can’t shift).  Plus a host of other symptoms eg migraines become more persistent if you are susceptible.

There are many physical problems chronic stress can cause, but let’s focus on how it can affect what and how we eat.

Food and chronic stress

Elevated cortisol levels (this is a hormone particularly involved in chronic stress) create physiological changes that help to replenish the body’s energy stores that are depleted during the stress response. But they inadvertently contribute to the build-up of fat tissue and to weight gain, particularly fat around the middle of your tummy. 

It does this in a number of ways, for example, cortisol increases appetite, so that people will want to eat more to obtain extra energy. It also increases storage of unused nutrients as fat. It messes with blood sugar levels (increasing insulin release, fluctuating mood and fatigue).

Blood sugar can spike if we skip meals or too eat too many sugary, refined carbohydrates.  When we feel stressed we often self-medicate by consuming too much caffeine and alcohol and sugar that directly stimulate cortisol release and sends blood sugars out of kilter.

Constant arousal can deplete some vitamins and mineral use, particularly vitamin B, C, zinc & magnesium.

Chronic stress slows/stops digestion, so there is less digestive enzymes/blood in the tummy because the blood has gone to the muscles ready for you to move from that danger!  Therefore, even if you’re eating healthily you can’t take in and benefit from the foods you’re eating.  Your microbiome, the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, do not like this, and it disrupts them, which then has an effect, disrupting the microbiome and can cause bloating, diarrhoea and loose bowels, where food isn’t digested properly.

Stress can cause us to over eat and eat unhealthy foods, often as a comfort, such as milk chocolate, cakes and fatty fast food.

So what should we eat to help counteract the effects of chronic stress?

Eat protein at eat every meal, this distracts absorption of carbohydrates and slows the trickle of sugar into the blood.

Eat more of these REAL unprocessed, wholegrain, wholesome FOODS to replenish vitamins/minerals:

Vitamin C – citrus fruit, peppers, broccoli: bright fruit and veg – vitamin C is lost through heat (cook gently but eat plenty raw)

Magnesium – leafy greens, unprocessed wholegrains and nuts, meat, milk – 80% mg lost through processing!!

Zinc – meat, fish, nuts, seeds, milk, cheese, lentils, fruits and veg

B vitamins – various sources (lots of different B vitamins) mainly found in vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, wholegrains, nuts/seeds

Slow down your eating – chew properly, make time to digest, don’t drink loads of liquids whilst eating (30 minutes before & 1 hour after food), take smaller bites, put down your fork down between mouthfuls, and don’t watch TV or read paper when eating.  Make more of eating with others and be sociable rather than watching television.

Managing stress

Help yourself and get support from friends and family and medical professionals.  The NHS advises – connect with other people by talking about how you feel, be active and exercise regularly, learn some time management as many of us complain how we never have enough time, breathing exercises (we often forget to breathe or breathe properly when stressed), find ways to relax, this could be different for different people, whether it’s reading a book or a walk in the countryside, or listening to music.


I’m sure much of this advice isn’t new to you, but we often forget to put it into practice and need reminding as we become entangled in our busy lives. By EATING WELL, this will support your body during stressful times.

If you enjoyed this article why not send it to any friends who may also find it interesting.

Flourless Cakes

Some people are finding it difficult to buy flour currently, as lots of people are home baking during social isolation.

If you want to avoid flour or have none in the house, you can still make cakes. If you like making cakes, try and choose recipes that have less or even no sugar in and don’t have lots of butter.

There are plenty of flour substitutes for cake but these 2 recipes attempt to use ingredients you’ll have in your cupboard.

Choc Chip Cake with Oat flour

Take a measuring jug and measure out 250ml porridge oats.  Blitz these in a food processor to make flour.

125ml Oil

125ml Sugar

75ml Water

4tbs Cocoa Powder

1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

3 Eggs

1tsp Cinnamon

Handful Choc Chips

Heat oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, Gas Mark 4.  Grease and line with greaseproof paper two 18cm (7in) sandwich tins.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until combined.

Pour into the sandwich tins and bake for 25 minutes until firm. Test with a skewer to check cooked.

Cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn out.

Banana Polenta Cake

2 Bananas ripe

150g Polenta

50g Butter or Oil

2tsp Baking Powder

1 egg

2 tsp honey (optional)

Handful of blueberries

Grease and line a 18cm sandwich tin. Heat oven 180 C, 160 C fan, Gas Mark 4.

Place bananas in a food processor and puree.  Add rest of ingredients and process until combined.  Put mixture in the tin.  Bake 35 minutes.  Use a skewer to check cooked.  Allow to cool slightly before turning out.

The chocolate chip cake has healthy oats and is full of fibre, the banana polenta cake has no sugar and the handful of berries contain phytonutrients.

Why not sign up for our newsletter for more tips and information.  Email caroline@planeatwell.com.

Please contact me for more information on food coaching and workplace wellbeing.


Why should I seriously consider working with a food coach?

If you feel bombarded by all the mixed signals out there to do with food, then you are not alone, but it can mean many of us are floundering when it comes to healthy eating.  Perhaps you’re not sure what is fact and what’s fiction when it comes to food, what’s best for you, and want to find out what’s right for you and how to do it.

Maybe you snack too often, feel enticed by all the ‘naughty but nice’ foods, and overeat, too regularly. Are beginning to realise that if things don’t improve, your body will soon start to rebel, maybe it is already, perhaps in the form of a common disease, such as heart disease or diabetes, or carrying a bit of extra weight.

Do any of these relate to you?

I don’t always eat well – too much junk food!

I always mean to eat more healthily, but for some reason, it rarely happens.

I know I need to change to protect my health, not only in the future, but for now.

Why do I find it so difficult to shop, cook, and eat healthily – I need support.

I wish I felt more alert, full of energy, less snappy, and losing a bit of weight would be a bonus.

If these points ring true to you, then I can help you.  Don’t leave it any longer; the impact of poor diet is serious, don’t wait until the damage is done.

It’s all about you, it’s not selfish, it’s an investment in your future, not just for you, but for your family, I’m sure they want a happy healthy you.

So what do we do, many of us have never been to a coaching session and may wonder what it is like.  It’s about exploring what you are doing currently, why and what you would like to change, the barriers you perceive currently hindering your progress.  We then work together to come up with a Plan to help you Eat Well.

We focus on the fact that you are unique in your personality, lifestyle, and the physical way you react to food.  Listening to your body and giving it what it will thrive upon is essential.

Eating and cooking should be enjoyable; healthy eating shouldn’t be a diet, a chore, it should come from a love of eating good food.

What you’ll learn:

How to cook and eat healthily, I’m sure you’re good at identifying healthy foods, but why isn’t that translating into your cooking and eating habits?

Identify roadblocks and barriers to healthy eating and remain accountable for the goals you set.

How to incorporate more healthy food into your week. Learn to meal plan, cook, tasty, fresh, interesting, fun dishes.

How to meal plan and food shop and navigate your supermarket, how to stock your kitchen and ultimately save you time and money.

Learn the art of reading food labels and avoiding foods that aren’t doing you any good

How you’ll feel.

Just imagine having more energy a general feeling of health and vitality, better sleep, less stressed with less likelihood of catching illnesses. Food is powerful and is often forgotten when it comes to monitoring health. In March 2018, BBC News reported that medical students get around 10 to 24 hours over 5 to 6 years in medical school on nutrition. This can lead to some doctors providing poor quality, limited advice to their patients (We learn nothing about Nutrition claim medical students BBC News March 2018). Considering many diseases we get as we get older are connected to the food we eat, this is shocking!

Food is powerful, make its power work for you…

You will feel healthier because you’ll have an underlying feeling of wellbeing because of what you are eating. It can start off subtly, then one day you realise you feel really well. Your new habits and lifestyle will reduce your reactions to stress, and you’ll probably find you’re sleeping better and in a better mood as well. Don’t you want this?

I am based in the Solihull area, near Birmingham.  The number of meetings we have will be up to you – as we discuss your goals, obstacles, and plan of action.  We can take this journey together.

Please email me or use the Contact form on the Contact page to request a newsletter.

For a free 15 minute chat, to see if food coaching is for you, please email me at caroline@planeatwell.com

Have a good day.