How To Keep Hunger Away All Day

woman eating yogurt at desk

Did you just eat an hour ago and you are already hungry again?  Are you plagued with cravings for sugary foods or highly refined salty-crunchy foods?  Well, chances are you may not be getting enough protein.

As a hypnotherapist and cognitive weight expert, I will tell you one of the biggest nutritional Shifts that someone can make to take back their power from food is to make sure that they are eating enough protein on a daily basis.  If you have worked with me either privately or with the Shift 30 Day Weight Mastery Process or  Shift in a Box Process—you already know that I harp on a lot about the power of protein!!


If someone is complaining about being hungry, I will ask, “Are you eating enough protein?”

If someone is suffering from night eating, I will inquire, “Are you having a protein rich snack around 4pm?”

If someone has been binging or feeling really addicted to carbohydrates and sugar, I will advise, “make sure you cut the carbs and up your protein in order to break the sugar spell.”

At Shift, we don’t give you a diet.  I really believe that you must individually create a way of eating that you have ownership of–one that works for you and your lifestyle.  I believe you need to discover what works best for you and your body by becoming a loving scientist.  You do this by observing what foods work at what times for you and what doesn’t work and then making changes and choices based on your findings. We don’t have an ‘expert” giving you a list of good foods and bad foods.

I will, however, harp on about your getting enough protein—about 72 grams per day, which is about three 4 oz. servings the size of your palm. If your daily calorie budget is more than 1600 calories a day, you may need even more.



Why would a hypnotherapist blather on so about getting enough protein?

Two reasons and both have to do with your brain—

1)    Research shows that the lack of certain amino acids found in protein sets up the brain to crave sugar and carbohydrates. When you haven’t been eating enough protein, your brain is more prone to seek out the more sweet and refined carbohydrates in large quantities (binges).  Also, the more refined carbohydrates you consume, the more hungry you feel.

2)    Protein gives you the most bang for your caloric buck.  If you are eating relatively few calories in order to stay within your body’s calorie needs for weight release for maintenance, a serving of protein is going to leave you feeling more satisfied and stable than a serving of carbohydrates.

Having said this, I am not advocating a no carb-diet plan here–nor am I saying all is lost if you are a vegetarian or vegan.  I am just saying that upping your protein, no matter what the source, and lessening the starchy carbs usually helps my clients stay happy and satisfied within their caloric needs for weight release.


There are two times I especially suggest that the protein source be with you—breakfasts and afternoon snack time.  If I have learned anything from my own weight struggles, as well as the hundreds of clients I have worked with over the years, it is this: Starting the day with a good protein source sets you on a good course for the rest of the day.  And afternoon snack time is also key because if we stabilize our blood sugar at this time with some protein, then we head into dinner with a sane head and a belly that isn’t screaming to be fed with whatever we can put our hands on first (usually bread!)

Starting the Day Right: Breakfast

Eating morning meal that is right for your body allows you to head into your day with stable blood sugar levels—a must for weight management.  Every body is different in the morning so you need to tune into yours and your special needs.  Observe how your body responds to the breakfast that you currently feed it.  How does it feel a few hours later?  Are you hungry?  Tired? Light headed? Or are you feeling good and focused on what you are doing?

My clients and I have observed the following about different types of breakfast foods.

Help! I just ate breakfast!! (after eating these breakfast foods, one feels hungry in about an hour or so): 

-Sugary and sugar-free commercial yogurts (even fat-free ones)

-Most cold (non-bran) cereals even the “whole grain” ones (this depends on your system)

-Granola (very high in calories too)

-Bagels (also high in calories)



-Toast with jam (no protein)

-Juice only

-Quick-cooking oats or instant oats from envelopes

-Sugary coffee drinks

Wow!  I’m feeling great! (these foods tend to keep one’s blood sugar levels stable and hunger satisfied through the morning):

-High fiber/High protein cereals

-Eggs/egg beaters/ egg whites

-Low fat cheeses

-High protein smoothies

-High protein 0% fat Greek yogurt

-Low-fat cottage cheese

-Whole fruit with some sort of protein

-Slow cooking oatmeal and whole grain cereals

-Vegetarian sausages/links/bacon

-Lean bacon/ turkey sausage/ Canadian bacon

-High fiber muffins that have no sugar in them (Zen muffins and fibercakes)

-Whole grain or high fiber toast/ English muffins/ tortillas with protein on them

-Bean or vegetable soups


It is wise to not allow yourself to get super hungry—that is when many of us tend to overeat. Make snacks work for you—not against you.  Many snacks out of a vending machine or grabbed on the go cause you to feel hungrier and more tired—the exact opposite of what a snack is intended for plus many processed snacks contain more calories than some meals.

Avoid: Stuff out of the vending machine, snacks that are primarily sugar, fat and salt, anything highly processed

Examples:  Cookies, muffins, chocolate bars, sugary juice drinks, sugary coffee drinks, granola bars, chips etc.

Seek: Snacks that contain protein, snacks that contain fiber, snacks that have some protein and complex carbohydrate or fat and carbohydrate.


Fruit and peanut butter

Apple slices and a low fat cheese stick

0% fat Greek yogurt and fruit

Fruit and small amount of nuts

Fiber bar and yogurt

Cottage cheese and fruit

Lo fat ricotta cheese spread on a lo carb tortilla with a savory or sweet topping

Lo-carb tortilla and hummus,

Carrots and hummus etc

Veggie burger patty

Deli turkey slices

Hard-boiled egg with an apple (TJs sells hardboiled, shelled eggs in a bag)

Turkey jerkey

Tuna in a pouch


I could go on and on and on about protein’s power, but don’t take my word for it! If you are struggling with hunger after meals or sugar and carb cravings, try upping your protein intake a few hundred calories a day and removing the same amount of calories of starchy food.  See if this helps keep you more happily on your path to long term permanent weight release.  And let me know what protein swaps work for you!

Have a Shifted Month and May the Protein Source be with You!



Tips to Avoid the Fattening “Good Time” Trap + free hypnosis

Summer food

It’s official– the summer is now here. I can feel a part of me relax just by writing that. There is nothing like the idea of summer to bring back the kid in all of us—warm sunny days, letting our hair down and relaxing.  Unfortunately, it also is a time when we too easily relax into unhealthy habits, especially with the abundance of social outings of the season.

Being social is a very primal core part of who we are as descendants of cave men (and women) and our wiring to “let down our hair” runs deep. This primal wiring can create definite challenges to our desire to stick to a healthy lifestyle, especially if we are working to lose weight. We don’t want to feel deprived and “on a diet” when we are hanging out with others–and we don’t have to. To help keep summer on track, I am including a free 6 minute social eating hypnosis session.  This is to be listened to prior to going out to whatever social event may be challenging. Please give it a listen and then read the tips below. With just a few painless adjustments, you can stick with your healthy intention and learn to enjoy going out–from the inside out.


When we think about going out and having fun with friends, family, or co-workers, our brain sends out a shot of the neurotransmitter dopamine which immediately excites and arouse us. “GOOD TIME!” our mind thinks. Being with others in a social way is one of our deepest needs, but the challenge is that we also tend overeat when we are with others, sometimes almost twice as much, research says.

The other night, I went over to one of my oldest friend’s home for dinner. I had been looking forward to this night out all week as I knew it was going to be the weekend and we would be relaxing and having a good time.  When I was thinking “Good Time”, what did I mean? Did I mean the food was going to be good? Was it going to be good to drink some wine and relax? Was it going to be good to connect with my friends and share about our ongoing lives? What was going to be so good? It turns out the meal was burnt and the wine was warm but we sat out under the stars and talked and had a most wonderful time.


Often when we go out, our mind thinks “Good Time” and we fall into the trap of letting the food and drink be responsible for the good time rather than the deeper experience within ourselves.

When I struggled with weight, I would look forward primarily to what we were going to be eating and drinking before thinking about the people I was going to be with—my good time was defined by the food and not so much about the people. Therefore, I tended to overeat, always looking for the bite of food that would fulfill me and often I never found it—I just ended up feeling full but not “full-filled”. Consequently, most of my social eating added to my waistline but not my true inner satisfaction.

When I began to Shift to a healthier mindset and life (what I call the ‘Shift to Thin Thinking”), I knew that for long term success, I would need to change my social eating priorities. Maybe it wasn’t really about the food so much as the people I was eating food with. When I could change my focus from people first, food second, I could get more pleasure for less calories.

Here are some questions I learned to ask myself before any social event that help prepare my mind for social eating success by allowing me to get clear of what my specific needs are for the event—what “having a good time” means.  By getting clear up front, before the stimulus of the event, I am able to keep my focus on what is important to me. I end up feeling less FULL and more FULL-FILLED.


1.  WHAT IS THE FULL-FILLING PART OF THE EVENT FOR ME? WHAT IS MY TRUE GOAL?  Are you meeting with a friend? Is your family coming over? Is this a work party? How do you want to leave this gathering—what would you like to feel as you leave? Like you spent some quality time speaking with the people you were with? By getting clear on your true social goals, you focus your mind on other people rather than your stomach.

2. IS THE GOOD TIME IN THE FOOD OR DRINK? In our minds, food can mean “fun”. Social celebrations often have wonderful food to indulge in but the problem is when we over-indulge we end up actually feeling bad. Getting mindful about the food you will be eating beforehand also allows you to be more mindful about your choices and amounts once you are in the middle of the event.

Get clear on:
a. Taking small portions and eating mindfully and slowly. The 3 bite rule is especially useful for this. After 3 bites, your mouth experience diminishes greatly.

b. Think about how you can feed yourself in a way that allows you to stay within your weight goal needs but also have a bit of pleasure. We don’t need to gorge in order to have a good time. Take a moment to think about how eating lightly can be more fun—especially when heading home and not feeling like you over did it.

c. Think about alcohol and how much you need. Do we really need to drink in order to have a good time?Often, we socially associate drinks with getting the “party” going. It really helps to decide upon how many drinks you will have ahead of time before the first bottle is opened. Again, the more you focus on bringing your inner party, the need to rely on drinks to have a good time greatly diminishes.

3. HOW CAN I “BE” THERE? When thinking about going out, I think about the way I can connect with people, often it’s by listening and really hearing what people are saying and responding from the heart. Just being there. By being a true friend, I am bringing more to the social experience than a homemade dessert! I am giving of myself and allowing people to give to me. It’s these types of exchanges that are sweeter than any cake!

4. HOW CAN I LEAVE FEELING FULL-FILLED? Think through to getting home from the social event. What would you like to feel like?  Like you ate well but not too much? That you gave yourself a treat but not a tummy ache? That you brought something of yourself and shared it with others while you are bringing home a bit of the people you were with by letting them and who they were in to yourself—allowing yourself to be full-filled.


I encourage you to listen to the following short hypnosis session. This is to be used prior to going out to any social event that may be challenging for you.  If you have not experienced hypnosis previously, please listen to the Introduction track first and read more about hypnosis here.

1 Minute Intro Track
6 Minute Social Eating Hypnosis

Listen to this session on the morning of or right before social events. DO NOT USE WHILE DRIVING!

Feel free to share the download and tips with your family and friends so that everyone can share in a healthy, light and mindful summer.

Keep working on the full-filling practice of shifting your focus in social situations from food to full-fillment. Taking the time to really think through your social events and ask yourself these inner questions can go a long way to shifting the amount of true pleasure you get from all of your social  events.

ox Rita

BACK TO REHAB or Take Back Your Power From Sugar (with FREE HYPNOSIS)



Good news!  Checking into rehab these days is no longer seen as a sign of weakness.  In fact,  it is the “in thing” to do!  So, let’s take this opportunity to RE-HABITUALIZE your relationship with sugar, one of the most addictive substances around.  Back in 16th century France, when sugar became a rare and coveted delicacy, it was call “Crack”!  And in the last 25 years, the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup has risen 10705%!!

As we finish out the summer and head into Fall, with all it’s sugar tempting holidays, there is no better time to break our addiction to sugar and carbs. That’s why I’m adding a special treat this month, with a free “Curb Your Sugar Cravings” hypnosis session that will help you detox, rehab and stay sugar sober. The benefits are numerous– the long list includes weight maintenance, lowering diabetes risk to full body wellness and even anti-aging!!  So, let’s quit this drug now!


When we consume too many refined sugars and carbohydrates, it throws both our mind and body out of whack.  Our bodies are not built to eat high levels of carbohydrates so over time consuming to many can throw off hormonal function, exhaust our adrenal glands, over tax the pancreas and liver, and make us prone to insulin resistance.  It also just makes us lose our power and become what I call a CARB EATING ZOMBIE.

So, why are carbs and sugar so addictive?

Body Addiction: Our blood sugar levels spike and drop with excess sugar consumption.  When we experience a blood sugar drop, we then feel tired or hungry or light headed or all three.  What is our impulse to do to fix this unpleasant state?  Eat more sugar of course and the process starts all over again.

Mind Addiction: Our mind also becomes imbalanced with excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption because our pleasure/reward centers are tickled when we eat too much.  The mind says “oooh that feels good– let’s keep doing that—let me get some more”.  We continue to eat the sugar overriding our signals of homeostasis (stop eating I have had enough calories) and eat too much.

Over time, our mind’s amino acid balance is thrown out of whack and this also causes us to feel “addicted” as we seek more carbs to restore the balance.  What we should be doing is restoring balance with the amino acids in protein.


How can our Inner Coach use certain strategies to keep us out of that addiction cycle? Here are some weight master’s CARB RE-HABITING strategies to put into place today.  Remember,it’s consistency, not perfection, that is going to keep you on your journey to long term permanent weight release.

1-Eat more fiber, whole foods and protein: In order to physically “unhook” addictive eating, it will serve you to make sure you are getting enough high fiber fruits and vegetables (5-10 servings) and lean protein( 50 grams)

2-Know your refined sugar and starchy carbohydrate “ceiling”:  Ever heard of the glass ceiling—well there is a daily carb ceiling too.  Every “body” is different and can tolerate a certain level of starchy or refined sugars and carbohydrates on average on a daily basis.  If you are consistently consuming more than your limit, you start feeling “hooked”. It will be your mission to discover what your ceiling is and to make sure that you stay under that ceiling on a daily basis. A good place to start is 2-3 servings or less than 150 grams of carbohydrates a day.

3-Tune into your body after eating refined foods and sugar:  Some foods have a worse impact than others and for many, the rule of thumb is to avoid eating sugar on an empty stomach because that sets off raised blood sugar levels and also creates a bigger impact on the brain, which starts looking around for more sugar.  It is best to eat sugar (if, and when you do) with other food.
4-Think of refined starches and sugar like cocktails—only to be had after 5pm!  The earlier in the day we eat refined food, the earlier we begin wanting more!!!

5-Learn trigger times and emotional triggers for compulsive eating.  Use your Inner Coach to come up with ways of comforting yourself other than food. Find healthier alternatives for those times when you have gotten used to reaching for the more “addictive” foods.

-Sit and grant yourself permission just to close your eyes for 5 minutes.
-Listen to the Curb Your Sugar Craving hypnosis session.
-Take a walk.
-Call a friend.
-Sit down and write your feelings or just sit with them and let them move through you—they won’t eat you alive (and you won’t be eating them!)


If you find yourself eating too many carbohydrates and getting “hooked” do not fear—you can bounce back quickly and escape the grip of “addiction”.  Learn the lesson and move on.  Take action as quickly as possible and engage in the following strategies and you will become unhooked in no time:

1-Forgive yourself:  Hey, life happens and this world is full of sugar and junk. The idea isn’t to be perfect, the idea is to learn the lesson and move on.  If you beat yourself up—you lose the lesson. If you learn the lesson now, next time you don’t have to fall prey to the same old useless habit—this is what re-hab is all about.

2-First, take a break from all starchy and refined carbohydrates for three days.

3-Next, up your protein intake. This will stabilize your blood sugar and stunt the false hunger that is being caused by your out of whack blood sugar levels. Up your intake to at least 70 grams of protein for the next 3 days.

4-And up your intake of vegetables and whole food.  The more healthfully you eat,the less your body craves the junk.

5-Drink water which flushes it all from your system.

6-Try supplementing with L-Glutamine—a natural occurring amino acid (you can get it at Whole Foods inexpensively) that will help cut carb cravings.

7-Move your body and exercise.  In fact, take action on this step as soon as you can.  It immediately makes you feel better about yourself.  Even if you only walk around your block—just do it!!!

Note:  Starchy Carbohydrates can range from whole grain bread to the most refined sugary candy and alcohol.  Even though starchy carbohydrates from whole foods give you more nourishment than candy and donuts and more refined carbs, some people have such a low tolerance level and can overeat even these “healthier” foods. Part of what we learn at Shift about being a “loving scientist” with ourselves is finding out what amount is right for you.

Remember, long term permanent weight release is not about being perfect.  It is about embracing imperfection and consistently finding solves and strategies that allow us to stay connected to ourselves and moving forward.  It’s important to “show up for ourselves” rather than hitting the “eject” button on ourselves and our weight release when we get off course.