Hello and welcome to our annual holiday baking episode Thin Thinking style!!

In episode 144, we’re diving into the world of mindful baking and serving up our annual mind hacks making your favorite holiday delights without having it wreak havoc with your weight goals.

I’m here to sprinkle some wisdom on how you can keep your waistline in check without compromising the joy of making delicious memories in the kitchen.

Join me as we explore mindful baking strategies, unlocking the secrets to enjoying your favorite treats while keeping a keen eye on your health and wellness goals. Let’s stir up some goodness together and make this holiday season a guilt-free, delicious celebration.

Tune in now to discover how you can bake with intention, making every cookie cutter moment a step towards a healthier you.

Come on in!


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Rita Black: Do you feel it's not quite the holidays unless you heat your oven to 350 degrees and slip in a batch of your favorite holiday treats? Well, in today's Thin Thinking podcast episode, we are giving you our annual mind hacks for whipping up a healthier approach to holiday baking. I am your host here to sprinkle in some wisdom on your keeping your waistline in check without sacrificing the joy of creating delicious memories in the kitchen. Do you find yourself knee deep in flour and sugar during the holidays surrounded by red and green sprinkles, threatening your weight management goals? Well fear not because in episode 144, we're serving up those slim baking tips that will have you savoring the sweetness of the season without the sugar induced guilt. So join me as we explore mindful baking strategies, unlocking the secrets to enjoying your favorite treats while keeping an eye on your health and wellness goals. So let's stir some things up and make this holiday season a guilt-free delicious celebration. Tune in now because this year we are baking with intention. Grab those cookie cutters and come on in.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, bestselling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery. I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello, my lovely sugar plum ferry. And everyone else just come on in to our annual Thin Thinking Bake Off episode, baking off the pounds as we make holiday goodies. Is it possible? Why? Hmm. Yes, it is. So every year, many, many students and clients and people from the Thin Thinking community ask me, dare I say, beg me to give them some coaching on holiday baking because it can be such a big roadblock to staying on track during the holidays. So for most of us, for a lot of us, baking evokes a lot of different memories and feelings. When we think about holiday baking and treats, it feels often like we are transported into our past, into a cozy, wonderfully scented warm kitchen. I remember my mom's kitchen, it was like a bakery during the Christmas season. We would would bake at least 10 different types of cookies and candies, like bake cookies and make candies to assemble in containers and to take to neighbors.

Rita Black: And this was my mom's, you know, big holiday push. She even made her world famous fudge, which I have tried to replicate a couple of times with not very good results, but that's probably a good thing, right? But I remember as a child thinking about memories, watching here in awe, you know, she just seemed to be a wizard in the kitchen whipping up things and pouring and whipping that spatula and getting every ounce of dough. Well, the dough that I haven't hadn't licked out of the bowl or the frosting. But, you know, just running around the kitchen and orchestrating everything so deftly and with such grace and a plum. And you know, I just sit there and watch her as a kid. And what I would do, of course would be sneaking cookies, licking dough out of the bowl when she wasn't looking.

Rita Black: She didn't like me to get your hands out of there. She would say, get your hands out of there. Get your dirty paws out of there. Did your mom ever say that? Get your dirty paws out of there. She loved to say that. Or, you know, lick frosting off the, you know, with the knife that you're supposed to you know, be frosting with. She hated that. Well, you know, most people would. So anyway, but that's me ending up in a sugar induced coma, sugar high, which sounds a little bit like a hairy style song, doesn't it? But nevertheless, baking was a really big deal for my mom, and eating the baked goods was a big deal in our family. So I inherited all of my mom's big notebooks of newspaper clipped recipes. You know, she would clip all these recipes from the newspapers because that was her cookbook.

Rita Black: You know, she would just put things together. They didn't have a lot of fancy cookbooks back in the day, as if you recall, there was the joy of cooking and Betty Crocker and maybe some Julia Child in the kitchen, but nothing with the big pictures and everything. So my mom kind of was an artist herself, and her cookbooks were her art. And she would write in the margin of all of her newspaper clipped recipes, you know, little notes to herself like, good, but add orange peel or too much salt. Use less next time. Or use butter instead of shortening. I was so old school, but I love it. I still love it. Now I have a friend who is a chef, and when he comes to my house, he gets out all of her books. He's the only one who does this, but he gets out of all of her books.

Rita Black: Where's your mother's books? Oh, they're over here. Okay. He gets 'em all out and just pours over them. And I have such a blast with him because these were like 60 and 70 newspaper clippings. And and I love reading her little notes and her just sorting through her super organized recipe notebooks. And I'm saying this all too, because now I'm gonna get a little teary-eyed. It's the 20th anniversary of her passing. So it is especially poignant for me to give her a shout out and say, mom, I love you and I miss you, and this episode is dedicated to you.

Rita Black: All right. Now, pulling myself together as someone who has kept 40 pounds off for 28 years and I've changed my approach to holiday baking to be more mindful and healthy so I can enjoy baking as well, but just not end up on the couch in a hypoglycemic state or gaining 10 to 25 pounds over the season like I so easily used to do. So for all of you wanting to create those wonderful memories and enjoy your combo of sugar, fat, and flour are an addictive trio, it must be handled with care. So I have my holiday baking coaching session here for you, and I want you just to listen to it with the love and care that you give to your holiday baking. But now you're gonna give yourself the love and care of preparing a little before, a little, during a little after.

Rita Black: And it's gonna get you to help to get you your mindset right around the baking before you even get started. And also, as an added bonus, my shift out of sugar cravings hypnosis session is absolutely free. And the link is in the show notes below, and all you have to do is just enter your name and your email address and we will send that over to you. And that's a really awesome tool that you can use during the holidays or any time of the year if sugar is, you know, a nemesis for you.

Rita Black: So let's get going on our thin baking bake off special. So what you wanna do really, and, and, and all my approach is all through how you use your mind effectively. Because when you're mentally prepared for things, then they always go better. You know, if you don't have a plan, the world has one for you and the holiday baking world, it is not a slimming plan. So you wanna be prepared before you head into your holiday baking. First of all what I do say is to eat before you, you know, get all the flour, sugar and baking ingredients together and start putting stuff together. Because if you go into your holiday baking hungry, chances are you might start picking at the dough, spike your blood sugar that crashes, you feel hungry, you start eating more dough or start eating the frosting or just start. And then it's like, oh, screw it. Well, I ate some of that, then I might as well eat it all. And, oh, screw that. I'll just start my diet over January 1st. So don't do that, but just start with eating some protein before you head into it. Protein's amazing 'cause it just really stabilizes your blood sugar, insulin levels, you know, whether it's eating just some yogurt or it's some a piece of cheese or if you're vegan making a nice vegan shake that you can just sip through your holiday baking your holiday baking.

Rita Black: Now also, if you mentally prepare, you wanna know how much, and what I mean by that is you wanna know how much you are going to, oh, sorry, I'm gonna move that up there. You wanna know how much you are going to allow yourself to eat. I'm always one for not like sitting through the whole holiday baking and saying, I'm not gonna to eat anything. I just, I prepare ahead of time. I think, okay, I like eating dough. I mean, I know that's a no-no, there's eggs, eggs in some dough, but you know, like I always am like, well, screw it. I like eating dough, but I am only gonna let myself, I'm going to be fed first. And then, you know, if I really like a little piece of gingerbread dough, I'm gonna allow myself to eat it, but I'm going to be aware of that ahead of time.

Rita Black: Like I'm gonna have a boundary around that. So again, I don't go into it thinking, well, I'm gonna be good and then start putting stuff in my mouth and then have it go off. Because if our mind is prepared ahead of time, if we have a vision and a plan, chances are we are gonna follow through on that much, much more. If we go into it thinking I'm going to be good, eat something and then go, well, screw it. You know, it's all out the window anyway. That's what the mind likes to do. It will, it is that all or nothing attitude. And we don't wanna go into this with an all or nothing attitude. Also, you wanna kind of go into your holiday baking, my guess is that you're probably gonna be either holiday baking for other people or with other people, which is always super fun.

Rita Black: So you wanna really think about your holiday baking, not just like here I'm, you know, making a bunch of cookies or cakes or pies or all of the above. But that I really, what I'm doing is creating something with love, right? And the true meaning of the holiday really isn't in the eating the taste of the food. It's the smells. It's the sincere purity of your intentions to create joy for other people. So it's nice to play music and to just really get into the spirit of the holiday because I feel like sometimes it all gets focused on the food rather than what's going on here with us in our hearts. And I think the more that we are, are focused on the true meaning of the holiday and that it's about people coming together, or if you're not coming together with people, the giving of the giving spirit, the generosity of the holiday, then you are, you know, way better off.

Rita Black: And you're not just thinking about the food, but you're thinking about what's going on in here. Also, you may think about making healthier holiday options for your friends and family. Chances are they may be trying to manage their weight too. And there's awesome recipes if you just google like lower calorie cakes or low carb cakes or cookies. There's so many options out there now. I mean, they're, and they're all right there at your fingertips. You know, I, last year I made a batch of low carb gingerbread that that went, was so popular with everybody. They were like, oh, thank, I'm going gluten-free, or I'm going keto. This is so great. You know, so, so think about it. You might be surprised at how many people appreciate a healthier, lighter holiday treat. And then again, one more thing that you can do before you head into this is often, I mean, if you were at my house in the seventies and, well, yeah, it was the seventies, maybe the early eighties, but, my mom's house holiday baking was a two day event, right?

Rita Black: Like, she was serious. She made like probably 15 different recipes and put them all together and give 'em to the neighbors and to the relatives. And I mean, it was a serious affair. So if you're gonna be baking more than an hour or two, make sure you have healthy snacks that you can reach for. So again, that you aren't starting to just eat cookies or broken off pieces of cake in instead of eating something nourishing and stabilizing so that you can, you know, you can stay within your healthy eating plan and stay maintaining or releasing weight through the holidays. So now during the actual baking itself, I want you to understand, and maybe you already do that, the biggest portal memory, because so much of the holidays is about memory and that idea of family and love and connectedness.

Rita Black: And so much of that portal isn't actually through food, but through smell. So I want you to understand as you head into the holidays, that the most important thing isn't your taste buds, but it's your actually your your nose. And that the more you understand like the smell of what's baking in the oven and the smell of the goodies is actually filling you with those memories and emotions way more than the actual tasting of those things, then you can again start to to, you know, create a distance between yourself. Because I think a lot of times what we do is we eat the memories. We think, oh my gosh, you know, I had this when I was a kid and it was so good. And a lot of times, ironically, those things didn't even taste that good anymore. You know, you eat a couple of bites and they're like, that's too sweet, but then we're eating it, and then off we go to the races.

Rita Black: But if you focus on the smell, I had a client, she released 50 pounds and she said, you know, all I do is I take it and I smell it, and I think about that memory and I don't need to eat it. And it's just, it fills me with joy. So if that is helpful for you, then, then take that to the bank and take that to your baking episode. So when I was a kid and when I was struggling with my weight, I baked a lot. Like, and baking for me was like a drug-like experience. You know, it like flour, sugar and butter equaled heroin to me. You know, people have their met meth kitchens. Well, my kitchen was, I felt like my kitchen was a drug den too, because I could get high off of eating those things. So again, that's why it's so important to prepare so that when you are put, if you end up putting flour, sugar in your mouth, that you are not putting it on an empty stomach because it will go to your brain and create like a drug-like experience.

Rita Black: And then then you have a lot harder time managing, eating that day. And then obviously so much of a struggle with our weight over the holidays is because once we kind of get that high, then we're chasing the high through the holidays, continuing to eat all that stuff all day long. And that part of the brain gets engaged and then it just wants more and more and more. And we're helplessly going, why am I eating all this food? I'm not even tasting. I'm not really, I mean, of course you enjoy some of it, but a lot of it we don't even experience. And and then we gain weight and then we feel horrible at the beginning of the new year. And then we have to start one of those crazy New year diets, new Year's diets, which is another video, but let's continue with this.

Rita Black: Something you might consider. And this was a, a tip I got from an old baking expert. 'cause She never ate. She was so serious about baking. She was like, oh, I don't eat, I never eat any of the dough. She was just like, she was like, this is just like a pure art form for her. So it'd be like a painter eating his paints. So she always had a hot water, a glass of hot water that she could, she would wear plastic gloves and she could dip her hand and, you know, wipe off or dip her knife if she was like frosting cookies. And instead of licking the knife, which is what I love to do she would dip it in the hot water and then, and then she would have a towel and she would just wipe it off so that if she was gonna paint, you know, like a, a frosted different color, like gingerbread cookies or something, she wasn't, you know, it wasn't getting messy.

Rita Black: And then licking hands and all of that kind of stuff. So that is also something that, a trick that I learned from my old mentor. And while you are baking and making, Mary, please put on some amazing music and sing and dance while you're doing it, because that is the joy of the holiday. You know, that movie elf that everybody loves? Will I just think about being an elf in the kitchen and kicking up my heels and dancing and, and or listening to the Nutcracker suite and pretending I'm a ballerina? And, and that way you're, you're having, you're moving, you're getting exercise and you are baking.

Rita Black: And if and when you decide you're gonna eat your treat, like let's say you bake a batch of cookies and you've planned like, I'm gonna sit down and eat two, you know, a gingerbread cookie, don't eat it. Standing up mindlessly, sit down, you know, enjoy every bite. Be conscious and mindful so it means something to you and that you really experience it. Versus like, well, I didn't even taste that one. Let me eat another one. Now, afterwards, this is, this is very important because this is gonna make or break your baking experience into the future as far as what those baked goods are gonna do. So here's the thing, like stimulus control is 60, 70% of weight management. If it's not in your environment, chances are you are not going to eat it. So baking a bunch of cookies and baking a bunch of holiday goods and having them out on the counters and in the, you know, right in your eye line, you are gonna have to have a relationship with those cookies.

Rita Black: 'Cause They're going to call your name. You know, they're gonna be like every time you walk by them, you have to have a conversation with yourself in your mind. Like, am I gonna eat it? Am I not? And they might say, come over. We're so cute. Will just, you know, I'm a little gingerbread man and don't you want to eat me? You know, like, you, you, you're always having to manage that. And what happens is we're stressed over the holiday seasons. Our, our willpower is very low during the holiday season because we're so stimulated. So chances are, if it's out and about, you're gonna end, it's gonna end up in your mouth. So please pack things up, put it away. I mean, hopefully you're baking stuff, not just for you, but for other people and that you are, and going to wrap up and, you know, take the things and get them out of your house leaving just a few for you that you can, you know, eat.

Rita Black: And, and I am always one for, you know, choosing a couple of holiday treats that I'm gonna really enjoy and have. And then, because I don't need to eat everything in the holiday season to know that it's there. You know, like I don't need the candy canes 'cause I know what they taste like, you know, I don't need, I'll choose a couple of things, maybe some gingerbread, you know, maybe a couple of my like favorite holiday treats, but otherwise and then have a couple of servings of them. But otherwise I don't need to eat my way through the holidays to know that I have had the holidays. In fact, I am happier, more connected to myself managing my weight and not feeling deprived at all, but feeling like I'm thriving because I'm not stuck in that coma of sugar car, you know, sugar, flour and butter.

Rita Black: Which can really put you in a comatose state and make you feel bad and unhealthy and really, really bring your holidays down, really. So don't think deprived, think thrive. And after you are done with your holiday baking, please rest and take care of yourself. Because when you're wet rested, it is, you're, you're, you're renewing your willpower. And my famous three bite rule, that's something that I think you should know about if you don't, maybe you do, if you know me and know my stuff. But the idea is that after three bites, our mouth experience goes from 90% down to 20%. So most of these holiday baked goods, we only really need three bites of to really know, like, oh, I remember what grandma's fruitcake tasted like, yeah, that's good. I only need three bites, you know? Oh, I know what fudge tastes like. Okay, that's good.

Rita Black: I got that down. So, so, you know, eat the three bites, enjoy them, be mindful about them, but then maybe you don't need them anymore. All right? So I really feel like you are ready and prepared now to head out and to bake powerfully through the holiday season. If you have any weight conscious holiday baking tips, please throw them down in suggestions below in the comments. I would love to know them. And I'm sure my clients and people who are consuming my material would love to love to them too. So if you have them, please, please share. So there you go. So you can bake your fruitcake and eat some too. And remember to grab my free gift, Shift Out Sugar Cravings that will help you during this holiday season, have an amazing weekend. Remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it, and I will see you next week.

Rita Black: Do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com. That's www.shiftweightmastery.com, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind For Permanent Weight Loss.