Do you loooooove to bake? Especially during the holidays? Join the club!

Baking for your family or with your family, serving them with all your loved recipes – these can be some of our most cherished moments during the holiday season.

However, those memory making holiday baking adventures can quickly turn into a serious sugar-coma-inducing-weight-management-disaster with green and red holiday sprinkles piled on top if we aren’t using the right strategies. That is why I am here to back you up.

In episode 38 of our Think Thinking podcast, we are going to stir together the Thin Thinking ingredients that are going to unlock a strategy for your baking – being able to bake mindfully in a way that allows you to enjoy the hobby that you love and even enjoy your treats after, but stay mindful of your health and weight management goals at the same time.

Also, you can have my Shift Out of Sugar Cravings Hypnosis Session for FREE. Just click this link, and sign-up and you’re ready to go.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Do you love baking? Is it a hobby that gives you a lot of pleasure and enjoyment, especially during the holidays, but does it also create a challenge for your weight management? I know it does for a lot of people. In this episode, we are going to stir together the Thin Thinking ingredients that are going to unlock a strategy for your baking. Being able to bake mindfully in a way that allows you to enjoy the hobby that you love and even enjoy your treats after, but stay mindful of your health and weight management goals at the same time. So set the oven at 350 degrees and let's get baking.

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, best-selling 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. Sound good. Let's get started.

Rita Black: Hello everyone. Oh boy. I love this time of year so much. It is so magical. I love the feeling in the air. I love that people seem to be more friendly here in Los Angeles during the holidays. It might be an allusion, but, I feel like there's a friendly, loving vibe in the air and I really enjoy entertaining and having people over. The only thing I don't love is shopping. I'm not a huge shopper. My husband does all of that. I just don't like it and never did. Maybe it was my aversion from being struggling with my weight and never wanting to go shopping. But he is in the past, done a lot of the holiday shopping for kids or kids. And even though like, let's be honest if you're a parent nowadays, well, I don't know what kind of a parent you are, but most of our shopping, our kids just give us the links. They submit their list with the links to whatever they want. And it's just way too easy. It's just like it's too easy to fall into negative behaviors when we are holiday baking. And, and by doing that, you know what happens? I see so many people fall into this negative trap of, they started holiday baking with the best of intentions, but then they just start overeating. It just starts that overeating cycle, whether you are a spoon liquor or a dull muncher or the broken cookie monster, it can be an issue.

Rita Black: You know, my mom, oh my gosh, my mom struggled with her weight, but she was also the best baker in the world. And she had, and I inherited, I have them in my kitchen now maybe about 10 really fit thick notebook binders, full of recipes that she clipped from newspapers back in the day. I mean, and I, I hold onto them. I really don't use them that much. But, every once in a while, I'll open them up and I'll, I'll use the recipe of hers. But during the holidays, when I was growing up, she would bake literally 10 different types of cookies, you know, big batches of them. And then she would put them all together into a cute little containers that we would cover and felt. And, you know, it was very crafty. You know, this was the seventies when, you know, people were well, people are crafty nowadays, too. I just, I'm not that craftiest person in the world, but my mom was crafty. She was awesome. And it was great to be, you know, along for the ride in her holiday, pre-holiday baking. And, you know, I have a lot of sentimental memories attached to that. I also have lots of memories of overeating cookie dough, feeling gross, even as a kid. You know, the self-loathing began early around eight, you know, but, you know, nonetheless, those are fond memories on one side of my brain and at the, on the other side of the brain painful memories of being overweight as a child.

Rita Black: So, baking evokes a lot of different memories and feelings for me, but I have put together a coaching session and I want to give you access to it today that is really going to help you. If you're somebody who likes to bake, you know, obviously that's a part of who you are and, you know, in order to manage your weight, you want to be able to bake. And sometimes what I've done as somebody who has managed my weight now taken off 40 pounds and kept it off for 25 years, I learned to bake more healthfully and I used different recipes. But, you know, still doesn't mean I don't make holiday classics. I just get my mindset right around it before I start baking. So, I want to give you some pre-baking tips, during baking tips, and post-baking tips for you to stay on track during the holidays. And also don't forget to get my Shift Out of Sugar Cravings Hypnosis Session, is absolutely free. And the link is in the show notes below. 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 really any time of year, if sugar is, you know, and nemesis for you. So, let's get going on that coaching session. Thank you for joining me today.

Rita Black: So what you want to do really, 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, the, if you don't have a plan, the world has one for you and the holiday baking road. It is not a slimming plan. So, you want to 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 up 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. Proteins is amazing because it just really stabilizes your blood sugar insulin levels. You know, whether it's eating just some yogurt or some, a piece of cheese, or if you're a 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 want to know how much and what I mean by that is you want to know how much you are going to, oh, sorry. I'm going to leave that up there. You want to know how much you're going to allow yourself to eat? I'm always one for not like sitting through the whole holiday baking and saying, I'm not going 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 and some dough, but you like, I always am like, well, screw it. I like eating dough. But, I only gonna let myself, I'm, I'm going to be fed first. And then, you know, if I, I really like a little piece of gingerbread dough, I'm gonna allow myself to eat it, but I'm gonna be aware of that ahead of time. Like I'm going to have a boundary around that. So again, I don't go into it thinking, well, I'm going to 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 going to 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 is it's that all or nothing attitude. And we don't want to go into this with an all or nothing attitude.

Rita Black: Also, you want to kind of go into your holiday baking. My guess is that you're probably going to be either holiday baking for other people or with other people, which is always super fun. So, you want to 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, that 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 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 that, the giving of the giving spirit, the generosity of the holiday, then you are, you know, way better off in. You're not just thinking about the food, but you're thinking about what's going on in here.

Rita Black: 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 a low-carb cakes or cookies. There's so many options out there now. I mean there, and they're all right there at your fingertips. You know, I, last year I made a batch of a low-carb gingerbread that, that one was so popular with everybody. They were like, oh, thanks. 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.

Rita Black: And then again, one more thing that you can do before you head into this as 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? Like she was serious. She made like probably 15 different recipes and put them all together and give them to the neighbors and to the relatives. And I mean, it was a serious affair. So, if you're going to 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, and 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.

Rita Black: So, now during the actual baking itself, I want you to understand, and maybe you already do that the biggest portal into memory, because so much of the holidays is about memory and that idea of family and love and connectedness. 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 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, but if you focus on the smell, I had a client, she released 50 pounds. And she said, you know, 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.

Rita Black: 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, 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 on an empty stomach, because it will go to your brain and create like a drug-like experience. And 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 then we gained 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 years diets, which is another video. But, let's continue with this.

Rita Black: Something you might consider, and this was 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 wipe off or dip her knife if she was like frosting cookies. And instead of looking than I, which is what I love to do, she would dip it in the hot water and then, then she would have a talent. She would just wipe it off so that if she was going to paint, you know, like frosted different color, like gingerbread cookies or something, she wasn't, you know, it wasn't getting messy and then looking hands and all of that kind of stuff. So, that is also something that a trick that I learned from my old mentor.

Rita Black: And while you are faking and making merry, 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. Well. I just think about being an elf in the kitchen and kicking up my heels and dancing and, or listening to the Nutcracker suite and pretending I'm a ballerina. And that way you're, you're having, you're moving, you're getting exercise and you're 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 going to sit down and eat to, 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 and let me eat another one.

Rita Black: 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 going to do. So here's the thing like stimulus control is 60, 70% of weight management. If it's not in your environment, chances are your 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 eyeline, you're going to have to have a relationship with those cookies because they're going to call your name. You know, they're going to be like every time you walk by them, you have to have a conversation with yourself in your mind. Like, am I going to eat it? Am I not? And they might say, come over. We're so cute. We 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 willpower is very low during the holiday season because we're so stimulated. So chances are, if it's out and about, you're going to end, it's going to 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 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. And, I am always one for, you know, choosing a couple of holiday treats that I'm going to 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 stuck in that coma of sugar, you know, sugar, flour, and butter, which can really put you in a comatose state and make you feel bad and unhealthy and really, really bring your holidays down. Really.

Rita Black: 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 rested, it is 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 I'm 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 fruit cake tasted like. Yeah, that's good. I only need three bites, you know? Oh, I know what fudge tastes like. Okay, that's good. I got that down. So, so, you know, eat those 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.

Rita Black: There you go. Oh, well, I hope you enjoyed that episode. Let's take it out of the oven and let it cool down and send you on your merry way. And don't forget to grab your free sugar cravings, Shift Out of Sugar Cravings Hypnosis session in the show notes. If you haven't gotten it yet, that's going to help you a lot during the holiday season too. So, go ahead and grab. It's absolutely free and have an amazing week. Take care of yourself. Pace yourself through the holidays. Don't overextend yourself, put yourself at the top of the self-care priority list. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door, the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to the thin thinking podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to 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 and to learn how to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.