FOOD AS REWARD OR COMFORT: Unlearn bad habits

‘Go Treat yourself’- did food or a snack immediately come to mind?

Food as reward or comfort is ingrained in many of us from birth. From offering the breast or bottle to soothe and comfort the fussy infant, giving the boisterous toddler a cookie to sit still, candy at school for good grades, chocolate as reward for a teenager;  birthday cakes, lollipops at the doctor’s rooms, and eating out as a treat; food as a reward or comfort is a pervasive part of modern culture. For us, food has lost is meaning as an element of survival and has become a source of pleasure. This results in unhealthy attitudes and habits.

Because this habit is ingrained from young, eating healthy and reducing excessive eating is often seen as a punishment, deprivation, and also a short-term intervention instead of a change in lifestyle.

To achieve long term health goals and maintain a healthy weight, these habits have to change. Improved health and wellbeing , reduced risk of dread disease, improved self-esteem, more energy… these are just some of the long term ‘rewards’ that should be focussed on.

Some guidelines to overcoming the habit of Food as Reward and Comfort:


First understand why: Look at where your idea of Food as reward comes from; habit, family tradition? If you are using food to soothe, or to deal with emotional turmoil; identify what your pattern is and the work on changing it.

Realise when: Identify all the instances where you reward yourself with food or treats; the coffee and muffin when shopping, the chocolate when you are feeling down, the cupcake after gym. Once you know when you are tempted, you can take steps to avoid the situation or find alternative ‘rewards’ for those occasions.


Change these habits:

Exercise Restraint- practise self-control: you really CAN say no to that delicious looking chocolate cake

Avoid situations where food is the centre of celebration; if you cannot avoid the event, reward yourself with interacting with the people around you and enjoying the music instead of the food served

Learn New Habits- if you know a visit to the Supermarket triggers a snack binge, fill up on water before you go

Set new Rewards- do not make food a reward for achievement, or a comfort for a failure. Seek other rewards  that celebrate each step in improved health

Look for rewards that are long lasting. Realise that with rewarding yourself with food, the good feelings will stop as soon as you finish the treat. If you reward yourself with something like a visit to a fun place or event, the reward (and memories) are long term.

Examples of positive rewards:

  • A new pair of jeans (in a smaller size)
  • A new haircut at a professional salon with all the money saved from NOT buying treats
  • A new bathing suit
  • Book a Spa for a back massage or facial
  • Sneak out to a movie matinee
  • Buy yourself a great music CD
  • Play mini golf
  • See a play
  • Take a walk with a friend

Finally, see food as nutrition, not reward. A Lifetime habit may not be broken overnight, but every time you do not succumb to the temptation, is a step in the right direction.

Article written by:
by S E More (BA Comm. Psych Hons); for  TLC-for Weightloss-Wellbeing

For more information or a FREE ASSESSMENT please contact or go to our website:


Eat Avocados … they are good for you!

Avocado fruits are really popular throughout the world.   Now Avocados can be found at your local supermarket during most of the year.  Avocado is sometimes called “avocado pear” or “alligator pear”, and “Aguacate Palta” in Spanish.

If you like eating avocados, then don’t stop. There are tremendous health benefits to eating them, here are just a few:

  • Lowers Cholesterol: Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Avocado is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.
  • Prevents Stroke: The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
  • Oral Cancer Defense
    Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
  • Prostate Cancer Prevention
    Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
  • Heart Health
    One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
  • Vitamin E Powerhouse
    Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
  • Breast Cancer Protection
    Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

Before eating Avocados ensure you follow the allowances on your TLC-Program.

To find out how to eat healthily and reach a healthy goal weight view our website:

For Avocado Recipes go to the TLC-Well-Log at

*These answers provide general information endorsed by our experts at time of publication. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.


Constantly tired with low energy?

Do you constantly feel tired, listless with very low energy levels?  Is it possible that changing eating habits and patterns could help?

Knowing the difference between just being tired and the possible onset of fatigue can make a big difference.

It’s not just a matter of getting a couple of hours’ extra sleep, it can be something serious.

Causes of fatigue or tiredness can include:

  • Physical ailments including anaemia, diabetes, thyroid imbalance
  • Infections caused by viruses or bacteria such as colds, flu
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Stress
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of exercise
  • Overtraining
  • Dehydration
  • Eating disorders
  • Bad eating habits or an unhealthy diet

If there is no illness, maybe it is time to consider doing the following:

  • Exercise gradually but steadily
  • Learn stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing or meditation
  • Set priorities and manage your time and energy efficiently
  • Practice good sleep habits
  • Don’t consume too many coffees each day
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet (like the TLC-Program)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t fill up on high-fat or sugary foods, which tend to make you feel sluggish

Need help and more information?  Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog and one of the experts at TLC will respond.

View our website:

*These answers provide general information endorsed by our experts at time of publication. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.


Eat Healthy … every day to make a difference!

It should be simple right? Eat good food and you will be strong and healthy.

We are generally well educated and well informed, we should know what to eat to be healthy? The reality is that obesity rates and chronic disease rates are higher than ever.


We are eating more processed Food: media and supermarkets promote food that appeal to our taste buds but are poor in nutrition;

We are eating less variety of foods: while tens of thousands of new products are introduced every year, two thirds of most people’s intake comes from four sources, corn, soy, wheat and rice;

Food quality is poor: Nutrients in soil have been depleted, pollution is rife;

Food is not ‘pure’ but full of Additives: Standard diets rely heavily on processed food full of artificial colouring, additives, flavourings and chemically altered fats and sweeteners.

So what should we do?

Go back to Basics!
Eat Smart!  You will have more energy, stabilise your mood and improve wellbeing and longevity.

• Avoid Sugars and Starch! Carbohydrates are linked to obesity and diabetes.

  • Drink water! Drink water! Drink water!
  • Simplify: Eat simple tasty ‘fresh’ meals. Switch from complex (rich creamy store bought sauces, ready-meals) to simple (roast chicken with green salad and homemade vinaigrette)
  • Moderation: Keep to Smaller portions and eating only at mealtimes. It is the snacking in between that is often a culprit.
  • Healthy eating habits: We are too used to grabbing a meal on the run. Sit down, eat with others if possible, chew your food properly and taste the meal instead of gulping it down
  • Listen to your body: make sure you are really hungry and not just thirsty, or bored
  • No snacking!: Avoid snacking at night and keep your last meal of the day as early as possible

The best way to learn a new lifestyle is to follow a structured Program (such as a TLC-for Weightloss Wellbeing Program) to teach and enforce these new habits.

Ready to make a change for the better?  Then go to our website or contact our Call Centre 0861 000852 or +27 31 7674244

by S E More (BA Comm. Psych Hons); for TLC-for Weightloss-Wellbeing; )


Great reasons to eat an Apple-a-day!

In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively.

Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.

  • Get whiter, healthier teeth. An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
  • Avoid Alzheimer’s. A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.
  • Protect against Parkinson’s. Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.
  • Curb all sorts of cancers. Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Decrease your risk of diabetes. Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.
  • Reduce cholesterol. The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.
  • Get a healthier heart. An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.
  • Prevent gallstones. Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.
  • Beat diarrhea and constipation. Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
  • Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized byconstipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.
  • Avert hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.
  • Control your weight. Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre.Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.
  • Detoxify your liver. We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.
  • Boost your immune system. Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.
  • Prevent cataracts. Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

With thanks, extracts taken from The Best Health Mag.

For more information go to


Ask the TLC-Chef … How to make Cauliflower Rice

Yes we know you can’t have “real” rice on Phase 2 of your TLC-Program but if prepared and spiced well this is a great alternative.

Here’s how:

  • Start with a whole cauliflower

  • Pull off the leaves and break the cauliflower into large florets and then rinse them well. Leave them in a colander to let all the moisture drain off or pat them dry with a paper towel.

  • You can either grate the cauliflower florets or choose the easier option and process them in the food processor.  Be sure to pulse until finely chopped.  At this point, you have two options: you can grate your cauliflower florets or you can process them in a food processor. Do this in small batches.

  • Now all you have to do is put the mix into ziploc bags (remember to take your specific portion sizes into consideration) and freeze them for later use.


If preparing the cauliflower rice from frozen, remove from the freezer and leave on the counter to soften and defrost a bit while you cook whatever you are planning on serving it with.


Preheat oven to 200C. Spread cauliflower rice out on one or more baking sheets (depending on how much you have) into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, turning often. Remove, serve and Enjoy!


  • Heat a small amount of olive oil (from your allowance) in a non-stick pan over medium high heat and add cauliflower rice.
  • Fry it to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Make sure to season with salt, pepper and another complimentary spice of your choice. Enjoy!

If  you have any questions ask the TLC-Chef at or go to our website:

Written by the TLC-Test Kitchen for

With thanks to everydaymaven.


TLC-Bytes … Toxic food to avoid: Caffeine

Natural caffeine (coffee, cocoa, tea) in moderation (1-3 small cup of coffee/tea per week) is fine for most people. Caffeine as an additive which is added to soft drinks, gum, diet pills, and pain relievers is an addictive stimulant.

Why do we care?

Caffeine is addictive. It also causes calcium to be excreted from the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis, and can increase infertility. At higher doses, caffeine can cause birth defects, miscarriage, heart disease, depression, behavioral changes, and insomnia. Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, irritability, sleepiness and lethargy.

What can I do?

Limit caffeine intake, in particular from coffee and processed tea-bags.  This does not include most organic teas in particular GREEN TEA which is an anti-oxidant.



Lets get Active … It’s simple!

Avoiding the gym?  Well with our lives so busy its not always easy or convenient to pop out to the gym.
To do these easy exercises all you need is a wall and a mat and you can easily do them at your leisure in the comfort of your own home.

Try these:

  • Knee Press: (tones butt, fronts and backs of thighs)
    Lie on back, butt against wall, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up wall. Peel lower and mid back off floor and cross left ankle over right knee. Squeeze butt and front of thigh to press left knee toward wall. Do 20 pulses, then lower body and repeat on opposite side.

    As you press knee, engage abs to lift and lower hips a couple of inches with each rep.

    Do the move with feet and back on floor

  • Toe Reaches: (tones abs)
    Return to Windshield Wipers starting position, hands on belly. Keeping abs tight and chin tucked slightly toward chest, lift head, shoulders, and upper back, reaching right hand toward left foot. Lower and repeat reaching left hand to right foot. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.
    Stack feet, left heel against right toes. Reach right hand to left side of feet, then left hand to right side. Do the full number of reps on each side.
    Lift only head and shoulders off floor as you reach toward knees.
  • Wall Bridge: (tones back, butt)
    Find More from Prevention on Pinterest
    Lie on back with butt against wall, arms at sides, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up wall. Exhale and peel lower and mid back off floor, keeping shoulder blades down, so body forms a nearly straight line from chest to knees. Hold for a deep inhale, then exhale and slowly roll back down.
    … Cross right ankle over left knee so only left foot is on wall, then roll up, pause, and lower. Do the full number of reps, then switch feet.
    Don’t use the wall. Keep feet flat on floor as you lift into a bridge; pause and slowly lower.
  • Wall Scissor: (tones butt, backs of thighs)
    From Toe Reaches start position, bend knees to plant feet on wall. Peel back off floor, keeping shoulder blades down, and step feet up wall so body forms a diagonal line from feet to chest. Bend elbows and support lower back with hands; keep shoulder blades, upper arms, and head on floor. Lower left leg toward… head as far as you can, keeping both legs straight and abs tight. Return to wall and lower right leg. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.
    As you lower leg, pause and pulse 2 or 3 times, moving it up and down an inch or two, before returning it back to wall. Repeat with opposite leg.
    Scoot body 3 to 6 inches away from wall so wall supports more weight.
  • Windshield Wipers: (tones inner and outer thighs)
    From Wall Bridge starting position, extend legs straight up against wall so body forms an L. Inhale and slowly lower left leg down wall like a clock arm toward 9 o’clock; exhale and return to start. Repeat with right leg, sweeping toward 3 o’clock. Continue to alternate legs until you’ve completed all reps.
    Wrap an exercise band around left foot and hold both ends beside opposite hip for added resistance as you sweep left foot down wall. Do all reps, then switch legs and repeat.
    Move 3 to 6 inches away from wall so torso and legs form a wider angle.

Exercise on its own will not benefit you like it will if you do a well balanced eating plan, like the TLC-Program.
For a FREE ASSESSMENT go to our website:


TLC-Bytes … With TLC food is FUN!

With TLC Food is Fun!

Tired of boring diets with tasteless and unappetising meals?
With TLC you will have 100′s of recipes to choose from making meals exciting and enjoyable.

For a taste of what you could experience:


Grilled Cheese & Tomato on
TLC-Soy & Linseed Loaf

Avocado Shrimp Salad

Sesame Chicken with Asparagus and Fresh Greens

Cold Peach and Strawberry Soup

Plus … add further snacks and fruits based on your own individual food plan.

Join now and with your TLC-Program you will have access to 100′s of delicious TLC-Recipes in the TLC-Well-Log.

For more information fill in our online enquiry form on our website:


Are you SABOTAGING your fatloss efforts with ‘Healthy” eating?

“But I have been eating such healthy food, why am I not losing weight?!””

Think you are eating ‘healthy’ but you are not losing weight?

Remember that eating for certain nutritional goals and weight-loss does not always go hand in hand. If you are trying to correct your metabolism and lose weight, it is important to consider hidden sugars and carbohydrates in foods that are generally considered healthy.

It seems contradictory, but a meal may be considered very healthy in terms of nutrients, anti-oxidants and other ‘good’ ingredients but may still be high in sugar (honey) or high in starch (sweet potato) and sabotage your fatloss attempts.

So you need to understand the benefits vs the other impacts of food you may choose to eat.

Here are hidden sugars and starches in some common foods:

Sweet potato:

The latest ‘health fad’ is to have sweet potato fries as a ‘healthy alternative’ to ‘normal’ white potato. Unfortunately, sweet potatoes contain almost double the amount of starch and carbohydrate than a normal white potato.

And LOTS of extra sugar in:


17g of sugar in a tbsp. of honey, so not a good fatloss alternative to sugar in your tea!

Yoghurt with fruit:

contains a whopping 19 grams of sugar per cup-rather add your own sliced fruit from your allowance to plain yoghurt.

Canned soup:

up to 15g sugar in 1.5 cup, and added sodium

Salad dressing:

Up to 4 gram per tablespoon- and low fat varieties often contain even more! Rather make your own with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Tomato Sauce:

Up to 12 grams in half a cup

Granola Bars:

Up to 9g per bar

Dried Fruit:

Up to 29 g per handful

Orange Juice:

Up to 9 g in a glass

If your goal is to lose weight and be healthy, it is important to follow a Program that considers all these hidden obstacles to your fatloss. The TL©-Program triggers rapid weightloss with healthy foods that create the optimum fatloss environment in your endocrine system.

For more information go to

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