How much would you love to be able to lose weight by eating all the foods that you want and
never, ever, ever have to diet again?
If you consider yourself an emotional eater, you can probably relate to feeling like you’ve failed at diets.
But in truth, diets have failed you. I’ll bet that by now, you’ve probably noticed that with all the dieting you’ve done over the years
you are actually heavier than when you started. That’s because your excess weight is not due to
lack of self-control or laziness. It’s just a symptom.
Weight issues are as a result of a lack of self-love.
Your body is brilliant and knows how to be healthy. If overeating has led to weight issues, there’s no shame in that. Overeating is our heart’s way of trying to fill an emotional reservoir that feels empty. But no matter how out of balance you have felt for whatever length of time you have experienced it, you can come back into a sense of balance and harmony with your body. You can reprogram yourself to relax around food so you can eat what you want and get satisfied consuming smaller portions.
Here’s an example of what I mean by getting back in balance with your body. When you go to the gas station to
put gas in your car, you don’t fill the tank past the point of overflow. And then once your tank is full, you don’t put gas in the
back of the car or carry it around with you in a coffee cup. If you choose to fill your gas tank
the limit of the tank is the maximum amount of gas your car can hold. Your stomach is the same. There is just a certain amount of space in your body for food. And it’s not very large; just a couple of cups of volume. But it’s our emotions that fool us into thinking we’re always hungry when we’re not.
Research has shown that for more than 93% of people who lose weight on diets, they regain their weight and more within less than 5 years. The reason for the weight gain is the restrictive nature of the diets. The sad truth is dieting just won’t work. That’s because diets don’t teach us how to deal with the emotions that compel us to eat when we’re not hungry. And probably worst of all, diets keep you thinking that you are helpless because they are a constant reminder of the dynamic between you and the judgmental authority figures in your life asserting
their opinions and telling you what you can and can not do. I’ll bet that brings out the rebel in you.
I’m sure you’d agree that when you try to follow a weight loss plan that puts the kabosh on
certain foods that you love, your cravings for those foods drag you around by the nose. Despite all
attempts to stay on program, it doesn’t matter, the cravings will get you every time. Before you
know it, you’re giving in, eating the food and feeling miserable, overcome by guilt and promising
to get back on the wagon and ‘be good’ on your diet the next day. Stop putting yourself through that torture!
Intuitive Eating: A Non-Diet Weight Control Alternative
There is an alternative to dieting called Intuitive Eating. Have you ever watched a baby being nursed or bottle fed? Perhaps
you’ve noticed that infant turn their head away at some point during the feeding. That’s because
the baby is paying attention to the feeling of fullness in their little tummy. The infant is listening to their body’s
hunger signals. By turning their head, they are honoring their body’s sense of fullness and satisfaction.
We all have that same ability to listen to our bodies, eat when we are hungry and stop when we
are satisfied. However after years of dieting, you may have learned to mistrust your body and
ignore the sensation of hunger. You may have been given the message that your hunger is insatiable.
And it’s very likely that you were encouraged to eat very frequently and fill up on low cal foods
to prevent yourself from getting too hungry. But your hunger is a natural thing and it’s really nothing to fear.
It really doesn’t matter how long you have dieted, or have been watching your weight,
you can get that awareness of your body back again.
Despite that negative programming, it’s very simple to get back on track and pay attention to
your body so that you can eat what you want and lose weight naturally without dieting, pills,
gadgets or gizmos. But it’s reasonable to expect that it’s going to take some time to change.
On diet programs, your goal is to lose weight by cutting calories or counting some other metric
that reduces your options. Basically as a dieter or careful eater, you learned to watch your weight
by depriving yourself and using inner resolve and will power to avoid the foods you crave. But eventually
desire to eat those foods becomes greater than your ability to avoid them, and you will fall into a binge.
To break the diet/binge cycle, you have to relearn how to trust your body. It’s already doing a great
job for you in other areas. It tells you when you need to relieve your bladder, regulates your heart beat, blood
circulation and sleep rhythms, and so much more. Face it. Your body is a miracle. That means
that you can also trust it to regulate your weight. But unlike diets, non-diet weight control will not make an empty
promise of a quick fix weight loss. You will have to learn how to manage your body and tune into it’s needs.
The secret is a double-sided coin. In order to lose weight without dieting, you have to learn how to take back the power of your life from food. If you are an emotional eater, your brain has been conditioned over time to handle the stress in your life by eating. Everyone has their own path that led them to food as a means of comfort. For many people traumatic or abusive events in childhood often lead to turning to food. Unlike alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, which isn’t often available to children, food is always accessible.
Food is not love. Food is just food. It’s fuel for your body. Sure it tastes good, but it can’t replace the warm and wonderful emotions that make us feel loved and safe. It’s been my experience as an incest and abuse survivor, that if you grew up feeling unsafe in your body, not knowing who to trust, food has taken on the role of nurturer in your life. As a child that was a brilliant way to care for yourself, but as an adult, eating food in excess leads to disease and ultimately death.
I specialize in coaching women who are abuse survivors. I teach them how to love and nurture themselves and treat their bodies kindly so they can step into their power and break the cycle of abuse in their lives. Diets reinforce a negative self-image that makes us feel powerless over our lives. To reclaim your power over food and your life, you have to see food as it really is; just food. By stripping off the blanket of restriction that comes with all diets, and giving yourself permission to eat what you want, food will lose much of it’s seductive allure. But perhaps the much more challenging task in the process of learning to lose weight without dieting is taking the responsibility to choose a consistent course of action to deal with your stress. It’s been my experience that without dealing with your stress on a consistent basis, you will never be able to stop eating and you will gain tons of weight either with or without a diet in place. If you are an emotional eater, you MUST learn to deal with your stress and commit to handling those emotions every day, several times a day. If you don’t you will keep on eating and never want to stop.
Everyone has their own path that led them to food as a means of comfort. For many people traumatic or abusive events in childhood often lead to turning to food. Unlike alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, which isn’t often available to children, food is always accessible. If you’re an emotional eater, your brain has paired up safety and comfort with eating and food. You probably have just as many upsetting memories around food as you do sweet ones. As a result that leads to the inner conflicts that have made your relationship with food feel so tortured. It’s impossible to speak about your relationship with food without also addressing your feelings toward your body. One affects the other.
You may have starting overeating in response to feeling violated or unsafe in your body. Perhaps you’ve known that you have been detached from your body for a long time and aren’t really aware of how it feels. Maybe you think that your body is your enemy. But it’s not. Your body has stuck with you through thick and thin and only wants the best for you. It’s willing to lead you to your happiest self, but you have to be open to listening to it again. A part of you doesn’t think that you can trust yourself with food and many other situations in your life. But take it from me, you can. I’ll teach you how to create feelings of safety within.
Learning to master food will go a long way toward creating a sense of self trust. Your goal in learning how to lose weight without dieting is to take back control of your life. It’s been the stress in your life that keeps on triggering you to eat whatever you see, either in your mind or in magazines, or in real life situations. and dealing with the emotions that crop up when you turn back to the old
habit of eating when you’re not hungry. It’s not a failure on your part. It’s an important message from your brain that you are overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with the emotions you feel. Your feelings and memories of being out of control and powerless in your life are mirrored when you are reminded how deprived you feel being restricted from eating the foods you love. deprivation around food get triggered
when you Overeating is a necessary part of the learning process
that teaches your body how to feel good eating smaller portions. It also makes it possible to completely change your eating. If you are an emotional eater, it’s the stress in your life that keeps on triggering you to eat whatever you see, either in your mind or in magazines, or in real life situations.
As you learn to manage your stress and anxiety on a consistent basis and find new ways of satisfying your emotional needs,
your urges to overeat will become less. As you gradually take steps to minimize the duration, intensity and frequency
of your bingeing, you gain a greater sense of self-respect and pride for yourself and trust in your body. When you know that
you have the freedom to eat what you want, when you want it without restriction, It becomes easier
to feel comfortable walking away from food when you’re not hungry. Eating to the point of fullness and pain becomes
emotionally and physically intolerable and you will find that your tendency to do that will be greatly minimized.
As you tune in and eat to satisfy your body’s physical hunger, your body will recondition itself to become satisfied with
smaller amounts of food naturally and effortlessly.
In my program, “Losing Weight without Dieting,” the first week’s assignment I give my clients is to eat anything they want,
every time they feel hungry for that entire week. I also give them my Mindful & Gentle Eating Exercise designed to slow down
the pace of their eating. When the women come back the following week and share their experiences, they are all astonished
to discover how quickly their bodies physical hunger was satisfied by the foods they ate. This is where the real work of
the program begins. It is our emotional need for the food that drives our cravings, not our body’s physical hunger. That is
why by the 2nd week of the program, I give my clients a variety of stress-relief tools to use whenever they recognize
that they are not physically hungry, but still want to eat.
This is because strong emotions like sadness, resentment, hurt and fear can actually create the same sensations of hunger in
the body and trick our brains into thinking we are hungry when we are not.
It’s simple but it’s not easy. As with any new change that you want to make, support is key. The
toughest part is to resist the urge to fall back into the old habit of eating when you’re overcome
by emotions. Some people like to journal and record their feelings and thoughts as they arise. One of
the stress-reliefs methods I teach my clients is a simple process called Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT
also known as tapping is similar to the power of acupuncture, but without the needles. You use your fingertips to tap gently
on several of your body’s acupressure points. This creates an almost instant sense of calm and it’s very effective for
relieving stress, eliminating cravings, addictions and so much more.
Here are 9 steps you can take to lose weight naturally without dieting.
Step #1. Say Goodbye to Dieting Toss out the old diet books, stop counting calories,
points, carbs or fat grams – and you may even want to get rid of your scale. By making the decision
to stop letting a diet control your decisions, you are taking back huge chunks of your life, your time, your energy,
your thoughts and peace of mind. Diets rely on restriction and deprivation to control your eating. It’s this restriction and deprivation
that drives your insatiable urges to overeat the foods you have tried so hard to avoid. When you reach the tipping point of your deprivation, where you can no longer tolerate the feelings of wanting the foods, you will get that food and overeat it to the point where you make yourself feel sick. There’s no shame in this. It’s just your body’s response to feeling like you will never be able to eat the food again.
Rather than following a restrictive plan to eat specific foods as a diet would teach you, that trigger your cravings to eat the foods you really want, you are going to learn how to master all foods. You’ll learn to trust your body’s instincts and feel more relaxed with eating
the foods you love. You are going to learn to rely on your body to gauge what is right for you. Your body is biologically engineered to heal itself. It wants to move towards greater health. You will be surprised to notice that many of the foods you used to eat compulsively,
won’t even appeal to you anymore. By giving yourself permission to eat what you want, it allows you to tune into your body’s awareness
and really taste the food and tune into how that food feels in your body. You reclaim your power over food by giving yourself permission to eat what you want, and learning to trust yourself around the foods you fear. But giving yourself permission is the secret here. You won’t believe that you can stop yourself from eating your favorite foods until you actually begin to give yourself permission to eat them. Make a list of all the old forbidden no-nos that you used to fear. Can you believe that you’ll actually be able to eat those foods again without guilt? You can.
Step #2: Make Peace with All Foods Pack your pantry and fill your fridge with the
foods on your list. The battle is over. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you
want instead of what you think you should eat. Believe me, I know how scary this seems, but
you’ll never get over your food fears and break the cycle of emotional eating, if you don’t learn
how to relax around food and recognize that you have power over your choices. As you welcome back
all the old forbidden foods, you’ll give yourself permission to really experience and taste them. You will
discover that many of the former foods that you used to love no longer taste good to you.
Step #3. Tune Into Your Hunger By eating in response to your body’s natural hunger,
you will enjoy the taste of food more, become a picky eater and recognize the difference
between feeling hungry and becoming satisfied. You’ll also learn to decipher the many faces of
hunger – physiological vs emotional. Stomach hunger is a form of physiological hunger and it
comes from your body and indicates that you must eat in order to replenish your energy
reserves. Mouth hunger is connected to emotional eating and is recognized by impulsive eating,
craving food after a meal, and food obsession. As a dieter, you’ve been taught to avoid getting
too hungry as a preventative measure against overeating. Your body knows how much it needs to
eat and as you learn to respect your hunger and eat in response to it, you will lose weight
naturally without ever again feeling deprived. In Week #2 of my Losing Weight without Dieting Program I teach my clients how to use TAT; another powerful stress-relief process called Tapas Acupressure Technique. TAT is named for it’s creator, Tapas Fleming. She developed the technique and credits it with curing herself of breast cancer. I teach my clients how to use TAT to tap into a greater awareness of what their bodies need by pairing the TAT Pose with a self-questioning process. I call this exercise, “What Do I Really Want?” I instruct my clients to sit or lie down comfortably about 5 minutes before they want to eat. TAT is another way of activating your body’s natural calming response. Unlike tapping (EFT) that relies on tapping gently on certain acupressure points on your body, TAT is an even more gentle technique where you use one hand to cradle the back of your neck and place your other hand gently on your forehead. I always encourage my clients to use this delightful stress-relief method and get really comfortable either lying down, reclined or slumped forward. By using the TAT Pose and pairing it with a repeated question, “What Do I Really Want? ” that opens up your body’s awareness and visualization ability and your body goes to work to answer the question. My clients are often astonished when they
sit in the TAT Pose and ask themselves “What Do I Really Want? ” Many times they will recognize that they want to take a nap, or cry or ask for a hug. After sitting for 5 minutes asking themselves the question, “What Do I Really Want,” they may start out wanting to eat a bag of chips, but then when they get settled and aware of how their bodies feel, they may choose to have a sandwich, or a salad and a smaller portion of chips or none. It’s entirely up to them and no choice is wrong.
Step #4: Challenge All the Food Cops and Critics – If you want to learn how to lose weight without dieting, you’ve got to get
really comfortable taking back your power in all aspects of your life. Make it clear to those around
you that they have no right to comment on your body or what you eat. That is your business and
none of their concern. Much of our overeating is driven by feelings of shame around our bodies,
worrying about the judgments and opinions of others and feeling out of control around food and
feeling embarrassed eating in the presence of others.
Perhaps you’ve felt as though you couldn’t trust yourself around food, and you asked others in your family to
tell you when you’re overeating. Maybe you’ve invited them to nudge you by asking them to question your choices.
Don’t feel bad about that. You did what you thought you needed to do. But going forward, if you want to learn how to master food, you have to take back your power and discover your own needs. Your relationship with food is really all about the sense of power you feel over your life. As a dieter, you were conditioned to accept that you were powerless and had no self-control so you had to restrict yourself
and avoid the foods you loved because you lacked any will power and didn’t think that you could ever stop yourself from overeating those foods. To feel safe around food you have to be comfortable eating in the presence of others. You also have to make it clear to the people in your family that you’re in charge of your body and what you eat. You may encounter some resistance and opposition but stand your ground. You are going to be retraining people to respect you more. By shifting the power dynamic in your relationship, you will find that your
need to binge will be significantly reduced. Take back your control and chase away all those old food cops. But most important is to put a leash on your own inner critic, that often nasty, judgy voice that you hear inside your thoughts. To begin the process of reclaiming your power over your your thoughts, you need to pay attention to what’s on your mind. Your inner critic is really just a part of you that wants to keep you safe, in a comfort zone. It’s a more childlike part of you that is replaying negative memories and keeps reminding you of your past. When you notice a thought that makes you feel badly, question it and any negative beliefs that evoke feelings of shame and guilt toward your body and your relationship with food. Your inner critic is another great source of internal wisdom available to you. I teach my clients how to tap into that wisdom by using self-compassion. That will instantly tame the flame of your inner critic.
Step #5: Feel Your Fullness It’s important to realize that it is easiest to recognize that
your physical hunger is being satisfied when you begin to eat with a noticeable feeling of
hunger. You need to feel hungry in order to know when your hunger is satisfied.
Many times dieters have no sense of what hunger feels like because they have been so
conditioned to avoid feeling hungry. Our bodies internal satisfaction switch which makes us
want to push ourselves away from the table is a very delicate and gentle awareness. When you are under stress, it is very easy to ignore your body’s subtle signal indicating you are now satisfied and don’t want anymore food. If you are a stress eater, when you are under pressure, feel tense and anxious, your body will go on auto-pilot and your brain will urge you to overeat. If you have been a stress eater, overeating has been your body’s way of keeping you safe and protected. Don’t despair. You can reprogram yourself by learning how to use stress-relief techniques and using them every time you sense anxiety or overwhelming emotions rising up in your body.
Your body is infinitely brilliant in it’s wisdom of what you need and how to give that to yourself. When you are able to eat food in a more relaxed and calm way, you will be sensitive to the subtle signals that your body’s physical hunger has been satisfied. One of the changes you will notice is that your mind will wander, and the taste of the food has become dull or boring and you just want to move on with your day.
Step #6: Savor your food. Feast all your senses. Smell, taste, touch
and fully enjoy your meals. Revel in the sensuality of your food. Know that you are the boss, not food.
You deserve the very best. If it doesn’t smell wonderful, look gorgeous and have the
perfect taste, texture, temperature and balance of flavors, it’s not good enough for you. Contrary
to what you may have been led to believe, you are not a human garbage can. When you begin
to eat meals that delight you, you will notice that you won’t need large quantities of the food to satisfy
you. That is why throughout my Losing Weight without Dieting Program, I encourage my clients to use my Mindful & Gentle Eating Exercise at least 3 x each week. It is a multi-stepped process designed to slow down the pace of your eating. It places attention on the food and the experience of eating the food. The exercise invites you to experiment and play with your food to increase your enjoyment and satisfaction. By learning how to eat mindfully, being sensitive to your personal preferences, you will naturally find that you eat smaller portions.
Step #7: Cope With Your Emotions Without Food When you realize
that you want food, and you’ve just eaten a short while ago, explore your feelings and question
why you may want the food and what you want the food to do for you.
Many people are able to learn to eat intuitively by simply relying on journalling. However in my
experience as a sexual abuse and incest survivor, if you are a woman who struggles with feelings
of self hatred, shame, insecurity and anger around your body, negative emotions or memories that
beckon you to eat food for comfort, then I advise you to learn a process called Emotional
Freedom Technique before attempting to learn how to eat intuitively. It will enable you to release
and reprogram those internal upsets. This is essential in order to prevent a massive weight gain.
Step #8: Be Gentle and Kind With Yourself. Toss out the “No pain, no gain” mentality and cut
yourself some slack. Understand that you will binge and overeat and make choices that surprise
and upset you. But everything that you do is a learning experience. Bingeing is part of the process.
It’s unavoidable. Your body needs to relearn that it is safe to eat the foods it wants. By taking a kind
and gentle approach and observing your overeating with curiosity, not criticism, you will create that
sense of inner peace and safety. Self-compassion is the best way to bust down your binges.
There is no right or wrong, good or bad. It’s time to question all your old
black and white thinking and analyze how true and effective those beliefs are for you. It’s about
finding a solution that works, not focusing on what’s right or wrong. This new way of living and
eating is based on learning to listen to what you really want and living and eating in response to
those needs. By treating yourself lovingly and respectfully, you will take off the unnecessary
pressure that has been placed on you by constantly trying to ‘be good’ and get it perfect. Please
remember that this is a process that takes time. By all means, be gentle with yourself. Self-compassion
and kindness and self-care is the core to creating incredible confidence and carving out a life you
Step #9: Get Support Surround yourself with other women also on the same
road to self discovery. Recognize that your weight issues source back to old habits and
behaviors that probably come from years of depriving yourself and trying to stick to a diet. It’s
important to know that at the heart of it all, it’s not about food. You’ve been distracted by your
focus on food and weight for a long time. Your weight issues are the result of parts of your life
that have gone unattended and ignored. As you begin to reclaim your power over food, you’ll
recognize that you have more choices in every aspect of your life and you will love, respect and
accept yourself even more. By getting the support of other women and learning how they are
handling their challenges to express themselves, be more gentle and listen to their bodies, you
will add more ‘yummy’ to your life.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to deal with your cravings and I’ll tell you about my
upcoming eCourse, “Losing Weight without Dieting.”
In the meanwhile, I invite you to join my 30 Days to Lovin’ the Skin You’re In Facebook Group.
There you can view my FB Lives, and get first dibs on all my products and programs.