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?
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 of another problem. Perhaps you are
overeating because you are seeking out food for comfort. You’re not alone because so many
women are also emotional eaters.
So dieting just won’t work. In fact over 93% of people who lose weight, regain it back within 5
years. That’s because diets don’t teach us how to deal with the emotions that compel us to eat.
The long and short of it is that diets are a constant reminder of what we can’t have. And
truly who wants to be reminded of what they can’t have? 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 them will 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!
There’s an alternative…
It’s called Intuitive Eating. Have you ever watched a baby being nursed or bottle fed? Perhaps
you’ve noticed that infant turn her head away at some point during the feeding. That’s because
the baby is paying attention to the feeling of fullness in her tummy. She is listening to her body’s
hunger signals. By turning her head, she is honoring her hunger.
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 told to fill up on low cal foods and drinks in
an effort to control the feast beast lurking inside of you.
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 will power to avoid the foods you crave. But eventually
desire to eat those foods become 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.
The secret is a double-sided coin. You have to legalize all foods and eliminate feelings of
deprivation by managing your stress and dealing with the emotions that crop up when you turn back to the old
habit of eating when you’re not hungry.
As you learn to manage your stress 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 trust over your body. It becomes easier to feel comfortable walking
away from food when you’re not hungry.
The more often you do that, your body will recondition itself to become satisfied with smaller amounts of food
naturally and effortlessly.
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. I
teach my clients a simple process called Emotional Freedom Technique. 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. In taking steps to
end the deprivation and guilt associated with dieting, you’ll learn to feel more relaxed with eating
the foods you love. It takes courage to break the cycle of fear and deprivation, however it’s
important to know that as you take steps to becoming an intuitive eater, you don’t have to be
afraid of food anymore. You are going to learn to rely on your body to gauge what is right for
you. 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?
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.
Step #4: Challenge All the Food Cops and Critics 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
ashamed of choosing the foods we really want to eat and eating them in the presence of others.
Sometimes we ask our families to help us by telling us when we’re overeating or questioning our choices.
If you want to learn how to master food, you have to take back your power and discover your own
needs and let the people around you know that things are going to be different. To feel safe around
food you have to be comfortable eating it in the presence of others. By doing this, 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.
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. By starting your meal feeling hungry, it will be easier to listen to your body and become
aware of the absence of that hunger. Check in with your stomach and your body and ask
yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Pay attention to the subtle signals that your body has been
satisfied. Notice how the taste of the food may have changed or how the quality of the meal has
Step #6: Eat the Foods You Really Love. 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 food that you really want without feeling guilty or deprived, you will rediscover all the
sensual delights that add to your satisfaction of it. 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.