Kara (not her real name), a homemaker and mother of two young children, reached out to me because she’s “tried every diet under the sun.”
When I asked her to explain, she says, “You know… the HGC diet, keto, Whole30, counting points, low carb… everything. On all of these, I lost weight, but then I fell off the wagon. I also had better energy when I wasn’t eating so much processed foods and sugar. But it just wasn’t sustainable and I always gained the weight back. I always start binging and emotional eating. In fact, I’m at my highest weight ever right now.”
As a Body Connection Coach, I help people heal their relationship with food and body image through a spiritual approach. I’ve heard Kara’s story more times than I can count from my clients.
The diet industry makes $70 billion a year convincing us that we’re eating the wrong food in the wrong amount at the wrong time. Fad diets go in and out of style faster than clothing trends! Given the industry’s incessant propaganda and marketing, it’s no wonder women like Kara spend their entire adult lives feeling completely preoccupied and confused about food.
Kara’s real problem, however, isn’t her ability to stick to a diet. The real problem involves these three subconscious factors that keep women disconnected from the body’s intuitive wisdom around food.
1. You’re In A Diet Mindset, Not An Intuitive Eating Mindset
Dieting — purposely restricting food with the intention of losing weight — may be the most effective way to create anxiety, body image issues, and gain weight in the long term.
The vast majority of scientific literature shows that dieting to lose weight comprehensively backfires. First, yo-yo dieting in women correlates to worse markers of health, including higher blood pressure and risk of heart disease (2). Second, it slows down the metabolism — meaning, the more you diet, the slower you burn calories. That’s because the body senses a famine state, and wants to preserve energy (3).
It’s no wonder that yo-yo dieting is a predictor of future weight gain, with most dieters gaining back the same amount of weight or more (4, 5).
Intuitive eating is an evidence-based (6, 7, 8) philosophy, producing better long-term health outcomes and weight stability. It’s based on learning and trusting your body’s hunger cues to achieve food peace and health without restricting food. Binging disappears, because binging typically results from food restriction in the first place. Intuitive eating allows food to finally become a relaxing, easy experience.
Weight loss may or may not happen. That’s why it’s also important to deprogram toxic body image standards, and allow your body to choose its ideal weight.
Further, in my practice I find that unresolved trauma and trapped emotions are huge factors for carrying extra weight. That’s why I equip my clients with tools like hypnotherapy, EFT (tapping), and flower essences to shift these stuck emotional patterns.
Although it may feel scary to not chase weight loss, consider that dieting nearly guarantees weight gain in the long run. At first, intuitive eating may feel like a loss of control. But I ask my clients, “Has dieting allowed you to truly felt in control around food and your weight? Hasn’t it led you to see food and your weight as a never-ending battle?”
2. You Need Rat Park
In the late 1970’s, researchers isolated single rats in cages, then provided two types of water: one plain, and one spiked with cocaine. The rats got hooked on the cocaine water, until they overdosed and died.
Then, researchers created a new testing environment called Rat Parks. In these cages, rats were free to play, socialize, and mate. This time, when presented with the two water options, the rats preferred the plain water. If they did take a hit of cocaine water, it was infrequently and never to the point of overdose.
Clients often come to me thinking their problem is a lack of willpower around food. They say, “I just can’t stay away from sugar,” or “Every time I go on a diet, I end up losing control and binging on junk food.” The problem isn’t a lack of willpower; it’s a lack of a pleasure and fun elsewhere in their lives.
I use modalities like hypnotherapy, energy work, EFT (tapping), and life coaching to help them create lives that feel more like Rat Park. Then, they can have their equivalent of cocaine water around them — the chips, the cheese, the cream, the desserts.
Because they’ve healed their relationship with pleasure elsewhere in their lives, they are able to enjoy these fun foods with moderation, and without overdosing.
3. Part of you doesn’t want your “real life” to start
When clients come to me, they have internalized the belief, as most of us have, that we are move lovable and successful if our bodies are a certain size. They believe their “real life” will start when they lose weight, or they believe that they must prevent weight gain at all costs because that would ruin their life.
Social data shows unfair workplace discrimination against fat people is measurable (9). But it’s nothing compared to how I see the most powerful and intuitive women hold themselves back because they don’t believe their body is good enough. When we get down to the root issue, however, it’s never about their body not being enough… it’s because they’re afraid to take uncomfortable steps to create their dream life.
My client Trisha (not her real name), for example, kept telling herself that if she’d attract her ideal boyfriend when she lost weight. When we dived deeper into her subconscious beliefs, she realized that she was simply procrastinating. She felt uncomfortable putting herself out there, and had some healing to do around sexual trauma. By blaming her weight, she got to avoid this deeper self-work.
Do you believe you need to look a certain way in order to be successful, loveable, or have a great sex life? That might be a procrastination technique. If you believe your body needs to be perfect before taking the next step forward in your relationships or career, then you never have to take that step forward.
The good news is that this is one of the most powerful excuses men and women use. So when you overcome this limiting belief, the transformation in your life is quantum.
Have you really tried everything?
Because Kara had tried so many diets, she thought she had “tried everything.” The truth is she only tried changing her food and body, instead of changing her subconscious beliefs and mindset.
Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
In the same way, you can’t solve a food problem with food, and you can’t solve a body image problem by changing your body. You’ve got to change your subconscious beliefs and address the SPIRITUAL root causes.
To permanently heal your lifelong food/weight issues, it requires more than simply cutting out carbs, fasting, or drinking celery juice.
It means doing the deeper healing of rewiring your brain, releasing trauma, changing relationships, setting major boundaries, and embracing your True Self.
Ready to permanently heal lifelong food and weight issues?
If you’re ready to do that healing, I’d love to support you in my Food without Fear Program!
This is an intensely transformative 8-week program. It includes group coaching, personalized energy healing, targeted hypnotherapy, a 200-page workbook, and comprehensive teaching modules.
After Food without Fear, you’ll have a sustainable, intuitive relationship with food and enjoy eating with ease and freedom. And you’ll feel comfortable and confident in your body!
The Food without Fear Program is currently enrolling at Early Bird pricing is available through September 24th.
Learn more and enroll here, and I look forward to personally supporting you!
YES!!! These 3 points make so much sense to me. When I was pregnant and being able to see my stomach growing bigger as a good thing helped me heal my body mindset so much. I’m now over a year postpartum and still weigh more than I did pre-pregnancy but I feel so good about what my body is capable of that that doesn’t really matter. I also read your book and am really aware of the example I am setting for my daughter. Thank you for writing this article.
From a very young age we’re emotionally attached to food. As children we’re often given treats, both to console us when we’re upset, and to reward us for good behavior.
Thanks for sharing your precious time to create this post, It is so informative and the content makes the post more interesting. really appreciated.