Weight Loss Is More Than Just Willpower


“ I was looking for someone to inspire me, motivate me, support me, keep me focused……and I realised that all along I was looking for myself.”

Heather Jones Dietitian

If you have been struggling with weight and food for a long time, you’ve most likely forgotten how to have a positive relationship with food. With the constant bombardment of diet language from print and social media you are probably in need of a mental cleanse from all that you have been exposed to. But how do you move from total confusion to a healthy relationship with food and with your body.

Most of us have forgotten how powerful we are in changing our relationship with food. We certainly do not need size 6 celebrities or buffed up personal trainers to tell us how to lose weight. Most of us understand that if we eat less, move more; we lose weight. What we need to realize, is how powerful we truly are in creating a peaceful relationship with food that nourishes our body. It is harnessing that power within that allows you to take better care of yourself, to stop emotional eating and lose weight with ease.

If fact the only person who has that control over your body, your eating habits and your life……is you. Unfortunately it’s so easy to forget that, that we get trapped in a cycle of struggle, negativity and fear.  In fact most of the time we spend more energy dreaming about weight loss instead of just doing.

As a dietitian, working in the weight loss field for over 15 years, I’ve seen it all. We have this insane idea that if we hate ourselves enough, torture ourselves enough, shame and guilt ourselves enough, that somehow we’ll end up happy, thin and confident. Isn’t that what social media tells us to do?

In reality, my weight loss clients who achieve success is because they realize there is no perfect diet or cleanse that will solve your weight loss problems or your relationship with food. You have to work on you and change the relationship you have with food, your hunger and yourself. It takes more time to foster a healthy relationship with food and to understand there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food but breaking that diet mentality of counting calories, yo-yo dieting and constantly feeling guilty for eating certain foods must surely be worth the effort.

To help you get started on finding the power within you, here are my 3 top tips.

1. Understand your hunger and emotions 

When you raise your awareness around hunger, your eating habits and your emotions – you are cultivating eating consciousness. Hunger is the need for food. It is a physical reaction triggered by low blood sugar and hormones that ensure your body is fueled correctly. Appetite is the desire for food that is a conditioned response triggered by seeing and smelling yummy food, social situations or emotions.

Tip: Next time you feel the urge to eat, pause and ask yourself – Am I really hungry? It is not about deciding if you are in fact allowed to eat, it is about raising awareness around WHY you want to. This will empower you to make a conscious eating choice.

2. Meet your emotional needs without food

Eating is a distraction that immediately soothes negative feelings. It’s like getting into your comfy jarmies, tucking your favourite teddy under your arm and going off to bed. These certain foods trigger a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. But the relief from food is only temporary. Therefore, if your food craving is not coming from hunger, then you can be sure that eating is not going to satisfy it or make it go away.

Tip: Honour the emotion by verbalizing it or writing it down, instead of ignoring it or burying it in food.

3. Take inspired and consistent action

Finding motivation to keep going and being consistent can be difficult at times. To stay on track you need to create positive, feel good moments in your life so that you are inspired to take actions that meet with your desires. This is very different than trying to use willpower to push one self. For example, stop torturing yourself with eating food you despise all in the name of losing weight. Instead find foods you enjoy that honour your health, your hunger and your taste buds.

Tip: Find ways to create positive moments that make you feel good about yourself.

Ending the battle with weight is all about starting a healthy relationship with you and harnessing the power within. Our Eat well, feel better plan will help you do exactly that.

(P.S I would love to share with you all of my clients’ weight loss successes and inspirational stories but due to industry regulations I can’t share my successes with you. However, being a dietitian, means you can be reassured that I have undergone extensive training to specialise in weight loss)

Julie Gilbert

Tell us about your dieting experience in the comments, or book an appointment with us today and let's discuss your goals!

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