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Too embarrassed to eat...

“The public health war on obesity has had little impact on obesity prevalence and has resulted in unintended consequences…[including] excessive weight preoccupation among the population, which can lead to stigma, body dissatisfaction, dieting, disordered eating, and even death from effects of extreme dieting, anorexia, and obesity surgery complications, or from suicide that results from weight-based bullying” (Salas, 2015).

If you are struggling with your weight and go to see a doctor or even most other nutritionists, hypnotherapists or psychotherapists, they will simply recommend that you eat less and exercise more. They will probably tell you to eat more slowly and to just eat less calories than you are burning. You know - weight loss is really just about calories in versus calories out - RIGHT?!

WRONG - in fact there is lots of evidence which shows that improving someone’s health and achieving permanent weight loss is not just about putting them on a low calorie diet - this in fact could be counter-productive to any weight loss efforts! At The Food Psychology Clinic we understand that there are actually a range of different factors that drive your food choices and we know which recommendations and tools will actually help you to achieve permanent change calorie counting involved!

One of the saddest things about the approach taken by most people to obesity and weight loss is that it makes individuals feel as though they are to blame - for not being able to control their food intake and their food choices. There is a lot of fat shaming involved in the public message of “it is easy - all you have to do is eat less and exercise more”. Yet, at The Food Psychology Clinic, we believe that this is extremely unfair. Most people have absolutely no conscious control over the food that they are eating and do not know how they can go about changing their eating behaviours. Most people are trapped in the cycle of feeling that they need to go on a diet, not having the willpower to sustain an extremely restrictive eating plan and then over-eating to compensate. The cycle of starving and over-eating - of comforting with food and then feeling guilty - is so common - and is often directly caused by the message that “you just need to eat less and exercise more”. What this message actually does to most people is to set them up for failure, make them feel not good enough and stop them from actually getting healthy.

I see so many overweight clients who feel too embarrassed to eat in front of others. They will order a small salad or just drink some Diet Coke in front of others, only to binge eat lots of chocolate and crisps when they are at home or alone. Why does this happen? - Because of fat shaming - because over-weight people are made to feel as though they are to blame and that other people will be judging them for not being able to control their weight. It is really sad that the advice that most people are giving to obese and over-weight individuals is causing this epidemic of low self-esteem - with over-weight individuals feeling not good enough, like a failure and too embarrassed to eat. Nobody should be made to feel this way!

At The Food Psychology Clinic, we understand that it is not just about calories in and calories out. Losing weight and improving your health are actually much better achieved in a very different way. Contact us at to book in for a free 20 minute consultation to find out more about how we may be able to help you to improve your health for good.

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