Losing Weight- 4 Things That work and 4 Things That Don’t
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Sometimes I say to myself that if I hear one more thing about losing weight I’m going to quit my job, run away to some tropical island, and eat vacation food for the rest of my life. But then I remember that one of the most important commitments of my life is to be the best expert and teacher and practitioner when it comes to eating psychology – which means I’ll probably be hearing about all the latest weight loss information until everyone on earth is finally skinny. This may take a few years.

Which is why I decided to come up with my own list of 4 strategies that work for weight loss, and 4 strategies that don’t. This way, I won’t have to complain about someone else’s knuckleheaded methods, but I can sit back and listen to anyone else who cares to complain about my own. The truth is though, I think I’m onto something. Keep reading and let me know what you think.

Let’s start with what doesn’t work when it comes to losing weight:

1 – Dieting for more than 10 years – one of my favorite questions to ask any weight-loss client is this – “ how many years have you been dieting?” In over 3 decades of professional practice, I’m still fascinated how people will casually respond with answers such as 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and more. My rule of thumb is that if a strategy continues to fail after a decade of use, then it’s time to step on it, kill it, and toss it in the trash. The art and science of dieting for weight loss has some usefulness in the short term. But the long-term practice of dieting is oxymoronic. It’s unscientific. Friends don’t let friends diet.

2- Artificial Sweeteners – after almost 50 years of artificial sweeteners in the food chain, not a single peer-reviewed scientific study has shown any correlation between the use of such nasty tasting stuff and long-term weight loss. In fact, all kinds of embarrassing research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners regulate appetite upwards, and indeed causes us to gain weight. Whoops. Generally speaking, any artificial food that has been invented in the laboratory and that’s not natural to the food chain has failed miserably when it comes to nourishing the human form. You know the moral of the story – eat real food.

3 – Thinking you’re fat when you’re really not – have you ever met someone who’s clearly slender or thin but spends a good amount of inner airtime and life energy thinking that she’s fat and needs to lose a pound or 3 or 10?  If you answered no, then it’s time for you to get out more because they’re everywhere. So here’s the challenge: the same people who constantly think they’re fat even though they’re not never seem to reach the place where they finally say “I’m thin.” I think such people think that by thinking that they’re fat, somehow the universe will take pity on them and give them a few pounds of weight loss just for charity. After all, they’re not asking for much. My prescription is this: don’t think you’re fat if you’re really not fat. Just think that you’re silly and you need a big hug and lots more love. This is more factually correct.

4 – Staying on the sidelines – a significant number of those who are trying to lose weight have a very interesting strategy – they take themselves out of the game. They stay on the sidelines of life. They’ve made the well-thought-out choice that if I can’t be at the weight I want, then I can’t possibly be the real me, which means my real life really hasn’t started yet, which means that I really can’t play with all the other kids in the game of life. Ouch. If this describes you, then the truth is, the sandbox isn’t as fun without you. If you’re using weight as an excuse to hold back from life, I’ll bet you the billions of dollars of profit that the weight-loss industry makes each year that you’re not nearly as happy as you could be. But you needn’t worry any longer. Now’s your time to come into the game, no matter what you weigh. Can you hear all the fans cheering your arrival?

Now consider these 4 strategies that work when it comes to losing weight:

1 – Eating – oddly enough, one of the best ways to achieve long-term sustainable weight-loss is to eat. When I say “eat,” I mean creating for yourself a relationship with food that has us loving food, feeling nourished by it, receiving pleasure from it, celebrating it, and eating with a hearty satisfaction for life. Eat. Trust your body. Indulge in your God-given biological imperative to add nutrition to your every cell via the tasty vehicle of food. By being willing to find your natural appetite and your inner nutritionist, your body will begin to find its’ way home. It’s that simple.

2 – Being Loved – a practitioner that I’m mentoring recently complained that she knows she supposed to love her body as it is, and she knows that it would be best to accept her body exactly where it’s at, but no matter how hard she tries, she just doesn’t love her body and lives in constant self-criticism. I suggested to her that she was right, and it probably was too hard for her to love her body. I postulated that sometimes, we just cannot do things alone. We need to call in the reinforcements. I knew she was married, and upon previous questioning I knew that her husband loved her body and wanted more of it, so I suggested that if she can’t love her body, then let her beloved spouse take over for a while. He was up for the task, nothing was in his way, and I was serious about this. The body needs to be loved, but not exclusively by the one who inhabits it. So if you just can’t seem to love your body as it is, try to find someone who can and see what happens.

3 – Support the skinny people – I’ve noticed that some women can get pretty competitive with each other when it comes to body weight. They look at each other, compare, criticize, silently attack, and seem to go against the very people that they want to emulate. For sure, this is simply part of human nature. But at the same time, we’re here to grow and evolve and raise the bar in how we relate with all our fellow creatures. So not only is it a cheap shot when we unfairly judge fat people, it’s equally unfair to judge the skinny ones. Were all trying our best, so in general, the judgment thing tends to fall flat when it comes to getting us what we want. The next time you see someone who has the body or the weight that you want, send them a silent blessing. What goes around comes around.

4 – Do some spiritual sit-ups – Warning: I’m being metaphoric here. I don’t mean actual sit-ups. I mean that it’s time to exercise our spiritual muscles just a bit more. For far too many people, dieting and weight loss and good nutrition can become its own full-time religion. We can spend a huge amount of our life energy worshiping in the Church of Our Lady of Calorie Burning. It pains me to see how we drain so much of our life energy praying to a false God that never delivers the miracle we’ve been hoping for. Strengthen your spiritual abs. Find your true guiding star. Talk to your Guardian Angel. Tune into your Life. Inquire of the universe about the grander plans that it may have for you. It just might be that as we move towards our destiny that matters most, the body we’re meant to have will finally have the freedom to reveal itself.

I would love to know a time when you trusted your body, even if it was small, temporary or happened years ago.

Warm regards,
Marc David
Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014

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  • One question – for those of us with a sweet tooth and medical conditions that require reducing sugar – PCOS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc., how do we avoid artificial sweeteners and still manage our medical condition and not go stark raving mad without a bit of sweet in our coffee or tea?

    I stopped using artificial sweeteners and ended up gaining weight. Not blaming all the weight gain on the addition of sugar, but I know it is contributory. I’ve recently added it back – only in my coffee or tea. Not sure if it’s helping or not, but I do somewhat feel better without all the daily liquid sugar. Other than this I fully embrace the eat real food mantra.

    Thanks,
    Maura

    • Maura, I love using liquid stevia in my coffee. It’s a natural sweetener and doesn’t affect blood sugar.

    • KarnaN

      Hi Maura,
      Thank you so much for your comment. To answer your question, here’s what Marc says “It’s all about amount. The dose makes the poison. A little bit of natural sugar, raw honey, coconut sugar, or raw agave never hurt anyone. Here and there in coffee or tea is not a major caloric load on your body. Relax and enjoy is our suggestion!”
      Warmly,
      Karna
      Director of Student Relations @ IPE

      • Mary

        Regarding reducing/eliminating sugar from diets:
        Although I felt I was eating a healthy diet, about 6 months ago I decided to quit sugar. I believe I went through withdrawal for the better part of a week, having sugar cravings frequently. I had given up all processed foods (they contain sugar), sweets and any added sugar (such as in my tea). After about a week the cravings passed.

        Now, when I occasionally slip up and have sugar, it (1) makes me feel a bit sick, and (2) brings back my cravings for more sugar!

        My suggestion to my friends is just learn to live without it. You don’t need it and you will adjust to and enjoy the taste of your foods/drinks sugar free.

  • Leslie

    Similar question…I used to use dates in my smoothie for sweetness, but I had a food allergy test done and it turns out I’m supposed to stay away from dates for a while. I’ve been using Xylitol and Erythritol instead. Are these counter productive?

    Leslie

    • Hi Leslie,

      Thank you for your comment! First, consider trying coconut sugar as a lower glycemic natural sweetener. Next, my great friend and expert Dr Mark Hyman, author of the recent book The Blood Sugar Solution says this: “Here’s the bottom line: Avoid artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose, sugar alcohols such as malitol and xylitol – pretty much anything that ends in “ol.”

      Warm regards,

      Marc David

  • Such a great article Marc, and so true. Thinking loving thoughts about your body is so tough for so many women. It’s like we think that if we say something good about this body that we want to change, then we’d be settling and giving into the way it looks now.

    I tell my clients, it’s not about giving into it, it’s about appreciating it. Even if you can’t totally love your body right now, you can find things to appreciate about it. The fact that your heart pumps and you breath all throughout the day without any thought.

    Your feet that carry you, your fingers that let you type and work, your eyes that let you see the beauty of the world. There are all kinds of things that you can start with that are unrelated to the way you look. And then slowly you start to see things that you appreciate about the way you look too – a new muscle you see when workout out, etc.

    It really is a baby step by baby step process and I truly agree with you, long-term, sustainable weight loss doesn’t come through force, deprivation, and going to war with your body. It comes through love and a desire to take good care of yourself so that you feel your best.

    • KarnaN

      Hi Sheila,
      What you are saying here is absolutely beautiful.
      Thank you for sharing this comment will all of us; we really appreciate it.
      Warm regards,
      Karna Nau
      Director of Student Relations
      Institute for the Psychology of Eating

    • Tracey

      Thank you for this perspective Sheila. I’ve recently been told, for health reasons, to lessen my carb load. It’s been like war these past few weeks. I’m going to print your advice and keep it in front of me.

  • Psalm Lewis

    I really enjoyed this article. As a coach and obesity survivor myself, I’m constantly searching for ways to articulate what works for sustainable weight management and proper nourishment. I really began to think deeply about items 2 and 3. Because body image is not a solitary experience so we shouldn’t be required to improve on our own. That was very powerful. The distortions and poor ideas about our bodies are often acquired from outside sources. Being able to see the beauty, strength, or symmetry of another person as a fact and not an assault on one worth is a dynamic shift in self care. We no longer use another person to generate feelings of harm and unworthiness. How empowering to know that they (skinny people) are not a free floating adversarial force in your life?

  • Smudge

    Love this article! As a student Health & Nutrition Coach, I have learned that we are all different. What may suit one person does not suit everyone. Diet is a dirty word! It’s all about good health and that incorporates a range of things including good nutrition, exercise, loving relationships, satisfying career and some spiritual guidance or belief and a glass or two of red wine. It’s all about balance and finding what’s right for YOU!

  • Brittany

    I loved this article. And I can so relate to your opening statement about hearing another comment about weight loss this or weight loss that!

    I think your comment about women who are thin, but think they are fat, is not only something women do to get “pity from the universe,” but I think it’s a culturally acceptable thing to complain about with other women. And if you’re not complaining or dieting or trying the latest workout scheme, something is ‘wrong’ with you. At least that’s been my experience with women I work with as well as with different groups of girlfriends. It’s almost more socially acceptable to be dieting or want to be thinner than it is to be happy with your body as it is!

    I also loved your take on how to help clients who can’t seem to love their bodies. What a genius idea to have it be an exercise that a loved one showers her body with the love she can’t give it yet!

    • KarnaN

      Hi Brittany,
      Great observation – I’ve noticed the same thing ” It’s almost more socially acceptable to be dieting or want to be thinner than it is to be happy with your body as it is!” So now it’s our responsibility to show other women the power of being able to love our bodies where they are at and lead the way to a new way of relating to our food and body that’s rooted in acceptance and self love!
      Thanks for your comment!
      Karna Nau – Director of Student Relations @ IPE

  • joe Grosso

    Hello Marc,
    Shieila, Brittany, Smudge, Psalm
    Loved all your insights, I learn and teach so much of the “”Nutritional Knowledge of Love” that you all share.
    Most of my clients are women and your shares, reflect and acknowledge how much we will all You know we have already started to change the wellness universe. Thank you. god bless you all!!
    sincerely
    joe grosso

  • Vanessa

    I loved this article so much. I want to stop worshiping the dieting idol. I was rencently tested and found out that I am allergic to gluten, corn, nuts, soy, meat and diary. I noticed that Leslie said she used dates in her smoothies and then found out she was allergic. So why are we all becoming “allergic” to foods? Why am I allergic to almost everything, I would need to become a gf vegan according to my tests. Is it all in “my head” to be allergic to foods that I love? By the way, I never eat processed foods.

    • Tanya

      Hi Vanessa,
      I have noticed this in my client population as well, everyone seems to be allergic to something. My speculation is that it has something to do with processed foods causing a breakdown of our intestinal wall which allows small particles into the body before they are ready and the body sees it as foreign, creates an antibody and has an immune system reaction or allergic reaction to it.
      I watched the movie Genetic Roulette a few weeks ago about GMO foods, and there seems to be a link between GMO foods and increase in food allergies. Perhaps eliminating GMO foods from your diet would be a good start.

  • Marc, your nutritional and psychological expertise shines again. Re: eating… The other night I actually said (to myself): “Why wouldn’t I want to eat this (as the mental dialogue demons chanted, ‘You shouldn’t…!’) I ignored them and enjoyed every bite. Eating is good.

  • Such a beautiful post Marc.. and wishing I wrote it!! It is amazing how people want to persist with what’s not working, the attachment to the diet-culture is so so powerful. All of your points are so right on and I will happily (and humbly) share this with my clients. Also.. I use coconut sugar and nectar and love them. I agree with Brittany’s comment above and see women bonding in unfortunate ways around body-hatred.. without being aware that that’s what’s happening.. so much pressure to adopt those ways of relating if there isn’t proper awareness and support to hold our centers in new ways.

    Thanks as always for your clarity and perspective.

    Many blessings,
    Lisa/IntuitiveBody

  • KarnaN

    Thank you all for your comments and observations!
    We so appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.
    Warmly,
    Karna Nau
    Director of Student Relations
    karna@psychologyofeating.com
    Work # 303-440-7642
    Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IPEfanpage

  • Carol

    Good article! I’ve been living all my life in a body that I wanted desperately to improve. Now that I’m older, I have learned that I spent way too much time and energy trying to change who I am rather than just be myself. I am blessed with a husband who is free with affection and praise. I have friends and hobbies and skills that are more real than the self-induced fears I used to live with. I’m still overweight, but I’m taking care of myself and am healthy and comfortable in my own skin at last.

  • Sandra

    I enjoyed reading this article. I was on and off diets for a number of years trying to get the baby weight off. One day, I just finally made the decision to make a full commitment to see food differently and my body. I had to release image and become a person of substance. It was then I began to transform. I lost weight, got in great shape, became a health and nutrition coach. Marc, I enjoyed the spiritual lesson as well. It was so on point.

  • I like what you said about being loved, though letting someone take over for a bit is only a temporary fix.

    Learning to love yourself (the very phrase is repugnant to some because it sounds way too New Age or touchy-feely) is not an overnight thing. The idea that there is a lack of love in one’s life is extremely painful, and, humorously enough is completely false. Byron Katie’s words come to mind (paraphrased): “How can you need someone else’s love if you’re already made of love?”

    You are already full. Where did you learn otherwise?

  • I love everything in the article and reading the feedback is just as interesting.

    I agree and see it all the time, lack of self love. I think this is the “biggie” in helping people get unstuck in the compulsive dieting world. If a person in lack of self love can lean into another person for a bit, one who can take over, I think that is beautiful. It is a win/win for each. I sure wish I had that person years ago, it would have saved a lot of money and emotional hardship I had towards myself. Great coaching tip here.

    ~Also, I gave up all artificial sweeteners 10+ years ago, and lost weight, cleared up my skin, gain a lot of energy, and noticed my hair was much fuller…. We are all different and I don’t have a health concern. I agree with Marc and with Mark Hyman on this. I allow myself to indulge when I “need” to and that has been my best gift to myself.

    Thanks for a great article, coaching tip and feedback.

    Steph

    • KarnaN

      Thank you for the feedback Steph! We appreciate you sharing your experience and insights with us.
      Warmly, Karna Nau
      Director of Student Relations at IPE

  • Marc David

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for the extensive comments and all your time put into digesting this post!
    We truly are grateful for all your feedback.

    Warm regards,

    Marc David

  • Wow, you’re onto something here! Thank you for a great post!

  • Hi Marc,
    You, my friend, are straight up – a great writer. I love what you posted here. Your words are clear, funny, lyrical, and smart! Keep on writing your passion, please. You have deep insight, and wonderful delivery.

    Warmly,
    Miriah

    • Marc David

      Hi Miriah,

      You just put a smile on my face. Always great to hear from you, and your compliments land with great value.
      Happy new year!

      Warm regards,

      Marc David

  • Michelle

    Hi,
    I am integrating more whole foods and less processed foods into my diet (in a nutshell). While one of my goals is definitely to lose weight I am far more focused on improving my sleep, gaining energy, being happier, feeling the feelings. I am loving this way of eating and have started to find more satisfaction in my meals, my life including greater mental clarity. While weight loss is something I want I find that for the first time in ages that I’m not being driven by it (this is in no small part to the guidance of Marc David and colleagues posts on FB). BUT Any suggestions for dealing with people who assume that I’m eating the way I am to lose weight and want to know if its working. I’m managing it at the moment but find that the prospect of dealing with these questions over an extended period of time daunting.
    Michelle

    • KarnaN

      Hi Michelle,

      Karna here from The Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
      Congratulation on finding ways to eat and nourish yourself that work for you and for shifting away from being driven by weight loss. Thank you for your kind words – it is wonderful to hear that you are gaining inspiration from the work we do here at IPE.
      In regards to your question “how do I deal with people who assume that I’m eating the way I am to lose weight.” First, I’d like to acknowledge the difficulties in breaking free from the norms of society and exploring the road less traveled. I think it’s best to never ever feel the need to assume a defensive posture about weight loss, or one’s diet. The best way to deal with people’s questions on your way of eating I believe, is to relax, smile, welcome the question, don’t be defensive, and say something very simple and definitive – “I’m following this diet to feel healthy! Isn’t that great!” Let us know how that works:)

      I hope this helps,

      Karna Nau
      Director of Student Relations
      karna@psychologyofeating.com
      Work # 303-440-7642

  • Anita Bentata

    I love all your writings Marc. Thank you for your balance in the world of weight loss and food and health.

    I resonated with your words on all the points except no.3 thinking you are fat when you are not. As a mind body psychotherapist and health coach I would be curious to explore with the person about experiencing themself through their own eyes. I would hypothesise though people that have internalised an inaccurate view of themself, have in some originating experience absorbed it was not ok or safe to view themself through their own reality. eg a bit like Snow White with the Wicked Step mother who wants the mirror to reflect that she is the fairest one of all. So many women that I work with have had experiences of envy from their mother or a sister or perhaps related to inappropriately from their father or brother and so they have learnt to view themself as less then themself to not appear threatening to another, so they do not receive envious attack and to perhap also reflect that they are not going to be a threat to that person, etc. When the person has been supported to clear any fears or judgements they have, worked through any unbearable feelings and unthinkable thoughts I would work to support the person to experience a positive sense of self that is coherent and full. That it is ok to shine and feel good about yourself.

    • Marc David

      Hey Anita,

      I love your approach and your thoughts on this topic. I resonate with it for sure. I believe there are all different levels and possibilities around what’s going on here. I meet many people who are simply programmed by culture and media to self reject around their weight. I also meet people who fit the categories you outlined so well. For me, I see your viewpoint as expanding the conversation here, and taking it deeper from a more clinical and personal perspective. Very wise. Thank you!

      Warmly,

      Marc David

  • I loved this article. I found myself wondering about the women who think they are fat with a very small amount to lose — isn’t that just part of the eating disorder of anorexia — a distorted body image? How do people learn to deal with the body image in that circumstance?

    • Marc David

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your important question – and wow is it a big one that might take a good book to answer!
      The example you mentioned would technically and officially not be categorized as anorexia per se. Body image challenges and distortions occur on a continuum from mild to extreme. So, an “extreme” example of a body image distortion is indeed anorexia. A mild to moderate distortion would be the otherwise well adjusted person who thinks she absolutely must lose 5 pounds to be happy or loveable. In terms of how to deal with this – we have dedicated a significant portion of our professional Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training program to your question – because there is not a simple answer here, but a huge body of work and protocols and distinctions. In my opinion, this is one of big questions of our time – how to transform body image to a healthy place, and the answers are extensive. I hope this helps!

      Warmly,

      Marc David

      • Julie D

        Love this post! Self-hatred makes us fat. Love is healing. Seems pretty clear.

        I don’t mean this to be taken completely seriously, but I’m very interested in the relationship between the increase in exposure of the female form due to changing fashions of the 20th century and the increasingly criticism of that form. IOW, when women’s bodies were buried under layers of lace, corsetry, muslin, etc., there was admittedly an unhealthy fascination by some on teeny tiny waists, but in general society as a whole didn’t see women’s value in terms of weight, size, muscle tone, etc. Look at Marilyn: gorgeous, yes, but by today’s standards she was flabby (forgive me).

        • Julie –

          I think the idea of exposure leading to more and more overt kinds of body image issues is a fascinating one. Thanks for brining such an interesting idea to the conversation!

          I’d love to hear what the rest of you here think about Julie’s hypothesis…

          Best,
          Marc David

  • Maria

    This is such a perfect article, I couldn’t agree more, it’s all so so true.
    A few years ago I lost a lot of weight because of orthorexia/anorexia and when I was “healing”, I gained a lot of it back and consequently fell into the overeating trap – I guess it was a protective mechanism of my poor struggling body that was scared of going back to starving again. I ended up weighing more than ever before (though I wasn’t really fat, just a bit overweight) and you can imagine how desperate that felt to an ex-ultraskinny person.. I think anorexia is very similar to a drug addiction – you never really heal, it’s always somewhere in your head, sleeping and waiting to be awakened. It never really goes away in many cases, unfortunately. It’s extremely hard to let go.
    And that’s where point “2 – Being Loved” came into my life and helped me like nothing else – I met the man of my dreams while I was skinny, but it wasn’t until I was overweight that he actually sent me flowers and we got together 🙂 He never cared about my weight and he never forgets to tell me how beautiful I am no matter what. Exactly like the article says, I couldn’t love myself at all at that point of my life, but love was exactly what I needed to heal – and I know that it was the love of my boyfriend that healed me.

    Thank you very much for the great work you do, I appreciate it so much – I live far from the US, but it’s still amazing that I can at least read these great articles on your website and I’m absolutely convinced you help a lot of you own people with what you do.
    Greetings and lots of love from Slovakia, Europe! 🙂

    Maria

  • Araas

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been dieting for almost 20 years. 20 years! Ridiculous right? I’m done though, for good. I am working on all these things that you have mentioned. Thanks for what you do.

    • Hi Araas,
      So glad to hear that you are done with dieting. It’s such an unnecessary drain of life force!
      Thank you for your comment, glad to hear that I’ve made an impact in your life.
      Warmly,
      Marc David

  • Lisa

    Hi – just found your site through facebook. I just love a lot of what you post on facebook – both as an eating disorders clinician and as someone who has recovered from an eating disorder. But I am wondering, is it your belief that someone who is “obese” as defined currently by most of the medical community must lose weight in order to be healthy? Must weight loss be a goal if you are not at a “normal” weight? I know many people who are very attuned eaters and who take very loving care of themselves but still live in large bodies. Many of these folks have no chronic health issues, or if they do they manage them without trying to lose weight. They’ve decided that pursuing weight loss causes more problems in the long run. This approach to health has a name, “Health At Every Size” (R).

    Is a HAES approach something the IPE supports? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for the thoughtful questions. It’s very important for us here at IPE that we continue to approach health and nutrition as an intuitive process within the body. If it’s true that every body is as different as the personal story of the individual doing the eating, then it’s also correct to realize how each health journey will be unique. We fully understand that weight and body image is a complex issue and we absolutely believe one can be healthy or unhealthy at various sizes. The research is pretty solid on this, as is plenty of real world and clinical experience. We love the HAES approach. Check out a guest blog written for IPE by a colleague of mine, named Carmen Cool. She was also a speaker at our Symposium last year. You can read her post here.

      Thank you again.

      Warm Regards,

      Marc David

      • Lisa

        Oh, Carmen? Well that’s all I needed to hear 🙂 I look forward to exploring more of your website and resources. Lisa 🙂

  • I’m really happy you haven’t quit your job, because you provide articles that are insightful, funny, uplifting, and so very helpful into establishing a healthy relationship with ourselves.

    Best wishes,
    Kate

    • Hi Kate,

      It’s always wonderful to hear from those who feel they’re connecting with the message and the passion. Thank you so much for your kind words and praise.

      Warmly,

      Marc David

  • Monica

    Hello!
    I loved the article and all comments, which I felt as an expansion to it. I’d be very grateful though if you could expand more on 1. Eating
    I’m eating whole foods but I still struggle with the way I view food. Any tips on how to improve this relationship?

    Sincerely,
    Monica

    • Hi Monica,

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m pleased that you found some helpful information in the comment’s section. We really love it when people engage in discussion around these ideas. We all have so much to learn from each other.

      When it comes to changing how you view food, it’s important to become aware of the beliefs you currently have in order to discover whether a) they’re actually true b) whether they are serving you in your ability to trust your body.

      In terms of wanting to know more about #1, I would recommend reading my books The Slow Down Diet and Nourishing Wisdom, if you haven’t already. You can find both of them here.

      I also recommend watching my FREE video guide The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough which you can sign up for here.

      Lastly if you haven’t already looked over the blog there are many articles and videos you may find useful.
      I recommend checking out:

      Unusual Toxins You May Not Know About
      A New Way to Detoxify
      Are You Suffering From Toxic Nutritional Beliefs?

      I hope this was helpful!

      Best wishes,

      Marc David

  • Julie

    I love #3 and #4 on the “do” list. These will make a huge difference in my thoughts and feelings. What you write is so relevant and compassionate when we’ve run out of compassion for ourselves.

  • Hi Julie,

    We all need a compassionate pick-me-up or reminder now and again. I’m happy to be the one to offer it. Thanks for joining in here.

    Warmly,
    Marc David

  • Marc. I found a real treasure when I came accross you and your movement. I love this article, particularly so because I wrote a book and published it on kindle, on the same theme.

    I am a Weight Management Coach, an accredited Life Coach just starting out in my own business. Just finished reading Nourishing Wisdom and there is just so much sense in it. I was a Chronic Dieter for 48 years!! Yes 48. I saw through my foolishness three years ago and now I just want to share with people the follies of chronic dieting. Especially when worrying about a few pounds.

    I wish that I could afford to do the course, but time is marching on and I am already 69 years old, so just want to get on with doing what I am just starting. But your wisdom will certainly help me with my coaching practice anyway.

    • Hi Patricia,
      I’m glad to have you in the Tribe!
      And so touched by your story – and I understand your position, but please know that we have all ages in the training, and many who take it for their own personal reason, something to keep in mind. We’d love to have you. Finally, thank you for all you’re doing to help others through your practice.

      Warmly,
      Marc David

  • P

    For my entire life, I have struggled with my image and eating. My mom was a very thin growing up and due to some things that were out of her control (and eventually eating a lot because she gave up), she gained a LOT of weight. She constantly dieted, cried, and made excuses, but never reached her goals. I don’t blame my mom for how I view myself, but I know that environment must have influenced me. I have tried unhealthy weight loss tactics for years (even at a size zero), and never felt happy until I started exercising to reach goals and release stress. Even then I monitored my intake so much that eating was a painful chore that made me angry at myself time and time again.

    Now I am pregnant. With a daughter. And I’m thrilled beyond belief. When I found out my baby was a girl I promised myself that I would not let her grow up in a home where the size of women mattered. I do NOT want to pass my body images issues down to her. For the first trimester of my pregnancy I was monitoring my calories closely (obsessively trying to get the needed nutrients to grow a healthy baby while not eating too much) and I felt it was taking away from the experience of growing a child. So I stopped looking at numbers. For the first time in my life I am listening to my body, eating healthful foods that make me and my baby healthy, and I have never felt better. That is not to say that I don’t look at myself sometimes and think about my body, but my change in perspective on food has changed the way I feel about myself. It also gives me hope that I will be able to provide and positive environment for my daughter to grow up in.

    It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    • Hi there,

      Wow, what a touching story. And congratulations on this exciting time in your life!

      I’m so glad that through it all, you have found a way that you now feel connected with your body and have a better relationship with the food you are eating. It seems like you are definitely on the right track, and are setting your daughter up for success and health.

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out.

      Warmly,
      Marc

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  • Simona Celarova

    So well written. Thank you. Don’t get tired of it, please.
    PS:There’s more.
    😉

  • Thanks, Simona!
    So glad you enjoyed my blog.

    Warmly,
    Marc David

  • Sheila

    Excellent article. I can relate to all of it. It has taken me 15 years to get to a place of being at peace and not allowing my weight to rule my life. To desire to be healthy and balanced in all aspects of my life. Thank you for sharing sane information with people. Wish I’d seen this 15 years ago!

    • Hi Sheila, Thank you so much for your kind comment! I agree that the field of weight loss can use an injection of sanity, and I am so glad you found this post useful! Warmly, Marc

  • Mary Bacon

    Excellent points. I am so saddened by the bashing of slender women. All of us are beautiful. Body bashing of any kind is bullying, and we are not children on a school yard.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts, Mary. You’re right on target — keep sending the love out there! Warmly, Marc

  • Eliza Kos

    It’s actually thanks to you, your writing, and posts on FB that I started to shift my thinking about my body. Just recently I thought: this is my body, and it IS ok the way it is. It’s lovable, and, funny thing, all these years that I’d worried about “being too fat”, I was loved by people who like rounder types. Go figure. It took me 22 years to SEE that. 22 years of self hatred, just because I have big breasts and round arms. Mind you I have never been even close to being fat or overweight! I’ve tortured myself with poisonous thoughts and destructive “dieting”. Your message, to me, is actually reasonable and healing. Thank you so much for your great work. I’m not dieting now. I’m FEEDING myself and my body 🙂

  • Majestic

    Thanks Marc, it’s so refreshing this article and most of it felt right. The only one that made me say “I don’t know about that” was the part about finding someone else to love your body if I can’t. I do get where you’re coming from with it, however, from my own insecure experience when someone says things to me and I don’t feel it, it makes me more uncomfortable and more self-conscious… that’s a whole other ball game of coarse, but I can bet I’m not the only woman who felt that way with that one part in your (AWESOME , I’ll just add again) article! 😉

    Thanks for your service to humanity

  • Dear Eliza, Thanks so much for sharing about your journey! I’m so touched to hear that the work we do at IPE has helped you to reimagine your relationship with your body. We’re so glad you’re part of our community! Warmly, Marc

  • Dear Majestic, Thank you so much for your comments. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the post and I do understand your feelings about having someone tell you nice things about your body when you don’t believe them yourself. Sometimes hearing it repeatedly from others can help us re-evaluate our beliefs about ourselves — and sometimes not. I appreciate your sharing! Warmly, Marc

  • esta

    I think reading this just gave me an awakening moment. I’ve never connected this all together before now. I’ve watched my mom diet and struggle with her weight her whole life. It has made her miserable, and judgmental and critical of herself and of me. I have struggled with my weight too, but after becoming
    a Dietitian I thought I was done with that because I know how to eat right. But it turns out, the critical, you-aren’t-thin-enough tape is still playing, even though I am a normal BMI. I am quintessentially #2
    above — I’ve always criticized myself and never really loved my body. Every time I walk by a mirror or catch a glimpse of myself, I criticize. I’m never good enough. And it turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy!! I am working on changing my self talk, but it’s hard. 🙂

  • Kristin Rigby

    This is such an amazing article! I agree with every word! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thank you so much, Kristin! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Have a wonderful day 🙂 Warmly, Marc

  • Hi Esta, Thank you so much for writing in and sharing your story. The journey toward healing can be tough, but you have already made such an important step by recognizing your challenges. Keep on giving yourself that Vitamin L – love! Warmly, Marc

  • Peggy sue

    I gave up and stopped “dieting” and decided that I will only pot stuff in my body that has some kind of healthy value And that went from some kind of health value to (Dr thought I was prediabetic) carb counting so I could feel better Also because of my health issues I started water aerobics as physical therapy and the combination of the 2 ironically I started losing weight once I wasn’t always trying too and lost 45 pounds in the past 6 months

    • Hi Peggy Sue, thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so glad you let go of your stress around dieting and found a path that’s working for you 🙂 Warmly, Marc

  • Emaho

    Well, I came to this site because I ran into a long lost friend last night. She talked about this site and because of my passion about nutrition I looked it up. From what little I’ve seen, I’m impressed and will keep poking around your site.

    But before I look further, the site has reminded me of my current crush on Ronda Rousey, which is completely silly as I’m a 64 year old retired man with several ailments. Now, Ronda is a fighter in the Ultimate Fighter Conference and now its biggest star. You may know her as the woman who dished Kim Kardashin and who became the first UFC fighter to be a Sports Illustrated swim suit model as well as modeling for other magazines. In that Kim dish, Ronda says that she wants to show young women that a strong, healthy female is sexy. And, as my silly crush proves, she is right.

    Though, the real reason for my crush is her amazing fighting skills. (Well, maybe I’m being delusional?) Anyway, check her out here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M26CY4fhwEM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knIytxjAQdA

    • Dear Emaho, Thank you for your comment — we’re glad you found us, and we hope you enjoy looking around our site! And how cool that you’re inspired by Ronda Rousey’s words to young women. Thanks for sharing! Warmly, IPE Staff

  • Romny

    Thank you for offering up some insight that is different than the usual “eat this, eat that, do this, do that”. I am currently struggling with trying to lose just a minimal amount of weight and for me it’s because i want to feel healthy (looking healthy is just a perk). As an Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle counselor, I am also devising a plan to help folks lose weight using Ayurvedic principles so in order for me to do that I need to walk the talk. I am also working with a Dr. in India but i still struggle with thinking I’m doing everything right yet not seeing results (it’s been 2 months now). I’m really getting in tune with my body and what it needs naturally not what someone told me it needs. Listening to that has been key. Listening to the negative ninnies who are used to me being one way and upset I’m making positive changes is a challenge. I’m also doing a massive writing brain dump which i know is helping a lot emotionally. I guess what I’m trying to say after all this banter is that reading this was something new to me and that, in of itself was refreshing.

    • I’m glad you learned something new, Romney! Listening to your body and journaling about your experiences, is a wonderful way to begin to really intuit what your body is calling for. Keep up the good work! Kindly, Marc

  • christina

    As always, a wonderful article, with plenty of humor. A time when I remember trusting my body (although not food related) was during the home birth of my 3rd child. My midwife didn’t trust me when I told it was time to come but my husband reminded me that we could do this ourselves and had a beautiful unassisted birth that ended with a healthier and happier mom and baby than previous 2 hospital births. Our bodies are truly amazing. Now I’m working on trusting my body to grow and birth twins! Always a new adventure with the body ?. Sorry for the choppy writing, my computer won’t let me edit for some reason.

  • Thanks for the feedback, Christina! I’m so happy to know that you have such a trusting relationship with your body 🙂 Good luck with your pregnancy! Warmly, Marc

  • Hey there! Thank you so much for taking the time to read the article and to share your comment. Ho wonderful that the podcast was used in your class! In regards to your question, having a healthier body image can be a major piece of the puzzle for many when it comes to long term, sustainable weight loss when letting go of weight is necessary to a healthier body. Hating the body into weight loss just doesn’t work. It only increases stress in the body which leads to increased insulin and cortisol. Both trigger fat storage and make it increasingly difficult to let go of weight. Excess cortisol is commonly accused of causing increases fat storage in the mid-section. So, to have a healthier body, it makes more sense to love it into good health rather than beat it up with negative self-talk, extreme diets, and abusive methods to lose weight.That is why body acceptance is an important place to work before attempting any major weight loss strategies. The former makes the latter that much more possible. I hope this helps! Thanks again for your comment~

    Warmly,
    The IPE Team

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.