Have you ever wondered why so many people who try to lose weight simply can’t find success for very long? Or have you wondered why it’s so hard to overcome challenges like emotional eating, binge eating and constant food worry? This is where these 3 powerful tools of a Mind Body Eating Coach can help.
Most people want to feel good, look good, and live healthy lives, but feel stuck, confused, or discouraged. Even when they turn to professional help from emotional eating and weight loss coaches, they seldom reach the promised land.
That’s because most nutritionists, health coaches, fitness trainers, and other helping professionals are really only trained to offer basic advice to their clients and patients.
Don’t most people already know what they should do?
- Eat more vegetables.
- Eat out at restaurants less.
- Exercise more frequently.
- Cut back on sugar and alcohol.
- Eat nutrient dense foods.
- Stop smoking.
Most people know what to do. They just don’t know how to inspire themselves to do it.
Our client’s minds are filled with all kinds of conflicting nutrition information and advice, and adding more information on top of that simply doesn’t work. Something is clearly missing in the coaching profession. This is where the skills of a Mind Body Eating Coach can fill the gaps.
Here’s the good news:
Mind Body Eating Coaches are a completely new generation of health coaches:
- They’re trained to go beyond nutrition – to consider the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings influencing our eating behaviors.
- They get to the root cause of our unwanted eating challenges.
- They help their clients have honest breakthroughs that lead to lasting transformation.
- And they use an elegant combination of eating psychology and nutrition that takes the health coaching profession to a whole new level.
To give you an idea of this unique and revolutionary approach, let’s take a look at 3 of the most powerful tools of a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach:
Tool 1: Making a Holistic Assessment of Your Clients’ Journey
Most practitioners are wisely taught to take their client’s history. This generally looks like a lengthy list of all the foods they eat, drugs and supplements they take, a list of past medical procedures, allergies, family history, symptoms and more. The client interacts with a piece of paper, writes things down, and the history taking is largely complete.
But the practitioner hasn’t really learned about a person’s story.
- Who are they?
- What makes them tick?
- What’s important to them?
- Why are they here?
- What’s it like to be them?
Making a holistic assessment of your client’s journey certainly includes the traditional details about nutrition, health and lifestyle factors. But it goes far beyond that.
A holistic assessment is where the coach directly dialogues with their client. They listen for tone of voice, emotions, nuances, they watch for body language, and they truly listen from a place of curiosity and unconditional acceptance. They connect with their client.
This makes the process far more fascinating for everyone. It lets our clients know that we actually care, and it sets up the relationship for honesty, trust and success.
If we’re working with a weight loss client, for example, a Mind Body Eating Coach would ask about your relationship and history with dieting:
- When did you start dieting? What caused you to do this?
- Were you put on a diet at a young age?
- What was going on in your life at this time?
A Mind Body Eating Coach will ask about your relationship with your body:
- Were you fat shamed?
- Bullied about your body?
- Were your parents worried about your weight?
- Have you lost weight before? How?
- Why do you think it came back on?
- How does your weight loss journey and your feelings about your body impact your life? Your relationships? Your sexuality? Your confidence?
- And there’s so much more…
A Mind Body Eating Coach will ask about eating speed.
- Fast eating causes appetite deregulation, excess hunger even after eating a big meal, and overeating — which our clients wrongly interpret as a willpower problem.
A Mind Body Eating Coach will ask about meal timing.
- When we eat – Bio Circadian Nutrition – has a profound impact on calorie burning metabolism. Simply put, we burn calories least efficiently in the late evening and very early morning hours.
A Mind Body Eating Coach will also ask about a client’s level of stress and relaxation – especially while eating.
- Anxiety, fear, or stress while eating causes the physiologic stress response – which inhibits digestion, assimilation, appetite regulation, and calorie burning capacity. In other words, stress chemistry by itself can lead to weight gain, or weight loss resistance.
Next, a holistic assessment of your client’s journey helps you understand the brilliant reasons rooted in biology and psychology behind their unwanted eating challenges.
What does that even mean?
Well, if someone emotionally eats for example, they have a good reason for it. If we binge eat, we have a reason for it. If we’re in constant food worry, there are deeper reasons that explain these unwanted behaviors.
Become a Certified
Mind Body Eating Coach
Download the FREE
course information packet
A Mind Body Eating Coach knows there are good reasons for unwanted behaviors, like binge eating. For example:
Some people binge eat because they have unfinished business to attend to in a key area of life – relationship, sexuality, work, finance, etc. Binge eating can be a way to relieve tension that’s actually coming from another area of our life.
In this way, binge eating is a symptom generated by the wisdom of our body to alert us that we need to look elsewhere in our life.
Some people might binge eat as a result of eating a diet too low in calories because they’re trying to lose weight. Oddly enough, when we undereat to lose weight, the brain thinks we’re starving, our survival physiology kicks in, and the brain screams “hungry.” We are then driven to eat, and we mistakenly think it’s a willpower problem.
Some people may binge eat because they have an imbalance in macronutrients – specifically protein, fat or carbohydrates. If we’re eating a very low fat diet for example, and the body isn’t getting the essential fatty acids that it requires, once again, the brain will wisely scream “hungry” and drive us to eat. Sadly, we often mistake this survival mechanism for poor appetite control and personal weakness.
Some might binge eat:
- Because of a past unresolved trauma.
- Because they actually have a fear of food – and so they avoid eating. Of course, they eventually get ravenous – and then the brain drives them to binge eat.
- To escape an unhappy life.
So, can you see how an unwanted eating habit like binge eating actually has many possible reasons, and that those reasons are rooted in our biology and our psychology – our inner world and beliefs.
When we understand the full, holistic, picture of our client’s personal and nutritional profile, when we can make a well rounded holistic assessment of their journey with food, body and life, we have the best chance to truly help them.
Tool 2: The Ability to Reframe Your Client’s Food & Body Challenges
One of the reasons we can stay stuck in unwanted weight and eating habits is because of how we view or “frame” our problem.
Most people see unwanted food and body challenges as the root problem – even causing other issues in their lives.
We must have an “issue.” Perhaps we’re broken. And if we’re broken, then we need to be fixed. We must find the defective part of ourselves and remove it.
With this approach, it’s easy to spend our time and energy fighting our body fat and attacking our food problem. Which generally means we attack our own self. We think we’re worthy of our own punishment because we have a food problem.
We then imagine that “if only I could solve my food problem, then all my problems will go away.” But what if the food and body challenges are actually the symptoms, not the problem? What if the eating challenges can’t be solved by focusing on food, but only by finding the true root problem?
Whether the problem is food and eating, or something deeper, if you could have solved it only by changing what is on your plate, you would’ve done so a long time ago.
Attacking our eating challenge as an enemy or as a character fault simply doesn’t work.
The good news is, we can best solve a problem when we accurately define it.
Mind Body Eating Coaches are trained in reframing their client’s food and body challenges. They see the challenge for what it truly is, and it’s this:
Every unwanted eating challenge is a great teacher. It’s here to help us learn, grow, and become our best self. So eating issues like weight, emotional eating, binge eating, body image concerns, and more are not here to torture you. They’re not here to make you miserable. They are great teachers.
This is all about helping our clients have a bigger, more generous, and more accurate view of life, of the world, and why we are here. Our life has a higher meaning. It has a purpose.
No matter what your religious beliefs are or aren’t, I think we can agree that we all came here, at the very least, to learn and grow and have experiences that help define our character. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing since the moment we were born.
When we choose not to learn and grow, we suffer. We repeat mistakes. We stay stuck. We don’t get very far. If you didn’t want to learn and grow as a child, you would have never learned how to read and write, to tie your shoes, to speak, to dress, to eventually drive a car. Life itself is the greatest teacher.
And when we learn the lessons that we’re being taught, we can then go on to graduate. It’s a very beautiful and elegant system.
Mind Body Eating Coaches are trained to look at their client’s unwanted eating concern and get curious.
- They help their clients let go of unnecessary self attack and negative self talk.
- They ask good questions.
- They go deeper.
- They notice and listen.
- And they help their clients decipher the wisdom that’s hidden in their food and body challenge.
This puts us in the best place to truly help others resolve their eating concerns in a natural and sustainable way.
There are many other ways that Mind Body Eating Coaches help their clients reframe their food and body challenges. For example:
Many people have the unconscious belief that “Food is my enemy.”
Why would we think that? Well, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll tend to view body fat as the enemy, and the way it seems that extra body fat finds a home on our body is through food. Therefore, food must be our enemy.
Well, when we hold the toxic belief that “food is my enemy” there’s a whole cascade of metabolic and emotional events that paradoxically put us in a state of weight retention.
On an emotional level, believing that food is our enemy has us in a constant state of fear and anxiety every time we eat, or even think about eating. There’s no peace of mind or happiness in that way of thinking.
What’s worse though, is that such stressful thinking creates a physiological stress response in the body – the state of sympathetic nervous system dominance.
In this state of stress physiology:
- Digestive capacity is decreased
- Assimilation of nutrients is impaired
- Our appetite is deregulated – which causes a majority of people to overeat
- And most significantly, cortisol and insulin levels are increased, which can cause the body to store weight, store fat, and inhibit muscle building
All this is the exact opposite of what we want when it comes to weight loss.
And it all derives from a simple but powerful belief: food is my enemy. When we help our clients reframe this toxic belief and coach them into seeing food for what it really is – their best friend – we literally help them change their physiology. We help our clients create the ideal conditions for metabolizing their meals and finding their natural weight.
There are many more outdated thoughts and beliefs that Mind Body Eating Coaches are trained to help their clients reframe. With this knowledge, people can finally have the freedom with food that they’ve been wanting for so long.
Tool 3: A Working Knowledge of the Eating Archetypes
When it comes to health coaching, a majority of clients and patients feel stuck. They’re stuck with weight loss resistance. Stuck around how to stop emotionally eating. Stuck in a constant food prison. And they can’t understand why it is that they know what they’re supposed to eat, they know what they have to do, they just can’t do it.
This kind of standstill is arguably the most common complaint that practitioners hear from their clients. And it causes the most confusion and frustration amongst coaches because they’re simply not trained in how to work with this all important conundrum.
This is where a working knowledge of the eating archetypes is crucial.
Understanding this aspect of mind and emotions is a game changer when it comes to helping clients finally have a breakthrough with weight, emotional eating, binge eating, endless dieting, constant food worry, and more.
So What Exactly is an Eating Archetype?
Well, you can think of an archetype as a distinct personality inside of you. It’s a unique and specialized voice. Most of us have been taught to believe that we are one specific person – “me.” But as we’ve learned from some of the great psychological thinkers such as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, our personality is far more fascinating and complex.
So, you’re not really just one person. You’re more like a crowd. And the crowd inside of you has many different voices. These voices are the archetypes.
So for example, there’s the part of you that may be:
- A Parent.
- A Child.
- A Teenager.
- A Hero.
- A Pleasure Junkie.
- The Athlete.
- The Nerd.
- The Teacher.
- The Best Friend.
- The Healer.
- The Gambler.
- The Entertainer.
- The Jerk.
- The Bitch.
- The Loner.
- The Lover.
- The Victim.
- The Explorer.
- The Artist.
- The Scientist.
- The Bad Boy or Girl.
- The Critic.
- The Perfectionist.
And there are hundreds if not thousands of possibilities here. These archetypes make up the sum total of our personality and how we express ourselves in the world. Different archetypes step in at different times to help us take action – or to get in the way of taking action. So if you want to understand why you do what you do, then the archetypes within you hold the key.
What’s fascinating is that any archetype can take center stage inside of us without our choosing or awareness.
For example, you can be in a great mood, pass by a store window, see your reflection, and all of a sudden your Perfectionist archetype comes out. From here, you can fall into a dark hole of self hate because you notice the parts of your body that aren’t perfect.
Or you can be committed to following a healthy diet, eating lots of salads, being sugar free, and suddenly you find yourself about to eat a sugary food that you know you should avoid. But a voice inside of you is tired of having to be “good” when it comes to food. You just want the fun foods right now. You want the ice cream now. You want what you want when you want it.
And in a moment, all of your good intentions go out the window and you happily indulge yourself in a forbidden food. That’s the Child archetype in you wanting instant gratification. You just don’t care about future consequences of your actions because that’s how the child’s mind operates.
When you identify the archetype in you that’s sitting at the head of the table and taking over your food choices, you’re on the road to taking back your power.
You can see exactly why it is that you are going against yourself. And you can take steps to call in the archetype that would best serve you in any given moment.
Here’s an example: Many of us are unknowingly gripped by the Rebel Archetype.
- The Rebel doesn’t want any restrictions or limitations.
- The Rebel doesn’t want any food rules.
- The Rebel will refuse diets, eating low fat, and counting macros or calories.
- The Rebel just wants freedom.
- So the Rebel is willing and happy to break the food rules.
Think of this archetype as if it’s your inner teenager. As you may have noticed, teenagers love to rebel. They’re compelled to stand up to authority, go against what they’re told, and to feel proud and boastful about it. That’s the Rebel archetype. It doesn’t care about the consequences of going against the food rules that the Adult archetype in you has agreed to.
So when we say, “I know what I want to do, I know what I should eat, I just don’t do it,” the Rebel in you is often one of the reasons why. This voice takes over. It literally calls the shots and runs the show beneath our awareness. From here, we coach our clients into calling forth their Adult archetype or the King/Queen archetype. So rather than self-fighting and self-attack, we teach our clients to invoke a more aspirational part of themselves.
Mind Body Eating Coaches are Trained to Understand the Eating Archetypes
- The Rebel
- The Child
- The Perfectionist
- The Food Criminal
- The All or Nothing Eater
- The Hedonist
- The Health Champion
- And many more…
With this knowledge, you can help clients understand themselves on a deeper level and catalyze real and lasting change.
Of course, these 3 powerful tools of the Mind Body Eating Coach are just a small sample of the many maps, tools, distinctions, practices, and protocols that this unique kind of practitioner is trained in.
In my own professional journey, when I started using the principles of eating psychology with my clients, everything changed. The lights came on. I started getting the kind of results with clients that were lasting and meaningful. The work became easier. My clients were more inspired.
Not only was I helping people change their body, I was helping them change their life.
I imagine a similar desire lives in you. You want to get to the root cause of unwanted eating challenges, and give your clients real value and big breakthroughs. You want to have the confidence to work with those who feel stuck, confused, weight loss resistant, and personally challenged. And you want to feel like you’re contributing to the world in a meaningful way.
Whether you’re an already trained professional looking to expand your scope of practice, or someone who is considering becoming a coach, becoming a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach will give you a profound set of skills for catalyzing life-changing results for your clients.
I hope you found these 3 mind body eating coaching tools helpful…
Become a Certified
Mind Body Eating Coach
Download the FREE
course information packet
Become a Mind Body Eating Coach
Now enrolling for October 2023.
Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.
Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast
Get notified when new episodes go live.