Weight loss, the emotional ingredient – A Starting Point…

This week I will be starting to get into the detail I pre-framed last week about how weight issues are not about food. There are many resources out there and indeed a multi-million pound industry devoted to helping people lose weight. Sadly some may be interested in repeat business!!

Traditional weight loss organisations are starting to recognise the importance of the mind body connection and incorporating some techniques to help with this. Unfortunately in most cases this is a little under skilled and tends to be a bolt-on to the original format.

NLP and hypnotherapy has also been helping people with weight loss however in most cases clients are told they don’t need to follow traditional methods because working on the unconscious will be enough. This is mind without body. This advice is unhelpful as both mind and body are important.

In true NLP style we need to model the effective aspects of traditional approaches and add the NLP/mind aspect to synthesise a truly effective and long lasting approach. This is my intention and in January I will be running a pilot programme to test these ideas out.

It will be no surprise to you to recognise the weight issues have nothing to do with overeating! Well that’s not true, there is a connection. If we eat more than our body expends in energy we put on weight. However the reasons we overeat are seldom connected to hunger and appetite. In most cases there are emotional and psychological reasons that are sometimes conscious but usually unconscious.

Consider the following categories and where you might place yourself:

  1. Very underweight (there are a number of sub-categories for this one, for now I  will be focusing on reducing weight, being under weight is a subject for      another day.
  2. Slightly  underweight, maybe eating is a low priority and meals are often skipped.
  3. Naturally  slim and healthy, able to maintain a healthy weight unconsciously.
  4. Occasionally      gain weight but lose it again fairly easily, again not an issue
  5. Slightly overweight, this category may be more about over-eating than emotional  eating for some people.
  6. Gradual weight gain with age, maybe part of normal aging process however we can manage this if we wish to.
  7. Always  had a weight problem from slight to extreme.
  8. Sudden  weight gain in adulthood.

Yoyo dieters will have started in one of the above categories originally. There are a number of possible causes for the above categories that can be mixed and matched, the following list is by no means complete:

  • Family history and tradition – this occurs where there are weight issues within a family and children born into this environment develop strategies and beliefs that are unhealthy. Eating is often used for celebrations and a way of sharing love in a family.
  • Critical or non-nurturing childhood – food has become medication, a way of comforting one’s self. Sometimes food is the only friend. If combined with family history and tradition the consequences can be much more extreme.
  • Trauma in childhood – in some cases there is an unconscious decision to become overweight as a protection of some kind. Care should be taken to avoid assumptions about abuse etc, this may or may not be a factor.
  • Trauma or changes in circumstances in adulthood can also sometimes trigger weight gain.
  • Life events both positive and negative – busy and stressed life style on one end through to complacency and contentment on the other. Joe and I put on a lot of weight when we first got together eating chocolate and watching movies together! This category also includes women who gain weight after childbirth.

There may be other causes and if you can think of any major ones I’ve missed let me know.

I’m also going to share so tips about the physics of weight loss too! This one I got from Jillian Michaels. Substitue cauliflower for mash potatoes. I like this one, it tastes fairly similar when you mash the cauli up but is much better for you and has less calories!

Over the next few weeks I will delving into this topic in more detail. I would really welcome your input and ideas on this. Please share with me your life experiences and challenges. Are you someone who has dealt with this issue or is it still current for you?



About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
This entry was posted in Emotional Awareness, Emotional Intelligence, Life in General, NLP, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Practitioner, NLP Trainer's Training, Personal Development, Reality, resilience, Self Esteem and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Weight loss, the emotional ingredient – A Starting Point…

  1. Lucinda Wilby says:

    Hi mel! Lovng the blog as per usual.

    If you want info I am a prime one. Struggled with my weight from age 14. Lost weight over the years but usually put it back on and more.

    Recently most successful at losing a little and maintaining is slimming world – healthy eating, no counting as such. Still stuck about three stone overweight but haven’t put the stone I lost back on. That’s a couple of years.

    Recently tried hypnotherapy – 4 sessions but still not working. My biggest problem seems to be that the desire to lose weight takes a back seat to my enjoyment of food.

    Hope that helps!!

    Love to you both


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Helen Watson says:

    Hi Melody, Always enjoy your blog and this week is very relevant for me. Having been trying to shift 2/3 stone for the last 15 years I am finally having success. In the past I have tried using just diet, exercise or more recently NLP on their own. This year I have put all 3 together and it’s working! Diet (for me it has been no starchy carbs or sugar- easier than I thought.) Exercise (move more than 10.000 paces a day- enjoyable although time consuming) and NLP (achievable goals,visualising myself when I’ve reached my goal and more but I would have to think exactly what have I been doing). Feeling really well. Not hungry. feeling really positive about it and very happy to share more of what’s working for me. Helen

    • Hi Helen

      Firstly congratulations on finding an approach that works for you, you are brilliant!

      Thank you also for sharing your story, as with all personal development we are stronger when we reach out to others. I am sure you are an inspiration to those around you.


  3. NLP Trainer says:

    Fantastically well-written article, thank you for sharing your thoughts, fascinating stuff!

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