Behaviour and Weight Loss

Behaviour is what we do, it is not who we are !

‘’Why did I over eat again ? I Should know better.

‘’ I know how bad it is for my health yet I keep doing it. I said the last time I did it, I was not going to do it again. What’s wrong with me ?’’

If you can relate to the above then you need to become aware of the bigger picture. First the above self talk is negative , berating and you are also going into victim mode by asking ‘what is wrong with me ?’. There is nothing wrong with you. Recurrent behaviours are what happen when there is a lesson to be learned. Behaviour also re occurs regardless of being good or bad, because of our attachment to it. If the behaviour is serving a purpose, meeting a habit, or we have an investment in it then until this is addressed we will continue to do it regardless of the end result which in many cases is excess weight and health problems.

A more constructive attitude towards the behaviour would be as follows…

‘I can’t believe I just did that ! Ok so what am I missing here ?

What am I being shown ? What am I getting from this ? What do I need to look at ?

Now you have asked a question that begs for a solution.

The other is berating, and will spiral you into overeating again as you have disempowered yourself by becoming a victim to the behaviour and possibly the food.

Food only has the power you give it, so that means you can take it away also.

A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it !

So what actually influences our Behaviour with food ?

Cognitions~ unhelpful beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, barriers to change (environment, previous failed attempts etc) and assumptions toward self, food, body, weight, and the world.          Feelings

          ~ Anxiety, shame, guilt, fear, doubt , boredom, frustration to name but a few !


          ~ Career (chef), entertaining as part of your job description, job involves you being surrounded by                food.


         ~ lack of assertion in relationships being played out with food, influence or impact of significant other          or family, People pleasing or overdoing it and needing to overeat to keep going.


       ~ High sugar foods triggering blood sugar imbalances and cravings for more sugar. Meaning and             associations food hold ie creamy foods are very smooth so people eat in an unconscious attempt to get a    smoother life ! Crunchy foods you need to bite into and people who need to express anger tend to   gravitate towards crunchy foods .


   ~ purpose, payoff, numbing, soothing, distracting, coping with, defending against, control.


    ~ Time of day, time of month, situation, media, person, party, etc..

Behaviour Chains

   ~ these can influence behaviour and a good example would be… you are watching tv and an    advertisement comes on. You go into the kitchen and open press. There is nothing there so you get your keys and get into the car and head to the local shop. You are not sure what you want or you buy things for the kids so you end up with a good few bars and on the way back you start to eat some ! When you get back to the tv you think I’ve blown it so I might as well have the rest of them now ! This is a behaviour chain… tv ~ kitchen ~ car ~ shop ~undecided ~ buys more than needed ~ eats all !. There are several places where than chain can be broken so it will change the outcome.

Body Image

   ~ A persons body talk has a huge impact on their eating behaviour. A fat/thin conflict or feelings of   phantom fat all have their part to play as well as a general negative felt sense of their body.

Self Image

   ~ Again self talk about the persons sense of self can influence negative behaviours.


   ~ I’ve blown it Syndrome (IBS) maintains negative behaviours with food.


    ~ Your level of motivation at a given time can influence your behaviour. Tiredness zaps your    motivation and it can be a weak spot . Knowing this can create a completely different outcome as the  person knows to recognise it for what it is.


When addressing weight loss it is imperative not to target destructive behaviour especially if you have an investment in it. Instead we must look at what lies beneath or go within so we can fully understand the nature or the need for the behaviour. This is where our skill set comes into play. It is only then after this is done can weight loss be permanently lost.

Behavioural weight loss interventions that focus on diet and exercise are not enough for the majority of people. Long term weight loss continues to be a challenge despite short term success. This is because we are not addressing the full picture.

If you don’t go Within , you go without !

One of the cornerstones of behavioural approaches is self monitoring, however its not about just monitoring food and exercise. Again this is not enough. I have designed specific self monitoring journals which identify at an early stage the ‘real’ issues. Remember food is the tool, the weight is a symptom so they are red herrings in one sense, diverting attention away from the real problem. It’s like watching a murder mystery and the maid is acting very shifty in the kitchen so all attention is placed on her, when it was actually the butler in the library after all !

Behaviour modification techniques including personal skill building teaches you how to respond differently to the various aspects that influence your behaviour. They also teach you how to manage your environment, especially if you are highly visual. It is more of a challenge for a visual person to lose weight.

Personal Skill Set


Anxiety Reduction






Problem Solving


Self Soothing

Stimulus Control


Stress Management

Time Management.



Suzanne 087 2056560