Changing Our Mindset About Food And Eating Habits


“One has the ability to change but one thing in life; but by changing this he/she changes his/her life. You can change your thoughts. That’s where it all begins and ends.” (Anthony Robbins).

Eating Habits and Why We Fail at Diets

Changing Our Mindset About Food And Eating Habits: It is easy to feel overwhelmed as we are constantly inundated with conflicting ideas and advice about our eating habits, healthy foods and how to manage our weight. There are thousands of diets available to us at the touch of a button. So why is it that one of the most booming industries delivers such miserable, short-lived results? Each new plan stirs a sense of excitement as we try to convince ourselves that this is the one; the last diet we’ll ever have to follow. The adrenalin pumps in anticipation of pounds and inches dropping off. And how many times does that initial excitement wear off? Week 3, 4, maybe 5 and bang – back to square one.

Diet discarded. Old eating habits stronger than ever. The weighing scales inches back up and the inevitable guilt is spurred on by negative self-talk. Of course we do our best to cover these feelings with rationalising the “falling off the wagon”. It’s the wrong time. I’ve too many family demands. I’ve no time to cook. It’s the summer holidays etc. Perhaps we convince ourselves that this is truth, but the reality is that we are back in that unhappy place again and so the vicious cycle of yo-yoing continues.

The fundamental flaw with such regimes is that they focus on completely the wrong thing: WEIGHT LOSS. If we were robotic creatures we could repeatedly follow these rules and inevitably achieve the desired outcome. But the fact is that we are human beings with ever changing emotions. And because emotions dictate behaviour, the chances of following a specific set of rules consistently is impossible.

We’ve all been there. Cravings which come from nowhere. Urges to eat that are as intense as they are spontaneous. When it happens we feel powerless to resist the urge to break old eating habits, and feel overwhelmed and out of control. We need to address what’s going on in our heads and understand the causes of our cravings. Treating the symptoms (the fat) is pointless without identifying the root cause, the possible physiological and psychological triggers.

Motivation Weight Management programme founder, Dr. Maurice Larocque says “it’s like taking an aspirin for a toothache, you will only get short term results”.

Mental Weight

Dr. Larocque an expert in human behaviour, has never been interested in obesity. He is interested in people. People with weight issues who are suffering physically and emotionally for it. He developed a unique concept called “Mental Weight” which is implemented through a questionnaire that helps to identify and measure peoples’ behaviours and attitudes towards food. This concept has been seen as a major breakthrough in the fight against overweight and obesity by the medical profession worldwide. As the diet industry grows, so too does the despair and frustration of those who buy into the latest craze.

Every new diet makes empty promises. We know this because, despite the endless attempts at weight loss, obesity is still rising. In Ireland, predictions are that 90% of men and 84% of women will be overweight by 2030. Overweight people under 20 are already suffering from diabetes and complications from metabolic disorders including high blood pressure, fatty liver, high blood cholesterol and high blood triglycerides.

Just 20 years ago these diagnoses were rare in people under 50. There is a huge need for more education both for adults and children so they understand the sugar addiction cycle and the catastrophic physical and psychological impact. All our behaviours are learned from childhood, so the earlier the introduction of healthy food and drink, the better the eating habits and the easier life will be.

People need to feel empowered. They need empathy and sound practical advice. Most importantly, they need ongoing support. People with weight issues or unhealthy food behaviours and eating habits are often ostracised. This has to stop. They already carry enough guilt. We all need to understand why we do things and acknowledge what’s going on in our heads. Our belief systems can either limit or liberate us.  We need to utilise proven techniques to challenge negative thoughts and have the coping mechanisms to handle negative emotions such as anger, guilt, sadness and frustration.

It can be difficult to understand why anyone would repeatedly engage in behaviours that are ultimately harmful, but it’s important to remember that any pattern of self-sabotage comes from a positive intent.  What does this mean? Binge eating is not an attempt to feel bad. It may be to feel pleasure, soothe difficult emotions or numb pain from an ongoing trauma. People unwittingly convert psychic pain to physical pain as this may be easier to cope with.

These dynamics are further complicated when we add dieting to the mix. This may increase the risk of bingeing as it promotes the experience of psychological and physiological deprivation. The more this cycle is repeated the more entrenched it can become. This induces feelings of shame as one feels out of control. This emphasizes the fact that our weight loss and eating habits are dictated by our thoughts. “It’s not just what we eat, but why”. One of Motivation’s successful clients recognised her problem and said the weekly one-to-one consultations helped her get to the root of her problem, which was down to a number of factors including boredom, loneliness, and being a perfectionist.

The Motivation Programme for Weight Loss

The Motivation programme is focused on sustainable, permanent change. It teaches weight maintenance skills so that you can experience how to fine tune your behaviours in response to everyday pleasures, challenges and disruptions. Clients learn to think positively about their weight loss journey so they can convert deterioration to growth, and shift self-limitation to self-improvement and accomplishment. Education on physiology and psychology is the starting point, after that people are more likely to take positive action. This, alongside nutritional advice, menu planners and one-to-one support means that Motivation have the most successful weight management programme available.

To speak to a Motivation Weight Management Adviser or to book an assessment consultation, find your local clinic contact here.

Blog Post by Claire Jackson