It May Be Woo-Woo, But It Works


Breaking the yo-yo diet cycle requires a willingness to try something new. I am not talking about trying the new diet that your girlfriend is raving about unless you really want to subject yourself to a new set of rules about what you can and can’t eat.


By trying something new I mean having the openness to learn to listen to your body. I know this may sound super scary.


When I first heard about the concept of listening to my body, I thought it was crazy. I strongly believed it was my body’s fault for making me gain weight in the first place.


I thought if I listened to my body I would be stuffing down brownies, cookies, mochas, and french fries all day. If only I had the willpower to stick to my diet this problem would have been solved and I could move on and never worry about my weight again.


As we know, it rarely turns out this way. Time and time again we see statistics of the 95% failure rate of weight loss diets.


Not only does dieting not work, it keeps you at war with your body. When you are at war with your body, the idea of listening to it seems crazy. The only way to truly break free from the dieting cycle is to practice paying attention to what your body really desires.


A great time to practice listening to your body is when you want to eat but you are not physically hungry. For example, perhaps you mindlessly grab handfuls of chips around 3pm or you have a nighttime ritual of eating Ben and Jerry’s in front of the TV.


Before you get the food out, try this out.


1. Check in with your body and ask “do you want ________ (fill in the blank with the food you are reaching for)?” It helps to put one hand on your heart and one on your stomach when you ask. This action gets you out of your head and physically connects you to your body.



1. Notice how your body feels when you ask this question: Does it feel like a “yes” or a “no”? A “yes” feels more expansive and a “no” feels more contracting in your body. It is a small, subtle feeling so make sure to really tune in.



1. If you get a “no” then get curious about what your body really wants. Perhaps you need a break to take a walk, do some stretching, talk to a friend, take a bath, or get some sleep.



1. If you feel “yes” to the food, put it in a bowl or on a plate, sit down and savor it. Fully taste it with no distractions.



I know it sounds a bit woo-woo but I also know that with practice it works.


Not only will you get to know your body better but you will give yourself the necessary pause needed before you just go into automatic pilot and eat out of habit, sadness, boredom, or some other reason.


Try it out and let me know how it goes.

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My 2 sisters and I walked out of your talk energized and more committed than ever to continue eating healthy.

Ann Jenkins