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Psychotherapist Mandy Cassidy Answers Your Weight Loss Questions

November 15, 2011 - Psychology

Weight loss psychotherapist Mandy CassidyDid you miss our first ever live web chat with LighterLife psychotherapist Mandy Cassidy? We asked for weightloss questions on Facebook and Twitter and Mandy was live online to provide her answers.

If you missed the live chat and have a question for Mandy you can post it on our Lighter Life Facebook wall or tweet it to us.

‘I am my own worst enemy when it comes to sabotaging a day of healthy eating with a late night snack – how can I avoid it?’
What’s happening later in the evening? How are you feeling that leads you to feel hungry? What is that feeling about?
‘Evenings are spent cleaning up the kitchen and feeling hard done by. Ok if I avoid cleaning but leads to a very messy kitchen!’
I wonder if you feel angry? Some people eat in an attempt to manage their anger. Could this be you?

‘Many people talk about controlling their eating and weight, but I think this is unhelpful to them. What’s your view?’
Most people have to moderate what they eat but the idea of ‘controlling’ can be unhelpful – you risk feeling out of control. The word ‘control’ risks moving into all or nothing thinking.

‘Where social media and dieters meet, are there too many conflicting views leaving dieters further frustrated?’
There are so many opinions – I don’t blame you feeling frustrated. It’s about listening to your own body and your own needs.

‘I’m a sugar addict – I can’t stop. How can I make myself cut down?’
Sugar sets off a cycle in our bodies that leads us to crave more. Notice when this cycle starts and avoid the first sugar hit. In a balanced diet, sugar is included naturally. The real problem is refined sugar that we eat in high quantities.

‘If we know our behaviour upsets us why do we keep doing the same thing? It’s like we can’t help ourselves.’
Behaviour is a form of protection. Until you have a different way of protecting yourself, your behaviour is likely to continue.

‘Why do I always want more food in the evenings?’
This is very common. Look at how you spend your evenings, what need is food serving at that time? It’s not a physical hunger.

I know I should always eat fruit but I always want crisps – how can I stop this?’
The minute you tell yourself not to eat crisps they become desirable.  Banning a food in your head makes it even more desirable. Its fine to eat crisps on the odd occasion, but it’s how many occasions that you need to be in control of.

‘I have been overweight since I lost my little girl in a car accident. And this was ten years ago. I’m worried I wont be their for my  2 girls growing up. How can I make myself strong enough to do this?’
I suspect you have the strength to do this for your little girls already. You must remember what you are doing it for.  Most mothers have more strength for their kids then they do for themselves. Remember that you can do this!

‘Hi, I’m now at the weight I want. How can I get myself to not eat chocolate and continue to drink water?’
You may want chocolate for a long time to come. Notice that wanting is very different from needing. Your old habits are probably still lurking in the background.

As you manage your weight you are allowed chocolate in moderation. The trick is to notice when you want it and what’s going on that might be emotional and not physical.