I work with clients to release the excess weight

and keep it off without dieting.

Researched described in the Lancet reported that 57% of women and 67% of men in the UK are either overweight or obese – this puts the UK in the top five western European countries for obesity.

Today, the diet industry in the UK alone is worth £2 billion, yet despite this, a survey conducted on behalf of the Telegraph showed that:

  • 26% of women gave up their latest diet within 7 days.
  • 15% lasted only 14 days.
  • 31% lasted one month.
  • 8% lasted 2 months.
  • 20% lasted over 2 months.

Note:  those that were able to stick to their diet for one month and more had something they were working towards, such as a holiday or other special occasion.

When asked further, the reasons for giving up were:

  • Boredom.
  • Lack of will power and motivation.
  • They’d had a bad day (or a good day).
  • They spent all of their time thinking about food – about what they couldn’t eat or drink. 

We all know that the word “diet” has negative connotations.  

What comes to mind when you hear the word “diet”?

The word diet has no energy and no enthusiasm and can often infer deprivation, or going without.  The word “diet” sends the message that you can’t have something, or that you need to deprive yourself of something.  It sends the message that it’s too hard, or that it takes too much effort.

Many people that want to release excess weight have unrealistic expectations when it comes to eating the weight off.  Although he weight didn’t go on overnight, many expect it to come off overnight.  Not seeing drastic results quickly can lead to a lot of people simply giving up.

When a person has been on a low calorie diet, or has been cutting out food groups, (such as carbs), the body goes into starvation mode so that when the person starts to eat ‘normally’ again, the body hangs on to what it receives in case it’s deprived again.  This means that the weight goes back on – plus more.


Conditioned eaters

A conditioned eater tends to over eat food normally due to early childhood conditioning, where the child was possibly made to feel guilty for leaving food on their plate at mealtimes.  They may have been told that there ‘are people starving in Africa’, etc., or the child may have been motivated to eat everything on their plate in order to get desert.  So pleasure has been associated to eating all of the foods in front of them and guilt for not eating it.

Being rewarded as a child for ‘being good’ with sweets or giving children sweets and junk food when they are upset conditions them so that later in life, they still see these ‘bad’ foods as a comfort and a connection to the love that they had as a child.

Unconscious eaters

An unconscious eater tends to be totally unaware of the amount of food that they eat, for example, they may be watching a film and without realising it they have eaten a whole giant bag of popcorn or a tub of ice cream.  This type of eater is continuously snacking and is not aware of how much they are actually eating throughout the day.  An unconscious eater is an automatic eater and is not always aware of their overeating habit.


Yo-yo dieting

If a client is constantly forcing themselves to eat less, or denying themselves the foods that they’re craving, then they’re also causing their body to think that food is limited, that they’re living in a time of famine, or both.  “Dieting” is the act of forcibly trying to control either the quantity or quality of what they are eating.  Any type of dieting is a form of starvation.  This type of starvation can make their body think that it needs to carry around extra fat and therefore, it activates fat programmes.

In the late 1980s, scientists sought to find the metabolic impact of yo-yo dieting.  To stimulate this behaviour, (which is marked by repeated weight loss and regain), they alternately restricted and expanded the calorie consumption of obese rats.  The rats completed two full yo-yo weight loss cycles.

To lose weight the first time, rats were fed 50% of the average food consumption of control rats until they had lost 131 grams of weight.  Once the rats regained that weight, they used the same 50% restriction for the second weight loss cycle and the rats lost 133 grams.  The result of the two weight loss cycles were very similar.  Yet, the amount of weight gained or lost (the typical focus of dieters), was not the focal point.  Instead, the scientists looked at how long it took the rats to lose weight in each cycle (using the same diet).  They wanted to see how yo-yo dieting affected the rats’ metabolism and if it changed the rats’ propensity to lose (or gain) weight.  It changed significantly, and not for the better.

It took the rats 21 days to lose 131 grams the first time.  The second time (which used the same exact calorie restriction diet) took 46 days – more than twice as long.  The effect was even worse for the weight gain part of the cycle.  After the first weight loss, the rats took 29 days to regain their pre-diet weight.  After their second weight loss, it only took them 10 days to regain the weight.

By losing and regaining weight repeatedly, the rats’ bodies became more than twice as resistant to weight loss and almost three times as prone to weight gain (by function of time on identical diets).

Cycling weight gain and loss increased the rats’ food efficiency, meaning that the rats’ bodies became more conservative with the energy they took in and stored as much fat as possible.  This is the opposite goal of a person (or rat), trying to lose weight, but it’s the natural biological response of a starved or partially starved animal. If you lived in a time when famines were common, such increased food efficiency could save your life.  But for those of us who have an abundance of food and artificially restrict our intake to lose weight, that still tells our metabolism to slow down and not burn too many calories because, for all it knows, the next meal might not be coming anytime soon.

This biological mechanism also affects humans in exactly the same way.

If you want to get fatter, try dieting and buy the books that promise ‘Lose X pounds in X days’.  Science clearly supports these methods for weight gain, so if you actually want to release the excess weight, you’ll need a different strategy.

Imagine that you were one of the rats in the yo-yo dieting study.  If you had just seen first-hand what diet cycling did to you and someone told you about a semi-starvation approach that could help you lose one stone in a month, what would your reaction be?

So, would you now adopt a calorie-restriction diet to lose the fat you gained from having a calorie restriction diet?

Didn’t Albert Einstein once say something about doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?  Maybe you or people you know have experienced this same unfortunate weight gain effect from diet cycling but you (or they) probably attributed weight struggles to other things because it was assumed dieting was the only way.

Dieting sends only one message to the brain – there’s not enough food, so we’d better put every spare calorie we can into fat because we don’t know where our next meal is coming from.  In essence, dieting sends a famine message to the body and that’s why diets don’t work.

The biggest reason for a person’s weight yo-yoing is that:


Food has little to do with weight and everything to do with what is going on inside your mind.

Diets deal with what is on the outside – with what can be seen (excess weight), but the triggers that have you sprinting towards food when you are not hungry, are all on the inside.  Once these triggers have been identified and dealt with, food can no longer have the same control over you.

So, if you are ready to release the excess weight, and keep it off without dieting or depriving yourself, please get in touch.

“I contacted Debbie because I was unhappy with my weight.  I felt ashamed, I hated seeing myself in a mirror and I stopped doing a lot of things because of my weight and how being so overweight made me feel.  I even stopped meeting up with friends for coffee because I thought they would judge me if I even looked at a slice of cake. I was four stone overweight and I wanted rid of it all.  My goal (in addition to getting rid of four stone of excess weight) was to be able to stop eating when I’d had enough (rather than eating everything because it was on the plate) and to stop eating biscuits and snacks between meals.

 I’m over the moon that I am four stone lighter, I can’t stop smiling and if there’s a mirror or a camera now, I’ll be in front of it!  There were also other benefits which to me are just as important.  I have so much more confidence and I’m living life to the full.  I can meet up with friends for a coffee and have a coffee.  If I feel like a slice of cake, I’ll have it and I’ll really enjoy it, rather than stuffing it in without even tasting it.  My knees no longer hurt, and I found out that I really enjoying going for long walks.  Another benefit was just how much money I saved on not overeating.  My weekly food bill was much less, and I saved a fortune by not buying takeaways three or four times a week.

 I learned so much from working with Debbie.  I learned that reducing my weight never needed to involve depriving myself of anything and I also learned that I used food to change how I feel.  Debbie taught me techniques to use between the sessions which meant I ate the correct amount of food and how to change how I feel so I didn’t need to use food to do it.  The hypnotherapy MP3s she gave me to listen to between the sessions meant I felt as amazing all week as I did at the end of every session. 

Debbie was my biggest supporter and believed in my when I found it hard to believe in myself, but she also held me accountable.  Working with Debbie was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Georgia, Harrogate