When Diets Fail - Ask Yourself Two Fundamental Questions



As a counselor who specializes in mindful weight loss and emotional eating I have come to a deep understanding of the reasons why diets fail in many or most cases. Clients who seek my counseling services were either referred by their physician or they find me through a Google search. Their desire is to lose weight, feel lighter and happier overall. The majority of my clients have struggled with weight and body image issues since childhood. Damaging messages around what to eat and not to eat as well as harmful comments about their weight and shape started a painful cycle, which has carried over to present times.


So, instead of hyper-focusing on the food (or calorie) aspect of weight management we explore what role food has played in their lives. Was food a comforter, soother and protector? Did eating help with feelings of anxiety, boredom and loneliness?


Here are two fundamental questions, which I ask my clients:

  1. What’s weighing you down?

  2. What is your heart hungry for?

These are deep questions to ponder. What could be weighing someone down are the old beliefs and stories about food weight and body image issues. Or, they may be caught in an unfulfilling (or even toxic) relationship, a soul-draining job situation, or they may have encountered a midlife crossroad - wondering what to do next in life?


Together we approach these delicate matters with a gentle inquiry, compassion and kindness. After all, one cannot change well established behaviors or thought patterns in a short period of time. Changing a habit in 21 days is a myth, in my opinion. I have not been able to find research to confirm this statement.


What I know is that deep healing and lasting change takes time. That’s why diets fail, over and over again. If we only scratch the surface of emotional eating, how can someone possibly find peace with food? During our counseling sessions we co-create new healthy self-care rituals, which will replace the eating instead of feeling cycle over time. We can’t just “rip away” someone’s protective mechanisms without giving them the emotional tools to feel safe and supported.

If this resonates deeply with you, reach out to me to learn more about my mindful approach to weight loss and emotional eating. I offer an initial complimentary consultation to find out whether my program is right for you. I look forward to hearing from you.


With compassion,

Petra