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disordered eating Archives - Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic
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Parents Role Model Emotional Eating

Parents Role Model Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating Starts in Childhood Through Role Modelling

Emotional Eating is an issue that can have many and varied reasons for starting and being maintained.

If you suffer from Emotional Eating you will know that you may eat for many different reasons:

  • Stress;
  • Boredom;
  • Tiredness;
  • Loneliness;
  • Happiness;
  • Reward, and
  • Celebration. 

Each of the reasons you use food, as a coping mechanism, can have a foundation connected to family, friends, teen years, childhood or dieting. 

A study Published in Pediatric Obesity Journal, conducted by the University College London (2017) found that children who struggle with Emotional Eating are not only influenced by their genetic makeup; they are, in fact, largely influenced by their home environment and role models. 

This study found that Nurture can be even more influential than Nature; meaning that the environment one grows up in is more influential in their adult lives than their hereditary genes.

A child’s own relationship with food, and eating behaviours can be influenced by the following issues in the home environment: 

  • A parent who may be overweight or obese;
  • A parent who overeats or under-eats;
  • A parent who stress or emotionally eats;
  • A parent who uses food to soothe, reward or control behaviour in their children;
  • A family that doesn’t have a balanced, healthy eating practice, and
  • Stress at meal times.

Are You a Healthy Role Model?

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Children learn by watching and mimicking the behaviours of those closest to them.

In other words, monkey see, monkey do – and we want to keep our little monkeys as healthy and happy as possible!

Genetic makeup does influence your children, however being a healthy role model has far more power to shape your child’s eating habits, and set up them up to either have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with food in adulthood.

The Heart Foundation provides some worrying statistics when it comes to the dietary habits of adults:

  • 36% of Australian adults are overweight;
  • 50.2% of adults have an inadequate fruit intake, and 
  • 92.9% of adults have an inadequate vegetable intake.

If this is the state of affairs for adults, then what chance do children have?

Whether it is overeating or under-eating, the hard truth is that eating traits are developed in the formative years of a child’s life (pre-school years) and this trait is enduring.

What this means is that you can:

  • Help your children develop a healthy relationship with food and significantly reduce the possibility of Emotional Eating, OR 
  • Create an unhealthy relationship with food by using food to comfort, soothe, reward or control emotions and behaviours, in your children which will inevitably see them collide with Emotional Eating.  

The choice is yours as a parent and role model.

It might seem easy in the moment to bribe a grumpy child with a piece of chocolate, but the long-term consequences of using food as a bargaining technique can lead to childhood and adult obesity, Disordered Eating, and poor emotional coping skills.

To avoid Emotional Eating occurring, families need to find healthy ways to manage stress and find options reward, soothe, and comfort without food.

Related: Mum’s at War: How To Respond To Mummy Bullying  

3 Tips to Become a Healthier Role Model

There are many practical ways you can become a healthier role model for your children!

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Tip #1: Find Other Ways to Soothe, Comfort and Reward

There are plenty of conducive ways to moderate you and your child’s mood without food! 

  • To soothe, try listening to some gentle music, or going for a walk to the park for some productive play and movement; 
  • To comfort, give lots of affection, or run a warm bubble bath for some splish-splashy fun. If your child is sad, watch your favorite movie or play a board game together for some cheering-up, and
  • To reward your child for achieving something positive, try something like an age-appropriate coloring book, or other arts and crafts, as a creative treat.

Spending positive, quality time with your child is something your children really do crave from you, and is not related to food. Quality time with your child strengthens your overall bond and communication.

This can have a long-lasting, positive effect on adult life. 

Tip #2: Watch Your Words 

Children pick up on the language that is used around them. That is why it’s so important not to talk about dieting, restricting/bingeing, or negative body image. Instead, choose to speak positively about body image, shape, weight, and size.

Each and everybody is unique and beautiful, and this needs to be verbalized to create a strengthened, positive sense-of-self early on, in a child’s life.

Some positive things to say might include: 

  • Healthy food for healthy fuel;
  • We eat plenty of fruit and veg so we can grow strong;
  • You are cared for and loved;
  • Your body is unique and beautiful; 
  • You are important, and you matter, and
  • You are capable of achieving so much.

Tip #3: Seek Assistance with Your Disordered Eating

The first step is recognizing that you and your family may be affected by Emotional Eating or other forms of Disordered Eating. You can make a positive impact on your child’s future self, by taking action to change your unhealthy relationship with food now. 

You can be a positive influence on your family by having discussions about fruits and vegetables and get the kids involved in the choosing and cooking process.

Find fun family activities that get the whole family moving and connecting more.

Ask your friends for tips and ideas on how to bring your family closer together, and keep practicing your healthier habits. 

Seeking professional help is courageous, not something to be ashamed of.

Talking with a professional about your food and Emotional Eating issues, to enable you to become a healthier role model, is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself and your family.

Build healthier choices today for a healthier future for your children!

If you want to action positive change and break the negative cycle of Emotional Eating, make an appointment with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today to get you and your family on track for a healthier and happier life!

Ditch Your Resolutions – Shake Up Your Self-Worth

Ditch Your Resolutions – Shake Up Your Self-Worth

Coming into 2019, did you have a ‘New Year, New Me’ attitude?

Did you set yourself radical resolutions in an attempt to instigate meaningful change in your life?

The ‘all or nothing in the New Year’ attitude is a dangerous one.

Basing your self-worth on the ability to reach an unattainable goal is automatically setting you up for failure.

If you are setting goals that are unrealistic on the 1st January, unfortunately, they are still going to be unrealistic goals throughout the year. 

When you are unable to immediately satisfy these unrealistic expectations, you may become disheartened, and disappointed with yourself and your inability to achieve.

The reality is, these goals were never achievable in the first place, so no meaningful change can occur in this mindset.

Toxic Comparisons and Toxic Endorsements by Toxic Celebrities

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So often your ‘resolutions’ are influenced by what you see on social media or in magazines, without realising the underlying toxicity of comparison.

How many times have you seen an Instagram picture of a ‘skinny’ Instamodel, compared yourself, and not felt good enough or that your life wasn’t interesting or exciting?

This kind of comparison is deeply toxic and unhealthy.

When you compare yourself to others, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Furthermore, how many times have you seen celebrities endorsing weight loss products like ‘flat-tummy-tea’, ‘appetite suppressant lollipops’, or ‘skinny shakes’?

Have you ever purchased, or thought about purchasing these products under the promise they will make you look like these celebrities?

The unfortunate truth is that these products are unhealthy, laxative-based or stimulant-based, and provide your body with none of the nutrition it needs to function well.

These products will not make you look like a celebrity or give you the life of a celebrity (everything in your life will be the same and nothing will have changed).

In the New Year especially, celebrities take advantage of people hoping to better themselves by using exploitive phrases like ‘did you overindulge at Christmas?’ or ‘how to lose that holiday weight’.

They then market these expensive products with an exclusive discount code, which is usually a variation of their name, to track how many customers they are bringing in and their subsequent commission.

It’s imperative to remember that these celebrities are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote these products to their impressionable fan base.

The Truth Behind ‘Perfection’

These celebrities will never cite what has really given them their aesthetics:

  • Plastic surgeons;
  • Nutritionists;
  • Personal trainers;
  • Personal chefs;
  • Photoshop artists, and
  • Other lifestyle elements that most of the general population will never have access to.

Therefore, it is so important to recognise when you are under toxic influences, and realise how they are affecting your self-worth, self-esteem, life satisfaction, happiness and ability to self-love.

Change of Attitude and Self-Love Endorsements by Ethical Celebrities

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Thankfully, more people in the spotlight are encouraging a change in attitude and calling out this harmful agenda.

A great example of this is Jameela Jamil, an actor in ‘The Good Place’…

In regard to scrapping all-or-nothing New Year’s resolutions, she encourages her following to ‘stop with the crazy diets, and instead of radical self-change, to strive for radical self-love this year!

This is a wonderful, empowering and uplifting quote; a refreshingly honest celebrity stance.

This is a woman to follow!

My personality is beyond all measurement!

Jameela herself suffered from an eating disorder.

‘I was the teenager who starved herself for years, who spent all her money on these miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities on how to maintain a weight that was lower than what my body wanted it to be’. 

This is a classic example of the miseducation that influences young people, and how it can affect people well into adulthood. Jameela’s perception of self, much like most of us, was radically altered by mainstream media and social normalities. 

In response to the toxicity in the media, Jameela founded the i_weigh campaign, arguing that the true value of you cannot be measured on scale.

We are worth so much more than that.

Who we are is far more complex.

We are comprised of so much more.

And thus, i_weigh was born.

Related: Be More Confident By Growing Your Self-Worth

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Find Your Supportive Squad!

Start following people on social media who care about the betterment of other people and surround yourself with people and messages that lift you up and inspire you!

Stop following people on social media with unhealthy and toxic messages that make you compare or pull your self-worth down. If the message tear you down and make you feel awful about yourself, click un-follow or BLOCK!

Focus less on comparison, and instead practice gratitude about your uniqueness, because no one else is quite like you!

Appreciate what makes you, YOU!

Rather Than Setting Resolutions, Practice Self-Love!

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The person I am all-year-round is worthy of self-love!

This year, I challenge you to ditch your resolutions, and instead actively practice self-worth and self-love all year round.

At the end of the day, and all year round, you’re worth your weight in gold.

If you are stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting, body dysmorphia or disordered eating behaviours such as Binge Eating or Emotional Eating, Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you.

We help you to get to the root cause of your unhealthy patterns and behaviours that are keeping you stuck. 

We will support you to reach balance and sustainability for your health and happiness.

If you are ready to get off the rollercoaster, book an appointment with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today!

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Are you a victim of marketing hype and social pressure?

For so long, you may have been led to believe that dieting will help you to lose weight, be healthier and happier.

The research paints a very different picture!

Dieters who do lose weight end up with unwanted weight gain within five (5) years!

Those who diet end up:

  • Gaining more weight than they lost;
  • Having an unhealthier attitude towards food;
  • At risk of developing Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating Behaviours;
  • With a reduced ability to recognise natural hunger;
  • Developing a poorer body-image, and
  • At risk of Depression. 

If this sounds like you, don’t be disheartened – there is hope!

If you realise that dieting causes weight gain, you can reverse it, you can lose weight just by stopping dieting!

If you follow the NO DIET plan, eventually, you will find balance and a sustainable eating plan to suit your body.

This is not a quick fix; nor does it mean that you can eat everything and anything you want, whenever you want! 

Being Ready

You need to be ready to learn about, listen to, and respect your body.

You need to be ready to give yourself, your body and food the time it deserves so you can mindfully focus on:

  • Finding balance;
  • Understanding your fullness and hunger levels;
  • Finding foods that give you energy and health;
  • Enjoying food – planning, cooking, eating;
  • Being ready to let go of foods that zap your energy or make you feel sick, and
  • Finding a sustainable eating plan for the rest of your life.

5 Steps to Losing Weight by Giving Up Dieting

Here are five (5) tips to help you in your journey towards a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that will help you to lose weight without dieting.

Tip #1 – Focus on Your Health

Health is more important than weight loss.

Therefore, understand what health means to you and pursue goals that help you become stronger physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Focus more attention on what will make you happy and fulfilled in your life, and help you live fully.

Tip #2 – Develop a Positive Relationship with Food

Nutritional balance is the most important aspect of food and eating.

Ridding your life of rigid food rules so you can learn how to eat a balanced, variety of foods that will nourish your brain and body is a crucial step.

Organising and planning food and meals will help you to eat healthy, balanced meals, regularly.

Tip #3 – Non-Diet Professional Support 

Breaking the negative cycles of dieting can be difficult to do on your own.

Therefore, it is important to seek the help of professionals to help give you develop new skills and tools, to enable you to live a healthy, flexible and fun lifestyle.

Tip #4 – Like-Minded and Supportive People 

You need to surround yourself with people who are like-minded and support a balanced approach to life, food, eating and health.

Some people in your life may be on either side of the continuum: unhealthy and sabotaging or healthy but rigid and too focused on food, exercise and eating.

You can’t change other people but you can choose how much influence they have over you and how much time you spend with them. 

Tip #5 – Develop a Lifestyle

Let go of quick fixes and rigid rules!

Quick fixes will not ever deliver you a life of happiness and health.

Taking things slower and developing new skills, habits, thoughts and beliefs will provide you with a lifestyle that you have always wanted for yourself.

A lifestyle is a journey towards happiness for a lifetime of wellbeing, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Focus on long-term sustainability. 

Diet Food – Not So Healthy Food

Diet Food – Not So Healthy Food

Australia’s leading nutritionists and diet experts tested the nutritional value of diet foods produced by weight loss companies.

The findings were surprising!

It was found that pre-packaged weight loss foods have poor nutritional quality!

This finding comes soon after another study that was released that found that, some Weight Watchers packaged products actually contained more kilojoules, when compared with other brands.

The Weight Loss Industry is worth $650 billion per year with 2.3 million Australians buying into the messages and marketing hype.

Could these programs and companies really be helping you lose weight or getting you ‘hooked’ on their foods, so you come back again and again?

So What Exactly is in Those Pre-Packaged Foods?

The Australian Women’s Weekly essentially dissected frozen meals, produced by the ‘big’ weight loss companies in Australia like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.

The basic components were broken down, identified, weighed and then sent off for analysis.

These are promoted as diet foods to help you to lose weight and be healthy however, the results debunked the claims promoted by the packaging and marketing claims, as well as the nutritional panel.

For example, the Jenny Craig’s Crumbed Fish & Wedges meal was found to have potato wedges as the biggest component in the meal at 38%, which is not an indication of a balanced main meal.

The same meal also has beef tallow or beef fat (a source of saturated fat) as its second biggest component.

Jenny Craig Responds to Women’s Weekly

Jenny Craig responded to questions about their pre-packaged frozen diet meals. 

This is in response to a test finding that discovered that Jenny Craig’s meals, are not conducive to a well-balanced meal and contain saturated fat.

The responses by Jenny Craig tend to skirt around some of the issues.

See what you think about their responses and determine if you think that they are a positive or negative influence in the weight loss industry.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic specialises in helping people with Disordered Eating & Weight Issues including Food Addiction.

Dieting and diet foods actually makes the issue worse.

Stop the negative cycles of dieting and find out how to empower yourself to change for long-term health and happiness.

If you would really like to know what your relationship to food is and recommendations to suit your situation – take the quiz today! 

Take this FREE 3-minute QUIZ to Find Out What’s Triggering Your Sabotaging Patterns and Keeping You Stuck in Yo-yoing Cycles

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I’ll Be Happy When…

I’ll Be Happy When…

On some level, does a part of you which secretly believes that when you reach a particular goal that life will improve or the burdens of the past will just disappear?

This is the ‘Fairytale’ Syndrome . . .

When we were children, we believed in fairytales with a happy ever after ending.

As we grow up we still hold on to this same belief or fantasy.

We want a happy ever after ending amongst the true reality of life.

Even though we may not consciously believe in this or purposefully put our lives on hold until we reach a happy ever after, we do.

It is like watching a movie when it gets to an exciting bit and you hold your breath, urgently anticipating what is going to happen next.

This is what many people tend to do in their own life.

There seems to be a period of holding your breath or not living life to its fullest in anticipation for the ending or end result.

The focus is on the goal and everything hinges on the end result and many people either:

Reach their goals and find that:

  • Nothing has changed;
  • They are exhausted and they relax, or
  • Return to old habits out of disappointment, exhaustion and grief.


Never reach their goals as the reality of the goal is so unrealistic that they:

  • Can only maintain the rigid lifestyle or program for a limited time;
  • They return to their existing habits feeling like a failure, and
  • Become disillusioned with life and depressed.

This all results in the yo-yo effect which pulls down our:

  • Self-esteem;
  • Confidence;
  • Efficacy;
  • Belief in ourselves, and
  • It begins to alter our identity.

5 Tips to Avoid Fairytale Syndrome

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To avoid the Fairytale Syndrome and yo-yo effect you can follow these five (5) simple, yet effective tips:

Tip #1 – Know Your End Goal and Reduce It

Most of the time we set unrealistic and unachievable goals which leads to disappointment and loss of motivation.

Know what your outcome goal/end result is and reduce it by at least 20%.

If you have a weight loss goal of 20kg – your new weight loss goal is 16kg.

Tip #2 – Set Realistic Goals

By setting unrealistic goals we set ourselves up for failure from the start.

Set a realistic deadline and add 30% e.g. if your deadline is 3 months (90 days)  – your new deadline is (90 + 27 = 117) = almost 4 months.

Tip #3 – Focus on the Journey

Look at the process and stop looking at the end result – LIVE LIFE NOW!!!

Find fun ways to help you achieve your goals.

Things that are going to get you excited about moving closer to your goal.

If you do fun and exciting things, your goals don’t feel like a chore and you may even achieve them ahead of schedule!

Tip #4 – Measure your progress

Look for progress – at least 8 different ways that are not the ways you have previously gauged progress.

Have fun with this too!

Tip #5 – Achievement charts

Create an achievement chart with lots of bright colours, stars, quotes and things that have been achieved.

Even the smallest thing can be an achievement and needs to be celebrated.

This will help when times are tough or you feel as though you have made no progress or feel like falling off the wagon.

It is a real motivator!

By using these guidelines to make small and achievable goals, instead of focusing on the end result, you will see improvements in your body and your mindset.

If you are struggling and feel like you would like guidance moving towards your health and happiness goals, why not get in touch and book an appointment.

Booking an appointment with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you:

  • Live in the now;
  • Have fun with reaching goals;
  • Create an exciting and fun process for true change, and
  • Help you enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the end result.