8 Tips to Keep Your Clients Following Their Nutrition Plans

by Natalie Shay | Follow on Twitter

Don’t let emotional eating sabotage your client’s nutrition plan.

Often emotional eating can sabotage your clients success with their health plan. However learning new and effective strategies can help them achieve their goals.

Your clients can have great success sticking with their plan as soon as they start implementing these strategies. Start with one at a time.

Remember, your clients are trying to change habits that have been with them for a long time, remind them to be gentle with themselves. Give them this list of 8 strategies to start implementing.

Here are the 8 strategies to ensure emotional eating doesn’t sabotage your client’s nutrition plan.

1. Write out how you view dieting versus nourishing your body

There is a big difference between the two and your perspective is a big part of what is going to help you be successful.

This will benefit you in keeping the weight off. If you see eating as just a means to lose weight and dieting, you may end up like the 90% of people who gain it back.

The research, published last year in the American Medical Association’s journal JAMA Surgery [1] examined long-term effects of gastric-bypass surgery. In this example of focusing on losing weight without nourishment, we see that nearly half the patients regained weight after the surgery, emphasizing the importance of nourishing your body and not just using it as a tool to reach a certain size.

If you are struggling to see the difference speak with your Naturopathic doctor about it. It is an important part of your weight loss journey.

2. Create a list of foods you find nourishing that make you feel good

Your healthcare provider has probably given you some new ideas of what would be good for your body. As you start incorporating them, notice what foods you find make your body feel good. Write them out and keep track of them.

3. Create a list of high risk foods

These are foods that you find hard to have in the house. You know, the ones that take over your mind and you can’t stop thinking about?

What is on your list? Is it chocolate? Ice cream? Chips? Be more specific!

What type of ice-cream or chocolate?

After you create your list, speak with your Naturopathic doctor and see if they can help you come up with healthier alternatives.

4. Pause

If you want to eat foods that are not recommended, go for it! But pause first.

In a recent study, Carnegie Mellon University conducted a number of studies to assess how waiting before turning to food affects how much you eat. The results were published in the Journal of American Marketing Association. It showed when there was a delay between the time food was ordered compared to eaten, participants ended up eating lower-calorie meals.

Give yourself 10 minutes to pause and do something different, like a breathing exercise. Click here for one specifically designed for emotionally eating. If you want something more active, you can go for a walk around the block, call a friend and talk about your feelings or take a hot bath.

5. Slow your eating down

This is a crucial step to support managing your eating. It will help you identify your hunger signals and connect to your body.

Research has shown that binge eaters who ate mindfully reduced episodes of binges from 4 times a week to 1.5. Many of these participants reduced their episodes to the point where they no longer be classified as a binge eater [1]. A great way to slow things down is to put your fork down in-between bites. You can also do a mindful eating exercise. Click here to learn how to slow down your eating and enjoy your food. Try this 3 times a week and it will slowly start becoming a habit.

As an emotional eater who loses signals at this time it is imperative that you slow things down in order to start noticing your hunger signals. This will reduce emotional eating episodes and result in weight loss.

6. Listen how you speak to yourself

Listen what you say to yourself about the food you want. For example: Are you telling yourself you need to eat something because you won’t be happy without it?

There is a direct link between the body and brain. The harder you are on yourself the more negative you will feel emotionally. For an emotional eater, these thoughts can drive you to turn to food. Aaron Beck coined the phrase automatic thoughts.

He recognized the link between thoughts and feelings and how people aren’t always aware of how negative thoughts affect them. He focused on teaching people that they can learn to start recognizing these thoughts in order to make positive changes [2]. When you start identifying your thoughts you can overcome these negative feelings, which will help you overcome your emotional eating.

Start becoming aware of your negative thoughts. Write down your these thoughts daily. The more aware you are of how you speak to yourself, the easier it will be to start to change them and get control over your emotional eating.

7. Communicate

Communication is important to release feelings from the body and not use food to manage them. In one study in the Journal of Psychology Science, psychologists show that when you hold in your emotions, the feeling does not have the ability to dissipate from your body, but when you identify and express the emotions, it allows your body to feel less of this emotion in your body [3].

When you start learning how to express yourself to others you will be less likely to turn to food to comfort yourself because the feelings won’t be as strong.

To start this new habit, pick one person to start expressing yourself to. Pick somebody who feels safe enough to do this with. A great place may be to start with your Naturopathic doctor. If you feel your plan is too rigid, speak with your Naturopath. There are always some ways to find mid-range ideas. You will get to your goals, don’t worry about the length of time it takes to get there.

8. Remind yourself this is a journey

Think about how many times you have tried to get healthy or lose weight. You need to give yourself and your Naturopathic doctor time to catch up with your goals. You will get there. You just need to have some patience.

Congratulations on taking this step towards a better relationship with food!

About the Author
Natalie Shay

Natalie Shay is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach specializing in emotional eating. She struggled with her own weight for 20 years. She finally learned to stop dieting and lost 75 lbs. In 2007 she became a Registered Psychotherapist to help emotional eaters stop turning to food for comfort and lose weight without dieting. She helps support her clients and guides them to meet their goals to stop dieting and start living. **Want to support your clients to get off the diet roller coaster, stop eating emotionally, and lose weight? Get them to sign up for my Emotional Eating Toolkit.