Wholehearted Nutrition

Weight loss – an intuitive beginners guide

Weight loss is a numbers game and approximately two-thirds of Australian adults are playing.
$613.5 billion is the number of dollars we’re expected shell out on weight loss services and food products; shakes, pills, and drinks this year.
Yes, billion.
$8.5 billion is the number of dollars we spent on gym memberships, fitness related products and fitness fads last year.
54% of gym members allow their memberships to lapse between 12-18 months of joining which means that 4.25 of that $8.5 billion (approximately) is wasted money.
designer fast food
These numbers prove to only that throwing cash at weight loss doesn’t help but that the industry is after revenue, not to actually help anybody.
[Tweet “Weight loss is an inside job.”]
Weight loss is wrapped in many layers that need to be gently peeled back so we can gently get to the core of what’s driving the behaviours behind the weight gain.
You did not arrive at an unhappy weight overnight.
It’s taken a lifetime of ‘stuff’ that led to punishing choices that has bought you here.
Stuffed down emotions, unresolved relationship issues, childhood programming, distorted body image and sabotaging self-talk are all common culprits for many working on weight loss.

model eating carbs

 To make any kind of lasting physical transformation you need to rewire your mindset. Thoughts become things. Words have power. Self talk sets the stage.
So, we need to dig through the stuff you’ve buried down, bring it to the light and release it.
As you emotionally unpack your baggage gets lighter, your headspace clears up and you start making choices that allow your healthy body to flourish.
Working with your body rather than seeing your mind and your body as separate starts to set magic into motion.

 As a coach, this was my most frequently asked question:

What do I need to eat for weight loss?

My answer is always this: I don’t know.
Weight loss is not a game of tricking your body into getting smaller. It’s not about temporarily making sacrifices only to wind up right back where you started. And don’t even start me on comparisons.
All of these things make function differently in all of us:
  • Metabolic rates.
  • Tolerance for different foods.
  • Digestive systems.
  • Cultural backgrounds.
  • Stress levels.
  • Emotional response which dictate your food choices.
  • Thought patterns (thoughts become things, I promise you).
  • Relationship to food.
The events, behaviours and thoughts that have shaped you, swayed your relationship to food and dictate your self talk are unique to you.
The inner work that you need to do will be different from anybody else, and so it makes no sense to do what everyone else is doing.
The weight loss industry blanket markets their products with the promise of a ‘quick fix’, and as you can see by the numbers, it isn’t worth it.
Weight loss is a process and what you need to understand is this:
 [Tweet “Your weight is emotional, not physical.”].

A beginner’s guide on doing the work for weight loss.

Here’s a taster of the techniques I’ve successfully used with clients to achieve weight loss, the most exciting of which was a weight loss of 56kg over 2 years.

Weight loss starts with your head.

 [Tweet “Everything starts in your head. “]
Your excuses about why you can’t have a smoothie for breakfast and exercise in the morning start in your head.  So does the excuse you make about why you can’t wake up half an hour earlier and use that gym membership you paid for.
Changing something asks you to move out of your comfort zone.
Weight loss is moving you right out of your comfort zone, day after day.
The question is: will you show up for yourself?
Intuitive weight loss tip:
List your excuses and work with them one by one.
Set intentions around them and repeat them to yourself to begin rewiring those mental roadmaps.

Let it go: mentally and physically

If you’re holding on to a slight from the past or an argument from years ago please drop it now.
We all do this unconsciously, it stores up stagnant energy which impacts your emotions. Your emotions drive your thoughts which then influence your food choices. Stress eating is a perfect example of this.
Intuitive Weight Loss tip: 
Think about who you need to forgive and mentally (or aloud) say their name and what you forgive them for and then forgive them.
”Stephanie, I now forgive you for _________. Holding on to the energy of this argument (etc) is holding me back from growing into the person I want to be. I forgive you. I release you.
Deep breath, this one is emotionally taxing.

girl sitting in sunlight

Feel, don’t feed, your emotions

Learn to speak up and out.
If you’re a pleaser and stifle your feelings you’re repressing your energy.
This builds resentment and can manifest as sore spots in relationships, envy in friendships and self righteous behaviour which all trigger a need for comfort. Don’t seek it out from the fridge.

Intuitive Weight Loss tip: 

Write your thoughts and any related emotions out onto paper and then set it on fire or rip it up.


I’ve written a post on decoding cravings in relation to emotions here.

I have plenty more practical, food related tips in my swag which I will share.
I’d really love to hear your thoughts on working with weight loss, your stories and any intuitive tips you love to use.

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  • Reply Fiona Saiter August 16, 2016 at 1:28 am

    This question has been on my mind lately. I’m on a journey to lose 40 lbs. and I write about that on my blog. I think that is such a correct statement that you really have to unpack your emotional baggage first before you can even start to change. Great post!


    • Reply Cynthia August 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you lovely, so glad you found the post useful. Wishing you lots of goodness for your journey Fiona.x

  • Reply Clarissa August 12, 2016 at 2:03 am

    I really, really loved reading this. Thank you for the inspiration and the extra push without the guilt <3


    • Reply Cynthia August 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you Clarissa! That is the loveliest comment, I’m so glad.xx

  • Reply Brianna Leigh August 11, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Never really thought of weight loss this way…definitely will apply some fo these!

    • Reply Cynthia August 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Wonderful! So happy to give you some fresh tools – would love to know how you go beautiful.x

  • Reply Anna Sheinman August 11, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Great article! I lost over 40 lbs and was able to keep it off – defiantly a mind-set!

    • Reply Cynthia August 15, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Yay! Congratulations Anna! I hope you celebrate yourself.xx

  • Reply Christine - Jar Of Lemons August 11, 2016 at 3:02 am

    I definitely agree that weight loss starts in our minds! Such an encouraging post!

    • Reply Cynthia August 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Thanks Christine. Glad you enjoyed it.x

  • Reply LaKisha Riddick August 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Yes to all…of…this!!!! If I wanted to lose the weight once and for all, I had to change my mindset. For me, I had been using food to numb the pain. Until I allowed God to heal me, nothing changed for the long term. I’m grateful that I’m learning how to be kind to myself and patient on this journey. Indeed it is a process of trial and error. But I know that these changes are for my good and for the rest of my life. I’m worth it! Excellent post!

  • Reply Kritika Goel August 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is a terrific post! Very inspirational! I’ve been on a fitness journey the last few months and I’m loving strength training.

    • Reply Cynthia August 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Thanks Kritika! Enjoy the fitness journey – I love strength training too.xx

  • Reply Rebecca McFarland August 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Lots of food for thought in this post, Cynthia! Thank you for sharing! X

  • Reply Dicia August 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Great advice! I was on steriods for 10 long days during a big move and I gained a little weight. I definitely need to lose some weight to get healthy and my dh and I decided that we are going to try for a third kid, so I need to be at a healthier weight before we try again!

    • Reply Cynthia August 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      Oh wow, incredible how chemicals affect us. Glad that you’re getting onto a healthy path for your little one. Go you!x

  • Reply CrossfitMermaid August 10, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Such great points. I’m obsessed with fitness and dropping body fat is my biggest issue. Strength training is the fun part.

    • Reply Cynthia August 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you – I LOVE strength training too.

  • Reply Sweetsnsnarks by LeAnn August 10, 2016 at 11:52 am

    This by far is the most influential weight loss read I have come across. How we handle everything in life comes from our emotions and relationships. I look forward to reading more of your posts to learn about weight loss and health. Kudos!

    • Reply Cynthia August 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you LeAnn, what a beautiful comment – I’m beaming! Everything starts and ends with you. Plenty more goodness to come, glad you enjoyed.xx

  • Reply Ashley Rose August 10, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Very inspirational and you called me out without knowing me. I make mental excuses daily about getting up early. I have to focus on one thing to change at a time and encourage myself to make the best of it.

    • Reply Cynthia August 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Glad this post inspired you Asheley. You absolutely CAN change, one step at a time, on your terms. Big love.xx

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