Weight loss therapy

While our diet industry wants us to believe that weight loss is all about numbers, and our food industry seems to support this belief (with all the fat, protein, carbs and grams of fibre on the nutritional label), it’s not the whole truth. Weight loss is not all about numbers - it’s intrinsically linked with our psychology, our emotions, and our beliefs.


It would be a lot simpler if it was just about the numbers. Then we could easily get the right calorific load of the right minerals times vitamin needs, and we'd be all set. But there’s another way that we can be sure that losing weight isn’t just about numbers - and that's quite simply trying the diet and discovering it hasn’t worked (for a little while at least). And that’s the reality right there. Because when we do go on a numbers-based diet, the results are never truly long-lasting. In fact, over time, 98% of people who diet end up gaining their weight back.

How can therapy help?

If we want to create a long-lasting impact on unwanted weight, then we need to step into the realm of psychology/counselling for weight loss. The main reasons being:


Stress has a direct impact on our ability to lose weight. Whether it’s the external stress of a busy life or the internal stress of unwanted weight or eating behaviours, our body is in a survival response. Our body will not release weight when in survival mode, it does the opposite. It slows down.

If we are faced with a stressful, anxiety-provoking life, we need to learn how to change our responses into more mindful ones; breath, awareness, slowing down, small behaviour changes and mindfulness are all powerful tools when it comes to shifting from stress to relaxation.


This is another foundational key in the psychology of weight loss because it has a direct link to reducing stress. And reducing stress is crucial to creating an internal environment that supports weight loss.

When we take a moment with a supportive friend to chat or enjoy a walk in nature, we are engaging in healthy physiological responses, which help us feel happy. Pleasure brings us into the enjoyment of our food. When we are truly in the moment of eating and mindfulness, we are much more likely to make food choices that support our health and listen to the cues when we’ve eaten enough.


Weight loss tips often focus on changing behaviour - drink more water, eat plenty of greens, don’t eat out, reduce processed foods, etc. And it’s true that behaviours are fundamental to creating healthy habits, however, underneath our behaviours are values, feelings, and beliefs - the foundation of our behaviour is our psychology.

If we don’t believe that we can impact our weight in a positive way, it’s unlikely that healthier behaviour will become a habit. If we don’t feel able to make lifestyle changes, we’re less likely to take action that supports our health and well-being.

Having the guidance of an experienced counsellor helps keep us identify these behaviours and stay on track. I believe managing our weight and managing our lives are interwoven. I am fortunate that not only have I had excellent training, but I also have significant life experiences that enhance my work as a weight loss therapist (as an epileptic, I live under medically guided nutritional eating). No matter what challenges you are facing I look forward to guiding you on a journey to being a healthier you.

We can be offered a list of 1,000 tips to help us lose weight but, until our feelings and beliefs (our psychology) are in alignment, it’s unlikely we’ll follow through with our well-intentioned health tips. I know willpower is a factor, but it’s more than that. The psychology of weight loss is based on more than “eat this and don’t eat that.” We are complex beings in a full-on stressful world, and we need compassionate support on the deeper levels of our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs when it comes to being able to lose weight in a healthy way that lasts.

I was relieved to discover by focusing on making very different life changes (to improve health) I incidentally lost weight myself and boosted my confidence in the process. If you have been thinking of starting weight loss counselling, now is the time. Together we can make changes for the long haul.

As a counsellor, I help clients to clarify goals, and to make meaningful life changes. I have 15 years of experience helping clients to work through problems and helping them find more fulfilment, comfort, and happiness in their lives. Together we collaborate to find effective strategies that will help you to reach your goals. 

I have training and experience in working with anxiety, panic attacks, weight loss, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anger management, and relationships. I am also experienced in helping performers of all kinds to manage emotions effectively and to make the most of their abilities. I use evidence-based techniques and have a solution-focused orientation.

As an accredited counsellor, I believe that everyone holds the potential and capability to significantly improve their life. Insight is important in setting the foundation for positive weight change, but counselling has been proven to be effective in helping people learn to implement the tools necessary to achieve their goals.

I treat a wide range of difficulties and have expertise in relationship issues of all kinds, marital, couples, work, and friendship, for example. I also specialise in many areas of anxiety issues (coping with the complexities of relationships while empowering people to improve their satisfaction and quality of relationship is a focus of mine). My work in healthy eating habits focuses on helping people with both weight loss and weight management.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1
Written by Mary Mcilroy, BACP Accredited (Anxiety specialist). Bupa listed 30060387
Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1

I am a registered counsellor with the BACP covering: London Bridge/The City of London and Muswell Hill/London N10. Although I help people mainly with issues of anxiety and depression, I cover many other areas. Throughout your sessions with me, you will be listened to with empathy while you feel and see change happen as anxiety melts away.

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