Are you tired of struggling with emotional eating and not seeing weight loss results? 

I hear one expert talking only about weight loss and completely ignoring the #1 reason why we struggle with weight: emotional eating…

And I hear another expert say that we have to heal emotional eating first… no weight loss allowed. ?‍♀️

Watch the video to learn:

  • Reasons why diets don’t work.
  • What is a dysfunctional relationship with food.
  • Practical tips and actionable advice from the fields of nutrition, psychology, and wellness.
  • The connection between emotional eating and weight gain.
  • How to identify emotional triggers.
  • Strategies for building a healthy relationship with food.

I hope this helps!


Full Episode Transcript:

Hello, hello, everybody.

Welcome to our Tuesday live where we go live every Tuesday at 4pm CST. I’m
super excited to be here. Please let me know. Come on in and give me a hashtag
replay If you’re watching the replay here inside of Facebook and I’m excited to get
going today.

We are talking about two kinds of things. One of them is this path to creating a
better relationship with food, right? A healthier relationship with food. One that’s
not so wackadoodle, right? Not so kind of crazy and disordered and all over the
place, right?

But then on the other side of that is weight loss and just talking about like the two
of these and how they’re connected and can you have both? There’s a lot of ideas
out there that you can’t have both. So, I think having like a nice conversation about
this, looking at this from a couple of different angles and then you get to decide
for yourself if that is something that you want. So, if you are new into my world, my
name is Audra.

I am the founder and creator of Hello Body Freedom where we help women heal
up the deeper reasons why they struggle with food and their body in the first
place. So obviously today’s topic is near and dear to my heart and it is what we do
with women. It’s what we help with and that is what we are going to dive into

So, like maybe, you know, check in with yourself, check in with your own capacity
of understanding emotional eating, right? So a lot of people just see their body
and all they see is I want to lose weight I want to lose weight It’s this very hyper
focused intensity in the body of this is not okay I need to lose weight, right? And
so we often think that the answer is to follow a food plan or to follow things that
are super strict and go on some diet in order to lose weight. And most of us do

The problem with that is that 90 to 97% of all weightless diets completely fail. And
there’s a lot of research behind it. There’s a lot of reasons why, but at the end of
the day, it is it’s just a little wackadoodle what we do with the intensity and
obsessiveness around weight loss.


And I don’t know if I can include you in that we but I know myself for sure I was a
hot mess I have a background in exercise physiology and nutrition I owned a
fitness and nutrition company in Silicon Valley And in this phase of my life, there
was just incredible hyper focus on my body, incredible hyper focus on being thin
on being ripped on being shredded on being skinny on losing weight.

And all of these intense things and the modalities that I had learned in college in in
in in school in certification programs, where you know, you you’re really learning
how to work with macros, you’re learning how to work with calorie and calorie
deficit, and you’re learning how to work with high intensity interval training and all
of these cool things.

And it’s like these are the answers, these are the answers, right? And on this
process where I’m just hyper focused on weight loss, I’m hyper focused on weight
loss, got to lose the weight, got to lose the weight. What kept happening is, oh my
God, I would feel I would completely fall off the wagon It would be way too
intense, as most diets are research shows that the bigger reasons why diets,
there’s two huge reasons why diets don’t work.

Number one is they’re so far off from the life and lifestyle you want to live, right?
So you have, you know, all of a sudden, when you’re super hyper focused on your
weight, you you’re like, you’re canceling invitations, you’re not going to parties,
you don’t want to see anybody, right?

For a lot of reasons, there’s a lot of fear around food, what if there’s food there
that I can’t eat? What if I end up overeating it? What if I don’t know what to do
about that? Right? And so we live in this like really closed off world of weight loss
where we’re following a food plan, we’re following the diet that’s very specific and
it’s just shitty.

It’s like not, it’s like the opposite of living for sure. And then the world that’s
actually happening, which is date night with your partner, going out to family night
with, you know, your family and friends going on vacation, right? All of these
things then become hyper, hyper triggers to overeating and binge eating and
creating ultimately being a part of the problem in creating this really
dysfunctional jacked up relationship with food, right?

And so, I know that, you know, just back to my story, I was a hot mess for a really
long time because I was so hyper focused.


And, and again, diets don’t work because they’re so far off from what you’re
already doing, but they also don’t work because they’re so massively restrictive.
And also the caloric, like when you’re decreasing your calories by such giant, giant
numbers, especially compared to what you used to doing, it’s just, it, you are
literally setting yourself up for a physiological binge, a physiological overeat.

That means that it is a normal physiological response to overeat once you’ve been
under eating or massively under eating for a long time or a psychological overeat
and a psychological binge. And this is when you are literally not allowing yourself
to have bread, not allow it. Like I’m never allowed to have bread, never allowed to
have pasta, never allowed to have cookies, never allowed to have ice cream.

And like you get into this really, like psychological mind fuckery where it’s very
black and white It’s either I am being perfect on my diet or I’m messing up. And
when I mess up, now I’m bad, we’ll now screw it F and I might as well go eat all the
food in the world, right?

That becomes a big problem. And all of this leads to creating this really
dysfunctional relationship with food. All right. And that’s where I want to really
talk and go into my storage a little bit more because I was so hyper focused on
always trying to be thin, always trying to look aesthetically in some way with
weightlifting or, you know, with running or with dancing or whatever it might have
been It was just so much hyper focused and that food was so focused on that too.

It was always trying to eat the foods that were super healthy. And this created a
lot of the wackadoodle in my mind and also created the weird behaviors around
food It created a lot of overeating it created a lot of binge eating it created just a
lot of feeling just out of control around food, right?

Because I was scared to be around it. All of a sudden, I go to a buffet and I wouldn’t
know what to do because I was so used to having everything like perfect and
prepackaged and this is exactly what I have and I don’t look at anything else. And
it’s just like, I don’t know, it’s just not a way of living really.

And what happened for me is I finally just am like, F this, it was, it was a, so okay, I
want to try to go a little deeper than F this because that’s definitely what


But there was a sense that my life was very vapid and superficial that the only
thing I was focused on was my body, how it looked, how unhappy I always was
with it because it never looked the way I wanted it to. I mean, even like in the
morning, I’d wake up and I would sort of like it.

And then if I got a little bloated throughout the day, which by the way is called
normal people bloat y’all, right now, if you’re bloating every single day for the rest
of your life, that’s a different story. We need to work with that since digestive
stuff, but bloating is normal.

But I would just go through these obsessive moments of like, nothing is right
about my body I mean, it’s just a shitty way to live. It’s just a, it doesn’t feel good.
It’s just this chronic beating yourself up this inner beat down from the time you
wake up to the time you go to sleep, because things just aren’t good enough. And I
guess my breaking point was I just felt everything in my life was so superficial.

That’s where it came from. Now, and I don’t want you to hear the words I’m using
everything. Like there was a lot of black and white in these days, all right, which by
the way is also connected to unresolved trauma as well. This is very like
dissociated, all or nothing, black and white, like hyper aroused, nervous system,
just freak out.

So here I am owning this fitness company and, and finally, just like, I don’t want to
be this way anymore. I really don’t want. I’m just done with it. And what I did
because I was so pendulum, right? It was strict on a diet and then binge eating and
then right back on the diet. Well, even my decision to just be like, I’m finished with
this I don’t want to do this anymore.

I almost burned my fitness company to the ground because like, I’m like, anybody
that wants shredded six pack abs, like, you know, I’m judging myself now because
all of it felt so superficial. And in this particular kind of breakdown phase for me,
and in this typical fashion, I was pendulum over here.

And then finally the pendulum was like, screw it all. So now I’m like F exercise, I
never want to exercise again It’s so superficial to care about your body. And F
these diets, because I’m only creating major, major pain for myself, like huge, huge

So, I made decisions to never go on another diet again I made decisions to never
exercise again.


For well, I say I like any time like that felt like, you know, like fitnessy, I did not want
anything to do with fitness. I don’t want anything to do with lifting weights. Like, so
I had discovered yoga, because at least a yoga felt a little bit more, I don’t know,
connected, deeper.

I decided like no more running because running was connected to weight loss. So
I’m like, I just moved to San Francisco. So, I’m like, let’s go for a walk. So, I would go
for walks occasionally. It just felt it did feel a little extreme from given what I was
to where I went.

But at the end of the day, what I was choosing was what now people call food
freedom or intuitive eating or something like that, right? Which is this idea where
I’m not going to follow somebody’s food plan I’m just going to eat whatever the
hell I want. And that’s what I did for a very long time.

Now, let’s, let’s go ahead and try to find some middle ground here with these two
extreme behaviors that I had, because I was so sick of worrying about weight loss
and being in that world that I just didn’t care anymore. And so I was eating
whatever I would want.

Now, I what I teach in the challenge, the path to freedom challenge that I run, it’s
my five-day free challenge that you can sign up for, is I teach that like food
freedom is not this massive restriction over here where we’re restricting and
denying ourselves food. But, on the other side of that pendulum, food freedom is
also not eat whatever you want at the whims of whatever you want. And, this is
part of the problem.

Like, you know, intuitive eating sounds like a great idea, but how many people I
know are really stuck in an intuitive eating model of, well, I want ice cream, so I’m
going to eat it. Well, I want cookies, so I’m going to eat that. Well, I want fast food,
so I’m going to eat it.

And, and I get the intuitive eating models like, no, if you just do that long enough,
you’ll end up cleaning it up. But what, what I noticed for me is I wasn’t feeling
good. It didn’t feel good. And then what I learned, here I am over here, not
focusing on dieting at all, not focusing on weight loss at all Here I am over here.

And I’m like, I’m definitely gained weight I’ve definitely, I definitely feel more
relaxed around food I don’t feel so like one thing that did stop is I wasn’t binge
eating anymore. I wasn’t compulsively eating because all foods were allowed,
right? It’s a very, very important step.


We teach this inside of Hello Body Freedom for sure. But from a standpoint of
really coming into intuitive eating, if you have been struggling with eating for all
sorts of other reasons besides physical hunger, so if you’ve had habits and, and
you know, there’s a lot about my story, I’m leaving out here, but like, I mean, my
emotional eating started very, very, very young in my life at least six years old,
maybe earlier than that.

Meaning I learned to eat because of sadness, boredom, stress, anxiety, any kind of
discomfort in my body. And whenever we’re eating for other reasons, besides
physical hunger, especially when we’re learning these habits as kids for sure, very
much so the habits are eating high calorically dense food, but not nutritionally
dense, which is usually high sugar, high fat, high salt, process types foods, right?

And these foods are very addictive. And then they, they’re a strong loop and
they’re really hard to get out of, right? And so, it’s not just as simple as, oh, just
let’s have some food freedom over here. There has to be a middle ground. All
right. And it took me a while to figure out what that middle ground was. It took me
coming into the middle to realize actually exercising my body is good for me and it
makes me feel good and it’s good for my mental health and it’s good for my
muscles. It’s good for freaking everything.

So, what part of me needs to look on my belief system around, oh, this is so
superficial and shitty and vapid and right? No, that wasn’t the case. What was
vapid and superficial was I had this very, very narrow, narrow mindset that was
just hyper, hyper focused on weight loss. And when you’re hyper, hyper focused
on weight loss, you are obsessive around food and you’re creating food issues and
food drama and, and it, and that requires a little pulling apart.

So, let’s get back to the actual question. Cause I really want to, so bring this to
what experts say. So, there’s a lot of people that just focus on weight loss, right?
Like what I did, I went to school and I studied all this in school, like I’m going to
help you lose weight, right? And there’s all of these plans.

This is how you do it with macros. This is how you do it with calories. This is how
you do it with food. This is how you do it staying away from this food and only
eating this food. This is how you do it exercising, right? And you find all of these
weight loss experts who know exactly what to do to diet you down and exercise
you down to lose weight.


But when you are only hyper focused just there, you are basically doing yourself a
disservice over and over again. You are, um, you are creating overeating and binge
eating patterns that just make it worse. And you’re actually not getting to the
bottom and addressing the deeper reasons why you would be eating when you’re
stressed, bored, sad, scared, lonely, tired, angry.

I just want it. It tastes good. Like there’s a zillion reasons why we eat that are
outside of connected to the body. In fact, there’s so far disconnected from the
body. In fact, what happens is when we’re bored, sad, scared, lonely, anxious,
stressed, all of these emotions have a sensation in the body. And for most of us,
we don’t like the way it feels It is a sensation of boredom that does not feel good.
It’s a sensation of anxiety or stress. It does not feel good.

And since we were kids, maybe we learned that if we ate a food, I will feel better
Right? How many of you work crazy ass long days and you bust your ass and
you’re there for everybody else? And then finally at the end of the day, it’s like, this
is the only thing I have that’s fun and dammit, get out of my way. I’m going to eat
what I want when I want and watch me because this is my alone time. This is my
fun time I deserve this, right?

That is not, that is, again, like we have. So, food takes its rightful place, which is joy
and fun and pleasure, but it’s also nourishment. Right? The best reason to eat is
for physical hunger. And so there really has to be an untangling of this in a way
where we start to understand a very different relationship with food than what
weight loss culture teaches us, than what dieting culture teaches us, because that
ultimately just adds fuel to the fire and makes the problem worse Right?

Another way that, yes, I believe can include both. Right? But the difference is, is
we have to start with connecting to the body. We have to start with learning what
to do about regulating our nervous system and working on untangling all of these
other reasons why we are overeating. And that is the emotional eating aspect.

Whenever we take it from that realm and then we change up the behavior around
eating, meaning we’re not making it wrong. We’re not making it for eating cookies,
we’re also not making it right if we salad, but we’re learning how to do in this
process is pay attention to our own body’s cues of hunger and satisfaction.
So we start to eat because of that. So instead of changing all the food up and
making this food wrong and this food right, let’s just use what you’ve got going on
right now and let’s start there.


And then from there, we move forward based on over and over again connecting
with the cue. So, it’s a really kind of like a meshed way of doing this. I will say that
there are exceptions to this rule. If you are so like, if there’s an, if this is a, the line
of eating and my fingers right here, right where my fingers are is like normal eating.
This is a normal eating, normal eating is enjoyable.

There’s not guilt involved. The foods you choose or the foods that you want, they
make you happy. You feel satisfied after eating, right? You’re a little hungry before
you eat. You’re like, oh, I can’t wait to eat this. You eat and you are happy because
you ate normal eating does not include ignoring your hunger and normal eating
also doesn’t include binging and just overeating until you’re completely numbed

Like normal eating is that right in the middle place, right? And then as we move in
one direction or the other direction, we get, we get more into what I would call
disordered eating, which is where I think 90% of our population is where we’re
eating for every other reason besides physical hunger where we feel guilt and all
these things, right?

But if you happen to be moving on that spectrum way over to the outliers of this
spectrum, right? Way over to this side, way over to this side over here. Then you
start getting more into like, like full blown eating disorder territory. And this is
where probably 100% weight loss shouldn’t even be, it almost, you have to have a
complete deprogramming of weight loss first and really focus on these deeper
reasons that got us so far, far over here.

I work with clients who have, most of my clients have just some disordered eating
for sure, but I do work with clients that are here on the outliers where it’s eating
disorders, but I’m a part of a team, right? So, they have their therapists and they
have their nutritionists, they have all the other people that they’re working with
and I’m one part of that team, right? So, I just wanted to put that out there just
because we’re talking about it.

But for most of you, for most of us, we can do both at the same time, but here’s
the difference. It goes slower. And the other thing I want to say about my attitude
towards weight loss whenever I was going through this and I’m like, this is so
superficial and vapid, I just forgot to say this earlier, is that I came back to a
middle ground. Like I do want to look good in my body, right? The difference is, is
I’m not obsessed with it anymore.


I do want to feel good in my body, but I’m not like going crazy where I refuse to eat
an apple unless it’s an organic apple and I refuse to eat this thing because it’s got
one ounce of sugar in it. Like I’m just like not so obsessive about it anymore, right?
There is a middle ground. And like lifting weights does feel good. And sometimes it
is about aesthetics and I want my butt to get a little higher back where it used to
be. It used to be bloop, right? And that’s okay.

The difference is, is I’ve got a lot of other goals in my life and I’ve got a lot of other
things going on, right? It is one aspect of who I am and it doesn’t take over even a
little bit, right? So, I think that that’s an important point to make here because like
we don’t want to wrong ourselves for wanting to lose weight. Because every
human on the planet who comes to me, you might be struggling with this messed
up kind of relationship with food and you want to heal this relationship with food.

But it’s very, very connected to, yeah, I have this messed up relationship with food
which is why I have so much extra weight on my body and it doesn’t feel good for
me. The two seem incredibly connected and they are, right? And so yes, we can do
both. It’s just that we do not take it from this old paradigm of counting macros and
dieting ourselves down and obsessing over food and making it right or if I eat
perfectly, making it wrong if I mess up, which is part of the problem. We find this
middle ground.

We work through the Hello Body Freedom formula and it starts to do both at the
same time. We start working with what’s going on with food. We don’t make it
wrong when you quote unquote eat something bad, right? We really work on diet
deprogramming and just really untangling all of this stuff so that you can have a
bad day and not use food to cope so you can feel stressed out and know you can
have a stressful day and it’s not the end of the world. Yeah, that’s what we do.

So, I hope that answers some questions for you and I hope you enjoyed this
episode. This was a lot of fun and that is it. That’s what I have for you. Yes, you can
have both. Eight times out of 10, you can have both and even if, let’s say you’re on
the outliers, you’re like way kind of over here, you’re just not, I mean, you still get
to feel great in your body and if weight loss is part of that journey for sure, it’s just
that you’re starting to really untangle the stuff first.

And quite frankly, right when we come in, anybody comes into Hello Body
Freedom, we have a very specific system we set people up on from the very
beginning, meaning we cover all of our bases with untangling diet culture, working
on body cues and working on untangling this unhealthy relationship with food, this
kind of wackadoodle emotional-based, stress-based survival mode, kind of like I’m
using food to make me feel better all the time and we start to untangle that, right?


And then later, we do start to put in, well, let’s talk a little bit more about what
gentle nutrition is and how do we make gentle nutrition work for where you are on
this journey, right? So yeah, super, that’s what we do here. Yeah, and if you want
more information, get on it, get on it, get on it.

The Hello Body Freedom VIP coaching is closing. We start with all of our new
people on April 1st, which is right around the corner. It’s at the very end of this
week. I’m super excited and you feel free to get on the phone with me if you want
to talk a little bit more about this. If you were like, wow, this makes a lot of sense
for me. We have, it is an amazing journey.

It is a year-long journey inside of Hello Body Freedom. It is life-changing and to
have real high levels of support and coaching, this is what we do in Hello Body
Freedom coaching, then you definitely want to get on the bandwagon and hop in
right now before it is done for a while.

All right, my friends, mwah, have a beautiful Tuesday. And if you have any
questions, just drop me a DM. I’m happy to communicate with you there too. Bye