How To Mentally Manipulate Weight Loss | The Estima Diet

I'm Dr. Stephanie

My life's passion and mission is blending modern science with ancient wisdom to empower women's health and healing.

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NOTE: This article is 891 words.
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Today, we’ll talk about a question that’s been plaguing the modern woman for as long as we can remember…

How do I lose weight and not put it back on without torturing myself?!

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it:

Weight loss is a mental game.

Without mastering it, you’ll never get the results you want.

What you need to do is figure out how your brain works in the face of failure and setbacks.

To be honest, weight loss is not rocket science. It’s not hard. 

And there are plenty of diets and plans to help you shed fat and lose weight.

What’s hard is taking the weight loss method and applying it consistently over a long period of time to keep off the weight loss permanently.

Let’s say you’ve been doing super well and following a 1,600kcal a day diet. 

And then one day, you have a slice of cheesecake that puts you at 1,800 calories.

So then you just go like F-ck it. And eat the whole cake.

What happens then is you activate the deadly duo in your brain – guilt and shame 😔 

“What’s wrong with me? Why did I do this? I can never follow through on what I start!”

See, even if you think that this shame, blame, and guilt is activating to protect you…

It’s not. 

What actually happens is we repeat the cycle over and over again.

And we spiral into these toxic feelings. 

But here’s the crazy part…

Guilt and shame activate an area of the brain that is associated with…pleasure! 😳

WTF, right?

These emotions hit your nucleus accumbens – the part responsible for processing addiction. 

So if you have been trying your best to stick to your 1,600 calorie goal and you break this boundary that you set for yourself…

Your pleasure centers are going to be lit up like a Christmas tree.

This is why you go back to it. And have a case of the “F-ck it-itis.”

Same with gamblers – they may be losing, but they keep playing that one more hand.  It is why shopaholics continue to shop as their credit card debt continues to climb.

It’s very hard neurologically to change our behaviors.

People on a weight loss journey love playing the victim…

“I’ve never been able to lose the weight because (insert a million reasons)”

So when you overindulge, the guilt and shame make you go feed your brain’s reward system again. And that’s why you repeat the behavior.

So what can you do about it?

Don’t be too damn restrictive.

If you set harsh boundaries, you will definitely break them and engage in self-sabotage.

So here’s your neurological gameplan for weight loss:


Congratulations, you are about halfway through my geeky magic carpet ride. The nerd in me loves and honors the nerd in you. Just a reminder if you want to go on a Geeky Magic Carpet Ride with me on this topic, or any other Women’s Health Specific Topic, then join our upcoming Ask Me Anything! I’d love to see you there. It’s free! 


Step 1

Identify whether you have certain behaviors around a type of food (cake, guacamole, chocolate – could be anything)

We all know that eating the right foods and exercising regularly is important for weight loss, but it’s hard to stick with a rigid plan!

Studies show that most people fail at their diet plans because they’re not prepared mentally or emotionally to make the changes required. Diets are hard and we often give up when our willpower runs out. But there’s a better way! 

If you want long-term success in your weight loss journey, then you need to stop focusing on what you can’t eat and start identifying which foods trigger an unhealthy response in your body. This will help you feel good about food while losing weight without sacrificing flavor or feeling deprived of any particular type of food.

Step 2

Start noticing where and how shame feels in your body – what’s the sensation? Label it. Describe how it feels, where it lives.

We all have those moments where we’re not feeling good about ourselves. When we get triggered by something or someone, we start to feel shame and that triggers us to do things that aren’t healthy for our body or mind.

By learning how to identify the emotion of shame in your body you can begin to move away from it and make better choices for yourself.

It’s important to learn what triggers a negative reaction in your brain so you can react differently next time.

By doing so, you move the brain activity from the nucleus accumbens to your prefrontal cortex which will effectively inhibit the feelings of shame and guilt. 

I hope you enjoyed my little neural hack.

The other thing I invite you to do is to loosen the boundaries a little bit.

If you’re trying to stick to 1,600 calories a day, it may be better to decide on 1,600 plus or minus 200 calories.

Giving yourself that breathing room will ease your mind, reduce the pressure, and you will still succeed. 

I hope you find these hacks useful!

I know you got this.

And if you want to take the guesswork out and follow a strategic diet, I invite you to either…

  1. Join an upcoming Ask Me Anything where we can talk more about How To Mentally Manipulate Weight Loss. There’s absolutely no charge for this, as it’s simply something I’d like to do as a gift as a big part of my mission to support the women inside of our Betty Community!
  1. Check out my signature program that has supported 10,000 women in achieving Better Bodies. It’s called Estima Diet™ and you can learn more about it here. And in it, you’ll get all of my recipes, tips, as well as more neural hacks.

Now go and have a wonderful day!


Dr. Stephanie


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