Dear Karen Kaye,

As long as I can remember, I have been on some kind of diet, but I still struggle with my weight. What am I doing wrong?



Dear Diane,

Diets don’t work; mostly because people on diets have what I call “all or nothing” consciousness; which leads individuals towards starvation, followed by binging with no sensible eating plan that can be maintained over time.

Most diets and dieters focus on the effect rather than the cause of over-eating. This creates momentary success rather than long-term results. Realizing the cause and triggers to impulsive eating is necessary to break the cycle.

The simple truth is: over-eating is an addiction. As with any addiction, when challenged by external events or people, (i.e. stressors of any kind at work or in relationships) it can lead to a form of self-betrayal or self-punishment. The cause of over-eating can stem from many different sources. The most common causes that have surfaced within my private practice fall under the following headings:

  1. The need for love
  2. The need for attention
  3. The need for protection
  4. Difficulty dealing with stress

Diane, only a qualified professional can help you identify your “cause” for over-eating. Once the cause (or causes) has been determined, the “weight” will be off your shoulders. Then that knowledge will give you the power back over your choices of foods, and the ability to know when to look for the triggers and how to respond rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

I would also recommend a holistic approach to weight consciousness including meditation, visualization, affirmation, yoga/ tai-chi and a nutritional consultation, with an emphasis on the management of stressors.

Many thanks.


Karen L. Kaye LMHC