Today's Episode


Hi. You are very welcome to today's podcast episode. I'm excited to get stuck into today's episode.

I always love chatting to you about nutrition.

I hope you're doing really well.

I had a really nice weekend with Joe, my husband and my two kids, Arthur and Emily, we went to County Cork.

Oh, I love Cork.

I just think it is the nicest, one of the nicest cities in Ireland.

There's so many little side streets and so many little restaurants and just walking around Cork is so fun.

You don't need to have anything booked.

You can just walk around and take in the sights and get lost, walking around the little side streets.

I just love it so much and we went to Fota Island as well, which I always love.

There is something so relaxing about looking at animals and admiring them and having fun with the kids.

I just find so, so relaxing.

I hope you're keeping really well.

I want to chat to you today about your nutrition and five ways to reset your relationship with food.

So this episode is for you.

If you don't have such a great relationship with food, I feel very passionate about chatting to you about nutrition.

I have felt really, really bad for years and I have had a really bad relationship with food.

If there's anything probably that you're thinking of right now that you're doing when it comes to nutrition, I've probably done it too.

Um, the diets, the calorie, counting the weighing scales, the, weighing the food, the obsession with the food, food, food, food.

Oh, I'm so sick of it.

And I see people all around me also being so obsessed with food and I want to help you not become obsessed with food.

I was obsessed with food for years and it just, it just takes so much away from you.

You're a wonderful, smart, intelligent human being with so much to offer.

Think of all the wonderful hobbies or things that we can be doing instead of obsessing about food and obsessing about food.

Keeps you obsessed about food.

It keeps you locked in this cycle.

I can't bear to see all those weight loss clubs and the recipes, the never ending recipes I'll be fit and healthy.

If I keep making all this food and recipes and all that stuff does is keep you obsessed with food, obsessed with food.

Whereas if that works for you great.

But I'm talking to you if, if it's not working for you.

But all that did all those diet clubs, weight clubs recipes make this, make that snack, that prep that kept me overweight.

It kept me thinking and obsessing and worrying about food and prepping food.

And if I wasn't eating food, I was making food and if I wasn't making food to eat right, then I was prepping food.

I was thinking about food.

I was restricting and overeating and binging and the cycle just went on and I can see it now online with everybody gearing up to, um, go towards Christmas and try and lose weight.

It's, it's just this food obsession and it's, there's another way and I want to share with you this way on today's episode and I want to help you change your relationship with food.

So let's just get stuck to number one and number one, how to, how to improve your relationship with food is to stop overeating.

Now, before you get annoyed at me, that, that sounds really basic.

Just want to go into it a little bit deeper dieting is very much thought of about eating less and restricting your food.

However, I was a part of diet culture for many, many years and diet culture didn't lead me to lose weight and keep it off.

Every time I dieted I tend to eat more.

So that's kind of what I, that's what I mean by stop overeating.

When we get obsessed with food, we have a tendency to eat more of it.

And I know many, many women that would agree with me on this one and that have a similar issue with food.

When you diet, you end up eating more.

Like dieting doesn't just impact people that they eat too little and they lose weight temporarily and they can't keep it off for many of you.

And I fall into this category.

When you start to diet, you start to eat more and I properly lost weight and kept it off two years ago, properly, lost weight and kept it off two years ago.

And for the first time in my life, I'm eating less food and it's because I, I gave up diet culture and I stopped dieting.

So many of us are overeating when I was dieting, I was overeating.

Everything for me was about more everything when I was eating my dinner because I was on a diet, I would try to eat less potatoes.

But because of that, I would have way more veg and way more protein when I was dieting.

I got really obsessed about snacks.

So, for my snacks I would think to myself, well, I'll have to have some hummus and crackers and because I'm on a diet, I want to make sure that I don't get too hungry.

So I'll have some extra crackers with my hummus.


I'm not going to have hummus today.

I'm going to have some cooked chicken with some Riitta now because I'm dieting, I'm going to make sure now that I don't get too hungry and I'm going to have three Rita with a breast of chicken.

I better have bread with my eggs because I don't want to get hungry because I'm on a diet.

Oh, I better have an extra salad with my soup.

I'm on a diet.

I'm not eating bread.

So, you know, I don't want to be hungry.

I better eat all this salad.

I'd better have extra crackers with my snacks.

I better have popcorn after dinner.

I better have fruit and yogurt after my dinner because I'm on a diet and I'm not eating dessert.

I better have a proper mid-morning snack because if I don't, I'll be hungry because I'm on a diet.

And when I look back now I was overeating the whole time because I was dieting.

So the truth is when we overeat, we gain weight, when we overeat, we gain weight.

And I know it is more difficult to lose weight as we get older.

But I promise you with a few really good action steps.

And if you stop obsessing about the food and you give up the dieting, you'll start to develop a really healthy relationship with food.

And the reason you'll develop that healthy relationship with food is because you've allowed yourself to start developing a healthy relationship with food.

We can't develop a healthy relationship with food while we're dieting.

So that door is closed, we can't focus on, on getting healthy, on healing our relationship with food until we give up dieting.

So if you need to reset your relationship with food, the number one thing to do is to stop dieting, to stop overeating.

The second thing is to stop counting anything to do with food, stop counting calories, stop counting and tracking macros, stop keeping a food diary, stop checking the backs of packets and tins and sauces and start using your own brain.


What I believe diet culture and the weight loss culture and clubs want us to do is to take away any self reliance we have on ourselves on our own intuition and keep us locked in this silly game where we think we don't know how to eat healthy and we need to be told what to eat and when to eat it.

And we need to be asking somebody is this sauce OK?

Can I eat this with this salad?

Can I put this on?

My dinner is a little bit of ketchup.


Am I allowed to have butter on my potatoes?

If you find yourself asking these questions?

I want you to really imagine somebody, whoever you're asking has power, your power and I want you to take your power back and start to turn inward and ask yourself when it comes to your nutrition.

Like, what do you think?

Do you think a little bit of butter on your potatoes is ok?

Do you think a little bit of ketchup is?


Do you like dressing on your salad and really start to ask yourself what you think?

I mean, it's very rare.

I've never met a woman who I said, like, look, stop checking the backs of sauces or packets or tins and just start relying on your own intuition.

They never come back to me and say, oh my God, that was the worst thing I ever did because I ended up having a bit of sauce in my dinner and there was like 20 g of sugar in it or whatever.

Like it just doesn't happen.

It's, it's, it's, it's an obsession.

It's feeding into this obsession again with nutrition and it's keeping the focus off the things that are actually going to heal your relationship with food and actually going to get you fit and healthy.

So every time you look at the back of a packet of something and you're checking the grams of fat or sugar, just get rid if you want to have sauce on your dinner have it.

It's not going to make any difference whatsoever to your weight and to your health.

If there is stuff in the backs of the packets, in terms of weight loss that you are afraid of, just have the full fat, have the full fat milk, have the full fat cheese.

It's the overeating.

That's the problem.

It's not the full fat of anything.

Anything diety, 50% reduced fat, get rid of all that stuff.

Get rid of the crisps.

That, that's say 50% reduced fat.

Don't go for ice cream that says nine calories in the tub or whatever because you'll only end up eating more of it.

And this is my experience and I am trying to help you um from my experience.

So I do understand that maybe for some crazy people out there, that stuff works, but I am just dead against it and think if you're going to have a chocolate bar, you sit down, you enjoy that chocolate bar.

What is the point of getting one that is like 50% reduced fat?

Same with those protein bars.

They know what they're at.

They have them at the front of the till they are targeting people, women that are dieting.

They want you to still buy chocolate bars.

You've said no, you're on a diet.

So you buy a chewy protein bar instead.

You don't need your trainer to tell you that those protein bars are unhealthy.

That's why you're asking because, you know, they're unhealthy.

You put them in your mouth, they taste really good and chewy.

They're not great.

I would get rid of all those bars and it doesn't matter what they say, 0% fat, no sugar, I would get rid of all of that stuff.

Every single thing you see on the shelves that's geared towards a dieter.

I want you to call it out and go.

They're marketing to me.

They're trying to get me to buy this because they know that I'm on a diet and that I don't want to buy the other stuff.

So they want to keep me buying the unhealthy stuff and it's still really unhealthy.

It's still extra food, it's still processed food and we don't need it and we take a stand.


So the third thing to do to reset your relationship with food is to recognize that you may be emotionally eating, emotionally eating has been the number one reason why I have been overweight for years.

I blamed the food.

I blamed my lack of knowledge, but ultimately, it was down to me eating my emotions any time I felt a feeling that I didn't want to feel I would eat.

So for example, my time to eat, my emotions was after dinner.

If I had a stressful day, I would eat something sweet.

If I felt wound up and anxious, I would eat something sweet.

If I felt sad or bad I would eat something sweet if I had just been with a family member who stresses me out or somebody that stresses me out that night time I would eat, I would eat for comfort.

What I didn't need was a weight loss club or a diet club telling me what to eat.

Instead, like have this three low calorie jelly pot with this low calorie ice cream, you can throw them some fruit in there because that doesn't count.

No, I didn't need anybody to tell me that because that's still promoting emotional eating.

What I needed was help.

What I needed was to be able to turn inwards to feel the feeling that I was feeling and be ok with feeling it and let the feeling pass.

That's what I needed.

But those weight loss clubs that are telling you to substitute your chocolate bar or your dessert or your sweet thing for something else are continuing you on the path of emotional eating.

And that's what I used to do all the time after dinner when I was on a diet.

When I was on a diet, it was recommended to me after dinner.

Have yogurt with berries, have a bowl of fruit.

Have low calorie jelly, have low calorie sorbet ice cream, dip some apples into some chocolate sauce, have some dark chocolate.

Oh, there's so many, isn't there?

There's so many sorbet frozen yogurt.

No, no, no, no, no.

You're overeating.

You've had your dinner you don't need any more food.

If you're eating food after your dinner, you're comfort eating.

If you have a proper dinner and a proper lunch and a proper breakfast and you snack on fruit.

If you're hungry, that's not hunger, you're feeling after dinner.

And if it is you haven't had a big enough dinner.


The next thing to do if you want to reset your relationship with food is to stop exercising, to burn off calories.

You can't out train a bad diet.

Exercise isn't going to help you lose weight if you're overeating.

And that's the common mistake.

A lot of women make that.

They say, well, look, I'm, I've eaten heavily so I'll go for a big walk.

I'm eating more so I'll exercise more and it doesn't work like that.

You chase your tail.

You are much better off exercising for your physical and mental well being, commit to a certain amount of days and times you're going to exercise every week.

And then if you overeat, you overeat, but you don't wrap it up and tie it in a relationship with exercise, your exercise stays the same.

If you've overeaten, you've overeaten, get rid of the shame and guilt.

Who cares?

You've overeaten.

That's ok.

That's totally normal.

We're human when we overeat.

That means nothing.

We get up the next day and we have our breakfast as normal.

Nothing bad has happened.

Allow yourself to have those days.

It's ok sometimes to have extra food.

But what happens when we're stuck in diet culture is we have extra food.

We wake up the next day and we continue to have extra food because we feel so bad about it.

Striving to be fit and healthy, becoming consistent.

And then having more food one day means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

If you don't make it mean anything, it means nothing.

It's the shame and guilt that you put on it.

That makes it mean something.

It doesn't have to mean anything.

The next my final tip to improve your relationship with food, to reset your relationship with food is to keep it simple.

Keep it simple and get fancy later if you want to.

But what happened to me and what I see a lot of people do is that they complicate things.

They get in loads of weird ingredients.

They figure out all these recipes.

They prep like a crazy person.

Well, actually to reset our relationship with food, what we need to do is eat breakfast, then eat lunch, then eat dinner.

And then if we're hungry in between meals, let's snack on some fruit.

And we don't need to ask somebody what they eat for breakfast.

We know how to eat healthy.

We know that if we sit down with a big bowl of alpen that that's going to be full of sugar, not the best brand in the world, not super healthy.

We know if we sit down with a bowl of porridge or a bowl of fla and's high eight muesli or some eggs that were healthy.

We know that if we sit down and we have no breakfast and a coffee that's not very healthy.

And we know if we have eggs and three slices of toast and a bowl of porridge that, that's overeating for lunch.

We keep it super simple.

We know if we sit down and we have a Chinese takeaway that that's unhealthy.

We know if we have soup and a sandwich or a salad or soup with brown bread that that's healthy.

We know how to eat healthy.

It's the implementation that can get a little bit difficult because there's other things around us, external forces trying to make it really complicated for us.

We know what a healthy dinner is.

We know when we overeat, we know when we undereat, keep it really simple.

If you're struggling with the nutrition, just burn all things diet wise, just get rid of it.

Just reset your relationship with food, eat breakfast as much as you can at the same time every day, then eat lunch, then eat dinner.

It doesn't matter what time you eat dinner or what time you're home or just eat dinner and then snack, snack on fruit.

If you're hungry between lunch and dinner, sometimes I find I get extra hungry and so that I don't rock up to my dinner starving.

I have a yogurt a Glen esk, um, Greek style yogurt and a banana and it's, it's loads and then I have my dinner and then I'm done and I have a lovely little hot chocolate at night time because I love it and I enjoy it.

So keep it really simple and don't be afraid to start from scratch.

Just rip up the rule book, rip up everything you've been doing to this point.

If you have an unhealthy relationship with food, if you're obsessing, if you're dieting, if you're jumping on the weighing scales, if you're counting things, there's another way and you don't need to do it, you exercise consistently, you get fresh air, you eat healthy, you take care of your mental health, you drink 2 L of water every day, you get good rest in at night time and you go and enjoy your life, you live your life, you enjoy your life.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode.

If you did, I have a big favor to ask you.

I don't mind what star you give me.

I would really just appreciate it.

If you could rate my podcast on the platform that you're listening to it.

And if you would share it with a friend, if you thought that they would get something out of it, I would be forever grateful.

Last thing if you haven't downloaded my free tool kit and you're feeling unorganized with no structure I recommend you do.

You can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash toolkits.

That's Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash toolkit.

It's a great resource.

It will help you structure and organize your week and help you set your healthy action steps, intentions for the week so that you feel organized and in control when it comes to your health.

Have a wonderful day.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

  • Super spot on podcast from someone who knows how to tackle the ups and downs of an eating disorder. Have battled for 60 years and there are days when have felt it pointless going on because off the food minefield ! You have helped me realize there is hope and even though it’s said there is no cure, it’s a mental health problem, you have inspired me to in dark times and thoughts!
    Thank you so much Jessica
    You are so real and can say it like it is…And you know
    I would urge all women to listen to youA voice of truth in the wildernesses of disordered eating ⭐️A real help from the heart ❤️

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