Two stones (12 kg) down and “absolutely life-changing!”: Claire’s results with Appetite Retraining

Two stones (12 kg) down and “absolutely life-changing!”: Claire’s results with Appetite Retraining

Claire is 41 years old, married with 2 young children. She has a very busy life. In addition to looking after her children and running her home, she works part-time as a beauty therapist and spends lots of time with her parents, sister and her husband’s family.

Claire began Appetite Retraining after feeling alarmed by a consultation with her GP who said she was pre diabetic and was heading for Type 2 diabetes. He told her she needed to lose weight.

Having spent most of her adult life dieting, Claire was sceptical that anything could help, but keen to see what would happen.

Summary of where she was at the start

To begin with, we drilled down into the particular ways she was eating that were out of tune with whether she was hungry or full. Using the Unhelpful Eating Habits checklist, she identified these specifics:

  • “I skip meals quite often to save calories”
  • “I eat now in case I’m hungry later”
  • “I eat something just because it’s there”
  • “I eat when bored although I’m not hungry”
  • “I get cravings for particular foods and give in to them whether hungry or not”

This meant that in effect we had a behavioural diagnosis of the eating patterns that were keeping her stuck. The task then was to work through these habits one at a time.

The approach

I won’t repeat the whole approach here, as it is explained on my website and in my book, “How to Retrain Your Appetite”.

In a nutshell, Appetite Retraining is about

  1. re-learning to use your body’s hunger and fullness signals to guide when to eat and when to stop, if you are able to tune in to them. If not that’s not a problem – you can still make changes
  2. starting where you are now and making one stepwise change to your eating habits at a time
  3. anticipating hurdles or blocks which are natural and to be expected, and addressing them as you go


What Claire’s journey looked like

With 5 specific eating habits to work on, we made a plan at the outset.

  1. Instead of skipping meals quite often to save calories, I shall develop a regular eating routine
  2. Instead of eating now in case I’m hungry later, If I’m not hungry now, I won’t eat. If I’m going to be away from access to any food for long, I’ll pack a snack in my bag
  3. Instead of eating something just because it’s there, I’ll only eat when I’m hungry
  4. Instead of eating when bored/ stressed although I’m not hungry, I’ll develop a non-food way of dealing with boredom & stress
  5. Instead of giving in to cravings for particular foods whether hungry or not, I’ll learn a technique to manage food cravings, but if I’m hungry I’ll have what I really fancy


These were the habits we worked through, starting with establishing a regular eating routine that would avoid getting overly hungry, and allow her to enjoy three meals a day, each of which was something she loved. She found ‘small & special’ a great mantra to guide her choices, and she started to enjoy food more than ever.

I taught Claire techniques for dealing with cravings and emotional eating, which she used successfully, though for her the key changes were eating routine and meal size.

I’m going to let Claire tell the story in her own words via the updates she sent each week. These are the changes she experienced as she focused on eating at regular times, and adjusting her meal size downwards so that she arrived at each meal definitely hungry (-3 on the Appetite Pendulum).


Progress log

12.11.22        Doing really well with making sure I have lunch which means I’m not snacking. Lost a pound. Super pleased how much sense it’s making to me

29.11.22        5 pounds down this morning

08.12.22        6 pounds down this morning! This is amazing xxx

16.12.22        I’m honestly just amazed and can’t thank you enough. I’m 8 lbs down this morning. Never been this weight without excessive exercise and skipping meals! It’s honestly just liberating

30.12.22        Put 2 pounds on since last week so now overall down 6 pounds since starting.

06.01.23        Back to where I was before Christmas – 8 pounds down so far

31.01.23        Weight has varied from 9 to 12 pounds down this week. Very motivating!

10.02.23        11 pounds down now! Super pleased. Went to the diabetes awareness group last night and the nurse said she recommends 10% weight loss. So chuffed I’m well on my way to that

17.02.23        1 stone down.  I can’t remember ever being under XX stone and eating. Gosh this is brilliant  (starry eyed emoji). Reached my 1 stone target!! Eating dinner off side plate now. Feeling confident about going away this week given the progress I’ve made.

21.02.23        All gone a bit downhill despite good plans for holidays. I’d looked at restaurant menus online in advance, but places were closed or menus have changed! And I was eating leftovers off my kids’ plates. But I’m looking forward to getting back on track back home. It has all felt easy so far, but there are blips.

24.02.23        Chuffed to bits on weighing when I got home – only put on 4 ozs.

03.03.23        Maintained weight. 13 pounds down since the start. Super happy as there has been a lot of cake for mum’s birthday this week.

Thrilled at how I’m managing to maintain like this when I’ve got so many social activities going on. Having a starter as a main with a side order was plenty of food, so didn’t feel I was missing out at all. Got another 4 lbs to reach my target of 10% loss of original weight.

Social things with kids are a challenge. People look at you a bit odd if you’re at a kids’ partly and all there is to eat is chicken nuggets which isn’t my cup of tea. I’m just going to have to be strong and not mind the funny looks.

10.03.23        15 pounds lost now!!

09.03.23        Weight levelling off, I’ve lost 1 lb this week. (16 lbs so far). Reached a plateau and nice to see how this maintains now. Just want to work out if I want to lose any more. Feeling mentally and physically great. Hoping bloods for prediabetes will be positive next week…

17.03.23        Have had blood test results back. I am no longer pre-diabetic, which is amazing!!

24.04.23        Back up 2 pounds to 1 stone lower than when started.

28.04.23        Back to 15 pounds lost this morning. Really having to focus – feels like a slow slog at the moment. But I know I’ve done it before.

05.05.23        Discussing what had been happening helped me realise how many things have been going on and what pressure I’d been under. Back down to 17 pounds off now, which is where I was before Easter.  Bit of a challenge, but got there.

19.05.23        19 pounds off now!!!!!! That’s 2 pounds off from last week. I’m off to a wedding tomorrow and it’s the first time ever I think I’ve not been stressing about my weight beforehand. Thank you so much

09.06.23        21 pounds lost now

22.08.23        19 pounds off since the start ( gained two since last week)

31.08.23        18 pounds off since the start (gained one since last week)

18.09.23        20 pounds off since the start.

22.09.23        Back to 21 pounds off!!!! Weight still changing from the initial eating habit changes I made

29.09.23        22 pounds lost since starting last November. Amazing!!! I can’t believe it. It’s like when I first started where you can’t quite believe it’s happening and you’re having such lovely food.

20.10.23        22 pounds down now!!! Shocked/ thrilled. Had a little dance of joy this morning

27.10.23        What is going on??!! 23 pounds down now

24.11.23        25 pounds down since I started.

01.12.23        26 pounds down since starting!!!

15.12.23        2 stones less than when I started. Life changing!!


You can watch the short video Claire recorded recently here

Watch Claire’s video


What was it that made the difference?

  • It was the result of focusing on specific, do-able habits.
  • It helped that we focused on particular principles of Appetite Retraining so the approach made sense.
  • She found it extremely helpful to use a mantra ‘small & special’ to remind her to choose foods she loves, in the amount that keeps her going to her next meal.


What didn’t matter

  • Claire did not need to believe in the approach for it to work. It was not the result of faith in the approach at the start – she didn’t believe it could work when we began, though she is a real cheerleader for Appetite Retraining now!
  • Claire’s success was not to do with self-confidence – she struggled to believe that she could succeed with weight loss because of previous unsuccessful attempts (unsuccessful because the diets were unsustainable, not because she was somehow lacking motivation or willpower).



You don’t need any special kit or changes to how you shop for food to use Appetite Retraining.

  • To start with, look at your current eating routine (or lack of it) using my Eating Routine Planner
  • Get clear about which eating habits are keeping you stuck, using the Unhelpful Eating Habits checklist.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Appetite Pendulum
  • Tackle just one Unhelpful Eating Habit at a time, moving on to the next one when the last one feels second nature
  • Update your view of yourself at each step, witness your wins and celebrate them


If you want support to change how you eat for your health and/or weight loss

You can apply for a free Eating Pattern Analysis call with me by filling in the application form on my website.

You’ll get to go through what’s keeping you stuck and make a plan for making the changes that will mean you achieve your goals.


My Youtube channel

I’ve created a series of videos explaining different aspects of the psychology of eating, appetite and weight loss. These unique videos share insights and techniques from psychology, with you in a way that makes them practically useful to you.

Please head over to YouTube and subscribe to my channel, so you get the videos as soon as they are released. The first video is here – an introduction to thinking about the 4 eating habits that tend to keep people stuck.

Why overeating boils down to 4 key habits


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *