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Frequently Asked Questions

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Healthy Mind

For any weight management program to be successful in the long term you will need to establish and maintain a range of new healthy habits for life. Some of these healthy habits relate specifically to having a healthy mind.

Having a healthy mind for a healthy weight requires managing stress, maintaining and developing personal relationships, having a positive body image, dealing with depression and exercising your mind. This coaching session focuses on helping you to achieve a healthy mind which in turn should assist you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.


There are many different definitions of "stress" however it is basically the feeling experienced when a person confronts a situation and his / her usual methods of coping appear insufficient at the time and the consequences of not coping are negative and serious. What is for some people a "bad" event, may for others be a neutral (or even a positive) occurrence. "Stress is an individual's response to a stressor".

Some symptoms of high stress may include:

  • Decreased sense of humour
  • Short tempered
  • Increased fatigue and tension
  • Social withdrawal
  • Not accomplishing
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Impaired sleep
  • Skipping meals or out-of-control eating
  • Increased susceptibility to common infections

Stress can contribute to some people becoming overweight if it results in:

  • Increased nervous overeating or unrestrained eating
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Decreased feelings of self-control
  • Decreased self-esteem

Stress can cause some people to lose weight if it results in:

  • Increased spontaneous physical activity
  • Decreased eating through nervousness; usually by "not feeling hungry" and therefore not eating
  • Increased action of the stress-related hormones

Many people would normally turn to food or alcohol to deal with stress, but more effective techniques are:

  • Talking to friends
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Dancing
  • Relaxation tapes



We discuss some of these techniques again in detail in the Relax the Mind education module, so please review the information there and try to be aware of when you are feeling stressed, what your immediate reaction to it is and perhaps you could try some of these alternate techniques to find one that works for you.

>>>  Important: If you find it difficult to manage your stress you should seek professional advice
         (or a referral) from your doctor.

Maintaining and Developing Personal Relationships

It takes effort to nurture and maintain positive personal relationships however the rewards are well worth it. Positive relationships are especially important when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. If you share your healthy weight plans and goals with your support network they will be able to help you achieve them by offering help and encouragement when you need it most. If you are open with your support network they may surprise you and even join you on your weight management journey.

>>>  Tips: Invite a group of friends or family to join you for a regular “walking chat”.
                   Invite supportive friends or work colleagues to share “healthy lunch times” with you.

Body Image and Weight

We all want to look our best however our priority should always be our health. If your weight falls into the normal healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) range and your waist circumference does not put you at greater risk of metabolic complications, then you are a healthy weight and there is no medical reason why you should be slimmer. You should congratulate yourself on being a healthy weight, be positive about your body and aim to maintain your healthy weight for life.

On the other hand, if your weight or weight circumference is putting your health at risk then it is beneficial for you to actively manage your weight. To help set your own long term weight and waist circumference goals we recommend that you talk to your doctor or healthcare professional for guidance.  When setting your goals it is worth remembering that a reduction of 5 - 10% of your starting weight can greatly improve your health by lowering your blood cholesterol, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

Healthy Weight NOT Ideal Weight

Unfortunately in today’s society there seems to be more emphasis on weight loss for cosmetic reasons rather than health. For most people, striving to attain the "ideal" body as often portrayed in fashion magazines, in advertising, on TV and in movies is unrealistic. In some instances it can even have debilitating effects on a person's sense of self and can lead to body dissatisfaction and in the worse case scenario can manifest in an eating disorder.

When thinking about your weight it is important to remember that not all bodies were created equal. Every woman was not meant to be a size 8 or 10 with small hips, thighs and bottom and every man was not meant to be broad shouldered with a taut stomach. Even with weight loss we cannot alter our basic body shape. For example, if you tend to carry weight on your hips, thighs and bottom (the "pear" shape typical of many women) then as you lose weight your body shape will tend to stay basically the same however the dimensions will decrease.

So try to be happy with the general shape of your body and enjoy the benefits of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for the sake of your health.

Depression and Weight

 Depression expresses itself in different ways. A person with depression is usually in a persistent low mood, feeling hopeless, worthless or sad. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in Australia. It can cause a variety of physical health effects, including sleep disturbance, fatigue and weight changes.

>>>  Important: If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of depression or are
         concerned regarding your mental health seek help or referral from your doctor.