Beyond dieting

“This is not a diet program”. In beyond dieting, although the aim is to reach and maintain a healthy weight, emphasis is taken off dieting and placed instead on positive self-esteem and body image. Chronically overweight women find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of dieting and losing weight only to regain it – while self-esteem plummets. The cultural drive for thinness is a powerful force. For chronically obese women, it can be dangerous both psychologically and physically.

This service begins with an overview of dieting and its relationship to self-esteem and body image. The negative and destructive side effects frequently experienced by obese women as a result of dieting are explored. The etiology of obesity is taken into account and a discussion of the definition and measurement of obesity is included. Alternative interventions to dieting are explored and the weekly beyond dieting program. This is a 12 week program and it is aiming at the establishment of normal eating pattern, positive self-esteem, management of negative messages towards body shape and weight (assertiveness training) as well as acceptance of self and body.

This service is intended for:

  • Chronically overweight women who have struggled with ongoing efforts to reduce their body weight and want to try a new approach.



  • Ciliska Donna (1990), Beyond Dieting – Psychoeducational interventions for chronically obese women: a non-dieting approach, Brunner/ Mazel publishing.
  • Sotirhou Alexandra (2011), “Beyond dieting” seminar notes.