Today, I'd like to share a personal insight with you. Many of you will know what I'm talking about.

For this, I need to remind you that for many years I was a yo-yo dieter - I was good at dieting and just as good at bingeing.

I'd lose 30lbs then put 35lbs back on, lose another 35lbs, then put 40lbs on - and so on.

I felt a misplaced smugness when I was on a diet and guilt and self-disgust when I was in binge mode.

This week, one of my clients asked me a question: "What was different the last time you lost weight and managed to keep it off?"

There are two parts to the answer. Firstly, I changed the tone in which I talked to myself and, secondly, I changed the words I used.

The last time, five years ago, I lost weight never to put it on again, the difference was my "self-talk" and my determination not to tolerate what I had previously put up with.

In contrast to previous times, each time I felt like food for some reason other than physical hunger, I would say: "Remember, you don't do that any more. You are through with yo-yo dieting. You are sick of having the same problem year after year and doing nothing about it.

"You have better things to do in your life than waste your time and emotion on a problem that is of your own making."

There was a firmness in my inner voice that allowed no argument.

But there was more. In the past, not only was I using a wishy-washy tone but I was also choosing the wrong words.

I remember on one mammoth diet, for example, I successfully lost three stone. I said to myself: "Judy, if this weight goes back on again ..."

It was as if someone else was responsible for putting the weight on me, as if I had nothing to do with it.

My new vocabulary doesn't allow the word "If". Take it out of your vocabulary, too.

Those of us with a weight problem have unfortunately severed all connection between eating and hunger. We eat when we're bored, when we're down, even when we're happy.

Because I try and train my clients to mirror naturally slim people, I tend to be on the look-out for examples and I'd like to share this family event with you.

I have recently returned home after spending four weeks with my baby grandson - the first four weeks of his life.

Guess what? He cries when he's hungry, eats, stops sucking when he's had enough, lies awake contentedly for a while, then falls asleep again ready to wake up for the next meal.

That's perhaps a slightly rosy picture - so add in the odd bout of colic here and there and it's accurate.

My daughter once tried to feed him early for her own convenience but he wasn't interested and she gave up on that approach.

When did we begin to lose the link between physical hunger and food we were born with?

All those times we say to our children when they graze a knee, "Have an icecream and it will feel better," or, "You can't have dessert unless you eat your meat," lead us to where we are today - eating for comfort and reward rather than for sustenance.

Column by Dr Judy Citron. You can get support from Dr Judy Citron and her team of DietCoaches by joining her telephone weight-loss classes, right from your own home. "You lose weight and you're not on a diet. It's amazing." Phone free for more information on 0800 074 0260 or visit the web site at