Key Highlights from the SHRINK 2014 Event

SHRINK by WeightMatters was a revolutionary event on emotional eating that took place on 15th February 2014.

Featuring a panel of experts in disordered eating, SHRINK was the ultimate showcase of the latest research in the whole range of eating disorders from anorexia to obesity.

Specialists in the field shared their knowledge on identifying signs of eating disorders and coping with the recovery process, focusing on the emotional triggers of eating.

The keynote speech at SHRINK by author and TV presenter Emma Woolf was extremely well received. Emma’s heartfelt talk about her own journey of recovery from anorexia was thought-provoking and moving.



Food IS emotional” said Emma – since childhood, food is used as a reward and as a way to build an emotional connection. How can we separate food from emotions and just perceive it as fuel to our body? With other forms of addictions (alcohol, drugs etc) you can just say “no”, but eating disorders you can’t deprive yourself of food.

You can follow Emma Woolf on twitter at

James Lamper explored the issue of food and emotions further and asked how can we have our emotional needs met without food?


Dietician Helen West and nutritionist Sarah Wilson looked at how foods are broken down for fuel and how to choose the right types of foods to feel full.

To book a session with our dietician Helen or to book a nutritional assessment and metabolic balance session with our nutritionist Sarah please email

Latest research is showing that having three main meals with the right balance of fat, protein, fibre and carbohydrates is recommended to keep blood sugar levels stable.

From emerging trends (for example, personalised nutrition, the importance of sleep for weight loss) to yo-yo dieting, SHRINK also covered a range of topics to help understand both the chemistry of food and our emotional connection with food.

Our GP Raquel Delgado addressed the issue of obesity and the many physical consequences it causes, from risk of diabetes and heart disease to excessive body hair.


There’s approximately 24 million obese and overweight people in the UK: it’s time for action.

We also have to remember that weight (excess or sub-optimal) affects fertility negatively, so if you are starting a family, normalising your body weight (and your partner’s weight) should be a priority.

To book a session with Raquel please email

At SHRINK 2014 we also explored the topic of mindful eating: our behavioural therapist Deborah Fields gave an excellent demonstration of how we need to breathe and slow down when we eat. We can’t breathe properly and eat at the same time, so the idea is to alternate mindful breathing with mindful eating to have a more complete and satisfying experience of eating.


To book a session with Deborah please email

James Lamper looked at our Food Script, ie, how we are conditioned by our experiences in childhood, and analysed emotions like shame and soothing.

He also talked through the services we offer at WeightMatters.

We have three types of service packages:

EVOLVE: 10 sessions with a therapist, 6 nutritional consultations, GP consultation and 2 specialist workshops

DEVELOP: 5 sessions with a therapist, 3 nutritional consultations, 2 GP sessions

FOCUS: 5 sessions with a therapist, 2 nutritional consultations and one half day workshop

To book email us at

James’ passionate concluding remarks were an invitation to take care of yourself and feel empowered to make more conscious food choices.

To book a session with James please email







Words and pictures by Paola Bassanese