Episode 149:

Show Notes 


Food freedom is about being in control of your food choices and nourishing your body instead of food controlling you. It's about freeing yourself from sugar cravings and the constant chatter in your head about whether or not to indulge, or overindulge, in unhealthy foods. Food freedom is not only about nourishing your body but also nurturing your psychology, accepting yourself as you are, loving yourself, and working towards better health if that is your health goal!

Weight loss is a byproduct of achieving food freedom, which is about healing disordered physiology and balancing your psyche. Once you have achieved food freedom, walking past the chips, ice creams, cakes and lollies at the supermarket becomes like walking past the pet food. You feel no deprivation. Instead, you nourish and nurture your body with nutrient dense foods and say “No, not for me thanks” to all the high carb, low/no nutrient confection.

Wear your clothes out and wearing your clothes out: Dr Lucy talks about her past struggles with dieting and the false sense of superiority that came with it. She used to walk past tempting foods, patting herself on the back for her willpower, but felt shame when she gave in. She describes her journey to food freedom as finding balance and avoiding the extremes of dieting or bingeing. She now feels liberated to wear her clothes out and due to having a stable and consistent body size, her clothes now wear out, rather than her growing out of them. Food freedom has given her the opportunity to live her life fully, without shame or regret.

Our bodies are incredibly complex and addressing our physiology is essential to achieving good health. Insulin resistance causes our bodies to rely solely on glucose for fuel and prevents us from accessing our fat stores, leading to feelings of hunger, fatigue, and brain fog. To combat this, we need to incorporate healthy fats back into our diet. Unfortunately, for many of us, we grew up in a world where fat was seen as the enemy. However, incorporating fat into our diet is satiating and fulfilling, and we need it for good health. It is essential to move away from diet culture and focus on what truly nourishes our bodies. Beyond nutrition, sleep, stress management, and gut health all play a crucial role in our metabolic hormones. Changing our mindset and implementing these changes takes time and support and finding a tribe of like-minded individuals can make all the difference in achieving our health goals.

Learning new skills takes time and practice and it is essential in managing your emotions and responses when faced with stress. It's so common to turn to food as a source of comfort, but there really are other powerful tools you can use when faced with distressing emotions. Jelena Dokic's story is a powerful reminder that we shouldn’t judge ourselves, or anyone else, based on body size and shape, or assume that they have "let themselves go." She endured an enormous amount of trauma and found comfort in food, which is not a crime. Turning to food for comfort is not something “bad”. You didn’t pretend to be a Nigerian Prince to scam vulnerable people out of their money. Let go of shame and cultivate self compassion to create a healthier relationship with this body you have, the only one you will ever have, that has taken you this far. By developing skills to manage our emotions and treat ourselves kindly, we can improve our mental wellbeing and achieve sustainable health and weight loss.

Are you ready to overcome the physiological and psychological barriers to weight loss? Our signature program, the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, is here to help! This comprehensive program is run by doctors and offers intensive support and weekly group coaching from Dr Lucy Burns and Dr Mary Barson.
Our scientifically-proven low carb real food approach combined with powerful mind management strategies can empower you to achieve long-term weight loss and good health. And now, we're excited to offer the best value ever for our next round of the program, launching on May 27th, 2023.

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Episode 149:



D r Mary Barson: (0:11) Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr Mary Barson.


Dr Lucy Burns: (0:15) And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of


Both: (0:20) Real Health and Weight Loss!


Dr Mary Barson: (0:23) Hello, lovely listeners, Dr Mary here. And I am joined by the fabulous Dr Lucy Burns. Dearest Lucy, how are you, my fabulous friend?


Dr Lucy Burns: (0:36) Well Mares, as we’re recording this, we are smack bang in the middle of the Road Show. So I will confess to feeling a tiny bit weary. It's one of those things that, it is the highs and the lows, like there's so much excitement, so much build up to it, you do it, and then there's this sort of little letdown. And then before you even get time to recover, we’re gearing back up again. And then we're going all over again. And then there's a little letdown. But, you know, in fact, it's sort of in some ways, it's a little bit like the giant roller coaster. But overall, the very long winded answer is that I'm very well. Thank you.


Dr Mary Barson: (1:16) Yes, I'm very pleased to hear that. I'm finding it surprisingly tiring. Awesome. Like you said, I don't know why it's surprising. Oh, you're putting on a series of conferences around Australia, packing all the goodie bags, travelling all around the country carting my children, you know, being on all the time, all of that lovely meeting and greeting and all the fabulous connection that when I say it now, it's really obvious that I find it tiring. But actually, that element of it has hit me a little bit by surprise.


Dr Lucy Burns: (1:47)  Well, you and I are very much optimists, we always just go, It'll be alright. No, it is. And I mean, seriously, the, I think the cup filling that occurs on the day of the conferences with the connection and, and just that, you know, you and I have spoken about this, the dinner, we have a dinner with our Momentum members. So all the people that are doing our program that continues on after the 12 week, beautiful, most magnificent bunch of women. And, you know, you get to the end of the conference and you're a tiny bit tired. But oh my god, that is the biggest cup filling exercise I've ever done.


Dr Mary Barson: (2:26)  I'm getting filled with oxytocin and happy hormones now just thinking about those lovely dinners with those fabulous women. It is really good. Yes. And we've got another one this weekend.


Dr Lucy Burns: (2:39)  So there we go. So the interesting thing, you know, as you mentioned, we are doing a lot of travelling, and we're out of routine. And for a lot of people, this would be something that might be their undoing. And I think you and I have both achieved what we refer to frequently as food freedom. And for me, in fact why don't I ask you the question, instead of just talking about myself all the time. What does that mean for you, Mares? What do you think of as food freedom?


Dr Mary Barson: (3:12)  Food freedom, for me, is being free from sugar cravings. Being in complete control of my food choices rather than food, controlling me. And just knowing that I can make healthy, lovely nourishing choices that nourish my body, and it's lovely, and then it's done. And then I'm not hungry again, until the next meal time. I can walk through the supermarket past all of the chips and chocolates and ice cream, I can see birthday cake at a party, I can be out of my routine, I can be travelling, I can be at restaurants. And I am just able to choose the foods that work for me. Able to enjoy the foods that work for me. Able to do intermittent fasting when it works for me. And I'm just free of all this stress and worry. And I know that my body is healthy, and I'm nourishing it and I'm nurturing it. And it's lovely.


Dr Lucy Burns: (4:20)  

Yeah. The way I look at it, there's two elements to food freedom. So one is the concept that, you know, the chit chat, the chatter. For me the chatter, Will I? won't I? Have a bit, don’t have a bit, go on just a bit, no, you're not having any, you know, this constant back and forth, that's gone. But the other thing that I think happens for many of our members, and I know certainly we've talked about it a lot, is also the freedom to accept yourself as you are, that you can't hate yourself thin. And it doesn't mean that you're stuck staying where you are But it means that you accept your inner self.


Dr Mary Barson: (5:05)  

Love yourself as you are right now, knowing that you are enough right now, and at the same time, work towards better health, if that is something you both want and need to do.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:16)  Absolutely. And this is what we always talk about, and weight loss comes along for the ride. It really is. I mean, the big thing is that weight gain, fat storage, obesity, whatever phrase you want to use, overweight, that's a symptom. It's a symptom of something underneath, which as you know, we talk about, well, it's a symptom of often disordered physiology. So, insulin resistance, all of the hormones, leptin resistance. But also often a sign that the psychology, the psyche, there's something not in balance there, as people emotionally eat, soothe with food, you know, use food for many, many other things, other than nourishment. And then the withholding of food becomes punishment.


Dr Mary Barson: (6:02)  Food freedom, for me, is exactly that. It's knowing that I'm healing my physiology or nourishing and nurturing my physiology, as well as nourishing and nurturing my psychology. And it's done with love, self kindness, with no feelings of deprivation. I could eat the birthday cake. I just, I just don't want to. And that is a beautiful place to be.


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:30)  Absolutely, it really is. It's like, in fact, somebody, one of our beautiful members described it on the weekend. She goes, I can't get over what it feels like, I walk down the chip aisle. And it feels like it's the same as walking down the pet food aisle. Like I'm just not interested. There’s packets, there's colours. There’s shiny things, but I'm not going to eat pet food. And I'm not going to eat those chips.


Dr Mary Barson: (6:57)  That's a beautiful analogy.


Dr Lucy Burns: (7:00) Isn't it? That was brilliant.


Dr Mary Barson: (7:03)  That’s good. I can distinctly remember the first time I could walk past the ice cream in the freezer section of the supermarket and not want it. Like it was quite an extraordinary moment. And that was you know, I just had reached this sort of healing state in my physiology, and managing my psychology that I just walked past the ice cream. And I didn't want it. And it was actually astounding to me. Because normally, my brain would be just looking at, going, eat the ice cream, get the dopamine, eat the ice cream, get the dopamine. But that was great. And now I can still do that.


Dr Lucy Burns: (7:36)  Yeah, do you know what mine used to do? Mine would walk past it. And this is again, back in diet days where, you know, you all know I was the Queen of Dieting. So I'd walk past it, and my brain would go, you're not having that. And you're so good for not doing that, you're so virtuous. You are just such a, you know, and I would just be sort of basking in this sort of pseudo superiority complex with my massive willpower. But the flip side of that, of course, is if I'm therefore not virtuous, then I was bathed in shame when I wasn't doing it. You know, when I was careering down the road of life on the other side of the road, which was of course the flip side.


Dr Mary Barson: (8:21) Yep, yep.


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:22) So for me, food freedom is two things. It is the idea that I no longer career down the road of life, either perfect, restricted, you know, in this ridiculous virtuous cycle of dieting, or on a bender, scoffing, hiding, bingeing, full of shame, getting fatter and thinking, I don't know what to do, because I don't want to go back to being perfect, because that's so hard. And then getting to the point where, you know, I practically drove off the cliff of the road. Whereas now I feel like I'm down the middle of the road, just in lane assist, little tweaks here and there. It feels so good. And it, and the thing, the result of that is my weight has now been stable for five years. All my clothes, I just go in and know they're gonna fit. I just know they are. I used to have that thing, oh it was just debilitating. You go in, want to wear something and it wouldn't fit. Or it was tight or you just couldn't get the zip up. And it was like, ugh, it was so depressing. 


Dr Mary Barson: (9:36)  It’s that cognitive load too. Better things that you could expend your mental energy on.


Dr Lucy Burns: (9:42)  Yeah, like trying on 16 outfits to find one that actually fitted that you were vaguely happy with. And in fact, I've talked about it once before, where I actually just didn't go out because I couldn't find anything that would fit that I was also then comfortable enough to wear and I just remember just saying to my husband, I’m just not going. 


Dr Mary Barson: (10:02)  That's the opposite of freedom. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (10:03) It is, isn't it? It is. It's the opposite. And now I just go, Oh, good. And in fact, I wear my clothes out. Like I never used to do that. I’d grow out of them. Yeah, but I'd never wear them out.


Dr Mary Barson: (10:18)  So you used that analogy of lane assist. You're cruising down the road, the way that you want to go, in the direction that you want to go. And yeah, short little adjustments here and there. But generally, you're keeping straight. Compared to, you know, the diet roller coaster, which is this, this horrible ride, where you get thrown around, up, down all over the place, you've got no control, and that's a really, really unpleasant place to live. And you've just expressed that beautifully. That you had your old diet days, you know, where it was just all about that emotional and physical roller coaster. And now, just cruising down the path, going where you want, the way you want.


Dr Lucy Burns: (10:57) Absolutely. And I never feel deprived. Never, ever. You know, when people go, it's so restricting. I just think, It's just not. Like the restriction comes from your thoughts about the food. So if you're spending your time wishing and longing for cake or ice cream, you will feel deprived. But we can also change the way we think about cake or ice cream or whatever it is, and turn it into something different. So not the thing I was doing which was just using willpower and feeling so bloody bloody pious about it, seriously. I had the highest horse that I was galavanting around on during that. But of course, you know, if you're so pious and sanctimonious, then it can only, there's a long way to fall.


Dr Mary Barson: (11:45)  And then you must have been hiding under the table. It's so low.


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:52) So low. Just scoffing as much food as I could before I had to climb up that high horse again and gallivant around in piety in perpetuity.


Dr Mary Barson: (12:03)  Beautiful human. How do people get this food freedom, this physiological and psychological freedom?


Dr Lucy Burns: (12:11)  Well, most definitely, we do need to address our physiology. So you know, if you're insulin resistant, and your body is fueling on glucose only, or carbohydrate only because it can't access its fat stores. So the fat stores are what fuel it when you've run out of glucose. And normally, in people that are metabolically flexible, they would eat, they use up all that fuel by, you know, walking around and thinking with their big, beautiful brain. And then their body would just dip in and start burning some fat. But when you’re insulin resistant it can't dip in. So you start to get a bit hangry and a bit tired. And so you get your brain fog. So you go and eat. And that's what happens. And so you're constantly hungry and tired. So we most definitely need to address that first. But also, by doing that, there's two things that happen. One, I think that having fat back in your diet. And again, most of us, I grew up in the low fat, Diet Coke, Tab Cola world. Fat was the enemy. And so having, and it doesn't have to be truckloads, but having fat in your diet is so satiating. It's so, I don't know, it's just, it's fulfilling.


Dr Mary Barson: (13:24)  Yes it is. And it’s good for you. Helps you absorb all those nutrients, and it's got good nutrients, and we do in fact, require it for good health. I remember feeling shame in a home economics class in year eight it would have been. When we were being taught the dietary guidelines and how to make a healthy meal. And my home ec teacher told me, You should not be eating more than two tablespoons of fat a day at the absolute maximum. So if you have butter on your toast, you are done for the day. That's it. And then I was just like thinking,  I had butter on my toast, I'm a bad human. I really do remember analysing that message thinking, No wonder I’m so chubby. Not pleasant, not pleasant. Now I'd have one to two tablespoons of fat with each meal, probably, sometimes more, sometimes less, but about that.


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:22 ) Absolutely absolutely.  Because fat, it literally fills you and fulfils you. So certainly, you know, moving away from that, again, diet culture, like my brain, you know, it's, fill up on stuff. So you'd fill up on a glass of water, and then you'd fill up on the biggest bowl of lettuce that you could find. So you know, it became this sort of volume competition. And there'd be a small amount of meat and in fact, I was vegetarian for about three years because I thought meat protein made you fat. So deluded, so deluded. So yeah, absolutely. Focusing on that and then we kind of move into, I guess the psychology of things. So that you can do the things that you need to do, which not only include food and nutrition, but as you know, and we've talked about it before. The other things that affect our metabolic hormones include sleep in particular, stress management, gut health, those are also important. And the way that you learn to implement all of this knowledge, that's what we call the mindset. And mindset doesn't change overnight. Like it honestly doesn't, it would be nice if it did, if you could just flip a switch to go from, you know, wishing and longing, hoping to just doing. But you build on it.


Dr Mary Barson: (15:48)  Yep, incrementally, and it takes time. And it's much easier. The way that we humans work, it is much easier to make those changes when you have your tribe and you're surrounded by other people working towards the same goals or having the same values. It is quite difficult if you completely stick out, nobody around you is following the same, the same ideals the same, you know, nourishing nutrition, or intermittent fasting or all of these beautiful steps that you're taking towards improving your physiology. If other people around you aren't doing it, it's lonely, and it's harder. You need support.


Dr Lucy Burns: (16:30)  Absolutely. In fact, I was talking to a beautiful person just the other day about a friend. So they go to, I can't remember if it was trivia or bingo, they go somewhere together. And the friends going, Well, what are you going to eat? And she goes, Well, I don't know, I'll just order a steak. And you know, I'll tell them no chips, and I won't have the bread roll. And then I won't have the potato, but you know if there's broccoli or. And she goes, Right, oh, how boring. And then she goes, and what about dessert? What are you going to have for dessert? And it was like she was getting the, you know, the grilling, the Spanish Inquisition on what this lady was going to eat? And it was like, isn't that so interesting that this other person is so interested in what our member is eating? That's like, and she was just trying to do some little bit of undermining in there. So you know, in there, it's like, what if there's no vegetables? You can't just have steak.


Dr Mary Barson: (17:23)  Yes, you can.


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:24)  You actually can. If you want to, of course you can. You know if you want to not have the vegetables that night, don't. You know, you're the boss of you. What are you going to have for sweets, the woman's going, the friends going, what are you going to eat? And she goes, Oh, I probably won't need any by then. You've got to live. Just all of that stuff. You've got to live. So yeah, you do kind of live and if you're gonna live, you need to nourish your body.


Dr Mary Barson: (17:48)  Beautiful food freedom. At our Momentum dinner on the weekend. I remember we had all this beautiful banquet, all this delicious protein, there was some salad, there were veggies, it was all amazing. And then dessert was included. And our waiter came out to take our dessert menu. And I was like, oh I probably don't but I'm not gonna speak for everyone. You know, if somebody wants to have some dessert here, like they're allowed to, no judgement,  you know? And I sort of asked around. Nobody, nobody wanted dessert. And we were all so happy and pleased and thrilled to say no, thank you. We're done.


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:21) And honestly, we also sent back the chips. Because we were full up to pussy’s bow with this beautiful Greek banquet of seafood and lamb koftas and beef kebabs and it was just amazing. 


Dr Mary Barson: (18:38) No baklava required. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:41) So I think for me, definitely food freedom is the idea that I no longer rely on food to manage my emotions. I also know that it doesn't matter how bad my day is, I won't be diving into 10 bags of m&ms. Look, I ate a ton, a ton of lollies. They were cheap. They're cheap. They're everywhere. One lady was saying to me the other day, I used to eat five bags a week. And I'm thinking, Oh god, I probably ate two a day. 99 cents. So oh two for $1.50,  better buy few then. You know all of that sort of stuff. And I just scoffed them, hide the packet and it was like it never happened.


Dr Mary Barson: (19:24 ) That's right, and hide it down the bin, like push it down and put some other rubbish on top so that no one can see it. Like nup nup, didn't happen. I used to do that. I used to do that. Don't do that anymore.


Dr Lucy Burns: (19:34)  No, I think we've, you know, learnt the skills. And there are skills needed, skills learned. So, you know, understanding your beautiful brain as you know, but also then understanding what can you do when you're stressed and you're beside yourself and your normal tool or your only tool is to eat ice cream. Or you know drive to Maccas or soothe with food if that was your only tool. Then you just need some new tools. Yes, that's all. And you know what, so I was just having a little look through Instagram the other day and Jelena Dokic’s feed came up. She posted two pictures of herself. One when she was at her tennis peak. And you know, she was obviously very lean, very fit. And most people now know that she lives in a bigger body. And she was talking about her trauma. And she has endured an enormous, an enormous amount of trauma. And the thing she was saying is that people judge her thinking she's let herself go. How have you let yourself go? was what the phrase was, and it's really just recognising that for her, part of her healing and the way she has managed this overwhelming just unbearable trauma was soothing with food. There is nothing, like that is not a crime. And this is a bit we always say you haven't you know, murdered anyone haven't ripped off old ladies, you haven't set up an internet scam where you're a prince from Nigeria, you haven't done anything bad. There is nothing to have shame for. It's just that if you want to change what's happening for you, then you need some skills.


Dr Mary Barson: (21:22) Yeah, you do. And one of the skills is to let go of the shame. You cannot hate yourself or thinner, or berate yourself well. You need skills to deal with distressing emotions, to deal with difficulty without medicating with unhelpful foods. And you need skills to cultivate your self kindness and your self compassion. And if you can do this, your brain becomes a much nicer place in which to inhabit.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:53)  Absolutely. So this my love's is everything we teach you in the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. The doors to the wai list open very soon, on the 18th of May. If you're on the waitlist, you will be getting emails from us. But people that are on the waitlist also have access to a whole pile of bonuses and a discount. So if you want to join the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, get yourself on the waitlist, because you'll get the bonuses. Not on the list, no bonus.


Dr Mary Barson: (22:26)  It's our most generous waitlist bonus season ever.


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:30)  Yeah, we've gone all out because again, we do recognise there's some, you know, tough times around and people are worried. But what happens when people are worried too is they also, when people get worried they eat. And so it's like, right? Well, if we need to be coming up with the skills, this is the exact right time to be going, okay, I need to do something about this before I end up sick. And before I end up needing lots of medications, which just add to the cost of living and they're expensive. This is just a beautiful way to rebalance your beautiful physiology and your mind. So it's perfect.


Dr Mary Barson: (23:06)  The 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance has got this beautiful course content, check out the website, you can learn more about it. But we teach you all about how to do real food and how to do it well. And how to navigate those tricky situations like eating out, how to manage your beautiful mind, lots of mindset skills and mindset training and live online mindset coaching. You get training on it, like teaching, and are empowered to manage your stress. To do practical, really doable, simple things, powerfully simple things, to improve your gut health, to improve your sleep, to improve your stress management, to be able to implement safe intermittent fasting. And all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle for physiological health, underpinned and completely complemented by all of these psychological skills that we teach, and that we empower you with throughout the whole process. So you get this beautiful course, you get this wonderful coaching, and also this fabulous community, which is arguably the most powerful part of it.


Dr Lucy Burns: (24:18)  Absolutely. Because really, at the end of the day, we want you to turn your knowledge, your knowing, into doing. In a way that will work for you. And people think, ah, is it a challenge, you know, for 12 weeks? It’s not a challenge. It's a learning program that you will then implement for the rest of your life. So you don't just do 12 weeks and see you later. Some people do like to come back to us and that's fine because you know, it's a bit like going, you know, I did Italian lessons for a long, long time. I learned Italian, I went to Italy, I was all in. Then you know things got busy. And last year, I went back to Italian class. So you know, I just revisited. Learnt my lessons again.


Dr Mary Barson: (24:58)  That's right. That's me and piano. Absolutely.


Dr Lucy Burns: (25:01)  Yep. And for those people who go, I don't know, I don't know if I'm ready for the 12 Week yet, you know we've got like a little taster. So the little taster is ou 7 Day Challenge. So that is a challenge, as opposed to the 12 Weeks, which is a learning platform. It's seven days for $7. And in it, you get a mini course. So it's a little, you know, low carb taster. I had to put that in, so total dad joke, total dad joke. Low carb taster. Seven days for $7. And that starts May the 20th. And you can just sign up for that. We'll obviously put the links in the show notes. And it'll be on the front page of our website. And you just sign up for that at all the w's rlmedicine.com/realfood. For those of you who have done the No Sugar Challenge, it is the same challenge, but we're just changing the emphasis slightly. It is still about reducing and potentially eliminating sugar, but in focusing rather than on what you're not having, on what you are having.


Dr Mary Barson: (26:03)  Yes, which can be a useful little mindset skill. And for those beautiful people who want to go straight to the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance waitlist, you get the 7 Day Low Carb Real Food Challenge as an added free bonus if you buy with the waitlist. That's rlmedicine.com/12 WMBR. Stands for 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance.


Dr Lucy Burns: (26:30)  Yep. And it's all in capitals, or you can just click the link in the show notes. Or as I said, it's also on our front page of our website because you know, we don't want people to be a fossicking round looking. But yeah, yes, the 12 WMBR. We love calling it that, 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. So gorgeous ones, We would love to see you on the inside, getting your ticket, your ticket to food freedom.


Dr Mary Barson: (26:51) Ticket to food freedom for everyone.


Dr Lucy Burns: (26:56) Indeed. All right, darlings, we will catch you next week.


Dr Lucy Burns: (27:06) So my lovely listeners, that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr Lucy Burns…


Dr Mary Barson: (27:14)  and I'm Dr Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit rlmedicine.com


Dr Lucy Burns: (27:24)  And until next time…


Both: (27:26) Thanks for listening!


Dr Lucy Burns: (27:29) The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, including show notes and links, provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide, individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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