Marna Thall and Emotional Eating Solutions – Podcast #72

Dr. Justin’s special guest for this podcast episode is Marna Thall of who shares her journey on losing weight from a psychological and physiological standpoint. Marna, aka the No Diet Coach, tells us about her specialty and her passion in the health field. Learn how you can manage emotional eating so you can also lose weight when you listen to this interview.

salt_and_sand_by_cocorie-d7qgo0oBe inspired to think like a naturally thin person when it comes to eating. Discover the ways how you can lose weight like Marna did by rewiring your brain to think differently, eat differently, and feel differently. Learn how you don’t have to say no to your body and instead try to look for ways on how not to deprive yourself of the foods you love by just substituting them.

In this episode, topics include:

2:04   Emotional eating and weight loss

7:25   Beliefs

12:48   Relationship with food and yourself

15:42   Studying the naturally thin

20:57   Exercise

24:05   Food shifts











Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. J.  Today we have Marna Thall on the podcast.  We’re really excited to have her on.  Her website is, nice little poetry there.  I like it.  Marna, welcome to the show!

Marna Thall:  Thank you so much!  Thanks, Justin, for having me.  I’m excited to be here with you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great! Well, why don’t you tell the little–why don’t–why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and what you specialize in and what your passion is really in the health field?

Marna Thall: Yeah, so I’ve been known as the No Diet Coach for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-huh.

Marna Thall:  Almost 20 years now.  I was really, you know, about–let’s see–I was 12 years when my mom was in a car accident and my dad fell from a ladder.  My parents owned a flower shop and he fell from–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh.

Marna Thall:  A ladder putting away a wedding one night and it landed both of them in the hospital and at age 12, I started the year as a thin kid but by the end of 12, I would put on a lot of weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  And in trying to get that weight off, I tried what most people do, you know, it sort of took me 6 years to just try to figure out what I was doing and I tried every diet under the sun that I thought of and I really just struggled with the willpower to stay on a diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  It really was hard for me to do that because I just have this personality type that if you tell me what to do and how to eat, I’m gonna do the exact opposite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  And so it wasn’t until I was 18, I was in college, and I thought, “Oh, God, you know what?  Like here are all of these beautiful thin people around me,” and I thought, “You know what, if wanted to get rich, I’d study the–the wealthy, and here I am struggling with weight.  Maybe I’m gonna start struggling–I’ll start learning from the naturally thin.”  And being that I was a psychology student, it made a lot of sense for me.  I was always very interested in the mindset of people–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Who are successful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So that’s what I did.  I started studying the thin and I really understood and–and learning from the naturally thin that I was an emotional eater and I needed to learn ways to manage that emotional eating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So that and when I did, it helped me lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Yeah, it seems like every really good practitioner or healthcare provider, they have some kind of struggle themselves that really got them into this field, got them reaching for answers, and it sounds like this was the path that you watched which you–you had to walk which is now helping so many of your–your clients and also you do a lot of summits as well yearly and you’re helping tens of thousands of people yearly with that, too.  Is that right?

Marna Thall:   Yeah, I mean, I just–it’s things, you know, I’ve been doing it for like I said almost 20 years, so yeah, it’s been–I’m so blessed.  I have a great number of people that I–we get to work with every year and I have coaches on board now that–that help and–and work with me and it was just really–we’re really blessed to continue to grow and reach more people.  But you are right.  I had no idea that I was gonna be starting and working in the area of weight loss.  No clue.  But yeah, my own personal journey is what has led me here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  So the average person that reaches out to you online or attends your summits or works with you one on one, what are their big 3 issues that they have and–and what are the–the big couple of things that you’re doing with them from a foundational perspective to bring some balance back into their life?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, so the big 3 areas:  They wanna lose weight–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But they don’t wanna diet.  They’re sick of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Dieting.  They are emotional eaters and they want strategies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And so a big piece of what I do is around rewiring their brain to really think differently–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  About themselves.  Eat differently and feel differently about who they are and what they desire.  So I–you know, I split it up in these different–these 3 different realms.  I don’t really base in my research looking at how the naturally thin eat, think, and live to stay thin and so I sort take that information with a client’s information and blend these two worlds together which creates a really beautiful weight loss, when we’re de–getting to the source of what’s going on.  I mean, I think that that’s a big piece for people is really get to the source of why they’re eating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  What’s really going.  In fact, I had a client who said, “You know what, when I was–when I was growing up, my dad always said the one who eats the most gets the most in life.” And can you imagine doing that?  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So no wonder why she was struggling with the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because she would hear all the time, the person who gets the most–you know, eats the most gets the most in life, you know.  So we look at where these things come from and start to give them strategies to help heal that emotional eating piece or overeating piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  How much does blood sugar play into that?

Marna Thall:  You know, that’s really where I would say you’re–where you specify–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And where you’re much more specialized in that, and where I’m more on the emotional side, so I don’t look so much at blood sugar really at all–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because I’m coming from a more psychological standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so what are those big psychological changes that you’re–you’re trying to re-wire?  So like you mentioned a few, like if there’s one thing right now that someone’s coming to see off of maybe a lot of yo-yo dieting, they’re maybe of a history of counting calories, what’s that first step they can take to start rewiring their brain?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, so from a food standpoint, one of the things that they can start doing is to relate to food in a really different way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  So instead of the shoulds and have tos, instead of rules and like I said earlier, rules to me–I’m not great with rules.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And they make me run the other way, so really starting to have people listen in to their bodies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Listen to hunger.  Listen to satisfaction.  Listen to what foods are working and what foods aren’t.  So in others if someone has a cup of coffee and they’re tired 5 seconds, you know, an hour later or their energy is totally drained, to listen to that, because each body is different.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And instead of coming from these are the rules that I have to do, when you start listening to your body and go, “Hey, you know what, every time I have cheese, I have a headache.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I always feel so hot, then let’s look at different ways you can still have that texture and that taste and that cheese-like sensation without maybe having that cheese.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So that I never like people to feel like they have to give up anything but more–more how do we make it so that they still get that sensation in a way that work for their bodies.  So I’m very much looking at how, what’s getting–what’s going on in someone’s body.  And the only way to really do that is to have them and myself get really curious about how foods are impacting them, how their beliefs are impacting them–so that’s another area–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I look at beliefs.  What are their beliefs?  What did they grow up hearing?  What’s–what are they–what are they carrying with around as it relates to food and is that serving them mentally, you know.  So I don’t look at just the food-mood connection.  I’m looking at the mood-mood connection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Like what are the thoughts that’s someone saying to themselves?  What are the beliefs they have and do we need to make some adjustments there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and what do you feel are the major limiting beliefs that most people walk into your clinic with?

Marna Thall:  There’s something wrong with me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  I think–I think there’s this overarching belief that people are carrying around that there’s something wrong with them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you feel like some of that is connected from just what the media puts out there to be a so-called healthy person, you know, someone who’s very, very tall–maybe as a female perspective maybe 5’8”, 5’9”, maybe a very skinny or wiry petite bone structure and then also very light where maybe the majority 90+% of the population just don’t even have that bone structure and can never look that way.  How much is unrealistic expectations playing into this?

Marna Thall:  You know, I think a lot of it does have to do with what we see from a media standpoint.  There’s no question and I think we, and we start carrying these beliefs that “Oh, there’s something wrong with me.  My stomach’s too big.  My legs are too wide.  My–my life isn’t good enough.  I’m not good enough.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Marna Thall:  So we start carrying that out, especially as it relates to weight.  I see a lot where people say–have this, if you struggle with weight for any length of time, what happens is you start saying, “I need lose weight.  I need lose weight.  I need lose weight.”  And that literally creates neural connections in your brain that give you the sense there’s something wrong with me; I need lose weight.   And–and I like to look at it, “Well what do you get?  What do you wanna get in your life out of losing weight?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  To go even deeper.  What will it give you?  And then start being that person without having the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, right.

Marna Thall:  A lot times we put our lives on hold until we–and then we never get to that point.  But if you start being that person, what happens is it shifts who you are from a neurochemistry standpoint and that creates different actions and you relate to food in a different way.  So if I wanna stand up, you can–and everybody can do this with me, like if you even just stand up and arch your back, if you wanna stand up–if you think about being thinner, being lighter and leaner and taller, and having a better posture, you can already, you already start to feel your body lightening up, and that changes then how you’re gonna go to fridge.  It’s gonna change how you feel.  It’s gonna change how you relate to food.  Just by the posture and how we start to position our bodies in relationship to–to eating and to being thin and to being light.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  And I think a lot of people, too, they–they kinda have the mindset of food maybe is fuel or–or calorie is a calorie and then that kinda gets people on well, we’re just focused on calories, it’s like a car.  It just runs on what it–what you stick in it, right?  Whether it’s unleaded, leaded, diesel, et cetera.  But I think the key focus that I look at with a lot of my patients is that food actually becomes you.  It’s not like you run on that.  All of your cells need the vitamins and nutrients and the building blocks to turn over the tissue in your body.  So again, like the programming, crap in, crap out, same thing with building your body, bones and neurochemicals and hormones and tissue.  Healthy food in, healthy food out.  Any thoughts on that?

Marna Thall:    Yeah, I mean, what I see it is a layering approach.  So I think that sometimes, you know, every–every person who has ever struggled with weight, we’ve heard, you know, yes, we should be eating whole foods, right?  We should be getting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  Really good foods in our bodies.  It’s not something that we haven’t heard before.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall:  So then I like to go, “Well, why are then we making a choice to put other foods in?  What is that giving people?  What, you know, when I have the sweets or when I have the–the dairy or when I’m, you know, sitting at night and having a bowl of ice cream, what is that giving you?”  When we can start to look at that, then it makes it easier to start to put in really good food in your body–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  By understanding what the actual need is, so I’m taking it more on the emotional side of looking, “Okay, what’s underneath the surface of craving that chocolate or wanting all the sweets?  What are you actually really wanting?”  And it’s typically, you know, maybe on the surface level, it’s like, “Well, I’m addicted to sugar. I just want sugar.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But–but usually there’s something a little bit deeper under the surface like I need to feel love or I need more connection or I’m not feeling really good about myself or how I look.  So I need to feel pretty.  You know, there’s usually things underneath that we can dive in so that it feels inspiring and exciting to eat whole foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it

Marna Thall:  And to give our bodies the good great food that–that then I would then, you know, refer them to you, just say, “Okay, then start talking about food and all of that with you–“

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Because I don’t really talk about food.  I talk about the relationship with food and yourself.  So–but of course, whole food is gonna make you feel much more alive and beautiful but a lot of times when we struggle with weight, it’s–it’s hard to get–if we don’t feel like we deserve it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And we feel like there’s something inherently wrong with us on an emotional level and maybe a physical level, and we’ve heard a lot of rules about what we should and should need.  Sometimes it’s hard to get that motivation to keep–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  To–to eat that really good food or that whole food and we don’t, you know, so alright, just eat the stuff that we like because that’s just is–is easier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. What’s the big–what’s the second big belief?  You went over the first one there.  What’s the second one that you say the most?

Marna Thall:  The second big thing I–I get a lot is this is hard.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  I can’t do it.  It’s just hard. Getting thin is hard.  Losing weight is hard and the reality is it’s hard to live in a body and hate it every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Right?  Yes, you can do a little bit of work.  It takes a little bit of processing and information and–and gathering some information, but that’s actually the easy part.  The harder is part is living in a body that you can’t stand and not having energy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah.

Marna Thall:  And isolating and feeling–feeling deprived and feeling like you’re not being–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  The you that you could be, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So–so I think–I think turning that around instead of, it’s–it’s actually not that hard to lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  It takes a little bit of dedication, a little bit of focus, a little bit of asking yourself some questions and because I come from an emotional eating standpoint, it takes looking at why.  So that takes a little time, right?  Til I get–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  “Whoa, I want this food. Why am I wanting it?  What do I actually need instead?”  That takes a minute of your time, right?  To kinda look at that versus just going and eating.  But by understanding that and seeing patterns and creating a new way to relate to food, it actually gives you time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.

Marna Thall:  So the time we’re spending eating when we should be doing something else and not living, that actually takes time, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So I think it’s a–I think it’s–it’s cognitively shifting the belief that it’s hard and I can’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.  Do you deal with a lot of clients that come to you that may have their–everyone has a friend or so that can just eat whatever they want and they just stay super lean and have no weight issues.  How do you deal with people that–that have that kind of frustration kinda–they’re coming into that kind of frustration?

Marna Thall:  Well, a lotta–you know, so in my–in my research I studied 2 different type of people.  I study the naturally thin who do make the thin look and–and are–are just naturally thin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Marna Thall: And actually those are a lot of the people that I do study and I do think have a lot of interesting things from a physiology standpoint but also a psychological standpoint going for them.  So there’s actually some really great things to learn from our naturally thin friends.  It’s actually what helped me lose over 40 pounds by actually doing and thinking and–and acting in the way that they act and do and think around food.  So there’s, you know, yes, some people, you know, I’m 5’4”.  I’m never gonna be 5’10”, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah.

Marna Thall:  So there’s some–there’s some things.  I have a bigger booty and legs, you know.  That’s just my shape.  That’s my shape.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  That’s cer–part of accepting my actual shape and–and there’s a lot we can learn from the naturally thin, like eating when they’re hungry.  They’re really–when I ask them, “Why do you eat?”  It’s very different if you put a–a–an overweight person and a thin person.  You get very different answers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  You know, you’ll get from a naturally thin person and I’ve studied, you know, I’ve asked this question to hundreds of naturally thin people and they’ve said, you know, they sometimes look at me crossing a “What?” but they’ll say, “I’ll eat when I’m hungry.  What do you mean?”  They often are eat–they’re eating because they’re body inside them, they have an connection to it and it’s telling them, “I need fuel.  I need food.”  Where–where somebody who’s struggling with weight, not always, but often will say, “Well, because it’s time,” or “Because I should,” or “Because I’m bored.”  Or they’ll give, you know, a hundred other emotional reasons why they may be connecting food to something outside of their body, or an emotional reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Is there anything else you learn from the naturally thin?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, tons! So the naturally thin definitely stop eating when they’re body no longer is hungry.  So that–so we’d often hear, you know, when I was struggling with weight, I hear people say, “Oh, I eat until I’m full.”  Okay.  My full as an overweight person was very different than the naturally thin’s full.  So to make it clear, a naturally thin stops eating when they’re hunger goes away, when their hunger is satisfied, when they have a sense of neutrality in their feeling, in their body.  Where I would eat until I felt my stomach pop a little bit, til I felt a little–that really heavy fullness inside my body.  Very different experience than the naturally thin.  They want to feel that heaviness. They don’t wanna feel that bogged down because that would leave them oftentimes feeling tired and exhausted and–and uncomfortable.  Where I found it sort of normal.  A naturally–naturally thin people are very aware of the impact food is having on their body.  So they, you know, like I was saying earlier, they may eat something and go, “God, that made me bloated or feel really uncomfortable or give me a, you know, really distended belly or a headache.”  Where somebody oftentimes, like myself, I wouldn’t notice those nuisances or I wouldn’t attribute it to necessarily to food where they’re a little bit better at–at paying attention to the food’s impact on their body, both during a meal and after a meal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  The naturally thin also are really great in their conversation.  No, they don’t all think that they’re perfect.  No, they don’t all have wonderful, amazing, perfect lives.  Nah–not at all.  But there is a sense that they can keep their body thin and lean and light. There’s an enjoyment with food.  They’re actually much slower in eating than–than the average overweight person.  I’m much faster.  I’ve had to train myself to be much slower.  They actually get–it’s funny because you’d say, I–I’ve asked overweight people, “You know, well, why do you, you know, why do you think this is?  Why do you think you struggle with–with weight?”  And they say, “Oh, I just love food so much.”  I’ve actually found the naturally thin actually are more connected and present to food and eating more than the overweight.  So it’s–they–they savor food oftentimes much more so they’re much more connected and–and enjoy meals.  There’s no–there’s no reason to rush through a meal oftentimes.  No, not every naturally thin person is–is a slower eater. There are many that are fast and not all are 100% conscious but as a–as a whole, if we’re looking at a median, a big group is they are–they are connected.  They’re slower.  They take their time.  That’s also why they can feel when something doesn’t work inside their body.  Something is not working or feeling as good inside their system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So how does exercise connect in with this?  What do the naturally thin do regarding exercise?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, great question.  So I found a huge range.  Some are active, really active, like athletes and whatnot, and food then plays a slightly different for them because instead of more performance-based for them.  So you have some people who are active, really active, and athletic and you have people who are also not, you know.  Some–some naturally thin people don’t exercise any more, any less than an overweight person.  So there’s a big range.  I–I interviewed people who said, “Oh yeah, I move every day, absolutely.  It’s a requirement for me.”  And then I’ve interviewed other people who say, “You know, sometimes.  I walk with and I play with my kids.”  I would say on an average there’s more activity in the way of not necessarily like laying on the couch and–and living life from–from sort of a couch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  There’s more activity in the way of going to play with kids or going to the park or going and doing little things here and there, but not all naturally thin people are, you know, hitting the gym all the time or are–are these great athletes.  So I thought they would be, so that’s where I was coming from the vantage point of “Oh, my gosh, I’m gonna interview these naturally fit people.”  I’d go, “Oh, my.”  You know, what are they doing physically that I’m not doing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And what percent of that is just genetic?  Like if you just–the other person to be exact same things, how much of that would be the genetics and how much of that would be the mindset or the–the actual exercise or food part?

Marna Thall:  I would say that there–there’s probably, you know, there’s probably a genetic component but–but many of the behaviors of the naturally thin are, you know, it’s hard to know, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  They’ve been doing it since they were born.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  They didn’t have–I didn’t–I wasn’t interviewing people who had gained weight and then lost weight, you know. So it’s a different group.  It’s a group of people who have always been naturally thin from the time they were little until they were, you know.  I’ve interviewed some of the people who are 70, 80 years old.  And so is there a genetic component?  Sure but I also see in my practice that there’s a huge component of, you know, there’s many people that when they take on these similar behaviors, they will absolutely lose weight.  If they don’t, then we look at things like you’re so brilliant at, like thyroid or inflammation or how foods, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  Maybe a sensitivity or some of these other things that are going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.  Well, you described a lot how your mindset shifted and you mentioned on your site that you went from a size 16 to a size 6. That’s quite a big jump.  You must be super proud of yourself for that.  So I give you a pat on the back.  But what are the big–what were the big food shifts?  We know you made a lot of mindset shifts.  What were the big food shifts, just so people can kinda wrap your head around–wrap their head around where you were before from a food perspective to where you were at a size 6, you know, 10 sizes later.

Marna Thall:  Awesome!  That’s such a great question.  Nobody has ever asked that.  So okay, the food shift.  The big thing for me food-wise is I ne–before when I was struggling with weight, I never tuned in to hunger.  I never knew–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  When to eat.  I just ate.  If somebody was going out to eat, I was totally–I was totally–

Dr. Jusin Marchegiani:  Yeah

Marna Thall:  I wouldn’t say that I was a sure thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Marna Thall:  Like I was just a sure thing.  I love to what–you know, socializing and eating and I still do.  But I didn’t realize that it–I really had no idea from that time that I was 12 where my parents had the accident, I started to turn to food–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  In a way to relate to my pains, my frustrations, my anger of being a 12-year-old with parents that were the way I wanted them to be, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  So–so that was a big shift.  When I started to tune in to my body and feel hunger for the first time, I was in college and I remember I spent a lot of time actually by myself trying to figure it out and to figure out what my body was doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  So the big thing I shifted is now–if I’m going to a dinner, let’s say.  Let’s say we have an event tonight which we actually do.  We are gonna go over to a friend’s house and–and if I’m hungry, great, I will eat. But if I’m not hungry, I’m happy to have a glass of wine and then some water and a glass of wine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Maybe have a couple of bites.  It’s really shifted my quantity which–which then obviously shifted my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  There have been times I’ve been–so–so there’s the front end of a meal for me.  I now listen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, got it.

Marna Thall:  To when to eat now from a–from a different standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is there a time-wise that you find that you go between meals?  5 hours or 6 hours, is it–just on average, is there a time?

Marna Thall:  So typically, I’m hungry when I wake up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Marna Thall:  So I’m hungry, so I–I get up and I got out and typically that looks like potent–you know, sometimes it’s a couple legs, sometimes it’s gonna be still cut outs and I throw in some protein powder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall: You know, it could–it could vary.  I notice from listening to my body, it does not do well with things like bagels.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Marna Thall:  I don’t eat bagels even though my head loves them–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But my body doesn’t.  And I’ve learned from the naturally thin that that a meal should compo–should have 2 components.  Psychological and physiological–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  Satisfaction.  Especially for someone who struggles with weight.  I need to feel in my head that I need–I need for it to light up something in my brain so–so I still wanna like it.  I just don’t–I just–but I want my body to like it, too.  So–so–and then, you know, I’m probably not–I may be hungry 2 or it just depends.  Sometimes I’m hungry at 10 o’clock and my lunch looks like 10:30, I’m having lunch where at 7:30 I was having breakfast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  And then I may have something at 3:30 and then another meal again.  There are other times there are certain foods that just take longer to work in my body and like I had something earlier and it has been, let’s see, like, yeah, it’s been 5 hours so it typically varies–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  But I would say, most days I’m eating 3 to 4 meals a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Marna Thall:  And they’re smaller than they were before.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it sounds like you have a really good natural inclination to stabilize your blood sugar which is great.  Did you notice any food allergens that you pulled out of your diet?  I mean, you mentioned the bagels so you’re kinda alluding to some gluten there.  Was there anything else that you just found that you pulled out because you were reacting to it some way?

Marna Thall:   Yeah, so I also am aware I don’t totally cut out dairy, I just–I’ve substituted like regular milk, let’s say for almond milk, I–I don’t know, I–I definitely do a lot of almond milk.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  I–I like–I love cheese and so–but I have to watch how much I have in it because it will make gassy, bloated, uncomfortable.  I feel not so–I feel heavy.  And–and so I–I watch my dairy and those are the main ones.  I do watch my coffee intake–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:    Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Because I will find sometimes that I’ll–I love it and I’ll like crave it like crazy and I know that it’s just like not a natural craving.  It’s sort of like an addiction.  So then I’ll do things like I still want that coffee taste, and so I’ll do like 100% chicory.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, okay.  Interesting.

Marna Thall:  And I’ll steam it.  Yeah, I’ll steam some like, some almond milk, put a little maybe Stevia or something and–and that’s how I’ll shift that up.  So sometimes I’m drinking coffee, sometimes I’m totally off or doing tea and just 100% chicory, just because it’s good for you, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.

Marna Thall:  And it gives–it gives me a little bit of that taste.  So I will substitute.  I never wanna say no to myself.  So I always am finding ways to say yes in a way that works for my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Now I find a lot of my patients that have come from eating issues in the past, I mean, we’re so ingrained in our culture that fat’s bad, right?  Or at least in the 70s and 80sm even the 90s we’d be–

Marna Thall:  Totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We were just–that was just like literally just jammed in our ear and I can just hear, you know, the fat you eat is the fat you wear.  But we know fat is so important for our hormones and every single cell in our body has this little lipid bilayer.  It’s important for hydration and our skin and nails.  How do you adjust a lot of the people you’re seeing?  How do you adjust the relationship with fats?  That they’re maybe not a bad thing.  Maybe they’re actually essential and really important for our health.

Marna Thall:  So I’m always coming from “How does that make you feel?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Like, okay, you know, it’s because–because people were coming to me have those tons of rules, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  They know a whole lot more about things than I do typically around food rules and what you should and shouldn’t do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So they’re coming to me, so I like to come from, “Well, how do you feel?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Because if you’re feeling good, if you’re having fats, if you’re having avocados, they’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m worried about having avocados. I’m worried about, you know, too much oil in my, you know.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Then we’ll say, “You know what, let’s try it and see how you feel and how you look and how’s your hair.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  Exactly.

Marna Thall:  So then it’s empowering and inspiring when it’s not coming from what I should do, what–what Marna says I should do, but more, “How is this helping me?  How do I feel?  Does–Do I look good?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  You know, I love–I mean, I ate a ton of salmon.  I love it.  I love what it does for my skin.  I love what it does for my hair but if I was eating it and I was going, “God, I feel awful.  I don’t like it.”  Then I would that that’s not the right item for me and my body.  I may look at other ways to get, you know, get–get fats or get proteins or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Whatever or whatever it is, you know.  So yeah, I think–and people do come to me a lot from different diets where they’ve had to count calories or where they’ve really established this good food/bad food mentality and some of that creates binges.  And so I’m always very careful about being aware of that and I find that the strategy I use of like let’s see how it works for you–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Marna Thall: Let’s see how it works for your body.  What that does is it–it avoids a lot of the binges because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  It’s empowering clients to feel, you know, to–to take–to take ownership of their health and their body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think of that old expression, too.  I think it goes, “Nothing feels–nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”  So you get a lot of people that they’re engaging their motivation on how they’re doing on a number on a scale versus how that food is actually make them feel.  So how do you recalibrate them to not about not feeling good about the actual result of them feeling thin?  But actually doing the right thing with the relationship with food and then combining that with, you know, losing weight and feeling better that way, too.

Marna Thall:  I think it’s very holistic.  I mean, it’s I-it’s a big holistic piece.  It’s interesting that saying, you know, when you said it, I was thinking, you know, a lot of clients that come to me, don’t know how thin feels.  So it’s this abstract idea of what they think it’s going to be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So you know, in the moment, chocolate is very exciting or whatever their trigger, you know, whatever every–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Body’s trigger food is, is better than this sort of idea of what thin is, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  If you’ve never experienced it or if it’s been many, many years, then the instant gratification is quite different, so–so I say the way I balance it and look at all of it is–is one, knowing the person, really getting a sense of who this person is that they’re not just–I’m not just putting them through a system without knowing who they are and then looking at these different components and trying to balance them on and–and calibrate them because most people, they’re usually just a few tweaks.  Don’t you find this?  They’re usually just a few tweaks that we can make to really make a huge dent in how they look, how they feel, how they relate to food, and how they lose weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So true, absolutely.

Marna Thall:  You know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, you–you really gave us a lot of good information here.  That’s awesome.  Is there anything else that you want to share with the listeners that’s powerful, that maybe you haven’t touched upon yet?

Marna Thall:  I would say just, you know, get support.  One of the things that I didn’t–I didn’t know was available to me at that time, I mean, this was a long time ago, but when I was trying to lose weight is I didn’t know that there were people–I didn’t reach out in a way that I should have to really get the support, you know, whether it’s Dr. J or myself–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Get support with people who–who really get to know you and understand you or are asking you some questions that go underneath the surface.  That will help you know that they’re really–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Marna Thall:  Caring versus–versus just like you checking off a list and a–and a quick diagnosis and what not.  I would also say there’s nothing wrong with you.  There are some small tweaks that you can make to make your life, your health, your–you know, in my area, you’re emotional eating or you’re–how you relate to food much better and much more joyous for your life but there–you’re not broken. There’s just a few things you need to do or may–you know, can try to do that will be life changing for your weight and your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. That’s great.  So if anyone’s listened to this show and maybe they’re feeling a little overwhelmed, a lot of stuff was thrown at them, can you just give me the big top 3 things that someone listening to the show right now could do to just kick more butt and just feel better regarding their weight or relationship with food?  What are those big 3?  Just kinda one sentence answers for each.

Marna Thall:  Understand why you wanna lose weight.  Get clear of that.  Two, start listening to your body.  Eat when you’re hungry.  Stop when you’re satisfied.  And know why you’re eating and start ticking those reasons of why you’re eating to get just a hunger.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. And you also mentioned one more thing–gotta ask you.  You said, I think, you gave the analogy about cheese, then you said, “Well, what’s that mouth feel?  What’s that feel that I’m looking for?”  So if people are–are craving something that, you know, you may consider not to be that healthy, do you find alternatives that will give them that same kinda sensation and feel that maybe have less sugar or less of a–a bad food in it, a bad, you know, like gluten or something like that that’s maybe healthier but gives them that same feel and sensation?

Marna Thall:  Only through exploring.  So I don’t have the answers for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  We may–no, let’s say, you know, someone–if someone’s saying cheese, you know, I know for me what would be an alternative.  You know, like I like goat cheese and I can–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Marna Thall:  I can go with that kinda and that works a little bit better in my system.  Or I can find a vegan option that can work really well in my system, but it’s different.  Somebody else may go, “That is disgusting. It’s nasty.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  So–So I can’t give you the, “Yes, this is the thing.”  But I will say that when–when instead of saying “No” to yourself, if you can say, “Yes, I will find what does work and what will work and I’ll–and I will,” you know, if you have to try 15 different types of cheese that work well for your body, it’s worth it because then you’ll go, “Oh, I can have cheese and this is how it tastes and this is what works and it feels good and it makes me look amazing, too.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool, and last question for you.  If you were stuck on a desert island, what supplement or herb would you bring with you?  If you only could choose one.

Marna Thall:  Great question.  I’d bring D.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vitamin D.

Marna Thall:  Yup.  I’d bring D.  Me personally, I need more vitamin D.  I don’t have a thyroid and sometimes my D is low, so I would say vitamin D for me for sure gives me the energy and the vitality that just really, just–it just works great for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  And you have your site over at  If someone’s listening to this and wants to work with you, how do they get a hold of you?  Just email you or?

Marna Thall:  Yeah, you can always email me at  I say the best thing to do is we have an assessment there where you start to look at why do you eat.  It’s called Why Do You Eat, you know, it’s an assessment, and that will give you some answers.  What happens when you fill that out, I get your answers, too, and then we can go from there to start looking at why you eat and start to create a plan to help start to diminish some of those reasons, lessen those reasons, so you really start to get to the real–if you’re dealing with your emotions in an emotional way and your physicality in a physical way, and–and we’ll start separating food from mood, food from emotions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it seems you also have a coaching program there for practitioners, too.

Marna Thall:  I do.  I do.  You know, so I’m doing this work and I don’t know, maybe 8-10 years ago, someone said, “Marna, Marna, I really wanna know how’d–I wanna do the same work that you do.  I love what you do.  I wanna do it.”  And so out of that, I created a practitioner program because the–the demand was there and so I don’t do it for tons of people every year but once–once a year I offer it up and it’s a pretty cool program.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool and you also have your summit, too, that I had the awesome opportunity to take part of.  Do you wanna mention your summit, too?

Marna Thall:  Oh, once a year, well, you were fantastic.  You were one of my favorite guests.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.

Marna Thall:  Once a year, I do what’s called Rewire Your Brain To Think Thin Training series where I gather together people in the area of–the different areas that personally I’m interested and I know my clients are interested in, and we do–we do training sessions for 2 weeks and it’s so cool because we focus on these different areas.  Tapping, we do EFT–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.

Marna Thall:  NLP, you talked about the thyroid which is so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Marna Thall:  Super cool.  We talked about these different areas to help people rewire their brain to think, eat, and live differently.  And–and it’s always a–it just continues to grow.  It’s such a big success.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can people sign up to get access to the summit for this year or is it too late?

Marna Thall:  It’s–it’s over this year.  But next year if you’re on–if you’re on my list, if you go to, you’ll hear about when next year’s is and you’ll get access for free.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.  Well, thank you so much Marna, you were an awesome guest.

Marna Thall:  Oh, good!  Thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thank you.


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