Why is it important to remove the fear from the foods that seem to trigger you? Do your core beliefs help or hinder you in recovery? Can you change your core beliefs to change your outlook on life? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about Core Beliefs: Why Yours Matter with Lara Zibarras.


Dr Lara Zibarras is a Psychologist & Food Freedom Coach. Her background is in academic psychology (BSc, MSc, PhD, Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach), and she works with women to help them develop a healthy and happy relationship with food, without guilt or emotional eating.

After years of intensive dieting, following the latest faddy diets, and developing an eating disorder, she got her life back on track when she discovered the power of a positive mindset. Simple mindset shifts helped her break free from the dieting trap and set her on the path to a healthier (mental, emotional, and physical) and more balanced lifestyle.

Visit her website. Connect with her on Instagram and Youtube.

FREEBIE: Check out Lara's free Food Freedom Masterclass.


  • Remove fear from food
  • Check your influences
  • Core beliefs in eating disorders

Remove fear from food

For people who are recovering from an eating disorder, some foods feel “scary” or threatening because the person has associated them with binging or eating “unhealthily”.
I never allowed myself to eat toast with peanut butter and jam … that was something that I restricted and a real fear food and something that I would binge on. [The clinician] recommended to me that I eat it every day for breakfast. (Lara Zibarras)
Food is food. There is no moral value tied to it. Within the mind is where the associations come up, and they begin to steal the show. To regain control over understanding that food is food, and remove the fear, it is important to confront it, and show your mind that you can eat it without binging.
I did it and within two weeks I was so bored of having toast with peanut butter and jam. That was the process that he helped me go through; face some of these things, and by allowing food into my life they no longer have that psychological and emotional pull on me. It just became food. (Lara Zibarras)

Check your influences

Keep an eye on what you are surrounding yourself with in terms of news, media, and information because they all influence you. Update your social media so that you follow people who truly inspire you and make you want to learn to care for yourself and create the best possible life, instead of following people who you may feel envious of or who you want to copy to feel happy.
What you’re following and what you’re reading becomes your world view and you think that’s normal. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
Be aware of what you are allowing on your feed. Interrogate how things make you feel, and weed out the information and perspectives that keep you stuck in restriction and fear instead of wholeness and trust in yourself.

Core beliefs in eating disorders

If your core beliefs are rooted in a more positive outlook on life, then you view the world more positively with opportunities for growth, development, and worthiness. However, if your core beliefs come from a place of unworthiness or pessimism and you feel that nothing has value or worth, then your outlook on life can be more negative and stagnant.
The thing is with our core beliefs is that they help us make sense of the world which therefore impacts the decisions we make and then they become important to our emotional health. (Lara Zibarras)
Therefore, when you want to heal your relationship with food, it is important to know what your deeper core beliefs are because they will either help you or hinder you. You must first uncover them to work on them to be able to change them. It is not your body that is the problem. It is the core belief that you have about bodies in the world.


BOOK | Christy Harrison – Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating BOOK | Megan Jayne Crabbe – Body Positive Power: How Learning to Love Yourself Will Save Your Life



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!