Portrait og Kay Bolter, Ph.D.

Eating &



Kay Bolter, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist #PSY 10555


I have been in private practice on the San Francisco Peninsula for over 25 years. I treat a wide range of conditions, including depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and panic disorders, sexual abuse issues, relationship and stress-related problems. My primary specialty is the treatment of the full-spectrum of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

With my extensive background and experience, I have developed an effective alternative to traditional weight loss programs called Self-Regulated Eating. This approach is for yo-yo dieters, emotional eaters, and binge eaters who are tired of going on diet after diet, only to revert back to their familiar eating habits AND gaining all of their weight back and maybe even more.

Dieting does not lead to long-term weight loss. The physical consequences of dieting, metabolic suppression and incessant hunger, contribute to the subsequent weight gain, but there are psychological reasons as well. Diets focus on changing what and how much to eat in order to lose weight. They do not help the dieter understand and modify how and why they make their eating decisions. Self-Regulated Eating addresses the psychological and emotional issues that stand in the way of truly changing lifelong eating habits.

Dr. Bolter is currently writing a book based on Self-Regulated Eating with her daughter Dr. Nicole Bolter, a Sport and Exercise Psychology professor. Her academic experience in coaching, motivation, self-perceptions, and self-regulation provides an excellent complement to Dr. Kay Bolter’s clinical experience and expertise. They also have a blog featuring articles on a wide range of eating topics.


Self-Regulated Eating is a non-dieting approach designed to help end your chronic struggle with eating and weight. You will fundamentally change your eating habits and finally achieve lasting weight loss. Self-Regulated Eating focuses on changing your eating in three primary areas:

*Develop awareness of the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that drive current food choices. Understanding how and why you currently eat the way you do is necessary in order make effective and long lasting changes in your eating.

The reason your past weight loss efforts have not been successful is not because you are lazy, undisciplined, or unmotivated. Diets fail because they focus on changing what and how much you eat and very little on what drives your eating decisions. Your old familiar eating patterns will return once you stop following the guidelines of the diet and end up sabotaging your efforts to make desired eating decisions and maintain your weight loss.
The Self-Regulated Eating approach begins by increasing your awareness of current eating patterns during discussions about your weekly entries in your eating journal. Typically, diet programs are not interested in examining the thoughts and feelings that prompt your eating behaviors. These programs assume the problem with your eating is that you don’t know what and how much to eat. Following the rules of the diet will lead to weight loss and maintenance. However, for many people, it’s not that simple and diet programs are not enough. For example, do you know what drives your decision to eat past the point of fullness? Are you aware of why you often binge on foods you don’t usually allow yourself to eat? In order to make effective and permanent changes in your eating, you’ll need to be aware of how and why you make your eating decisions. Awareness makes real change possible.

*Replace diet-driven thinking and behavior by going back to the basics of eating and relearning how to respond to your physical eating cues which let you know when you are hungry, when you are full, and how satisfying the food is to you.

You have probably read or heard recommendations of weight loss and nutrition experts to “Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full, and eat what you love!” Sounds simple and straightforward, right? But how can you adopt these guidelines when listening to you body no longer comes naturally to you. The Self-Regulated Eating approach will teach you how to tune into your eating cues to gather information about what your body needs and wants. You will learn to depend on your body’s signals to regulate your eating instead of the “diet rules” that keep you in your head and not connected to your body.

*Identify and effectively manage emotional triggers to eating that result in overeating and weight gain.

As your eating becomes more self-regulated, you will then be able to recognize when your urge to eat has little or nothing to do with your physical hunger, fullness, or satisfaction. These other triggers may include emotional (sadness, loneliness, anger), environmental (food court at the mall), situational (birthday celebrations, dining out, holiday treats), or non-eating body signals (sleep deprivation, stress, dehydration). You will learn to develop coping strategies to effectively manage your non-eating needs without overeating or bingeing.
The ultimate goal of Self-Regulated Eating is for you to feel in control of your eating and confident in your ability to make the optimal food choices for yourself. The goal is not immediate and rapid weight loss. Rather, you can expect gradual and permanent weight loss as your eating becomes more consistently self-regulated. While it may take months to transition to self-regulated eating, you will experience immediate and ongoing changes in your attitude and self-assurance to be in charge of your eating and weight.


Kay Bolter, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist #PSY 10555


617 Veterans Blvd

Suite 210

Redwood City 94063


(650) 591-1366



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