Fed up of dieting and feel like you’re getting nowhere no matter how much effort you put in? In this blog, I reveal why that is and how you can finally ditch the diets.
And just like that, a New Year is here with a fresh set of 365 days for us to live. However, the New Year messages from the diet industry are anything other than fresh – they remain exactly the same. They come around every single January, intending to guilt trip you into losing weight and embark on restrictive diets.
How many times at the start of a new year have you gone crazy in the gym, dieted like mad and given up with frustration by spring?
If you’ve ever felt like a failure because you couldn’t stick to your diet, I’m here to tell you it wasn’t because you didn’t have enough willpower.
Like so many people, you fell victim to the diet industry. It’s not your fault!
Fad diets are everywhere. We’re constantly bombarded with promises about dropping half a stone in a week or dropping lbs by sipping the new “magic” diet shake.
These promises make it sound so easy and it’s why the diet industry is a multi-million-dollar niche. But not more! It’s time to ditch the diets.
Why fad diets are never the answer
Eating solely for weight loss can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. It becomes all about restriction; what you cannot have.
Cutting out large food groups can mean you’re missing out on the good stuff too. We need to eat a balanced diet across all food groups to get essential nutrients and fuel our bodies properly. Carbohydrates are a great example of this. They get a bad rep but they are our bodies primary source of fuel and a key nutrient for organs and glands, like the thyroid.
Fad diets often focus on calories alone and gloss over the role of nutrients, exercise and lifestyle that is required for healthy, sustainable weight loss.
Drastic calorie cuts can equal drastic weight loss – that’s no secret. But while you may initially drop some lbs/kgs with an ‘off the shelf’ diet plan, you quickly hit a “brick wall” too. Even though you may be consuming what you’re “allowed”, further weight loss is elusive. And in the meantime, you’re exhausted, avoiding social events and potentially damaging your health.
When you restrict calories, adaptive thermogenesis kicks in. This is one of our body’s innate survival mechanisms to prevent energy loss. It lowers your resting metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories and maintain your individual setpoint weight despite the food restriction.
After a 30-week restrictive weight loss competition, a study found that participants had:
- a lower resting metabolic rate than before
- burning 700 calories per day less than before the competition
- their resting metabolism was still at a lower rate six years later
- most subjects had re-gained ‘a significant amount of the weight’ within six years
Evidence is varied on restricted diets and their impacts. But studies do show they have the potential to make weight loss harder and less sustainable.
There is another reason why most people find they put the weight on again when they stop dieting. That’s because with quick results, a big chunk (if not all) of the weight you lose is water, not fat. As soon as you start eating normally again, you regain the water and get disheartened by the number on the scales.
But the main problem – and by far my biggest frustration – with fad diets is that they don’t teach you the tools to support a healthy weight for your body long-term.
Falling back into old habits is inevitable if you haven’t learnt how to change your eating habits. You’ve got no way to keep the weight off without continuing to restrict yourself using their methods.
It’s not sustainable but this is exactly what diet culture thrives on. It relies on you not understanding how to eat well and lose weight. If you did, you wouldn’t need them and they wouldn’t make any money (I love the idea of that happening one day!).
So I’m just going to say it as it is – it is possible to eat normal food, not be on a fad diet and lose weight!
I’ve helped clients shift 18lbs/8kg by making small, realistic adjustments but enjoying food and a little bit of what they fancy too. They are euphoric as they finally feel in control of their food choices and in sync with their bodies once again.
How to eat for long-term, sustainable weight loss
Weight loss is not about the next fad diet that leaves you fed up, frustrated and with short term results you worked too hard for. It’s about understanding what your body needs to best serve you and enable you to maintain your optimal weight.
For long term weight loss you need to:
- Fill your plates with variety and colour
- Enjoy a balance of all macro and micro nutrients (protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals etc)
- Balance your blood sugars
- Feed your gut microbiome (the bacteria in your large intestine that can be responsible for resistant weight loss and poor blood sugar control)
- Stay hydrated
- Refine your sleep routine and quality
- Move your body in a way that supports longevity and that you enjoy!
Just these changes alone will leave you feeling full of energy, rid of cravings, in control of your food choices, and with a better mindset and outlook on your health.
You CAN live a life you love while eating foods you enjoy. Even Nutritionists like myself enjoy chocolate when we fancy it (Lindt’s dark chocolate intense raspberry please!). It’s about striking the right balance for you and your body.
Ready to ditch the diets?
Download my guide to healthy, sustainable weight loss – without calorie counters or a set of scales.
Enough of the fad diet rules and restrictions. Diet culture doesn’t really want you to know how to lose weight and keep it off, but I do!
This guide pulls together some of my top tips for losing weight through good food choices and lifestyle.
I want you to feel confident to eat food you choose and enjoy, not food that’s dictated by the calorie counters or which are on the “allowed” list.
Download the guide and let’s get you on the path to the body you’re comfortable in.
Want amazing weight loss results like my clients?
Let’s make 2022 the year you never diet again! We all deserve better than the false promises of diet culture. Together, we can improve your relationship with food so you can eat for health rather than weight loss.
I specialise in metabolic health, blood sugar management and gut health. The key three principles of weight loss. With my support, clients have lost weight without any restriction and are thriving!
As a Nutritional Therapist and Functional Medicine Health Coach, I not only offer support to find the root cause of your health concerns but also provide coaching on how to change behaviours and achieve your goals.
Suzette, 64, lost 1 stone and reversed her pre-diabetes diagnosis simply by following her personalised nutrition advice and moving each day.
Louise, 36, lost 1 stone in 3 months and fixed her digestive issues (bloating and diarrhoea) beyond her expectations. Her words “Natalie changed my life”.
George, 48, has lost 11lbs/5kg and is the lightest he has been for 4 years! Together, we’ve been addressing his cravings for sugar and late-night snacks, bringing George back in the driving seat of his food choices.
Billie, 28, lost 18lbs/8kg in 4 months in time to be a bridesmaid at the end of 2021. Her skin and confidence are glowing! (a client through The Natural Balance).