5 Reasons Why Dieting Isn't Working {Long Term} and What to Try Instead

  Diana Marlin, RD, LDN

Diana Marlin, RD, LDN

5 Reasons Why Dieting Isn’t Working {Long Term}

  1. Diets often don't make sense in real life. You may find it easy to follow a restrictive diet for a short amount of time, but once a holiday, birthday, or dinner out with friends pops up, you may realize that it is not realistic to never indulge or eat celebration foods. This can lead to feeling like you've lost control and 'fallen off the wagon' any time you eat foods that don't fit the diet. This leads to yo-yo dieting.

  2. Restrictive dieting often results in a slower metabolism, which can result in weight re-gain that surpasses the initial amount of weight lost once you stop strictly following the diet.

  3. 'Going on a diet' is inherently temporary. People often go on diets with a finish line in mind: whether it's an upcoming vacation, reunion, wedding, etc. Unless you plan to eat that way for the rest of your life, you will not reap long term benefits from short term dietary changes

  4. Diet programs don't need to prove long term success to have convincing ads. It is easy for diet programs to advertise the short term success of their clients as proof that their program 'works', then blame dieters' lack of willpower for not keeping the weight off long term {instead of acknowledging that the program and restrictive dieting in general isn't realistic long term.}

  5. Food restriction can make it harder to have a happy, healthy and balanced relationship food.

5 Things to Try Instead

  1. Take time to determine which foods nourish YOU, satisfy YOU, and make YOU feel well, then find ways to incorporate them into your life in a balanced way. Your diet doesn't need to come with a name. It should be balanced, enjoyable, nourishing, and deeply satisfying to you.

  2. Embrace the fact that you are worthy and wonderful AS YOU ARE. True lasting wellness comes more naturally from a place of self care and love than it does from self deprivation and self doubt. {Unfollow anyone on social media who makes you question that fact.}

  3. Honor your hunger and fullness. Listen carefully to when you feel hungry and when you feel full, and respect these feelings. Minimizing distractions while eating can help with this!

  4. Ditch the smaller plate concept and replace it with the balanced plate concept. It makes sense in theory to eat off of a smaller plate to eat smaller portions...but that will just leave you hungry! Eating well isn't about eating LESS, but about eating higher quality foods that nourish you. Grab a big plate and pile it high with a balance of nourishing foods!

  5. Be patient with yourself, and understand that wellness is not an all or nothing situation. Erase the mindset that there is a wagon to fall off of, and instead, take every day as a new opportunity to learn what works (and what doesn't work) for you.

Interested in learning how to transition away from dieting for good? Watch our Ditch the Diet: Lifestyle Transformation Intro Video!

Diana Marlin