How To Quit Dieting Forever

How To Quit Dieting Forever

The dieting world is full of many things; opinions, books, products, methods, marketing, clubs and a whole lot of nonsense.

In general, the majority of the dieting industry is more concerned with making money than making people healthy.  After all, it’s fantastic business.

As a population we are more overweight and less active than ever before.

We also live in a very commercial society where we have been conditioned to crave instant gratification.

The concept of saving your money to buy something has been replaced with clever marketing, forcing us to buy before it’s too late, forcing many to take loans and get into debt.

But what has this got to do with dieting?

Well, the model is very similar.  Diet books sell us the ‘quick fix’.  Would you rather ‘drop a dress size in 7 days’ or ‘lose weight slowly over time whilst developing a healthier relationship with food which will help you to keep the weight off for good’?


So what exactly should you do if you want to lose weight and have tried more diets than hot dinners?


Diet Confusion








Stop following any diet that has a name, a set of rules & restrictions, wants to sell you food or books or gets in the way of your lifestyle.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t change your eating habits as they have clearly been a contributing factor to where you are now.

But you need to find something that you can stick with in the long term that won’t drive you or those around you crazy.

Here are some way you can do that, ranging from calorie counting (yes, it DOES actually work) to just controlling portion sizes.



Macro Management

The most accurate way to make sure you are eating the most optimal balance of foods is to track it.  In its most detailed form this means counting what you eat in terms of protein, carbohydrates and fat while working towards daily guides for each.

There are numerous smart phone apps available that will allow you to do this to make it as simple as possible.


The main benefit to this is that once you know exactly what your goals are for each, you can eat flexibly within that framework.  It also ensures that you are giving your body the things it actually needs for optimal weight loss and exercise performance.

However, many people find this too intrusive into their daily lives and it can be confusing until you have been doing it for a while.

Contrary to some recent, terrible misinformation in the press, the majority of the population do not consume sufficient protein.

Protein has been shown to be the most filling nutrient.  It also helps to maintain a more consistent blood sugar level which can help to reduce cravings, providing the rest of the diet is sensible.

With this in mind, a nice compromise to detailed tracking is to just hit a minimum amount of protein and an overall calorie limit.  This allows any remaining calories to come from any sources, although sensible choices are of course advised.

Vegetables for example are going to offer health benefits and be significantly more filling than sweets as well as being much more filling.

You may feel that calorie counting is not for you and that is understandable, but remember that your body still counts calories.  You will not lose weight by just eating foods labelled by others as ‘healthy’ as they have calories into.

But how much simpler might it be for you to be able to control your intake WITHOUT having to count anything.



Get a hand on your food intake


While tracking your intake closely will require you to weigh food, this approach allows a much quicker and easier way to judge your portion sizes.

For men (per meal): 2 palm sized portions of protein (chicken breast, beef mince, tuna etc), 2 cupped hands of carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, lentils, grains, beans etc), 2 fist sized portions of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, peas etc) or one medium sized portion of fruit, 2 thumb sized portions of fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil etc)

For women (per meal): As above but reduce servings to 1 per meal

Portion Control for Dieting










Everyone has a different energy requirement but these guidelines should be fairly close and are based on 3-4 meals per day.

To make them work effectively it is worth weighing yourself weekly as well as taking measurements from key areas such as chest, belly, hips & waist.  You can then reduce your portion sizes if your progress stops.

Having said that, a woman’s weight will fluctuate in line with their menstrual cycle so this should be taken into consideration with the weight compared to that of 4 weeks previous.


Stop eating


I am talking about something known as Intermittent Fasting.  This is where you do not eat for a set portion of the day and then east as normal in the remaining time.

Many people skip breakfast, which is not a problem at all UNLESS it means you are so hungry later that it causes you to binge.

Intermittent fasting is designed to basically cut out calories by removing meals.  A typical example would be just eating lunch and dinner.  If you find that you cannot go to bed without eating first, you could try skipping breakfast AND lunch and then eating dinner and before bed.

Whatever approach you take, you will still need to make sure you eat enough protein and make sensible choices.  Having meals pre-prepared either in a slow cooker or frozen can help.  Getting home from work and then polishing off a whole pack of biscuits because you were hungry kind of defeats the point.

You can also use this approach if you are going out for dinner or social occasion and want to minimise the damage caused by the food on offer and the possibility of alcohol (which can be calorie dense).

If you decide to try Intermittent Fasting, it’s important to still maintain a good level of water intake, whether this is water, tea or coffee or a diet fizzy drink (yes, they ARE safe).  Obviously milk and sugar aren’t calorie free so go easy on them or avoid if you can.


Dear DiaryFood Diary

So you might not want to track your food intake each day, but you could make a note of it.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight but every time you jump on the scale the number stays the same and you say ‘but I’ve been really good’, then this could be for you.

It is very easy to forget what you’ve eaten earlier in the day and therefore allow yourself numerous ‘treats’ or indulgences.  Or you may have imply had a stressful day and feel that eating extra calories will solve your problems.

Keeping a diary is a great way to reflect on what you’ve eaten in the cold light of day.

For extra accountability you could also buddy up with someone or hire a coach to look over it for you on a weekly basis.



Is that it?

Yup, that’s as complex as it needs to be.  You can still enjoy what people call ‘treats’ but just be sensible and cut down if your weight loss stalls.

If you need help, you know where to find me!


But I’m always hungry

Sometimes being hungry is just an inevitable part of weight loss and it’s something you are going to have to deal with.  It can be challenging but no one says it’s easy.

There are some strategies you can try to make things easier in between meals though.

  • Before your meal drink a large glass of water (500ml \ 1 pint)
  • Eat your meat and veggies first as these are the most filling
  • Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly as there is often a delay between eating and feeling full
  • Eat meals at the table and not in front of the TV as when your mind is distracted it can fail to realise that you are full
  • Try eating a large bowl of salad as a starter before your meal (avoid high calorie dressings)


Is there anything I SHOULDN’T do?

I do not want to tell people what they can and can’t do as I don’t want to place any additional stress on them but there are certain diets and strategies that simply don’t work.

Some of them will APPEAR to work but this is only a short term solution.

Only 2% of people that go on a ‘diet’ actually remain in a healthy weight range for an extended period of time and even that is no indication of health or fitness which are of course essential to a long & healthy life.

So don’t be tempted by the the quick fix plan, the meal replacement shake, the miracle cure, diet pills or fat shaming ‘clubs’.

None of them will work in the long term and none of them will make you fit, healthy or happy – just lighter ans skinnier.  Temporarily.

The best thing you can do is to find an approach that works for you, your family, your schedule & lifestyle and your social life.

Just remember that it won’t be easy and you will have to ease up on the treats, snacks, binges, booze and anything else that is sabotaging your progress.  Although this doesn’t mean you should suffer by giving them up altogether.

No More Fad Diets








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1 Comment

  • Lee-ann

    Reply Reply 28-August-2015

    Brillant advice!

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