25 Reasons Not to Start A Diet in January (Or Ever Again) | TMOHP Episode 066

In today’s episode I have for you: 25 reasons NOT to start a diet. The New Year is a season the diet industry loves! The marketing to jump on the gimmicky weight loss and diet bandwagon is everywhere - and it’s probably going to get worse. Diets don’t work, but if your brain has marinated in diet mentality, it’s tempting to think, “This time might be different.” I have your back.

Use this episode to get clarity. Use this episode to remind your brain why going on a diet is not the answer. Use this episode as your mantra this season of over-the-top-diet-mentality-marketing. AND, since we all learn and reinforce our learning in different ways, I created a cheat sheet for you. So you can keep the 25 reasons not to diet in front of your face for whenever you need them. Scroll down to get the cheat sheet.  🙂

In this episode:

  • Your forever way of eating that doesn’t include deprivation
  • The diet cycle that erodes your hope
  • How diet mentality actually sets you up for more emotional eating

[If you love this podcast, will you take 30 seconds to leave a review? It makes all the difference in my ability to share this information!]

Featured on the show:

  • Download 25 Reasons Not to Start A Diet in January (Or Ever Again)
  • Join me for my upcoming, free 5-Day Freedom from Overeating Workshop for Smart, Busy Women. Participate in one hour of live training (online) with Dr. Melissa McCreery each day. By the end of day 5, you'll have a brand framework for addressing your eating, along with new habits and strategies that allow you to lose your cravings and triggers to eat. One that doesn't rely on deprivation, diets, or being harder on yourself. Go here to reserve your free seat.
  • Not sure why you’re overeating, or what your Hidden Hungers are? Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz
  • Your Missing Peace  is the program for women ready to stop overeating and emotional eating for good. Enrollment is open and NOW is the perfect time to join us! Go here to learn more

Enjoy the show?

Full episode transcript:

Hey everybody, I have a little confession to make, I am not so organized when I record podcast episodes that I always look at the calendar and coordinate what I'm talking about with what is going on in the, in, on the calendar or in the world. It, what I tend to do when I'm putting together a podcast episode is, Think about the things that have been real and important in my, with my coaching clients inside the Missing Peace program, things that I have been thinking about that I think would be helpful for you to hear.

However, I'm kind of excited because this episode is particularly relevant for the time of year. I mean, this is super relevant whenever you are listening to it. Believe me. And I'm recording this episode at the end of the year as people are thinking about January and fresh starts and resolutions and goal setting. And I think this is a really important time to drop what I have for you today, which is 25 reasons not to start a diet in January or ever again.

I have 25 reasons. This is a great little reminder episode that you can listen to if your brain needs to hear about why diets don't work. Because if you've been raised in diet mentality, your brain is probably saying, but what about if we try it one more time? What if we work harder this time? What if this time we're more disciplined?

So there are a couple of ways that you can use this episode. You can use it for your own education to learn and to train your brain why diets don't work and why you should not go on a diet this January or ever again. And if you already know that, but you still have that voice on your shoulder, that little person, that voice inside your head. Right? That is, that is nattering at you about how, but maybe try it one more time. Use this episode as reeducation and reminders for your brain about why you're doing it differently. Why you have decided to leave diet mentality and deprivation thinking behind. And why you are creating real freedom from overeating. Why you're listening to this podcast. Why you know it's important to do it differently.

And I also have for you today a cheat sheet where I have compiled all of these 25 reasons for you. You can grab the cheat sheet from the show notes. I strongly encourage you to do that because then you can have it on your computer. You can have it on your phone. You can print it out. You can look at this whenever that deprivation thinking starts to call to you and when you want reminders of why you are on the path you are on.

So I will put the link to the cheat sheet in the show notes. Be sure to grab that because when we are trying to change, when we are practicing new ways of thinking and you know, the new thoughts and the mindset that goes with change, our brain needs repetition. So you will hear this and you will need reminders. And that is what the cheat sheet is. So may I share with you now 25 reasons not to start a diet in January or ever again?

Number one, diets don't address the reasons that you want to eat in the first place. I mean, think about it. Where else in life do you try to solve a problem without even addressing the cause of the problem? Truly a diet to handle overeating without addressing the reason that you're eating in the first place? It's like trying to fix a plumbing problem with a towel.

Number two, diets rely on willpower and self-control. Now, think about the last time a diet failed you, and I bet it was exactly the time that your willpower and that your self-control were at their lowest. It's a formula that doesn't work.

Which brings us to number three also, who wants to have to be vigilant about having constant willpower and self-control for the rest of their lives? With a diet that is your relationship with food.

Number four, diets don't work. Research shows it. In fact, they very often backfire. The diet industry wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar industry if there was something that worked and you could be done with it. Diets don't work.

Number five, dieting and going hungry set you up for binges and overeating. It's that simple.

Number six, diets don't help you design a forever way of eating. Lots of women know a way of eating that takes the weight off. Temporarily. But then they have no idea how to even imagine themselves eating for the rest of their lives. Diets don't teach you how to eat or how to have a relationship with food. If they work, when they work temporarily, they teach you how to take some weight off. Not to keep it off.

Number seven, diets teach you to ignore and to distrust your inner wisdom. Your own wisdom. The things that you know about what works and what doesn't work for you.

Number eight, diets reinforce perfectionism and all or nothing thinking. Which leads to vicious cycles of starting a diet and then blowing it because you didn't do it all. You didn't get it perfect. And then endlessly starting over. Hoping that this time- this is the time you'll get it perfect. Which really means this is the time that you'll be perfect.

Number nine, diets and diet mentality glorify a belief in depriving yourself. Depriving yourself as an act of strength. And diets and diet mentality set you up to deny yourself the things that you want and the things that you need. And then to be proud of being really good at that.

Number 10, diets create obsessions with the scale and with your weight.

Number 11, within diet mentality, it becomes easy to define yourself and your worth by a number. Diets foster a belief that weight loss is the ultimate goal no matter how it happens. And they ignore the importance of happiness and joy and satisfaction, and having a relationship with food and eating and how you treat yourself, that actually fits you in your life. That is forever.

Number 12, a diet requires you to conform to it, but then it blames you if it doesn't work.

Number 13, diet mentality is an endless prescription to be stronger, to deny yourself more and to try harder. And if you didn't get results? Within diet mentality, the answer is that it is always your fault. And not only is it all your fault, but what you need to do to create success is to work harder at it. Right? In reality, the approach of dieting is the problem. And yet diet mentality keeps you stuck in a hamster wheel telling you it's your fault and your job is to keep working harder. Can you see yourself running faster and faster around a cycle that gets you nowhere?

Number 14, diets promote one body size and one shape as the ideal.

Number 15, diets equate your weight with your health, which is a lie. Health and vitality come in all shapes and sizes.

Number 16, diets add stress and overwhelm to your life as opposed to creating freedom from overeating. Taking the power away from food, losing the cravings. That kind of approach makes your life and you work better. Diets add stress and overwhelm and more things to your to-do list.

Number 17, diets support another lie. Diets support the lie that there's one way of eating that works for everybody. And then the diet tells you that it's your job to make this one way work for you. If you need to hear me say it, it is a lie. There is no one way of eating that works for everyone.

Number 18, diets create a plan for eating that often requires cheat days. Why should you have to and why would you want to create a relationship with food that you have to cheat on?

Number 19, when a diet is what determines how and what you eat, instead of you and your body and listening to your body, you're going to end up hangry and tired and frustrated and less vital and probably more obsessed with food and eating than before you started.

Number 20, diets focus and focus you on what you won't do and what you can't have. Instead of helping you nourish yourself in the way only you need. And instead of helping you figure out what true nourishment looks like for you. It's deprivation instead of freedom, creating transformation.

Number 21, cycles of dieting and the cycles of dieting, by the way happen because you're inevitably failing at diets because they don't work. So cycles of dieting and then blaming yourself, erode your confidence, erode your belief in yourself, and diminish your hope for what is possible.

Number 22, dieting sets up weight loss as a struggle. It sets up it sets up the idea of weight loss as a battle for control. Even on a good day, you have to be in the fight. You have to be winning. You have to be controlling. Right? It's a struggle. Creating peace with food allows you to leave the battle behind. It's a key difference between diet mentality and transformation mentality. Freedom mentality.

Number 23, if you're tired of obsessing about and thinking about managing food all the time, why would you choose an approach that's all about obsessing and thinking about food all the time? A key reason not to go on a diet.

Number 24 diets disconnect you from your own hunger. From your own knowing about whether you are hungry or whether you are full. Because diets tell you when you should eat with no regard for who you are or how your individual body works.

And number 25, the 25th reason not to start a diet in January or ever again, dieting doesn't help with emotional eating. In fact, diet mentality creates behaviors, it creates a way of thinking, a mindset that makes emotional eating worse.

So there you have it. This is just 25, we could do another 25 reasons not to start a diet in January or ever again. I hope this was useful to you. Rinse, repeat, listen as often as your brain needs to hear it.

Diets don't work and you deserve better. And if you want help creating freedom from Overeating and peace with food, check out the Missing Peace Program, enrollment is open. You can join us today and you can be live with me on our next coaching call. I'll put the link to that in the show notes as well.

And don't forget to go to the show notes and grab your cheat sheet so you can review these reasons and keep reinforcing and reminding your brain why you're doing something so much better than dieting.

I'll talk to you soon.


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Your Missing Peace is the psychologist-designed program that provides the tools, the support, the coaching, and the confidence to create freedom from emotional eating and overeating. Finally - emotional eating help done right! Your Missing Peace is specifically designed for smart, high-achieving women who are DONE with diets, who want a lasting solution, and who are ready to take their power back from food, from overeating, and the scale. 

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