Break the Dieting Cycle: 25 Reasons Not to Start A Diet in January | TMOHP Episode 116

We all know that January is the month where the marketing airwaves are owned by the weight loss industry. At least a part of your brain probably also knows that diets don’t work. But the certainty with which those “quick results” are marketed can be so tempting. One reason that motivation can be so high to start a new program in January is a part of the diet mentality cycle that doesn’t get talked about. In this episode, I’m sharing what you need to know about perfectionism and all or nothing thinking so you can avoid the yo-yo cycles, enjoy your holidays more, and set yourself up on a path that feels and works better. 

Use this episode to inoculate yourself against over-the-top-diet-mentality-marketing. Download the free cheat sheet to empower you (the link is in the show notes). And share this episode with a friend. We all need help and support and reminders that we deserve better than diet mentality.

In this episode:

  • Your forever way of eating that doesn’t include deprivation
  • Avoiding the diet cycle that erodes your hope
  • How diet mentality actually sets you up for more emotional eating and how to avoid the priming for a diet that can happen in December

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • 25 Reasons Not to Go on a Diet in January (or anytime)
  • Private Coaching for Emotional Eating and Overeating: I have openings in my schedule to work with about twelve women a year and openings are filled as space becomes available. Private coaching meetings are scheduled via Skype or phone and we can connect from anywhere in the world. Private coaching is customized to you and your goals and we'll work together for a minimum of six months. Learn more and apply here.
  • 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
  • Visit for more tips and resources to create peace with food and overcome overeating and emotional eating

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody, we need to talk about what's happening right now and why I am releasing this podcast episode. So as I am recording this introduction here, it is the beginning of December and there's something really sneaky happening in plain sight. Has to do with deprivation thinking, has to do with diet mentality, has to do with why the weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, marketing something that doesn't work. 

So if you have followed this podcast, you have heard me talk about the link between deprivation thinking and all or nothing thinking. And about the pattern of all or nothing that can lead to not can, that does lead to massive cycles, vicious cycles with overeating.

It works like this. It begins with the belief that you are either eating well, or you're off track. You are on a diet, or you are off a diet. You are succeeding, or it doesn't really matter because you have already blown it. 

And December is a month that falls into the, it doesn't matter because I've already blown it, or I'm going to blow it month for a lot of people. Because of holidays and parties and end of year celebrations and time off from work and all the things that happen at the end of the year. 

And so what happens around about the end of November is people start feeling like everything has closed down around their goals and the promises they've made to themselves around emotional eating or overeating or making changes in the scale. Everything has closed down until the New Year.

And there are a lot of thoughts and beliefs that go with this that are in line with deprivation approach, like, you know, I don't want to be deprived. I don't want to miss out on the holiday treats. I'm going to enjoy these holidays so I just need to forget about all that stuff and I will start again in January.

Do you hear the all or nothing? Peace with food and freedom from overeating is not an all or nothing approach. Peace with food and freedom from overeating includes Joyful eating. It includes celebration eating. It includes enjoying the things that you really love in a way that you feel great about. It includes holiday eating. Holiday eating is a part of freedom from overeating and peace with food. 

The all or nothing approach is like, Oh my gosh, it's the holidays. I'm going to eat all the things. And maybe I'm even going to eat more of the things because I know in January, I'm going to eat none of the things. 

The thing is, there's too many things in this, in this phrasing here but the, but the thing is this all or nothing approach doesn't work. It is not sustainable. And it is not the path to freedom and a relationship with food that you love. It is also not the path to enjoying holiday eating. Because eating because I get to and eating because I'm going to eat all the things because they're going to disappear in January is not really a joyful approach to, to food or to the holidays or to any of that stuff.

So the beginning of the pattern is the setup of the holidays. It doesn't matter. I'm going to get completely off track. I can't care about this stuff. I can't put energy into this stuff because nothing will make an impact. Because it has to be all or nothing to make an impact. And the second part of this pattern happens in January when you are going to be overloaded with dieting messages and dieting marketing and weight loss plans and special deals to join these programs and all of this stuff. Right?

Take a deep breath. I really want to challenge you to take a deep breath. And to give yourself the opportunity to do it differently this season. This December. This January. And on into the next year. And that is why I am re-releasing an episode that was very popular last year, called 25 Reasons Not to Start a Diet in January or ever again.

I'm re-releasing the episode and I'm also giving you access to a, I don't know what we should call it, a cheat sheet or a reminder list of these 25 reasons that it is so empowering not to fall into this belief stack. Not to fall into that whole plan of I'm going to just throw up my hands in December. I'm going to start a strict deprivation plan in January. 

What I have for you today are some powerful mental reminders and maybe even a mindset reset for you. 25 reasons not to start a diet in January or ever again. Be sure to grab that cheat sheet from the show notes. The link will be right there in the show notes.

And it would be so powerful for you to share this episode, share the podcast. Let's change the conversation this year. Let's start more conversations about creating freedom and peace and joy with our eating in a way that gets us to our goals. Instead of diving into another cycle, another year of dieting, falling off track, starting over and feeling guilty and miserable.

Let's do this thing. 

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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