Why Diets Suck: Nutrition vs. Dieting—What’s the Difference?

Is your New Year’s Resolution to start a diet? Nope, girlfriend. Think again. Friends don’t let friends leave the house in an unflattering outfit, date the wrong person, OR start a pointless diet only to fail and feel ever worse about themselves than when they started. I’m that friend.

Okay but wait a minute. I know you’re probably thinking, “But Heidi! You’re a TRANSFORMation specialist! It’s your job to help people lose weight and feel good about themselves, but you’re telling us not to diet?!” Yep, you got it!

See, here’s the thing that most people in the industry won’t tell you: Diets don’t work. To be frank, diets actually suck.

Stick around, hear me out, and let me actually help you set up a plan that will prove to be successful as you head into a New Year, New You.

Does a diet actually work?

Let’s break down what a “diet” typically is and then what it’s not. The term “diet” is thrown around pretty loosely in the weight loss world as a way of restricting your caloric intake to lose weight, right? I think when you hear the term “diet,” you probably immediately think of a bland salad and flavorless food all in the name of achieving that dream body.

Most of the time, when people start a “diet,” they’re following a fad. Major restrictions of your favorite foods, cutting carbs, cutting salt, cutting the flavor, and walking around all day feeling like a hungry zombie and not having any fun. And, most of the time, not seeing the results you want because you’re not fueling your body or providing it the nutrition it needs to thrive.

We do all these crazy things to “lose weight fast” and see those quick results, but they always come at a cost: Our sanity, health, and happiness. That’s a high price to pay to shed a few pounds, in my opinion. Especially when there’s a much better way.

Diets vs. Simple Nutrition. What’s the difference?

The rule of weight loss is actually quite simple: Calories in (what you eat) should be less than your calories burned. BUT,  you don’t want to starve yourself, either. And that’s the problem with most of these fad diets: They promise the world but under-deliver on results, and so anyone who follows them doesn’t end up learning anything about nutrition, and often, they will jump to the next fad diet when they don’t see the results they’re after.

It becomes this  never-ending cycle until you throw your hands in the air and say, “I’m done!” and go back to those habits you had before you started your diet.

Successful results come from doing these things:

  1. Fueling your body with the appropriate types and amount of food
  2. Resistance training with intentional cardio or HIIT thrown in (say goodbye to endless hours on the treadmill)
  3. Consistency (and balance)

Notice how not one of those tips eliminated a food group? Or told you that you had to run for hours a day to see results? That’s because you don’t have to do those things.

How nutrition can help you reach your weight loss goals

Instead, one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health, your goals, and your waistline is to learn about nutrition. I’m talking about carb cycling and tracking macros if a body goal is something you are working on.

I love carb cycling, and I love tracking macros because they give me the freedom and flexibility to eat whatever the heck I want as long as I keep my days balanced and my numbers within my range. How else do you think I can get away with eating a Marshmallow Dream Bar DAILY?! Have your cake and eat it too? I’ll swap that slice for an MDB any day, my friends.

My goal with anyone who wants to change their body is simple: Help you see results and feel good about yourself in a way that’s sustainable and teaches you how to live a healthy, happy, lifestyle. It’s all about finding the balance and feeling empowered to make those choices for yourself, not associating guilt or labeling foods as “good” or “bad” or making the thing so dang hard you can’t stick to it long-term.

If the thought of tracking or counting even seems too daunting, then keep it simple. Here are a few tips for how you can ditch that diet culture and light the way for your own path:

  • Listen to your body! Understanding your own body’s cues and clues for when you’re truly hungry, thirsty, tired, or feeling strong is one of the most amazing things you can do for yourself.
  • Stay hydrated! Water will always be your best friend. so make it a goal to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. This will help flush out any water retention or bloat you might have, but it’ll also help stabilize those cravings so you can truly start to learn and understand hunger cues. (Not to mention hydration is good for our skin, ladies!).
  • Stop cutting out food groups unless you have an allergy or it’s something you truly dislike. No food should ever be completely off limits!
  • Opt for whole foods over processed whenever you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you grab a quick snack when you’re on the go. We’re eliminating the concept of guilt when it comes to food, remember?
  • Start slowly tracking your macros. If the idea of weighing or measuring feels daunting in the beginning, keep it simple and use the graph below as an example to help you fill your plate at each meal.

Most importantly, remember that you are human. There will be times that you will slip and fall off that wagon, and that’s okay. Life is about balance. Stay consistent and find the joy in what you are doing, and you, my friend, will be unstoppable.


Related reading:

Why Most Meal Plans Suck and How to Find the Right One for You
Eating with Macros: A Day in the Life
Meal Plan Makeover: A Step-By-Step Guide to Un-Suck A Sucky Meal Plan
How to Burn Fat While Building Muscle || Body Recompositioning 101
Are we sick of Donuts + Macros yet? Nope, and here is why…

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