The Real Reason Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

If you’ve been on this site any time at all, you know we’re not down with dieting or any form of strict deprivation to lose weight. (In fact, we wrote a book on it.)

So, why is that exactly? Why are our collective panties in such a damn ruffle over dieting?


Is it because diets mess with your metabolism?


Is it because dieting usually cuts out a whole food group (or two) and leaves your body without enough nutrition and energy to feel great?


How about the fact that dieting is actually called “weight cycling” and has been associated with an increased risk of weight gain and binge eating?


Or that mainstream media and society puts all kinds of crazy pressure on us to look a certain way that’s totally unrealistic and dieting is seen as a totally normal — even hip and trendy — way to do it?


Yep to all of that.

But, guys, that’s just the tip of the iceberg on why we have such a strong stance (and mission) against dieting. Because while all of the above is true and terrible, it’s what dieting does to your mind that really pisses us off.

Because, even though restrictive dieting works for NO ONE in the long term and we all know this (otherwise, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar dieting industry out there, which keeps selling to us over and over again), when the average woman fails at a diet, she doesn’t think: Oh, man, THIS DIET SUCKS.


Nope. She thinks: I suck.


And she internalizes those feelings over and over again, every time she diets — and every time she diets, not only do the stakes get higher (I’m really going to do it this time!), but the fall is that much harder as well (What is wrong with me? I can’t do anything right.).

Because everyone around us is doing the same thing to lose weight, no one even realizes that they’re putting the blame and shame on themselves … when really, it’s dieting that doesn’t work. FOR ANYONE. We’re just making the same socially accepted bad decision time and time again. We’re not bad, and we’re not failures … we put our faith in the wrong place because that’s what everyone else was doing.

Many of us start this cycle as teenagers or even kids. So is it any wonder that by the time we reach adulthood, we feel as if we’re somehow broken and stuck? Like we have no way out of this on-again, off-again dieting roller coaster? We’ve said this time and time again, but it bears repeating: you weren’t put on this planet to obsessively worry about your weight or diet. You’re more than that.


What’s more, it’s time that you took your power back. Because, ladies, y’all have better things to do with your time and energy.

And, that, our friends, is why we hate dieting.


What’s been your experience with dieting? Can you make a vow — today — to never do it again? And if you’re looking for a way to get healthy without the diet, check this out. —Jenn

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1 Comment
  1. I believe I was in junior high when I went on my first diet. From there, it was exactly as you described: start a new diet, fail, beat myself up, gear up for a new diet (meaning binge eat in preparation for the deprivation), really commit this time as I start the new diet, repeat. The really crazy part is through most of that I was at a healthy weight. Of course, the yo-yo dieting caught up to me, and by my 40s, I was carrying some extra weight. I found a healthy program that focused on nutrition, portion control, physical activity, and doing the mental work, and I lost the weight and have kept it off for 12 years now! I must confess that every once in a while when I hear about some new fad or diet, there is a part of me that wants to jump on that wagon. That’s the reason I love blogs like this one–that remind me what’s real and what’s healthy. Liking myself–my whole self–not some perceived “good” self that eats a certain way or weighs a certain random amount. Thank you and keep up the good work!


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