week 1: diets don't work

I’m going to hit you with A LOT of info today...the first couple of lectures tend to be the heaviest. Don’t panic, k?

The take home is this - the way we approach weight and health (in a highly moralized, right/wrong, restrictive way) isn't working. Not only is it not working, it's hurting us. It keeps us at war with food and our bodies. It leaves us confused and frustrated and feeling like we are getting "it" wrong.

NOTE! Because these videos were recorded LIVE, there is a bit of time at the beginning of each vid when I am waiting for participants to show up. Skip ahead to 51 second mark when I show up OR to the 2:30 min mark when we actually really get going with material:)

The Recap

Today was, first and foremost, about starting to strip away that old story - so we can begin to move forward with a new approach!

What we talked about:

  1. Understanding what a diet is

  2. Understanding that diets don't work and the damage they cause

  3. Being aware of diet/pseudo diet mentality!

  4. Discussed different forms of diet backlash: binge eating vs emotional eating

  5. Starting to reconnect with our bodies....just a little bit:)

    What is a diet?
    A frame of mind. A belief that you can and should manipulate your body to be smaller by controlling your food and exercise. That you are good when you are behaving a certain way and bad when you aren't. Any activity or behaviour that would lose it's appeal if there were no promise of the acquisition or maintenance of a smaller body as the outcome.

Diet mentality is simply the frame of mind we are in when weight loss and body control is underlying our thought processes….being constantly in the pursuit of (or feeling guilty about NOT being in the pursuit) of a smaller body.

Diet's don't work - We can possibly manipulate our weight but long term success of that manipulation - unless we continue to hold on, count, obsess, starve, etc - is unlikely. Peace comes from reuniting with your body's inner wisdom and moving on from diet culture….and allowing your weight to land where it lands!

It is imperative to this work that you understand and accept the diets don't fundamentally work.

1. The way your body physiologically responds when you diet - it thinks you are starving and goes into survival/protection mode (including but not limited to:)
-Metabolism goes down
-Energy goes down
-Stress goes up (as does cortisol, blood sugar, and then insulin = STORAGE)
-Drive to eat increases, attraction toward sugary/fatty, calorie dense foods increases

2. The damage that dieting causes - it potentially raises your set-point and definitely disconnects you from the biological information that you need in order to make good decisions for yourself around food/exercise!!!!
Also, it is THE trigger for diet backlash - binge eating, emotional eating, and all or nothing thinking around exercise



1. Order: https://www.amazon.ca/Health-At-Every-Size-Surprising/dp/1935618253

2. Be on the lookout for diet/pseudodiet mentality and how it shows up in your thinking/actions. Take notes.

Look out for:
counting anything (carbs, calories, fat grams, points)
eating only "safe" foods or at "safe" times
feeling like you need to pay penance for eating
pre-planning what you are going to eat, judging what you deserve to eat based on what else you've eaten that day - instead of hunger
competing with someone else's food choices
Putting on a food face (ie ordering the salad because everyone else is OR because you think you should when what you really want is the pasta)
Other? What pops up?

3. Get rid of the dieter's tools! Scales, measuring tapes, fit bits, other food/weight/exercise software
Magazines, diet books, calorie/carb/point counters

4. Write out your diet history (if that's too daunting, just write out the last 3-4 diets/healthy eating plans you've been on). What happened? How did it feel when you started? Were you able to stick with it? Why/why not? How did you feel when it ended?

5. Get in touch with your HUNGER
Scale Your hunger (0-10), 0 is not hungry at all and 10 is low blood sugar, shakey, "hangry".
Don't alter your food at all, just begin to take note with how in touch you are with your hunger and whether or not you respond to your hunger in the 6-7-8 range:)

When you are ready: watch this week’s Q&A below: