Why not to go on a diet this year.

Thanks, Kura, for sponsoring this post and letting me share my opinions.

It’s that time of year.  Time to make a resolution to lose weight in the New Year.  Maybe you’ve made the resolution to, “get back on track,” and cut out all sugar once and for all.  And while you’re at it, may as well throw out gluten too.  But definitely add in kale and hemp seeds.  And perhaps throw in a 2 day juice cleanse to see just how close you can come to passing out.

Then.  You stick to your diet for a couple weeks before you find yourself elbow deep in chips & queso.  Once you come up for air you decide that you’re a failure and you’ll probably say other awful criticisms to yourself about how you screwed up again.  Never does it cross your mind that maybe you aren’t the problem.  Maybe, just maybe, dieting is the problem.

never diet again |

When you are dieting, your body experiences a short term starvation.  So when you “fall off the diet bandwagon” and allow yourself to eat again, your body naturally responds to this deprivation and starvation with extreme eating.  You didn’t fail at dieting because you have zero willpower.  You failed at dieting because you can’t fight your biological drive to eat when you are starving.  You can see this illustrated in the diet-overeat cycle below.  It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle when you under-eat and end up overly hunger, which causes you to overeat and likely feel guilty about overeating so you go back to dieting.  Then repeat.

diet binge cycle | immaEATthat.comAnd let’s not stop there when pointing out why dieting doesn’t work.  When dieting and in an underfed state, you become more obsessed with food.  During World War II, a study was conducted where study participant’s calorie intake was restricted to see the effect starvation had on the human body.  The study found that food became an obsession.  So not only will you deprive yourself of the food you want, you’ll also spend all day thinking about the food you can’t have.

never diet again |

So what’s the alternative to starting yet another diet?

The answer is mindful/intuitive eating.  

Intuitive Eating means letting go of the misconception that certain foods are good or bad, accepting that your body has a natural set point weight where it is meant to be, normalizing your eating by eating regularly and encouraging your hunger and fullness cues to come back, and eventually eating according to your hunger/fullness cues and cravings.  

never diet again |

Where dieting especially gets it wrong, is how you’re supposed to feel guilty for eating the foods you enjoy.  Being an intuitive eater means you listen to what your body wants.  That means you eat foods that are satisfying and enjoyable.  Our food choices shouldn’t be based on losing or controlling weight.  To be an intuitive eater means you don’t always choose the salad over the burger.  You think about what you’re craving and then eat just enough to satisfy that craving and feel full.

When I counsel clients, my focus is never on weight loss.  My focus is on helping them have a healthy relationship with food.  Once you have a healthy relationship with food and aren’t using food to try and fix your emotions, your body will find it’s natural set point weight where it’s meant to be.  

So instead of setting a resolution to go on another diet, I’d encourage you to give mindful/intuitive eating a try.

never diet again |

What are the first steps to becoming an intuitive eater?

  1. Mindfulness around food.  This means having an awareness of your hunger and what your body is craving.  If your mind is saying, “pizza, pizza, pizza,” but you instead order a salad and leave the restaurant with your mind still saying “pizza, pizza, pizza,” it is likely that you’ll overeat later that day since you didn’t honor your craving.  Satisfying a craving doesn’t mean overeating.  Satisfying a craving means eating just enough of the food you are craving until you are satisfied.  Eating what you are craving encourages fulfillment and satisfaction, rather than deprivation. 
  2. Begin to have a curiosity, instead of harsh judgement, of your behaviors around food.  Ask yourself, why do I eat the way I eat?  Do you grab a handful of chocolate when you’re stressed about an upcoming exam? Or perhaps you reach for the jar of peanut butter when you’re procrastinating about finishing a work project? Or maybe you’re just bored and that ice cream is there so you get a spoon.  The problem with using food to fix our emotions is that food is fleeting.  It fixes how we feel in the short-term (aka the feeling of fullness replaces our emotion of stress/annoyance/boredom), but in the long-term food doesn’t fix the problem.  The only problem food can fix is hunger.

never diet again |

Becoming a mindful eating doesn’t happen overnight.  Just like if you’re learning a new language, it takes time to master.  The first step to breaking free from the diet mentality is to realize that dieting has a 90+% rate of failure.  Why would you invest time in something that has those stats?!

Then ask yourself, has dieting ever worked for me?  If the answer is, “no” or “I’ve been dieting constantly for the past ‘x’ amount of years,”…

..then it’s time to try something new.  

To help you get started with intuitive eating, I’ve put together a Mindful Eating Giveaway for one reader. (giveaway closed.)

Mindful Eating Giveaway (aka never diet again) |

  1. Giftcard for a massage – to relieve stress/help you relax in a healthy way
  2. Mindfulness coloring book + colored pencils – for stress relief 
  3. Kura Protein Smoothie Powder (berry & chocolate) – to help you start your day with an adequate breakfast and not be overly hungry at meal/snack time
  4. Intuitive Eating book – a great resource as you choose to never diet again
  5. Tea – for relaxation
  6. Face mask, argan oil for hair, nail polish – also to help relieve stress/help you relax in a healthy way
  7. Pretty journal – to allow you to download your emotions, instead of turning to food to distract yourself from what you’re feeling

Giveaway winner = Jennifer M. Winner has been contacted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
never diet again giveaway |

Note: Dieting can also lead to eating disorders.  If you are suffering from an eating disorder, I encourage you to reach out for help.  If you do have an eating disorder, you likely have far too many food rules to practice intuitive eating.  You can not go from having an eating disorder directly to being an intuitive eater.


  1. Love this! The concept of intuitive eating is something I practice pretty informally, but really believe in. I’d love to deepen my understanding of the concept as a whole/the incorporation of mindfulness. 

  2. I would like to learn more about portion sizes and mindfulness.  Like how someone can go from tracking macros to freeing themselves of that while honoring their cravings but not going from 0-100 in terms of being “disciplined” to totally gorging.  I hope this makes sense.  Thanks!  Happy New Year.

  3. Id love to know more about portion sizes and mindfulness.  Like how does one go from tracking macros to putting food on their plate without a scale and honoring their cravings without going completely overboard.  Do you have any tips and suggestions for this?  How can we find that balance without being extreme on either end (completely strict vs. total binge) Thanks so much!  Hope this makes sense and Happy new year!

  4. I have known about intuitive eating for a while, but I am actually a nutrition student too. I learned about intuitive eating formally this past semester, and I’m excited to try it myself! I would like to know what steps I can specifically take to further incorporate it into my life!

  5. I agree with this post so much. As a student, I can really relate to stress eating and “the diet starts tomorrow” mentality. Thanks Kylie!

  6. I feel pretty far removed from an eating disorder I had, but I haven’t been able to jump to intuitive eating, despite all of the attention I’ve seen it get online. I’d love to read the book to better understand and prepare myself for it!

  7. I battled an eating disorder for seven years before my treatment team and I agreed that I was ready to embrace intuitive eating. This journey has been awakening for me in ways I never knew possible. I’ll never forget how amazed I was the first time I went out to eat and ordered what I truly wanted off the menu– then, to my utter dismay, I found that I was able to stop eating once I was satisfied, because I had listened to my body and its needs.

    Intuitive eating has not only changed my relationship with food, but it has also changed my relationship with my own body. I’m reconnecting with myself after years of numbness. I’m feeling emotions just like I’m feeling hunger and fullness cues. Most of all, I’m learning to trust myself, which has been the most rewarding.

    I’d love to use this kit to continue on my intuitive eating journey. My next step on this journey is to learn and respect when my body needs rest versus movement, and how to properly nourish my body to enable that movement. (Also, I lost my Intuitive Eating book when my movers lost my box of books when I relocated recently, so I’d love a replacement!)

    Thank you so much for this post. PS- for anyone reading the comments, I want to echo your disclaimer that intuitive eating isn’t appropriate for all ED sufferers. It wasn’t until I’d been compliant on a meal plan for several years and was deemed emotionally prepared by my therapist and nutritionist that I began this journey. Once I was ready, however, it completely changed my life.

  8. I would love to read and learn more about intuitive eating. I would love to learn to go from feeling the need to plan everything I eat/food anxiety to the freedom around food I felt just a few years ago. This is really something I want to let go of in 2016! 

  9. What a wonderful post for a new year!

  10. What a thoughtful giveaway! I, like you, don’t believe in dieting so I also counsel my clients to learn hunger cues and have a healthy relationship with food. I definitely need to check out that book!

  11. I would love to read and learn all about intuitive eating. I feel like the fears associated with food are such a mind game. And I’d love to transition more to allowing my body to dictate what/how I eat, rather than my mind!

  12. What a great post, thank you!!

  13. “The only problem food solves is hunger.”


    I’m an emotional eater and am constantly trying to figure out why I go to certain foods in emotional situations. I have no resolutions for dieting, just to be more mindful of when and why. Thank you for the insightful and realistic post!

  14. I would love to know how to eat mindful without consuming too many calories

  15. I find it challenging to focus on healthy eating without it becoming too big of a focus in my life.  I’d love to learn ways to make this come more naturally and focus on my hunger cues.

  16. I’ve learned to eat pretty intuitively over the last couple years, but my only issue tends to be portion size when eating something I really love. I would love to read more about the details of intuitive eating and how to better control proper portion size!

  17. After years of struggling with ED, I’ve become a half-marathon runner and veterinary student that has finally conquered mindful eating and loving myself & life. Thanks for helping others like me (:

  18. GREAT post! I totally agree – food becomes an obsession when you restrict. Been there, done that and believe me, it’s not a way to live. Thanks for putting this content out there!

  19. This post is really great, thanks for putting it out there! I would appreciate more resources on transitioning from ED recovery to intuitive eating

  20. Great insight and mindset on eating. Such a fresh, positive way to look at food! I would love to be reminded of this and learn more about it in 2016!!

  21. I think this is such an important message – I’d love to learn more about how to find that natural set point where you’re healthy and happy – I struggle with knowing “am I the right weight”

  22. Love this post! It is so important for people to understand what a healthy relationship with food looks like!!

  23. YES. This is such an amazing post. I suffered from an eating disorder throughout high school and into my freshman year of college. Letting myself become an intuitive eater is the main thing that has driven my recovery. By practicing intuitive eating, I am proud to say that I gained 27 pounds and have restored my pre ED weight! While everyday is not perfect, I strive to listen to my body’s cravings and satisfy those cravings.

    Also, following your blog has helped me through my ED recovery. You are a constant reminder to me that food is not something that should have rules. Food is something to be enjoyed, not feared. Thank you so much for everything :)

  24. I’d love to learn even more about how stress impacts mindful eating!

  25. i would love to learn about snacking and stress!!

  26. Looks like a great giveaway…my fingers are crossed I win :)

  27. Diets don’t work. You have to make it a lifestyle. Deprivation isn’t a lifestyle I want to partake in

  28. I am always interested to learn more about the connection between dieting/hormones/metabolism. Thanks!

  29. I’d love to learn how to eat ENOUGH when mindfully eating. I am far from an eating disorder but I have tracked my intake in the past to make sure I am eating enough to support my CrossFit style workouts. I always found that I am underrating (unintentionally) and would like to learn the balance knowing I’ve consuming enough for my goals with initiative eating.

  30. Love this! There’s definitely a need for more discussions like this around food. Too many people think low calories and dieting are the only answer! So wrong! 

  31. I have come to a place where my eating and my exercise habits are my lifestyle–not something I feel like I have to do, but something I want to do. I know others struggle to get to this point and I would love to see more helpful tips on how to get to that point.

  32. EXCELLENT post! Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. I started losing my baby weight after 3 years at the beginning of 2015. This was done by decreasing my portion sizes, making healthier choices, and no longer drinking soda and sweet tea. I then started exercising regularly, which helped as well. When I hit a plateau in May or June, I started counting calories for the first time and I have a hard time letting go of that. I definitely need to learn more about intuitive eating. I don’t really struggle with counting calories and finding a balance, but I don’t want to be attached to those numbers either.

  34. Love this post! After struggling with an eating disorder, it is so hard to re-learn intuitive eating. I would love your thoughts and ideas on relearning mindful eating after an eating disorder.

  35. Great informative post! Thanks for the stellar giveaway. I love living life by eating intuitively. 

  36. After suffering from an eating disorder for many years Mindful Eating sounds like a good solution to help me learn to eat healthy.

  37. THIS. This is SUCH a wonderful post. This hits close to home – thank you for writing such an important and amazingly written piece! I think I’d love to know more about things I can do every day to incorporate mindful eating into my everyday routine. Thank you! ☺

  38. I am just starting my journey with Intuitive Eating, but something about it just rings true to me. I hope that by practicing IE, I will get better at it to where it becomes part of my normal daily life.

  39. I’d like to learn more about eating mindfully. 

  40. Amen! I’ve struggled with disordered eating and through my obsession with food Ive found mindfulness practices to be the most helpful. Thanks for encouraging others to do something GOOD for their bodies and minds rather than falling into the death trap of fad diets. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

  41. Hear, hear! This is something on which I’ve been consciously working for about six months and, while I’m having some success, I struggle SO HARD when I’m out of my routine. I’d love to know how to handle those days more effectively than I currently do.

  42. The biggest challenge I have with intuitive eating is bored eating. When I’m bored, I turn to eating, which is a problem! How to squash those random snackings when I’m not hungry-that is what I need to work on.

  43. I am intrigued by the idea of mindful eating. I’m more of an indulgent eater, though the amount I’ve been indulging lately, I do find myself craving fruits and veggies, so maybe once I get past the chocolate!all!the!time! part, I’ll get to the my body wants better for me foods part. :)

  44. I would like to learn more about understanding and sensing satiety to know how to recognize and response to fullness. 

  45. I would like to understand how someone can succeed in having the right amount of vitamin intake without supplements without having to look at each nutrition label of the foods they eat. 

  46. LOVE THIS. Could not have said it better myself. Mindful/intuitive eating is how you can make a “lifestyle change,” and not start “another diet.?

  47. Love this blog post!

    I am at the stage of my recovery where I am really trying intuitive eating, trying to learn to to trust my body and its cues and cravings. Its so hard but seeing people like you gives me something to aim for:)

  48. Id love to gain more freedom around food and not let the comments of others infuence my choices

  49. I would like to learn how to keep the guilty feelings away when not eating the healthiest foods

  50. so thankful for this. i was literally just about to create my grocery list for the whole30 for th month of January. instead, i am probably going to ask myself those hunger questions my friend gave me. thanks again! 

  51. What a great blog post! This is really what I needed as I consider New Years resolutions. I would love to learn more about portion control and how to make healthier foods more appealing.

  52. You have such a wonderful, healthy relationship with food! I admire that a lot. Thank you for sharing the idea of intuitive eating, I’ve never heard of that and I am looking forward to trying to incorporate those habits into my life. Aaaaand I’m looking forward to sharing this with all my friends who are trying to “diet” in 2016! :) thank you!

  53. I recently discharged from my eating disorder clinic – and so appreciate your perspective and attitude about food and food blogging. God bless your pursuit of clients who will take your words and knowledge to heart for healing. There is freedom!!!

  54. I have struggled w/ body image issues my whole life and totally agree w/ this eating lifestyle! Thanks!

  55. I am very interested in becoming better about intuitive/mindful eating. My relationship with food is rather tainted and one of my goals is to repair this. I love food and the culture of gathering together around food. Thanks for being a positive force in this movement!!

  56. Love this post! I am working on this right now! I would love to know any tools I can use. 

  57. This is a great post, & I try communicating many of these same points when individuals say they are “going on a diet.” Thank you for putting forth the effort & sharing this knowledge!

  58. I’d like to know how to be more accountable. I’d also like to know about appropriate portion sizes.

  59. This was very insightful. Great advice for the New Year.

  60. Love this. I was just reading Gary Taubes’ book the other day where he talked about the devastating effects of starvation studies. Starvation goes against everything our bodies want and need. Food is fuel and us in the nutrition sector need to take a stronger stand!

  61. This is SO important! Thanks for the great insight… I will be sharing this :)

  62. Such great advice! I’m not a dietician, but I hate hearing people talk about their latest diets, knowing that 9 times out of 10 they’re going to fail and feel terrible. Eat real food and do it mindfully!

  63. I want to learn how to follow your hunger/fullness cues!

  64. Great reminder as everyone is gearing up for January 1st and New Years Resolutions! Thanks!

  65. What a great giveaway and a thoughtful post that is su h important information. We live in a diet society and we must teach ourselves to be free of that cycle and find true peace with food.

  66. Thank you so much for this post! This is such an important topic. I have struggled with this and look forward to trying your methods :)

  67. Thank you for this post! This is such an important topic. I know I have struggled with this and I look forward to trying your method :)

  68. This article has been written for me I feel. I have struggled with yo yo dieting and restrictive eating for years. I’m petite and so it’s been more of a struggle to lose weight! I am grateful for this article and I want to learn more about intuitive eating because right now my doctor and dietician have suggested I go on a 1200 calorie intake per day. As the article predicted, I am overthinking about food and it’s not that I can’t have anything but more of quantity that I feel deprived. I want to stop counting and start living! Thanks for the post and your consideration for the giveaway! I look forward to additional information !! Happy new year

  69. Love everything about this post! ??

  70. I’d love to hear some ideas about what to do when bored/stressed instead of eating. The peanut butter jar gets way too much abuse during those times!

  71. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Intuitive eating over dieting is so so so important to encourage, and I applaud you for talking about it! :)

  72. this is a wonderful post and a great giveaway!!! i will be sharing it on my social media because EVERYONE needs to read this. 

  73. I love this blog and specifically this post! Intuitive eating has allowed me so much food freedom and I love to find good blogs and dietitians that embrace that!

  74. I love this. All of this.

  75. I want to know more about mindful eating in times of stress. For instance, for some people, it’s difficult to eat enough when going through a rough patch, and it becomes hard to sustain your body in this tumultuous time.

  76. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, it is awesome to hear people talking about and learning about intuitive eating! Keep up the great work :)

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  78. Strategies for mindfulness when traveling and unknown areas/places to eat

  79. This is a great blog post.  I think that mindfulness with regards to eating habits can be effective for those who eat poorly or overeat, but also for those that obsess over healthy eating and who end up undereating because they’re concerned with making the healthiest choice.

  80. I agree with the mindful eating concept. I have a lot of work to go put it into practice. I try to eat healthy most of the time because, for example, I really do feel better when I’m eating more veggies and drinking more water. I don’t deprive myself from eating “non-healthy food” on occasion. However, I do have a hard time listening to my full stomach and stopping myself from eating too much of certain foods. Strategies, like having other stress-reducing activities handy, are always helpful!

  81. Thank you very much for this post! I believe more people need to hear this message. It can be very hard this time of year to have a healthy mindset about eating. I wish I knew how to not only change my eating habits… But my attitude/self-concept. The giveaway items look awesome, thanks for sharing!!

  82. I agree 100%, but MAN, is it hard!! I’m working on transitioning from obsessive tracking and dieting to a more balanced and intuitive approach. Trying to accept my new body has been a massive challenge for me, and one that I’m finding myself trying to resist quite a bit. Patience, patience, patience.

  83. Love this! I definitely need to be better about practicing this, thanks for the great tips!

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  86. A great post holding so much truth many articles published this time of the year don’t tell. It’s making me sad to see how many people jump on the dieting bandwagon eating far too little time and time again.
    Something I’d like to learn more about in regards to intuitive eating is how to stop emotional eating. Or cope with emotions in healthier ways.

  87. I would like to learn more about intuitive eating! Portion control is a problem for me as I have trouble realizing when I am satisfied and could just keep eating and eating.

  88. wonderfully written post! As a dietitian, I too focus on creating a healthy relationship with food with clients. 

  89. I’d like to know if diets have to be continued to maintain lifetime results.

  90. I would love to learn more about intuitive eating incorporates the standard meal times.
    I wrote an article similar to this, regarding my past with dieting and my eating disorder, and how my relationship with food has changed over the past years.

  91. great post! I’d love to learn more about mindful snacking and tips for knowing if you are really hungry after dinner/late night 

  92. I’d love to know how to manage mindful eating when I’m overtired – that seems to be when I’m most likely to overeat.

  93. I need to learn more about my own body and intuitive eating. I am recovering from an eating disorder and can not wait to finally be able to realize when I need to eat – not eat because I know I have to.

  94. I love how relaxing coloring books are!

  95. What a true, helpful post! Loved everything you had to say about diets, and such a lovely giveaway too.

  96. I think something I would love to learn more about would be eating mindfully in general, and what it means (and how you know) when your body is at its set point weight.

  97. This is absolutely wonderful. I am slowly getting better at trusting my body and being aware of hunger cues, but have a long way to go. 

  98. Well said! As an athlete, I think mindful eating is especially important to reach peak performance. I would love to continue reading about this topic and share more about it with my teammates.

  99. Long term effects

  100. I’d like to learn how to stop feeling guilty about the food choices in make.

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  102. I love this post and your philosophy about food. I have been trying to stick to intuitive eating lately and it’s been great. I’m going to share this post with some friends as well who are always in that diet to binge to guilt cycle.

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