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Why ‘diets’ are a novelty and don’t bring lasting change

Kate Freeman

When you first start a diet, you have a huge advantage: it’s called novelty.

When something is new, different and very black and white in its rules and regulations, you find yourselves high on motivation and keen to start your new healthy lifestyle.

Novelty, however, doesn’t last. That’s why it’s a novelty. And when the novelty’s gone, real life sets in. And real life is repetitive, monotonous and full of challenges. Any motivation you did have for your new ‘diet’ has gone and everything feels like too much effort.

I’d like to tell you a little story

Say hello to Jane. ‘Hi Jane!’

Jane is currently on a very strict diet designed to induce ketosis, which she’s told will turn her body into a fat shredding machine. Jane is doing well on the diet so far, in terms of sticking to it, but she is starting to get over the same bland foods, day in and day out.

So far, Jane’s avoided four family gatherings, two dinners with friends and a work lunch. She decided it’s best not go to these things and avoid the temptation. But she’s copped some flak for it.

Then it happens.

One Friday afternoon, after weeks of strict dieting and brutal sessions at the gym, Jane finds herself at a work morning tea. There are cakes, slices, crackers and cheese, sausages rolls, chips and some epic sour cream and cheese layered dip that looks like it’s out of a 1980s-era cookbook. The lady in the cubicle next to her has made her signature fudge brownie and as Jane wanders past the table of snacks she swears she can hear it calling her name.

A work colleague makes an insensitive comment about being unsociable and Jane snaps. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and she grabs a piece of brownie. Fireworks and rainbows appear with the first mouthful and before she knows it, she’s onto her third piece followed by some jam and cream scones, bickies and brie plus a reasonably average tasting party pie which she gulps down before even realising that she didn’t even enjoy it.

Dang it. Now her diet is ruined! Stuff it! She writes the rest of the day off and its chocolate, wine, pasta and bread galore. Now her stomach hurts. She’s even more convinced that gluten and carbohydrates must be evil (even though they’re not) and she thinks to herself, “I may as well write the week off and start again Monday”.

Monday comes around but this time it all seems harder. And harder it is. The novelty is gone.

Stop riding the diet train

You see, the more times you go around ‘diet mountain’ the more the novelty wears off and the less motivation you have each time you start. Dieting becomes harder and harder.

The good news is, that dieting is NOT the answer to long-term weight management and health. Small, consistent, gradual changes to your diet that suit your lifestyle, is.

There’s no diet. No ‘all or nothing’ approach. No food plan. No rules. No restriction. No food guilt.

It’s about developing habits, one at a time, so you can consistently achieve a healthy lifestyle.

The Healthy Eating Hub has created The Hub Membership for people who are sick of riding the diet train. No dieting, just high-quality information, non-judgemental support, and guidance for applying healthy eating principles to your everyday life! We’d love to hear from you!

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Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman is a Registered Nutritionist and the founder and managing director of The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate’s healthy eating philosophy is all about whole, fresh foods, being realistic about life and creating long term healthy eating habits. She doesn’t believe in detoxes, fad diets or quick fixes. Once you’ve finished working with Kate, you’ll be empowered to feed yourself well for the rest of you life! More about the Author