August 20, 2021

Comparing the diet and non-diet approach

Have you gone on a grueling 8-week long diet, applauded yourself for emerging 3 kilograms lighter, but subsequently struggled hard to keep the weight off post-diet?

You’re not alone.

A combined analysis of 29 long-term weight loss studies showed that people had difficulty maintaining their weight loss, with over 80% of lost weight being regained within 5 years.

What’s wrong with traditional weight loss diets?

  • Reliable for inducing short-term weight loss, but not sustainable over the long-term
  • No emphasis on adopting healthy lifestyle habits to reap full benefits of improved mortality
  • Fixation on food and body image
  • Recurring cycles of weight loss and regain
  • Diverts attention away from other non-weight focused health goals, e.g. mental health
  • Diminished self-esteem and body satisfaction
  • Can potentially lead to disordered eating habits

Evidently, the conventional weight-focused treatment may be ineffective or damaging.

As a result, there has been a shift to the “non-diet” or “intuitive eating” approach, based on Health at Every Size® (HAES) principles, focusing on adopting a holistic approach to bettering health, with less emphasis placed on weight and body size.

Is the non-diet approach backed by evidence?

Absolutely! Several high-quality studies (randomised clinical trials) have shown that this approach yields significant positive effects on physiological, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes, including:

  • Lowered blood pressure and blood fat levels
  • Improved mood, self-esteem, body image
  • Less anxiety and stress around food
  • Increased physical activity levels
  • Reduced disordered eating habits

In addition, when compared to traditional weight loss treatment, the non-diet approach was consistently found to have higher retention rates.

The non-diet approach to health can help you:

  • Trust and listen to your hunger cues
  • Feel empowered to choose foods that will satisfy and nourish your body
  • Incorporate more flexibility and variety in your diet
  • Reduce the guilt and shame around eating and weight gain
  • Accept your body for what it looks like
  • Include forms of physical activity that you genuinely enjoy

Interested in adopting the non-diet approach to achieving your health goals? I work with women who are ready to ditch dieting and start listening to their hunger cues. Click here to book your FREE Strategy Call.