August 08, 2008

Why Diets Don't Work

[By Crabby]

For those of you who are trying to lose weight, especially those of you who have had a frustrating time of it, we have a cool giveaway this week:

Two Six Month Memberships to the "Why Diets Don't Work Club".

(And there's also a free 75 minute Introductory Download for anyone who's interested. More on that in a moment).

So what kind of club is it, anyway? Is there a secret handshake? Funny hats? No girls/boys/grownups allowed like when you were a kid?

(Sorry, Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Clubhouse Not Included)
[photo by PittCaleb]

No, this is a better kind of club, for grown-ups. It's online too, so there's no need for a big cardboard box. Plus this means you can live anywhere in the world and attend! Those getting tired of "U.S. only giveaways" may appreciate being included for once.

Club founder Talia Mana, whom many of you know from her blog Centre for Emotional Well-Being, is a former Corporate Type who is now a trainer, professional speaker, and self-help author. She described the club and its workshops this way:

"The idea behind the workshops is to conduct live monthly workshops on the web for people to get advice and ask questions about everything to do with stress eating, body image and underlying belief systems that sabotage dieting efforts.

"The Why Diets Don’t Work Club will help people change their thinking so they can lose weight and keep it off long-term – or they may simply decide to accept themselves the way they are and throw away the scales and calorie counters."

(Talia will be conducing the monthly workshops, and Dr. Robin Shepherd will be on-board to offer one-on-one consultations for those wanting additional help).

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on this post and two random winners will be chosen Tuesday night August 12th, midnight EST, and announced Wednesday morning the 13th. Please check back by Thursday night the 14th to claim your membership if you've won, and to receive emailing instructions.

And even if you don't win one of the memberships, you can go here to get a free 75 minute audio download explaining why diets don't work, including expert tips and tactics, information about emotional eating, and common diet myths.

Of course, some of you may have diets you're very attached to, and perhaps they're working well for you and you don't feel you need any additional help. We totally understand that, as there are some great diets out there.

[Cartoon courtesy of Natalie Dee].

So have you folks had any disappointments with dieting or has it worked just fine for you? What, if anything, was an obstacle to success?


  1. Woohoo, I'm eligible for entry! Shame you couldn't throw the cardboard box in though, really. That's a GOOD clubhouse.

    Providing I have the focus to stick to a diet, I am normally succesful at losing weight. Vive les compulsives! Keeping my brain from going crazy in the meantime is what proves the eternal problem. For me, being "succesful" at a diet would be more like losing a bit less actual weight and keeping my health and my mind firmly intact.

    TA x

  2. Woohoo too, I can enter as well! :-D

    Like tokaiangel, I've been successful in losing weight. Traditional diet plans never worked -- but keeping a food diary & counting cals did. Unfortunately, now I'm at target, I do struggle not to get a teeny bit obsessive about what I'm eating ... old habits die hard!


  3. Oh what an excellent giveaway! I've struggled with "diets" all my life but emotional eating always takes it's toll! Would love to win! Thanks!

  4. This sounds like a great idea.

  5. Crabby? It's cool the way you manage to find such unusual stuff to giveaway!

  6. No, diets don't work, aside from a temporary solution. Haven't we heard it a million times, it's all about finding a balance in our day to day lives. This is a cool giveaway, thanks Cranky Fitness!

  7. What a great give away!

    I agree with everyone else...when in the diet it works, but it's keeping to it that's the sucker. The first 15 pounds always works (@4-6 weeks), but it's after that where I have a hard time.
    The problem is, it's hard, even now, not to think in those terms when you're tyring to eat better. I still have to find a balance between eating better and yet still allowing myself my favorite no no foods without "crashing".

  8. Big cardboard boxes are always necessary! Even if you don't have cats!

    I suspect the Birthday Burger diet would work very well: you're required to eat them without blowing out the candles, so your mouth is too sore to eat anything else.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  9. I had to stop any sort of dieting, because it just made every day an obsessive victory or failure by attaching too much attention and moral weight to food. Once I tossed the scale and spent months counseling myself that brownies don't go to hell and apples don't go to heaven, I started to believe it. Freed of all the extra judgment overhead, it got easier to listen just to my hunger and eat whatever I really wanted, even if the media message is that it's BAD FOOD. Once I felt REALLY OK with that reprogramming, I didn't experience the anxious cravings for sweets (my personal comfort foods) nearly as much. It got way easier to sneak my portions down by a bite or two, the 50-100 daily calories that seem to add up to long-term weight loss without plateaus or deprivation triggers. As I've felt better, I've ramped up the exercise, too.

    By my clothing sizes and watchbands and a bunch of subtle things I actually notice since I'm not fixated on the scale's number, I know I've lost weight and continue to, though I couldn't say how much : ) I don't face food situations with dread anymore, which improved my life immeasurably, whether anything else changed. I don't spend hours fretting or feel the need to judge myself by others' eating choices. Though my weight loss isn't rapid, it is extremely consistent, almost effortless, and won't be temporary.

    But I couldn't do it long-term until I'd busted the diet/Good vs. Evil habit. I don't think diets work, and further, I think they mentally and physically undermine approaches and mindsets that do. I'm excited by the Diets Don't Work movement- go girls!

  10. Crabby,

    This is so great. I remember Talia. We met at Dawn's Flightless Writer.


  11. Sounds great... I'm not a big dieter but have been trying to improve my habits in the past year... I was doing well until life (a move, a new job, my finace's move, etc) got in the way. Excuses excuses - I'm back to reining things in again. :o)

  12. This is a great idea, thanks for the chance to win.

    I diet all the time but having just read "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" I think that it goes beyond writing down calories alone.

  13. Finally i can also be eligible :) Would love to be less critical of myself and have more understanding as to how the body works etc. And yes i've been trying a few things to lose weight!!

  14. I agree that diets don't work! And I think it's great that there's a website like this, that's more about lifestyle choices than out and out restrictions.

    I'm not putting my name in, because I'm happy with my diet. But I just wanted to express happiness that this website is out there!

  15. Cool - a giveaway that includes Canada!

    Of course diets work - while you're ON them! But who wants to eat only grapefruit and cabbage for the rest of their lives?

    Thanks, Crabby!

  16. It's true. Diets don't work. The minute I try to enforce an outside eating plan on myself, every cell in my body craves cake.

  17. It's true. Diets don't work. The minute I try to enforce an outside eating plan on myself, every cell in my body craves cake.

  18. Hurray, what fun! I like this idea. Its intriguing.

    Fad diets freak me out and fascinate me at the same time.

  19. I have never done a successful diet. Yes I loss weight but then I just gain it all back again when the diet is no longer working. I am just trying to be balanced and healthy now.


  20. My diet was working, until... it wasn't. I need something new/different/stronger!

  21. I am (or my brain is) the biggest (literally and figuratively) obstacle to my success at dieting. I have kept off a huge chunk of poundage but like an alcoholic, I have to take one day at a time and sometimes, it's one minute at a time depending on what kind of cake is sitting in front of me.

    If I drink alcohol, that makes any eating decision easier. Hide your food!

  22. LOVE the Birthday Burger Diet! That is what my Mom is having for her birthday dinner tonight, In-N-Out burgers with fries. Maybe we can even talk her into a chocolate shake. I offered lamb chops with grilled asparagus and baby red rose potatoes, but she wasn't interested. She is having a very, um, crabby birthday today.

    My "diet" is consisting of being perfectly clear to myself as to when I'm "eating like a f+++ing a$$hole" and I'm slowly adding back in the exercise, now that I'm over my bike wreck, which also ruined a knee, and they take a good 2-3 months to heal. I think that will help. Getting meds for my low thyroid has helped take off the water weight and made me feel more capable of actually exercising again. I don't want it to have guilt tied to it, but just make awareness of portions and nutrition and exercise a basic habit.

  23. I am an avid, addicted dieter. I work out with more intensity than most that I know and I watch and record every morsel of food I eat. In the past 5 months of eating less than 1500 cal a day and running more than 20 miles a week, in addition to weight lifting, I have lost 3 lbs. It's so frustrating!!!

    Maybe for some people diets really don't work.

  24. I would love to try this program, thanks for another great give-away Crabby!

  25. I'm not surprised that diets don't work. I just surprise how many smart capable women get conned into these self esteem killers.

  26. This sound really interesting/useful...thanks Crabby!

  27. An obstacle to my success is my MOUTH. It likes to chompchomp even when I'm not hungry.

  28. I am always ready to try something new if my family can eat what I am eating. (and vice versa)

  29. I'm eligible for entry to!!! yay!

    I am a total emtional eater: If I'm happy, I eat. If I'm sad, I eat. If I'm anything in between, I eat. I think you ge the picture!

  30. Thanks! Longtime lurker outed to comment on the excellent giveaway (and possibly be eligible for the giveaway). So many awesome people commenting - diets don't work for me, either.

    Diets take too much focus and don't have enough flexibility for life. I have lost a lot of weight recently by cooking, enjoying what I eat, and being aware of what I am eating. It feels effortless because I am not actively trying to lose weight, but rather go back to enjoying cooking and food and feeling better. And I started exercising, but only doing things I enjoy, so I want to work out. There are days when I don't, but I just go again when I'm ready. I'm not less of a person because I miss going to the gym or if I have a piece of cake. Man, it took me 22 years to get to this place (my first "diet" was when I was 8 - I wasn't even fat).

    Thanks, Crabby - I love reading your blog!

  31. Nice! I wonder if they focus on different cuisines to help people with their diets.

  32. well, I did weight watchers and it worked, but I didn't ever really consider it a diet--that is, something that was self-contained, and had an ending. I always considered it one tool that would help me change the way I ate for the rest of my life. I really knew this going in.

    Okay, the above is really true, but I really just wrote it so I could get entered in the free giveaway!

  33. The best xmas present for anyone who is serious about getting control of their weight is the book Lose Weight Using Four Easy Steps from If nothing else, get the book for yourself, leave it laying on your coffee table, and borrow it to a friend. They will be forever grateful to you!

  34. You cannot BORROW TO a friend.
    If you want to, you can loan it to a friend, LOAN IT.


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