Are you making these dieting mistakes?


Are you making these dieting mistakes?

jo butler

It seems like there is a weight loss solution on every corner, in every window, on every box, on every TV ad, on the radio, in the news and on the cover of every magazine.

Do you ever stop to think about why there are so many?  Don’t you think that if even just one or two of these programs worked, the need for any new ones would be warranted?

The diet business is huge. And its in the interests of the marketers and producers of all these products for you to NOT SUCCEED!!!   I repeat, the people who make and market these programs DO NOT WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.

If you succeed, they have lost you as a customer. Heck, even the famous people who promote the products and programs can’t keep the weight off.  How many actresses have you seen promoting these products over and over, even promoting different ones and still not keeping the weight off??

Here are some silly (stupid) mistakes that we’ve all made at some stage.

Ignoring the Obvious

So many women in particular, are looking for the magical missing ingredient in their diets.  Whether its gogi berries, african mango or exotica amazonian pickle juice, you’ve probably been there.

While we somehow think that adding this one thing to our daily fodder is going to make a difference.  As if our evolution has somehow made us unable to maintain a healthy body weight without this exotic ingredient.

While your’e busy scouring the internet for magical ingredients, you’re ignoring the obvious.

You’re drinking too much, you’re snacking on the wrong foods, you’re eating preprepared meals too often, (whether they’re take away or you’re ‘cooking’ them.) You’re also most likely drinking too many lattes, juices or diet drinks and you’re not cooking enough real food.

Basically, you’re being lazy about food choices and rationalising it with your kids, your job, your busy life or your budget excuses.

Adding a magical ingredient to your diet is not going to be the cure-all that you are wishing it would be.

Over the past 8 years, I’ve had lots and lots clients tell me that they are going to start taking ‘XYZ’.  And they’ve asked me if its okay.

Mostly I say that they can start taking it if  they want (because they are going to anyway) and I try to suggest that it won’t work and to save their money.  I tell them that they should just aim to eat loads of real food and stop eating processed crap.  That the FitterFaster Nutrition Plan is the type of ‘diet’ that is going to give you long term results and that you can (and should) be following forever.

Not a single one of them has ever come back to me and told me that they have had success. In fact not one of them has ever mentioned their magical product again.


Take a good honest look at your overall diet.

  • How many meals do you cook at home.  Yep, really cook. Not just add an ingredient or two to a jar, box or packet of ‘something’
  • How many meals or snacks to you have as take away – that is at the cafe, the milk bar, the take away food joint, the restaurant or anywhere else where you didn’t actually make the food yourself
  • Are you eating real-food protein choices each day?  Are you eating loads of vegetables and salads and some fresh fruits
  • How often are you eating prepared snacks such as bars, shakes, balls and the like?
  • Are you drinking at least a couple of litres of water per day?
  • Stop looking for the magic.

Following that diet in that magazine

Now come on.  How many times have you done this?  You know that you’ll ‘be good’ for a few days, a week maybe or if you’re super ‘good’ a little longer.  But then you’ll give up and fail yet again on a plan that was doomed from the start but you somehow thought this time would be different.

Seriously.  9 out of 10 of these plans, no matter how many ‘doctors’ or ‘experts’ are mentioned are not going to work.  They usually seriously cut back on calories, so much so that you’ll be literally starving (which is a sure fire way to fail yet again)  A lot also rely on certain brands of products and are really an advertisement/marketing piece to sell stuff.

That super skinny chick in the picture with the perfect boobs and wearing a bikini did not follow this diet plan.  I repeat, she did not follow the diet to look like that.  Hell, she probably didn’t even look like that in real life anyway and was photo-shopped to sell the magazine.

In my younger days, I fell victim to many of the latest diet plans in magazines.  I would ‘start Monday’ and always give up on about Wednesday. I couldn’t count the number of times I started and stopped again.  While my diet isn’t perfect now, its so much closer than its ever been.  And that is what makes my fat loss sustainable.  Because I can maintain what I’m doing day in, day out forever.  Choosing healthy foods is simply a habit I have now, with just enough treats to satisfy my sweet tooth but not push me backwards.


Stop looking for the magic plan. It doesn’t exist.  What you need to to is take responsibility for your food choices and learn how to eat, what foods to choose and in what quantities.  Then you need to realise that ‘going on a diet’ will never, never, never work long term.  You need to change your nutrition choices for life.

Get real and face this fact.  Even if you do manage to somehow stay on one of these diets long enough to lose a substantial amount of weight, as soon as you ‘go off’ it, you’ll put the weight back on because you most likely havent learnt anything about meal construction and planning.  After all, that’s what caused you to gain the excess weight in the first place.

Eating Food that’s not even really food

Bars, shakes and other meal replacements are not food.  They do not lead to long term fat loss and they do not improve your health.  They are just another form of junk food.

You are absolutely kidding yourself when  you think that something that looks and tastes like a chocolate bar, but isn’t one (although that’s debatable) is a replacement for a real-food meal.

As mentioned above, real food is the only way you’ll truly lose weight, be healthy and be able to maintain all that for a lifetime.

So something is low carb, high fibre, low fat, no fat, vitamin enriched, fortified with Omega 3, contains healthy blah blah blah. This means nothing.  Real food contains all this and more.

Choosing a variety of foods; proteins (meats, fish, eggs, some dairy) , carbohydrates (veggies, fruits, salads, some dairy) and healthy fats (nuts, avocado, some fish) will provide all the nutrients you need.  Mix up your choices daily for variety and learn to love the taste of real food again.

Studies have proven that the more ‘junk’ food you eat, the less you like the taste of real food.  So stop the cycle, get of the junk and pretend food band wagon.  Other studies have shown that those who go ‘cold turkey’ on junk food have much more success in changing their eating habits long term.  Once they have their cravings under control, then the occasional indulgence is okay.

My most successful clients stop making excuses and simply stop eating their trigger foods.  Just like alcohol addiction, avoiding your food addiction of choice is the key to success. Instead of craving their old favourites, they soon start to crave healthy food choices because after all, real food actually does taste better.


Going cold turkey on ‘pretend food’ products is the best way to break the addiction.  I used to have an addiction to a certain mint chocolate flavoured ‘protein’ bar years ago.  I simply couldn’t go a day (or sometimes hours) without one.

When I look back at that now, I can clearly see that the bar was just triggering my cravings and keeping me wanting even more.  Did I mention the product manufacturers and marketers goals above?  That is, that they keep you coming back for more!

Make a conscious decision to stop buying those products.  Spend your money instead of buying real foods.  Pack your lunch, pack your snacks and pack your post-workout fuel as well.

Can you see yourself in any of the scenarios above, or perhaps in all of them??  Share this article if you know others who are making these mistakes and leave a comment about  your experience with this.

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