Why Traditional Diets Often Do Not Work

 I often get this question, especially with new clients: Can you tell me what I can and can not eat. Where is the “Good Food List”? And the “Bad Food List?

I need a LISTS! 

And when I tell them that we at Rethink Your Weight classify foods only as good, better, best, they are perplexed. 

Dr. Steyn, they ask, what about pizza, and cake, and muffins. And butter and meat. What about gluten, and fats? It can for sure not be good for you? If there are only Good, Better, Best foods, where do I classify these bad foods? I am confused!

 Have you been trying different diets? And each comes with a dizzying number of rules and food lists, and what you can combine and what not? 

Let me ask you just one question: How has that been working for you so far? How long before your brain started to rebel? And the food urges started to come up? 

Many clients tell me that when around 3 weeks in on a new diet they start having urges. They are starting to think about food all the time. They seem to be hungrier than ever before. 

What the heck! Why is that?]

 Let me explain why this happens. Most diets require you to rely on willpower. And initially it goes well. Who can not skip on the ice cream, or muffins, or nachos for a while?

But what they do not tell you is that willpower is finite. It is limited. That it runs out. Just like a battery. Bam! Suddenly you have no charge. Your willpower battery is dead. You have to recharge it to work again.

 Have you ever woken up in the morning all gung ho following your latest diet? You have been to the grocery store with your list of prescribed foods that you bought. You food prepped and got everything ready, labeled it and packed the fridge. The next day you dutifully ate everything that was on “the plan”, even if you didn’t like it. When you start having food urges, you successfully stave it off, committed to your new diet. You really thought that this time, diet XYZ is going to be the one. And all goes well for a while, maybe a week, maybe 3 weeks.

And then one evening about 3 weeks in at 6pm it happened:

 You had a crazy busy day at work, you are tired and exhausted. You have some more student papers to mark or a presentation for the next day. The kids apparently needed to have dinner already 30 min ago. Your husband has another meeting. You know what is on your plan, but….you are exhausted.

 That is when your brain goes into “F8ck it” mode. Your brain does not want to figure out how many points you can have tonight, nevertheless coming up with figuring out what is on my allowed and disallowed list. Although diet XYZ says low or no carbs, or high or low fat, that is all you can suddenly think of.

You are low on willpower!  

That is when the drive through wins. Or the ice cream in the freezer.  Or the bag of Nacho’s. And the relief that comes with eating it. Bingo. Your brain got the dopamine it was craving!

 Diets are made for when life is not getting in your way. When you are having a great day, your husbands is feeding the kids, you have time for a workout, or yoga, or simply watching some Netflix.

But that is NOT real life.

Can you relate? 

Does not matter how good your intentions were, willpower can never win the game against your food urges. Initially all goes well. But then a few weeks into that diet your brain starts to offer you other, easier solutions

 Just this one time..

One cookie won’t matter…

You really deserve this…

 And then you are back to square one. And beating yourself up because you are such a failure. 

Another diet that failed you!

 Off to find another one that will “work”

 Let me tell you something. It is not your fault.

 Restrictive diets can not work in the long run. Period. And I have the proof.

 Do you know that 97% of women will gain back all the weight that they have lost. Within 3 years. Over and over. And then some more.


 Apparently, what you put in your mouth is just ONE of the puzzle pieces when we want to get back to our natural weight.

 The fundamental problem is that restrictive diets rely on willpower.

It is focusing on WHAT we eat, not WHY we eat.

 And without understanding the why, we will keep on making the same mistake: thinking weightloss is mainly about what you put in your mouth versus what is happening between your ears.

 YES, your brain is your # 1 weight loss organ. And that is good news. I can help you use this to your advantage. 

So the short answer to your question” Where is the bad food list”?

I do not have one as it is not helpful. The Eureka Method focus on why you even want to eat “bad food” 

Would it not be nice not to have the desire for unhelpful foods?


That is a thought worthwhile exploring:)

Head over to our free Facebook group the Eureka Weight Loss Divas, a group for Professional Women who wants to Lose the Weight for the Last Time

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