Are You Tired of Dieting?

weekly memo

I’m frequently asked what I think of fill in the blank diet.  


Like most women, I have a long, complicated relationship with food and body image.  I grew up in a dance studio in Los Angeles and, at 13, was recruited to be a fit model for a swim and dancewear company.  


If you’re a Gen X woman, you likely came of age in an era that encouraged being as skinny as possible, eating fat-free foods, and calorie restriction.


The more weight I lost in my teens and twenties the more praise I received.


The weight loss industry is a $90B industry.  Yes, billions.  Diets don’t work yet we keep coming back to them repeatedly.


Diets work in the short term because they typically restrict certain food groups. However, that’s not sustainable over time, so we eventually give up and search for the newest diet.


We work with practice clients in nutrition school and present their cases to our peers and clinical mentors for feedback.  


What stands out to me and my classmates is how many women are stuck in a cycle of extreme dieting and wondering why they can’t lose weight. 


They’re also afraid of food groups, especially healthy fats.  They’re way under-eating protein, which is crucial to support healthy muscle mass as we age.


As a teenager, I was so focused on eating 1000 calories a day to stay skinny that my Dad would not let me go to dance class if he didn’t see me eat breakfast.  


When intermittent fasting became trendy, I adopted it and stopped eating any food until after 1 PM.  Yet, I’d teach six hours of pilates back to back, fueled by a latte. 


I wondered why I couldn’t lose any weight. Hello, blood sugar roller coaster.


In a round-table discussion with my peers, the question was how do we support people in learning to stop dieting for good and feel empowered about their food choices?


Here is how I stopped my obsession with calories and dieting.  Focus on building a plate of food with:


  • Protein: 25% of your plate (chicken, fish, meat, tofu, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, protein powder)
  • Non-starchy vegetables: 50% of your plate (broccoli, cauliflower, salad greens, brussel sprouts, etc)
  • Starchy vegetables: 20% of your plate (rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, sweet potato, potato OR fruit)
  • Fat: 5% of your plate (nuts, seeds, butter, olive oil, avocado)


Your brain will tell you every single reason why you can’t and shouldn’t change your eating habits. Our ego hates change and sees it as a threat.  I lovingly call it brain drama.


Does this sound familiar to you?


  • It takes too much time to grocery shop and cook
  • I don’t like or know how to cook
  • I don’t like washing dishes
  • Healthy food tastes like cardboard
  • Eating more calories will make me gain weight


Thank your ego for trying to keep you safe, but you’ve got this.


My best advice is to start really slowly. Just change your breakfast. Be consistent. Don’t change anything else until breakfast is so automatic that you don’t have to think about it.


When breakfast is dialed in, try changing lunch.  And eventually dinner.


When you start eating nutrient-dense meals, you have more energy.  The brain fog clears.  The joint pain starts going away.  The skin rashes start to clear up.  The sugar cravings subside, and you don’t have to pull yourself out of a 3 PM slump with a big cup of caffeine.


Rather than white-knuckling through another diet where you’re restricting and demonizing whole food groups, you feel empowered about food choices.


Focusing on adding whole, real foods will make you more satiated. Over time, this will crowd out junk food, sugar cravings, and the desire to live on bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, and chips. 


You can travel and dine out easily when you learn how to build meals.  You won’t need to go on a diet when you return from vacation or go “work off” a meal you ate in a restaurant.  You’ll have a dessert once in a while, enjoy it and move on.


I don’t diet or count calories anymore. I focus on having the right fuel to gain muscle, have energy, and feel great. I want the same food freedom for you, too.


Grab my breakfast planner and start fueling your day so that you have energy and mental clarity.


You've got this!

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