Of course you all know that I have struggled with my weight since adolescence.  However, I have been very successful at losing weight twice.  The first time I lost 49 pounds with Weight Watchers (tracking and portion control) while I was in college.  I was able to keep it off for a year, and quit going to the weekly meetings, because I thought I was “cured.” Most recently, I lost 54 pounds with a physician created weight management program at Washington University. It combined weekly group sessions with a therapist, a strict meal plan (high protein, low carb) and some meal replacement shakes.  I maintained this weight loss for roughly 2 years until recently, the weight has gradually resurfaced in all the areas I wish it had not.  I decided to take an honest look at all of the “diets” I’ve tried in the past to review why I was success and why I wasn’t while looking at my personal Pros & Cons.  I don’t think I’ve ever listed ALL of them. So here it goes, in no particular order.

Atkins: Pros: Fast weight loss Cons: Umm who doesn’t like bread, pasta or dessert

Master Cleanse: Pros: Fast Weight Loss, taught me that missing a meal is not a crime, curbed cravings, lemonade tastes good Cons: Not healthy long term

Wash Univ Weight Management: Pros: Helped explain the psychology of eating   Cons: Very Expensive (like car note expensive)

Fat loss for Idiots: Pros: Easy meal plan to follow Cons: The same foods get boring

Cabbage Soup: Pros: I Don’t know, because I didn’t stick with it  Cons: Difficult to only eat cabbage soup especially for breakfast

Weight loss Hypnosis: Pros: Helps silence the “negative voices”, motivates you to stay on track effortlessly, all natural, no side effects  Cons: Non really, you just have to remember to do it.

HCG Drops: Pros: Helps curb appetite  Cons: Could have weird side effects, and what happens when you stop taking the drops?

Fasting: Pros: Great way to cleanse, fast weight loss Cons: Not a long term solution

Chinese Witch Doctor: (so actually, he was a Chinese acupuncturist that put suction cups on my stomach and gave me herbal pills and teas) Pros: All natural Cons: Just a little weight loss

Some Weight Loss Supplement from GNC: Pros: I don’t know because… Cons: I had a horrific allergic reaction and my eyes were swollen shut the 1st day I took it.

Weight Watchers: The Best “Diet” I know… Pros: Easily adopted as a lifestyle, no foods off limits, support  Cons: Keep points forever

Those are my thoughts…What diets have you tried….What works for you?

  1. All of my adult life I struggled with weight. I love to eat & I am definitely a stress eater. I think I tried every diet around. Most of them were great….as long as you were on them, but I never stayed on them & the weight would come back & bring friends.
    I have a lot of medical problems & a lot of heart damage. Last year June, something clicked. No more “diet” I started doing what I call my ” Live It” A way of eating I could live with. There was nothing I told myself I couldn’t have, because if I did you know that is what I would have wanted. I did work at making better choices & having them on hand. Moderation & healthy choices.
    I started exercising. It was very slow because I had been using oxygen sometimes & starting to exercise had to be slow. After about 6 months I started the C25K using your podcasts, they are great & encouraging. Through my changes in eating & exercise I have lost 80 pounds, ran (or jogged) a 5K (Thanks to you) & improved my heart function from only 30% to over 50%. Don’t diet, live it!

  2. Hi, I wrote to you recently on your facebook wall.
    Diets do not work. They set up the false pretence of being good for awhile and then going back to ‘normal’. If your normal isn’t working for you then change your normal to something that keeps you slim. I dieted for five years and I wasted five years. I did learn an awesome lesson though. If you want to be slim then you need to change forever. We all know the secret…eat less move more. But yet we keep searching for a different solution.
    In the last year I have lost 30lbs and I have not been on a diet. I ate healthy 80% of the time, i worked out 5-6 days a week and I decided that is who I am. I decided to fake being that healthy, bouncy, slim girl who has it all, who likes to workout and eat well…until I was her!

    It was actually my fat’aversary a few days ago adn I wrote a big post on losing weight the ‘right way’ if you are interested.

    Thanks for the podcasts 🙂

  3. I can’t say that I’ve actually tried many diets. I had 3 older sisters that tried and failed so many times, it made me think there was no point in experimenting. Because of a 25+ year heart issue, I eventually LISTENED to my cardiologist who told me my only option for a healthy lifestyle was a balanced diet and exercise. And that’s what I’ve done and it’s worked. A lot of veggies, fruit and protein (mostly beans cause I love them!) and whole grains. As long as I don’t get caught up in thinking I need to lose a lot of weight quickly, the steady weight loss and constant positive mood have stuck around for a few years. Yes, foodwise, I do lapse at times but because I don’t stop the physical fitness, I’ve never actually gained the weight back. Its only recently that I’ve learned to actually like exercise and try new things (thanks to blogs like yours). And this new attitude has increased the weightloss.

  4. Woo hoo for Diana!

    I’ve tried fat burners, slimfast, ww, and a drug weight study (drug is currently with the FDA approval). I came off study drug because it made me nausea and I hate taking bills. But through the year long weight study I did manage to lose 40 lbs (even after coming off study drug) through learning how to eat, listen to my body and of course exercise. And most recently, I’ve bought into clean eating.

    Like Diana says…once we change our thinking from “DIE-IT” to Live It, we are happier and healthier.

    To be honest: I was getting pissed at women who say – oh I started eating more fruits and veggies and lost a ton of weight. Well, me – queen of not tracking my food because I eat healthy, right? – started tracking and figured out – I dont eat enough fruits/veggies. This week, I started a 21-day eat clean challenge (essentially moving back to what I know but eating only when hungry and stopping when full – not over full). And guess what? I’ve lost 4lbs!!!!

    So yeah, it’s time to Live-it!

  5. The only thing that was successful for me was (years ago) ediets. I set up my menu once a week, including snacks. Then the program spit out recipes and a shopping list. I didn’t buy anything not on my list, so I didn’t have stuff that I ought not eat in the house. Then I just followed it. I learned a lot about cooking healthier, and how to modify recipes to make them healthier, as well as about my own eating/snacking habits; and was able to continue using many of those techniques after my 35 lb loss was achieved. (then I got pregnant, had a baby and nursed her for a year – which is a whole other novel in itself! I’m still heavier than I want to be, but healthier than ever thanks to your podcasts!!) Even now, I make my list and try not to stray too much from it – if I don’t buy it, I can’t eat it! I think the key is to look at whatever you’re doing not as a temporary solution, but as a full-on lifestyle change. If you just go back to the way you did things before, what is there to keep the weight from coming back, just like it did before?

  6. The most successful “diet” I used, losing 50 lbs IIRC, was Jenny Craig, because I didn’t have to think about my food or make many choices. It was all laid out, and I just ate what was on the menu. It was harder for me to make bad choices that way, and while I lost the weight I also learned how to recognize when I was full, that it was okay to leave food on my plate, that it was okay not to eat when I wasn’t hungry, things like that. It was expensive, though, so I haven’t been able to do it since I had kids.

    The other time I’ve lost significant weight, it was mostly through lifestyle changes, not a specific diet. During that year when I lost about 30 lbs, I did do a number of things that made me aware of my weight and my diet, including counting calories and using the Hacker Diet Eat Watch. But I used them to monitor rather than control. I got out with my kids and walked around town and to the park instead of driving. I started doing a better job of keeping house, keeping the floors clean and the sheets changed and all those little weekly chores. I started cooking better dinners, subscribing to MenuMailer instead of just cooking the same old comfort food every week. That’s pretty much it.

  7. I started my weight-loss journey in September of 2010. I did the Hcg diet. I LOVE how it has worked for me. I haven’t taken the drops since May and I maintained my weight for a month before I started C25k. I have learned that carbs and sugars are evil for me. They make me feel HORRIBLE. Popcorn is the devil. If I eat it I will be rolling around in a ball because my stomach hurts just a couple hours later. The diet is strict and crazy, but if you do it correctly you can see the effect that food has on your body. I am currently eating low carb. I eat around 1500-1900 calories a day.

    The biggest thing about weight loss I have learned is that if you are not 100% ready to lose the weight you won’t. If you are still making some excuses you will fall off the wagon easily. I have done Atkins, South Beach, A protein shake diet, Weight Watchers, etc… NOTHING worked until I finally KNEW I was ready.

  8. I have had gradual weight loss with the free loseit program.(loseit.com) I have it on my ipod and I just track my food and exercise. As my doctor said the key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. It helped me to be aware of the hidden calories that I was unknowingly eating. It has restaurant foods in it so I can check something out before ordering. I am currently using it to only track my exercise to ensure consistency as it is too easy for me to forget to do it when busy. Ultimately, while I would like to be thin again, I am happy to just be strong and knowing I am improving my health.

  9. I just ran to one of your podcasts – thanks! Big butt … made me laugh while I was running. I’m white and I am well endowed in the rear, whether I am at a heavy weight or not : )
    So … I have been on a journey the past few years, interrupted by 2 pregnancies with months of bed rest each.All the research says diets lead to a feeling of deprivation and lead to gaining back the weight and more. My “non-diet” started with a light bulb when I realized I was eating a bunch of non-fat cr*p and my skinny friends were eating cream puffs?! I asked them … they said they stopped when they were full … I read a couple of key booksincluding Overcoming Overeating, and Your Child’s Weight, Helping without Harming (It is a book for raising kids but I used it on my son and myself!) and then most recently I Can Make You Thin which has a CD to listen to. They are all based around 1) Eat when you are hungry (don’t wait til starving), 2) Eat what you want, not what you think you should (an honest assessment of what you want) 3) STOP when you are full (tell yourself nothing is off limits and you can always have more later), but there is a lot of other information to think about, including messages you got when you were a child. Anyhow, it has been a slow process but I am now losing. I am also doing more exercise. Good Luck!

  10. I, the same as you and many of your website readers have struggled with my weight since my teenage years. Until recently I have always been a weight watchers girl and have had two significant weight losses with them both around 5 or 6 stone. (i’m from the UK that’s about 84 pounds.) Kept if off for a year one time and 3 years the next but it has always come back. What people are saying is true, you need to eat until your satisfied, eat foods of your choice and as a big girl with a big appetite I really struggle with needing lots of food to fill me and weighing and having tiny portions. I’ve recently joined Slimming World and the diet is great!! It’s not really a ‘diet’ no need to weigh, measure count, you just eat normal food. For the first time EVER I believe that I have found a plan that will work with who I am and how I eat. I want to eat lots!! You can eat massive portions, you can have lots to eat, normal meals cooked healthy and if I want more potato I have it. I haven’t lost as quickly as WW but for the first time feel that I could do this forever. Running to your podcasts regularly helps so much too! 35 pounds off since Jan and hopefully this will be the last time I have to do it. Good luck and thanks for your inspiration to get me from the couch to a 5k!!

  11. Diana, I love that you said the weight would come back and “bring friends.” That is so true. And your philosophy to LIVE IT is amazing! I love it. Keep up the great work! I’m truly honored that my podcast was able to help you lose weight and LIVE a healhty life.

  12. Talitha, it’s that interesting that we know the only way to lose weight is the eat less and move more, yet we continually look for other alternatives. Congrats on your “Fat-versary!” I read your post. It was great! I too have PCOS and I defintely come from a Big Family. But, we can all make excuses. We have to accept the truth that the only way to win the battle is eating less and moving more.

  13. DD, that’s right. That is the golden meal plan. Fruits veggies protiens and whole grains. Even though we have slip ups, if we stick to those foods most of the time, everything will balance out. I visited your blog, I like your writing style, very easy to follow. I’m glad that my blog and podcasts helped you get more active.

  14. Hey Tex, Yes, Diana had it right, I’m thinking about it more and more. What if I did stop dieting and just live it, so there is no DIet to follow? Just eating helathy for life and adding more fruits and veggies like your clean eating. It’s the right way to go.

  15. Angela, I agree, if you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. I’m glad you found a way to buy whats on your plan and stick to it.

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