How To Avoid Buying Another Pointless Diet

Your cheat-sheet for a sane 2020

Rebecca Thomas
Nov 22, 2019 · 4 min read
That Tiny Hands font inspires great writing.

Gird your loins, my friends. It’s almost that time of year when everyone from chiropractors to mouthwash purveyors try to sell you their weight loss plans.

Whatever’s gone wrong is about to be rectified if you are willing to buy in not only with money, but with a near evangelical zeal. That last part is necessary because without magical thinking you might see they are peddling nonsense.

If you want to engage in real self-improvement for 2020, don’t diet. I’m unequivocal about this. I think diets hurt our bodies and confidence, two things you need for a happy life.

I’m a passionate advocate of abandoning diets. I can tell you first-hand, it’s not the path to health. I don’t care how slick the marketing looks, it’s a lie.

Here’s how to steer clear of other people’s non-solutions:

Pretend you’re buying a pair of headphones.

If 90% of the reviews said the headphones don’t work, would you buy them? That’s the failure rate for people’s ability to maintain a diet and keep the weight off.

9 out of 10 regain the weight, feel even worse and about themselves, and sink deeper into despair. Don’t buy a product designed to confuse and hurt you. You are not the failure, diets are.

Can you eat this way for the rest of your life?

It’s very simple. Every change you make has to be sustainable for the duration. If you can’t see your way to eating the prescribed diet for the rest of your life, let it go. It won’t work.

Yes, you can learn to eat more healthfully or take part in movement that is new to you. No, you won’t sustain a program that was invented without considering you and your actual life.

Take a walk.

That’s my remedy for every problem because it’s never not helpful. Walking reduces depression, opens you up to creative thought, is legitimate and pleasurable exercise, helps you get a good night’s sleep, allows you to connect with nature, and reduces anxiety.

What diet can do all that? None.

The next time a you are tempted by a diet, get up and walk away. Walk until you remember all the reasons a diet is an unwise and ineffective route to a healthy weight. Walk until your body feels good, but tired, and your mind is once again calm.

Buy a cooking class.

Cooking is the backbone of my ability to maintain a healthy weight. There is ample evidence that cooking reduces stress and is a powerful tool for weight management.

Every meal you make keeps you from eating foods that have been designed to trigger overconsumption.

What is full? Have I had enough? You can’t really answer those questions until you prepare meals with whole foods in your own kitchen.

If you have a spending itch and want to do something positive for your health in 2020, learn to cook.

Ask yourself when a simple solution to complex problem has ever worked.

Part of marketing’s job is to create clear copy to address a pain point, not a remedy for the actual problem. Read that again until you really understand it, because it’s fundamental to making you bulletproof.

If a diet plan addressed all the ways eating and living in the modern world challenges our ability to maintain a healthy weight, it would be very difficult to sell it to you.

Simple solutions to complex problems don’t work. Not in politics, not in relationships, and not in weight loss. Complex problems are handled one facet at a time, with solutions individual to the user.

The answer to weight woes isn’t to cut out all carbs, or eat in tiny windows of time, or slog through arduous boot camps. The answers (plural) are to look at your real life, and one at a time, address the issues keeping you immobile and overeating.


Every day you spend adhering to someone else’s packaged and processed weight loss plan is wasting your precious time. There are solutions and answers, most of them already exist inside of you.

Here’s to good health, good intentions, and good judgment in 2020. May you never subject yourself to a diet, and find success anyway.

Not Another Diet

A series dedicated to sane and thoughtful weight loss advice.

Rebecca Thomas

Written by

I write thoughtful self-help. Compassion and clarity go a long way to solving life’s essential problems. We can learn, we can do better.

Not Another Diet

A series dedicated to sane and thoughtful weight loss advice.

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