This Diet, That Diet, The Fad Diet, …How About the Common Sense Diet?

Feel & Look Fabulous


Losing weight is one of the most common new years resolutions people make at the beginning of each year.  They tell themselves, “This is it! This time I’m really going to do it this year.”  Then the next step is figuring it out how to do it.  With so many different “diets” out there, how can you not get confused and overwhelmed as to how to do it?

Most people follow a diet for 2 months, lose some weight and then fall off the wagon.  Worse, the people that temporarily lost some weight end up gaining it all back and then some!  Other dieters get “Hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry ) and snap at everybody, clients included!  Many dieters waste at least an hour of their day counting every calorie they eat and logging every gram of carbohydrates, sugar and protein they eat.  Others like to waste their money on diet programs advertised on tv that serve pre-packaged chemicalized food that, in my opinion, is processed garbage.  Some of those foods have so many chemicals you can practically taxidermy yourself.

The problem with most “diets” is that they are not sustainable or practical.  To make matters even more difficult, we were fed a lot of false narratives in the “80s, like everyone should strive for a low fat diet, diet sodas are good, eating lots of carbs is good, especially if you are an athlete, etc…. Really?! Look around you, how well did this advice serve us?  Obesity and diabetes is at an all time high.

When I was younger, I too, was confused and frustrated about losing weight.  Maintaining a healthy weight was a constant struggle for me 25 years ago.  I tried all kinds of diets with little to no success.  The funny thing is, the day I decided to give up and stop “dieting” was when I actually lost weight as an afterthought.

Instead of dieting, I took everything I was told and threw it out the window!  In 2009 I read a book that completely transformed my life.  The book is titled The Cure: Heal Your Body, Save Your Life written by Dr. Timothy Brantley.  It chronicles inspiring stories of how Dr. Brantley reversed his patients’ cancers by eliminating sugar and simple carbs from their diet.  After reading that book, I flipped the recommended dietary pyramid on its head and decided to ditch the sugar and the simple carbs.  I was not facing a medical crises at the time.  My motivation was focused on prevention.

Instead of losing weight, I focused on preserving the integrity of my health.  Rather than following a particular “diet” I set some parameters and guidelines for myself:

  1. I decided to eliminate foods that cause inflammation in my body such as: grains[1], cereals, pastas, rice, bread, all vegetable and seed oils, processed foods, MSGs, sodas, sugar and sugar substitutes.
  2. I dramatically increased the fat in my diet.  I eat olive oil, coconut oil, butter, avocados, salmon without abandon!  A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best things for your health.[2]
  3. I Started practicing intermittent fasting and ate only between the times of 11 am – 6pm.
  4. I juiced fruits and vegetables everyday.
  5. I started eating grass fed beef and organic chicken
  6. I followed the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of the time I ate within my parameters and 20% of the time I allowed myself the flexibility to deviate and eat something that is not good for me but oh so tasty.  (I can still have my cheesecake and eat it too! — so long as it’s before 6pm)

As soon as I made those changes, I quickly realized I did not know what it really felt like to feel good!  I noticed a dramatic increase in my energy, vitality and mental focus.  I was so distracted by how good I felt that it took me a while to notice that my clothes were starting to get bigger and bigger on me.  I did not realize how much I had lost until I went shopping one day and found myself trying on a skirt with a size 0 on the label!

Here’s what I did not do to lose weight:  I did not obsess over it , I did not count calories or journal what I was eating, I did not exercise everyday and I did not read any “diet” books.  All I did was focus on preserving my health and preventing disease.  During my transformation, I never once felt “deprived,” of “hangry.”  Quite the contrary!  I felt more alive than ever.

Understanding and respecting food is the key to healthy permanent weight loss.  You can lose weight easily when you focus on your health instead if trying to pick the diet du jour.   Rather than “deprive” yourself, educate and empower yourself.  If you do that, making the correct food choices becomes easy and losing weight becomes a fringe benefit. Loosing weight is not a “diet,” it is a healthy lifestyle.

Dina Arvanitakis
Dina is a certified functional medicine nutrition coach and author that is passionate about health and wellness. As a health advocate, she coaches clients on how to implement anti-aging techniques and weight-loss strategies and solutions so they can become their own powerful success stories. She believes that everyone can enjoy a healthy vibrant life once they are empowered with knowledge and the right tools to make effective changes in their lives. A healthy you is a FABULOUS you!