Here’s why you’re not going to lose weight this year


By Belinda White

I just saw a quote on Facebook that said “Diets don’t work, because feelings won’t disappear with a food plan”*.

I agree. But only if you choose not to address those feelings. If you do get your head together, your diet can work. Especially if it’s along the lines of ‘I’m going to pay attention to eating good food and avoiding crap’.

Let me just say, I’m not the leanest person in the gym. Nor have I ever needed to lose a huge amount of weight. I don’t understand everyone’s struggle.

But people ask me things like ‘how are you so disciplined?’ – which translates as ‘why aren’t you stuffing your face with birthday cake?’.  Or ‘how do you eat so much and stay that size?’, meaning I can put away 250 grams of beef for breakfast without blinking.

So here are some thoughts on what has worked for me to reach a truce with my body fat levels, and where I observe people going wrong. Basically, you won’t lose weight this year if:

1. You don’t spend time in the kitchen. If you see cooking as something that other, less busy, less important people do, you’ll never be in control of your health. The only way to eat wholesome, nutrient-dense food, all the time, is to make it yourself. Stop acting like you’re too good to cook: learn some easy recipes and get your confidence up. If you can make a kick-arse omelette, you’re halfway there.

2. You think about calories, not food quality. Seriously, 500 calories from pizza is NOT THE SAME as 500 calories from steak and vegetables. The internet may argue about this (google ‘IIFYM’), but you know how you feel after each one. If you fill yourself with good food, you have less room for the crap. I eat a ‘second lunch’ at work (usually some protein and veg) and it means I’m less tempted by shit like Tim-Tam Tuesday (which is a real thing, that I disagree with vehemently).

3. You’re so hungry. If you’re starving, you’ll eventually eat whatever’s around. In today’s world, we are always surrounded by crap, so the only way to avoid it is to crowd it out with good stuff. Cram yourself with good quality protein, heaps of veggies, and good sources of fat. You will not get fat eating a massive steak – you will get fat by eating a tiny piece of fish then inhaling some Cadbury’s two hours later.

4. You give yourself 10 hours, every day, to decide why you can’t exercise. Exercise is the key to feeling energised and disciplined. But if you save it until the end of the day, you’ll come up with a ton of reasons not to go: work, friends, tiredness, the moon’s cycle – whatever. If you exercise as soon as you get up, you only have half an hour to get out of it. I know you’re saying ‘I can’t wake up early’, and there is truly only one solution to that: go to bed early. Seriously, nothing good happens after 10pm, so please, just go to bed.

Footnote: There are so many views on what constitutes the ‘right diet’, which I’m not going to get into here. I eat in a broadly paleo way (and maintain that I did that before it was cool). But it’s pretty widely agreed that eating fresh, unrefined food is good for you. So don’t get caught up in dogma – just spend more time at the greengrocer and the butcher, and less time at the supermarket. 

A great resource for anyone getting started with paleo is Melissa Joulwan over at 

And I have a ton of great recipes and links on my Pinterest boards here and here.

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  1. Great post B! Although I’m still not waking up early to exercise before work 😉

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