March 1, 2024

If you google “What is the best diet for weight loss?” 5 options immediately pop up

Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor
  1. Intermittent fasting
  2. The Mediterranean Diet
  3. The DASH diet
  4. Low-carb diet
  5. Paleo diet

So which do you choose and are they healthy? 

Over the last 24 years of working as a clinical dietician, I have seen more people for weight loss than any other reason in my private practice. 

In many cases, these clients were seeing me as a last resort after trying many other dieting attempts where they had yo-yo’d in weight and been on and off various dieting trends- with the end result that their weight was now higher than the first time they ever tried to lose weight. 

Sitting opposite me, I pick up the familiar appeal and energy from my client. The intoxicating feeling of trying something new is accompanied by the thrill of feeling motivated and with the hope that this time they will finally succeed! Often times this is mixed in with equal fears of failure and concern that their weight loss would not be fast enough for them to stay on track, or that they will self-sabotage yet again. 

If I could guarantee success - as the dieting industry proudly does- what an easy job I would have. I could dish out low-calorie diets with minimal carbohydrates, encourage eating in a small time window and fasting for hours on end, and suggest intense workout sessions to burn calories.  

Perhaps I would even insist on using the latest weight loss craze of ozempic injections to curb appetite and promote faster weight loss - never mind that these glp-1 drugs are actually meant for prediabetic and diabetic patients and therefore there is a shortage in the world due to overprescribing by doctors whose patients want them for the weight loss benefit alone. 

Alas, these unethical suggestions would make me part of the problem, rather than the solution. And I would rather be one of the few who stands up to the latest dieting trend and actually give my clients the keys to better health and wellness, and sustainable weight loss too. 

Here is the recipe I use to get my clients to their goals:

  • Seeing them as a whole person - this means taking into account their medical history, lifestyle, likes and dislikes and their relationship with food
  • Understanding what previous diets they have done and what we can learn from this.
  • Helping them to reframe what success is and move them away from the desire to reach a certain number on the scale.
  • Establishing a powerful WHY that they can connect to when they are faced with challenges and difficult food decisions
  • Guiding them to include foods that they have seen as “bad” into a normal eating plan so that they never feel deprived or restricted (one of the biggest recipes for failure)
  • Coaching them on how to be more mindful when eating and with their food choices so that they learn to intuitively know what feels better for their unique body
  • Encouraging them to focus on internal measures of success like better energy, mood, sleep, less bloating and irritability. 
  • Building new habits slowly so that they feel successful every day instead of having high expectations of doing things perfectly (which can set them up for disappointment)
  • Guiding them to understand how to create balanced meals that will help them to feel fuller for longer and that will prevent blood sugar dips and fewer cravings.
  • Inspiring them to appreciate their body and listen to the subtle signs it relays so that they can choose foods and movements that feel good for them.

Just tell me what to eat already!!! If you are screaming this inside your head while reading then you are probably still looking for a quick fix. 

If you are nodding along imagining what it would feel like to have a positive relationship with yourself, food and your body, never to have to worry about starving yourself or bingeing from feeling deprived ever again then you are my kind of person!

This means you can stop asking “What is the best diet” and rather ask “How can I create a better life for myself where I can nourish my body and have energy for all the things that are important to me” (instead of wasting energy on willpower and miserable weigh-ins). 

The answer to my first question “Which Diet do you choose and is it healthy?”... that all depends.

Firstly I try to stay clear of the word DIET (the topic for another blog on subliminal messages) and prefer to focus on what foods are right for YOU. What is healthy for one may be unhealthy for another e.g. onion and garlic are fabulous foods but can trigger terrible stomach pain, bloating and diarrhea/ constipation for  IBS sufferers. 

Secondly, health is a subjective term based on many factors. Some people can tolerate more fat and some less. Some can include more protein but this may be difficult for others to digest. Others cannot eat low-carb as their blood sugar dips too low. People with reflux (heartburn) need to eat every few hours to reduce stomach acid buildup and may need to remove skins and pips from food (such healthy parts of vegetables and fruits!) to reduce symptoms.   

I think you get my drift… 

Isn’t it time you stopped searching for the ultimate diet and rather invested in a nourishing approach that is unique to your specific needs? It may not give you the thrill of quick results (that don’t come as quickly with each diet you do) but it will give you the gift of long-lasting well-being and free you up to spend your newfound energy on a more vibrant life.

Here are some of the steps you can take to learn how to nourish your body and end restrictive dieting for good:

Book a clarity call to see how working 1:1 with me can get you to your goals. Book Here.

Purchase my masterclass bundle on how to “Boost your Metabolism and Mood

View more ways of working with me and enjoy free resources to get you started via my website

Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor
Justine is a seasoned Clinical Dietician with over two decades of experience in private practice. Holding a Bachelor of Science from WITS and an Honorary Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCT, she is both South African qualified and Israeli licensed. Justine's journey into nutrition was deeply personal, stemming from her own battles with weight management, emotional eating, and adapting her diet post-40 to meet the changing needs of her body. This personal connection to her field fuels her mission to empower clients to forge a harmonious relationship with food and their bodies. Understanding the complexity of diet, hormones, gut health, and eating habits, Justine brings empathy and expertise to her practice. She is dedicated to helping individuals overcome the cycle of dieting and self-sabotage by fostering a profound understanding of their own bodies. Justine's approach is grounded in the belief that knowledge is power—by understanding your body, you can work with it, not against it, to achieve lasting health and wellness.