The “Diet” Dilemma

By:Lisa Millar, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, BA, ECE



I have recently read an article titled, “Diet Industry expands right along with North America waistlines”.

The opening sentence is, “Start dieting. Lose 30 pounds. Stop dieting. Regain 40 pounds. Repeat.”


Ugh! So many of us can relate to this. It’s heartbreaking. Thousands/ millions of people put so much hope and expectation into products or plans that guarantee weight loss, when the awful truth is that they generally don’t work. In fact, about 95% of all diets don’t work. Also, according to the article mentioned above, (which was written in 2013), Canadians spend about 7 billion dollars each year on weight loss products, and Americans average $65 billion. That’s Billion- with a B.

Why is this number so high? What is it about diets that leave us no better off than before we started? It may be because there are so many myths around dieting. It can be very confusing. Quality programs should focus on long term lifestyle changes and offer whole foods as the main component with tons of support and guidance. Check out my Hourglass Weight Loss program here-!services/cee5

Good programs should not perpetuate lies that mislead people with their claims, such as “lose weight without diet or exercise”, or “lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods”, and “just take this pill…” Here are more common myths-

1. Eating fat-free/low-fat foods. This is a clever little trick food manufacturer’s play on us that makes us think we are doing the right thing. Little do we know that the fat that is taken out is replaced by an increased amount of sugar or other carbohydrates. Tisk, tisk, very misleading!

2. Taking “miracle” pills. This is the very opposite of a lifestyle change. Taking pills to help you lose weight work as long as you keep taking them. Once you stop taking them, the weight will return. You have just spent a lot of money and have no new knowledge of what you should be eating to lose the weight for good.

3. Counting calories. Not only is this very time consuming (which is hardly realistic for many people) but it is also not teaching you anything you need to know. It is more important to know where it is coming from (the type of calorie), not the amount of calories you consume. NOT all calories are created equal.

4. Cutting carbs. This is a BIG one. We are lead to believe that carbs are the enemy- NOT true. There are carbs that are VERY necessary for good health- vegetables, fruit and whole grains to be precise. Carbohydrates are our main source of food/fuel for our brain and bodies.

5. Weighing yourself. This may make your whole weight loss process too stressful. A rise in cortisol levels (stress hormones) will not help you lose weight, affecting all of your efforts.