Dieting – Why You Shouldn’t Do It

Julie Maloney


So many times I read about people trying cleanses or Paleo or Atkins and they're super into it for about fifteen minutes and then the next thing you know they are pinning recipes for Oreo Pie and are elbow deep into a bag of Doritos in the closet.  Let me tell you why.


I'm going to tell you what happened to me. Bear with me, it's a long one.

After I had my son I weighed about 220 pounds.  In one year I lost one hundred of that by simply monitoring portions and working out on the Wii Fit.  It was the easiest thing I've ever done.  Fast forward five years and I gained twenty four pounds from general laziness and moderate gluttony.

About two years ago I decided I had to lose that twenty pounds and I was told to go on MyFitnessPal.  Awesome.  I signed up and it said I should be eating 1200 calories if I wanted to lose two pounds per week.  Little did I know it says that for everyone.  I went into it with such gusto I ate 800 calories because I'm an overachiever and I always strive to be the best.  I lost eight pounds in about six weeks living off of 100 calorie snacks and spinach.

Then I took a trip back home to see my family, saw all the local foods I was missing out on, ate ALL of them and gained eight pounds in ten days.

I come home from that trip and get on my trusty old Wii Fit and see the gain and panic - I was doing so good!  MFP wasn't working!  I must try something else! In comes Paleo.

I read every book, researched the hell out of every website.  Spent tons of money on grass fed beef and Kerrygold butter.  I started drinking Bulletproof coffee (blergh) and made meals that my family refused to eat.  I read that I shouldn't count calories now because it's Paleo and that goes against all things Paleo.  If I just "eat clean" the pounds will melt away and I'll be as fit as a fiddle. Then I found the work around.  Paleo desserts that counted as Paleo because there weren't refined carbs and followed the Paleo guidelines.  Paleo fudge, Paleo bread (almond flour - totally Paleo) and every other goody I could get away with.  Four weeks later I jumped on a scale, I gained six more pounds.


Clearly, Paleo doesn't work.  All the books are trash, I must find a new way.

Now we have Atkins.  Remove all carbs, eat all the bacon and you're golden. No. I thought I was going to die.

I was barely eating.  I had eggs and bacon followed by two squares of dark chocolate with peanut butter and then an Atkins frozen meal that was so paltry I would lick the container the food was in.  I would make my son cinnamon toast and weep as I took a moment to smell the bread so I could ride the high of the memories I had with all the carbs.  I actually lost five pounds that month but was so weak from the lack of energy I never got off the couch.

Then came the farts.  I could not stop farting.  I had fart cramps.  They smelled like death.  I blamed my dog straight up until he died because I felt such shame.  I go to a doctor and they tell me it's gluten.  I must get rid of all the gluten. Now I'm gluten free.

In comes all the restaurant menu stalking because I could only eat certain foods and I was back on MFP so I could only eat 1200 calories.  I was getting burgers without buns and a side off veggies.  I WAS MISERABLE AND I COULDN'T STOP FARTING.

Now we have the GI doctor.  After a bunch of tests and an ultrasound it turned out I had done so much extreme dieting I had ruined my gallbladder and I had to have it immediately removed.  The doctor said the procedure was going to hurt my appetite and I likely wouldn't be able to eat for a while.  I was allowed gluten again.

Then came the binge.  I had one week until my operation and in my mind I'm thinking "I'm going to lose all this weight, he said I won't be eating" and I found myself at Rite Aid buying bags of Kit Kats and Caramel bars.  I sat on my couch while my kids were at school stuffing my face with such gusto and I had no fullness cue.  I was eating a half a pizza in one sitting, those pesky Doritos in the pantry and basically anything else I could get in my hands.  I had lost the ability to become full.

Next comes the surgery.  My doctor was a dirty liar.  I had gained ten more pounds from that binge and I never lost my appetite.  I was still hungry.  It had been one year and I managed to go from a reasonable 129 to a hefty 155.  From dieting.  I had lost the will to function and I was sure there was something else medically wrong.  I went to my PA and she said I need a weight loss clinic.

In comes my dietician.  I swear, that woman saved my sanity.  She says to me "Eat all the food.  Stop depriving yourself.  Don't glamourize it. Pair it with a fruit or a vegetable and get some moderate exercise".  Let me touch on that for a moment.  In the year I was starving myself I was also exercising like a mad woman.  I did Jillian Michaels workouts, bought a home gym and lifted heavy weights, walked ten miles per day and ended up in a walking boot and finally ended up joining a gym where I managed to workout for three hours a day, eventually doing so much damage I had to have part of my clavicle removed in April.  I will say this - I'm bipolar.  I tend to take things to the extreme but in doing so have managed to do so many things I have become the most knowledgeable (albeit the worst) dieter on the planet.

This is what ultimately saved me - I got a puppy and I listened to my dietician.  I started eating about 1600 calories per day, eating whatever I wanted within the parameters that there was about two starches, one fat and one protein in my diet.  I started walking my puppy.  If I wanted a burger with a bun I ate it.  If I wanted some Nutella I put it on strawberries.  If I wanted a mini Snickers I ate it, I just had one.  ONE.  I happened to have one every day but it was just one.  That's 80 calories.  Now I'm sick of Snickers.

Since starting in with my dietician I have lost fifteen pounds and I continue to lose about a half a pound per week.  I walk my dog for one hour per day five days a week and check in with my dietician every Saturday to get weighed and talk about my food.  I talk about how I felt about my food, my general stress levels and I get meal and snack ideas.  Some weeks I go in starving because I will slip and try to cut out a snack but then she reminds me that I was eating the snack before and I was still losing weight.

The moral of the story? STOP DIETING.  Seriously.  Go see a dietician.  They're covered by insurance 100% about 90% of the time.  You don't have to join a club or count calories or starve yourself.  You simply have to eat moderately and move more (but not too much).  It's been about a year since she and I got together and the loss has been slow but I actually get full now.  I eat three meals per day and a snack in the evening with an afternoon latte.  I don't feel deprived, my cholesterol is back to normal and I'm healthier than I've ever been.

I know you struggle with your weight.  I see it everywhere.  I try to preach the good word of normalized eating but nobody wants to hear it.  They want extreme diets and quick fixes.  As you can see from this giant post, there is no such thing.  Go see a dietician.  Simply put, it will change your life.  And the less farting is a bonus!

Julie Maloney


  1. Cider
    October 13, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I love this post so much I want to re-share it every day for the rest of my life. Amen. Preach. This. This. This. I have never dieted because I know myself too well, it wouldn’t work. But I have had more issues with weight fluctuations as I get older and my stupid body tries to pack on more fat. Ha. I talked to my doctor last fall because I gained 25 pounds WHILE I WAS EXERCISING MORE REGULARLY THAN I EVER HAD -- and not in excess at all. She basically said, “yeah, you can’t JUST control your food or JUST exercise, you have to do both.” But not do a fad diet. Just you know, normalize eating like you said. So I am exercising regularly and I just make healthier choices whenever I can when I eat. I cut out or cut back on a couple of bad unnecessary things like too much regular soda, but I don’t deprive myself or make rules like “not sugar” or “only 1200 calories a day” because I know I will just be miserable and it won’t work and life is too short.

    I have known some people to maybe kickstart weight loss or fitness by doing something like temporarily cutting something out but nothing extreme is sustainable or healthy. Calories in calories out, it’s pretty basic.

    Thanks, Julie!

  2. Acadia Einstein
    October 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I am going to invent a foolpoof fad diet just to prove you wrong

    • Cider
      October 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Pffffft. Good luck. You’re a fool, so you can test it on yourself to verify effectiveness.

  3. MegOhKay
    October 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

    This is such a poignant post. It’s not so much about diet fads but a change in the way we live our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Joey C
    October 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    my diet works for me; the “Gorram it i’m already broke and it’s only the 15th” diet.

    Seriously, folks. I eat one big meal for lunch, then snack on something at home at night. No breakfast. I only drink three things; water, coffee, and beer--and i’ve cut down on beer.

    My Lovely lady pup makes me walk around 30 minutes a day, and i walk to and from the bus stop every weekday.

    and I hover about 160-170.

    Maybe it’s my tapeworm. My tapeworm had diabetes, doh.

    My wife was a certified personal trainer, and she always told people to eat in moderation, swap out soda for homemade tea, and ANY exercise was better than none at all.

    Good article! I feel that if you’re healthy, you’re good!

  5. April Kusewicz
    October 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Now this is a post that is real and raw. I don’t believe in dieting either but I always do it in spurts here and there, especially after the holidays. I guess that’s just how most people are and it’s important for us to apply a no and just make right choices with food. Great post.

  6. Gurki Bhamber (@BloggAdventures)
    October 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I have never believed in dieting. I always make sure to eat in moderation, and walk for 25 -- 30 minutes everyday. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. Just an activity that should happen everyday. Thanks for sharing spot on point of view!

  7. Houx
    October 13, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I love this post and your openness. We gals need to embrace our bodies and eat! Buy don’t forget to exercise!

  8. Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life
    October 14, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I love how you are so direct and honest in this post.My weight goes up and down a lot and I used to cry, worry and have anxiety over it, but the older I get the less I care about dieting and weight loss. Eating healthy and only when I am hungry is what I do, and I love sweets and treats.

  9. Elizabeth
    October 14, 2016 at 3:39 am

    What an interesting read! Dieting sucks, totally. I’m always my most miserable when I diet. I’m considering just getting rid of my scales and embracing my flabby 40s!

  10. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
    October 14, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Great post! I think the world diet should be banned. It’s all about doing the right thing by your body that is unique to you and makes you feel great. Balance is key!

  11. Shane
    October 14, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I really haven’t heard of many people who have had success on fad diets. Yo yo dieting can be dangerous it’s important to make small lifestyle changes to keep forever.

  12. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.
    October 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I’m with you on the dieting thing. The thing that worked for me is Weight Watchers. It taught me how to eat again. I can eat anything and everything. It’s about moderation and balance. And SUSTAINABILITY.

  13. Valerie Ratliff
    October 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I agree. I’m trying to do a lifestyle change. Losing weight is hard.

  14. MyYellowApron
    October 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I never diet. I eat everything I like. Though these days I’m making some healthy adjustments like drinking a green juice in the morning.

  15. Janine Good
    October 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I can take or leave dieting. I know of many that have worked, but are more of a temporary fix. It is more important to alter lifestyle to see permanent results.

  16. Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita Basu
    October 14, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    It’s important to always eat healthy and exercise..Fad diet and exercises never work .Awesome post.Appreciate the details.It must have been a difficult journey

  17. RunningInHeels
    October 14, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you for saying this! I completely agree dieting, especially fad diets are so bad for you!

  18. Molly ~ EasycookingwithMolly
    October 15, 2016 at 6:26 am

    ‘You hit the nail right on its head’ -- Dieting just needs to stop as it’s not a solution but a temporarily break. I can vouch for it as I’ve tried every diet in the books and what works best is Moderation in both food & exercise. As some wise person said -- Excess of anything is bad !

  19. canonicole
    October 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Wooow.. 1600 calories a day still seems a little low. I get you I am an extremist when it comes to losing weight. I could work out for hours before and put myself almost in starvation! Yet, last year I had a pancreatic tumor removed and the tail of the pancreas and that changed all my eating habits. I could no longer do those extreme diets since it could actually have a greater effect to my life than just losing some pounds. I saw a bunch of dieticians and must of them where ok but I wanted to take more control of my diet situation. This last August I finished a “Fundamentals in nutrition” diploma and that just changed my life! I am much more aware of what food is actually doing to my body. I wrote a post about reading food labels, I think this would help you in your new journey.
    I am glad you are now with a dietician I got a little scared when you mention Atkins since it is such a horrible diet who just eats up all your muscle which would make it harder to lose weight afterwards since the muscle tissue is the one that helps you burn fat. Anyway I can relate with you and thanks for sharing the importance of getting proper health. Good luck and best wishes to you!

  20. Sangfroid
    October 16, 2016 at 9:54 am

    My lovely lady pup was working pretty good for rehabilitating midlife me.

  21. Lydia
    October 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I have never believed in dieting. Healthy diet? Sure! Appropriate food serving? Yes! I got MFP a few weeks ago and was told I should also eat 1200 calories (keep in mind I’m 5’4 and 120 lbs, plus I’m very athletic) and I called up my doctor. She was very insistent that I eat a minimum of 1800 calories. I deleted that app real quick, haha! Half of my family is paleo due to health conditions but it’s amazing what a healthy diet can do for your body!

  22. Kylie Gravlee
    October 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing with us! “Dieting” is such a confusing topic, it’s so nice to have some light shed on it.

    Kylie Gravlee

  23. CourtneyLynne
    October 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    A lot of great info here to consider!!! I’m not that big into dieting. I guess it’s goods lol

  24. Anamika Ojha
    October 16, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Your post makes a nice read! I never do dieting! I eat a lot and burn those calories in gym!

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