Do literally anything but go on a diet this year.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Diets suck. Do not diet. I’m going to tell you why you should stop dieting forever, but you don’t have to take my word for it — just trust the research that proves diets don’t work.
The Best Diets in 2021 (Snort)
None. None is the answer. There are no best diets in 2021; there are no best diets ever. And you should run far, far away from anyone telling you about the best new diet they’re trying this year. Similarly, mute, unfollow, and block any Instagram #fitspo accounts preaching the same.
Why Diets Suck More Than a Straw
Diets suck because they are designed to fail. They are designed to make you think you’re worthless and that you lack a basic human skill called discipline.
They’re designed this way because they intend to make you grovel at the feet of the diet Gods, which are actually just billionaire salespeople who are really good at making you believe that various pills, potions, and powders will propel you into the version of yourself you think you should be based on malevolent societal standards.
Diets suck because there are so many of them and they’re all yelling at you about their touted benefits and how they’re going to transform your life and turn you into the fitness model with fake boobs on Instagram.
Diets suck because they are money pits and they create fake food rules that ruin your relationship with the very thing you need to survive and they do. not. WORK. Seriously — this isn’t just anecdotal (although anecdotal evidence is valid when millions of people have hauntingly similar anecdotes).
Regardless, actual scientific research proves that diets aren’t associated with long-term weight loss:
Need I continue?
What to Do Instead of Follow a Diet Designed to Fail You
Dude, just… take care of yourself. Look, I know it can be hard. This post is only as scathing and as blunt as it is because it comes from someone who spent years — so many years — in the grips of an eating disorder and body dysmorphia.
I spent far too much of my life avoiding social functions, eating in secrecy, and purging in embarrassment (and more secrecy). I spent too much time drinking green juice and coffee instead of eating food, battling hunger pangs during 90-minute college lectures. I spent too much time lifting up my shirt in the mirror, twisting and contorting my body to find the best angles, pinching the skin on my thighs, and sprinting on the treadmill to undo calories I thought I didn’t deserve.
Do literally anything but that. Do anything but hate yourself enough to embark on yet another diet. Do anything but punish yourself for craving food; anything but refuse to allow yourself a basic human survival need.
Instead, focus on establishing lifestyle habits that promote overall health.
Here are a few tactics that helped me:
Smarter Sweat takeaways
Clearly, we’re not a fan of diets here at Smarter Sweat. And the beauty of independently blogging is that we can *loudly* voice (er, type) that disgust.
The funny thing is, the primary definition of “diet,” as defined by Oxford Dictionary, is “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”
This definition is the utter opposite of what most people perceive a diet as in modern society. To most people, “diet” means use absolutely every ounce of willpower I have and by any means necessary, restrict all foods that aren’t “pure” and lose as much weight as possible in 30 days.
Do what Oxford Dictionary says. Establish a habitual eating pattern — a mostly nutrient-dense but also enjoyable one.
By Amanda Capritto
Amanda is the co-founder of Smarter Sweat. She's a certified personal trainer, health coach, and functional fitness coach. She also owns another business, where she writes about all things fitness, nutrition, travel and lifestyle.
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About Smarter Sweat
Smarter Sweat is a fitness company built from the ground up by fitness experts Amanda Capritto and Ashley Phantz. Amanda and Ashley are both dead-set on cutting through the clutter of the fitness industry and providing raw, real, utterly honest information about fitness and wellness.