Holly Lowery
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach & Anti-Diet Advocate


Holly Lowery - Blog

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Exactly what happens every time you diet


Most of the time when I tell people I'm an Anti-Diet advocate I get very confused looks.  I get it, from just the initial impression it sounds like I'm a health coach who advocates for reckless eating. 

Being an Anti-Diet advocate just means that I'm changing what we consider "reckless" eating. I would argue that the current mainstream approach to "health" is more often than not reckless and here's why

Every time you diet your body is sent straight into starvation mode.

Your body thinks it's in a famine ANY TIME it is not getting what it needs, calorically speaking. And believe it or not the average woman needs a MINIMUM of about 2,000 calories a day to just function "normally;" yet this number seems astronomical compared to most dieting recommendations.

So when your body goes into starvation mode (aka when you diet), a few things happen:

  • Your metabolism plummets, so your ability to burn energy decreases
  • Your set point weight creeps up and up (the natural weight your body is healthiest and happiest at)
  • Your body starts tapping into it's own muscle stores- and I'm not just talking about your biceps, I'm talking heart, liver, lungs
  • Your hunger and fullness cues start to get harder and harder to hear
  • And your hunger/ satiation hormones (leptin and ghrelin) get all out of whack, making you feel ravenous more often than not, and rarely satisfied


And because you're not eating enough calories when dieting, you're always hungry, rarely satisfied, when you do eat you hold onto every last calorie in case the famine continues, and when your body can't take it anymore you binge out. And this nasty cycle continues. Over and over until you finally decide it's time to hop off the dieting rollercoaster. 

What's even worse than the promise of weight loss through dieting turning out to be a lie, is the fact that more often than not dieting actually increases your set-point weight, making your new 'happy weight' higher than when you started dieting in the first place. 

So then what's the answer? If you can't diet to lose weight, and you forgot how to eat without the rules, how do you get back to "normal" with food? A great place to start is with permission + curiosity. 

Grant FULL permission to all foods. And I mean all foods. Even those Girl Scout cookies you've banned from your pantry. 

And then ask yourself,

"If I can have whatever I want, until I'm completely satisfied, what is it that I really want?"

This seems simple. And it is. But it's got to come from a non-judgmental, guilt free, conscious place. And that my dear, is a practice. 

But I know you've got this. And in the mean time, you can check out some of my cheat sheets in the Vault for more help along the way.