Diet culture, quick fixes and the feeling of failure

"I don’t want to struggle, but I want to lose X amount of weight this month!" Does that sound familiar? Many of us will want to see quick results, but knowing it takes time and hard work is disheartened. We all want change instantly, right?


And you know what, that’s normal. We don’t want things to be hard (that's human nature). Whether it is our relationships, work or our mental and physical health, we don’t want that uphill struggle, and we’ll try to avoid it at all costs.

Now I would like to share a quick analogy with you; imagine you’ve broken your leg, and now you need to go to the doctor to reset the bone.

This reset has to be done while you are wide awake. No drugs, no anaesthetic and it damn hurts. You are in this excruciating pain and agony. You are already in so much pain and you know the reset will be extremely painful. So, what you decide then and there is that you are going home to let it heal by itself. You simply can't handle the pain.

So instead of those few moments of excruciating pain, you have potentially set yourself up for a lifetime of discomfort. Even the simplest things, like going up and down the stairs, getting up from your chair, and walking to the shop are made that much harder for you, because you did not do the much-needed and recommended reset.

Think back to your wanting to lose weight, or whatever health goal you want to achieve. This pain of not achieving your goal has left you feeling a bit broken. This is OK and a normal feeling - it happens to all of us, all we want is a quick fix and it's hard to come to terms with the reality, these things take time and need to be done safely.

When you're in this pain, you can turn to what is considered a quick-fix. Something fast and easy. Diet pills, detox juicing or some extreme diet where you cut out all the carbs.

But you know the safest and most effective way to see change? It's not these products - that are incredibly unhealthy - it's a lifestyle change. Whether you know you've been avoiding it or not, you know that's the reset you need.

And what happens while you are hopping between those different diets, is that you are not only losing weight quickly (only to put it back on again when you stop the diet), but you’re also damaging your psyche – your mental health - because every time you fail, you feel that bit worse. And now everything is that much harder.

You may seek comfort in the foods you deprived yourself of, or perhaps you've lost motivation and the passion for cooking. Or even worse, that ‘all or nothing' mindset sets in. You stop caring about what you eat and how much. But the problem is, you're not dealing with the pain you're feeling.

Please note that it’s not just you feeling this way. So many of us will experience this same cycle, and it sucks.

But still, we all want to skip the struggle - to skip the reset - but that’s where the magic is. That’s where transformation happens. This is where change happens.

With that, here are my top tips to help you get started on your journey to better health and wellbeing. And remember, consult a nutrition professional before making any drastic changes. A professional can help you understand what your body needs (we're all different, there is no 'one size fits all' approach) and what changes you need to make in order to reach your health goals.

  • What do you want to achieve? Write on a piece of paper what you want and what you don’t want to happen when it comes to your weight-loss. This has immense power on your subconsciousness and your decision-making.
  • Answer the question honestly. What are the consequences of doing nothing?
  • Think about the future. Where do you see yourself this time next year? What are you doing? How are you feeling? What are you eating? Who are you with?
  • Find the right people to help you. Whether this is a nutritionist, coach, friends, family, having people to talk to really helps. Sometimes it’s difficult to see wood for the trees.

After so many years of fad diets and diet culture, it can feel impossible to achieve your goals. But with the right support and information, this change can be achieved. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be when you know what your body needs. You've got this.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sutton, Surrey, SM1
Written by Angelika Cutuk-Short, MSc Functional Nutritionist / Hormone and Weight specialist
Sutton, Surrey, SM1

Angelika has a masters in nutrition and is a qualified NLP mindset coach. She is a specialist in weight loss management. She combines nutritional science with motivational coaching to change her client's mindset and bad food habits so they can lose weight for good, feel sexy, more body confident and finally fit those favourite jeans.

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