Today we are rating and reviewing the 3 worst diets disguised as intuitive eating in 2021.
Lets dive right in because we have lots to discuss:
Coming in third place:
This is a diet (yes a diet) from Beachbody.
The creator has her own weight loss story and uses this to sell the program.
A lot of the messaging does sound so appealing – never be hungry and still lose weight, live your life and still lose weight, it sounds so good. Honestly even when I read it I have a moment of hope. But then the truth comes crashing in.
Here are some other things that it says:
- What to eat first at every meal to lose weight
- What to order first at a restaurant to lose weight
- “Dozens of my proven weight loss secrets” , if anyone ever promotes their weight loss program or tips as secrets – they lying. Anything that actually worked would be such big news it would not be a secret.
- Then it says “results may vary based on starting point, effort and following Beachbody’s exercise and healthy eating plan” – okay soooo a diet.
- Then it says it again – get my secrets to results that last a lifetime. If its a secret its a lie.
- Then as we go into the website you see that she also has packages that include the beachbody shakes – it gets more diety the deeper you dig.
And this is all to say: WE KNOW this sounds appealing for many, this is the problem. Diets disguise themselves as not diets, as something different and this is what leads people down the road an extra 5 years thinking – oh maybe this ones the answer, maybe this one….
It’s really harmful.
We want to confirm that this is a diet and pursuing weight loss leads to the same results no matter the name of it.
Runner up is:
It is advertised as: “A clear but flexible, four week plan combining intuitive eating with intermittent fasting and Ketotarian foods. It’s designed to optimize our wellbeing and set us up to feel our best for all the other weeks to come. This is not a book of dogma. It will not punish you or restrict you. “
You’ll notice these are ALL buzz words and this description doesn’t really say anything.
Dr. Will Cole, the author of this book (who is not a medical doctor by the way, he is a quote “leader in functional medicine – his bio on instagram says intuitive fasting + ketotarian + inflammation spectrum (the buzz words that mean nothing.. honestly).
The contradictions here are astounding:
Dr. Will Cole says – Not everyone is created equal- The realization that everyone is created differently. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to getting well. What works for one person can flare other’s triggers. To treat symptoms and ailments, functional medicine uses herbal botanical medicine, lifestyle modifications, supplements and medications when needed to regain health.
Yet I have written a 4 week plan that you should all BUY!
There is no such thing as intuitive fasting. This is like saying be a vegetarian and eat meat – nope not possible. No matter how hard you sell it.
The word intuitive is used here because they know that intuitive eating is on the rise in popularity and strict diets are on the outs.
What it actually is:
This program is actually just 3 of the more popular ways of eating right now, intermittent fasting, intuitive eating and keto (obviously one of these things is not like the other) – and smashing them together to sell something.
This program is nothing new, there is nothing intuitive about it and it’s in fact very harmful.
Diets suck. We know that.
AND the reason these specific diets are the most harmful is because they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. People who are embarking on the journey to become an intuitive eater often still want to lose weight – so someone coming along and saying Hey, don’t worry you can be intuitive-ish and still fast and eat keto, don’t worry. You can be intuitive AND lose weight.
This is predatory and honestly really scary.
The key issue here is knowing how to determine if something is legitimately IE or not – ANYTHING with any food rules (including when you can eat) it is not authentic to this work.
I think sometimes we almost WISH that it was real – I can find food freedom AND embark on a quest to manipulate my food intake and my body? It’s safe, it’s what we know, but it just won’t get you to where you want to go.
The winner of the worst diet disguising itself as intuitive eating is …
Why is this the winner?
It’s the sneakiest one AND the most successful. Noom is a HUGE company at this point.
Founded in 2008 by two engineers (yes, engineers, not psychologists like its advertised) , Saeju Jeong and Artem Petakov, Noom is a personalized health coaching company with its own app.
Noom has over 50 million members and has raised over $114 million in investment capitol.
And what’s so great about it? Why is it so successful?
The reason Noom has done so well is because of it’s marketing, it claims to be a psychology based approach to losing weight for good and don’t forget its not a diet (WINK). One of their slogans is “Don’t go on a diet, go on Noom.”
The app claims to help you to learn to eat mindfully and that using psychology you will lose the weight once and for all.
There are 2 options you can take when starting Noom – they are, lose weight for good and Get fit for good, note that for the Get fit for good option you still have to choose a weight loss goal soooo not sure how these are different.
Luckily you cannot enter a goal weight that when calculated with your height is not considered underweight however for many people the lowest weight they can reach while still being considered in the “healthy weight” range according to BMI can still be a weight that is unhealthy for that person so although these parameters are in place it just isn’t enough to keep people safe.
They claim to not be a restrictive diet but once you enter the program you are allotted a certain amount of calories based on how much weight you want to lose and how fast you want to lose it.
They also market themselves as being something you only have to do for 10 minutes a day…. Okay maybe you’re only on the app for 10 minutes a day but when you count up all the meals you make, the meals you track, the workouts you do, the workouts you track and then on top of that dealing with food preoccupation and always thinking about the weight loss, what is the actual time this takes?
If you are a dieter or used to be a dieter you know it’s not that simple.
Again the danger in this program is that IT DOES look so good. As you go through the process of signing up and answering questions it has a graphic that shows your goal weight getting closer and closer (it did this no matter how I answered the questions). It makes it seem like, it’s so close, this is so possible for me.
Here is some conflicting messaging that shows that this whole “not a diet” thing is just very smart marketing.
“We all fall off the wagon sometimes. We’ll help you get back on track” – if this isn’t a diet, how can there be a wagon?
They share some great information on why restrictive dieting is bad:
Why restrictive diets fail – (the “Yo-Yo” effect)
Columbia University reports that 73% of dieters experience at least one weight cycling episode
The Mayo Clinic reports more “Yo-Yo” cycles increases diabetes risk and amounts of belly fat
But then THEY are a restrictive diet – with calorie allotments, meal tracking and red, green and yellow foods, saying which foods are good, ok and bad BUT since they ALLOW all the foods it’s not restrictive. But if you put a bad label on a food and limit the calories how are you meant to include these foods into this program?
This is restriction- both mental and physical.
This information was provided by someone who has done the program: (No we were not going to do this program or pay Noom for this episode, that would be self harm and would also fund a company that we do not believe in).
Here are the things that show that this is just another diet:
SEE images HERE
They also have articles and discussions about mindset which is great (and the thing that they say makes this program about psychology and not restriction) but they really miss the mark on these things.- for instance they say to work on all or nothing thinking, amazing! We say this too but their version looks like this. They say progress can come in all forms not just weight loss.
These so called markers of progress are so steeped in diet culture it’s astounding.
THIS IS NOT psychology – this is a twist on diet culture and calling it something else.
And that is the thing to be aware of in today’s diet market.
It’s not the obvious diets, those are out there and you can find one on every corner of the internet – we don’t take any time to talk about those because for people who are at all aware of this work, they are not as dangerous.
What’s dangerous are the diets disguising themselves as IE, as wellness and as something different.
These things are powerful though, even me being on this website – I had a couple moments of ugh I remember that fun feeling of starting a new plan and thinking this was the first day of the rest of my life. It’s a high. It’s fun, it’s hopeful, it’s exciting. How do we NOT get sucked back into this crap all the time?
So please, do not feel bad if these programs have roped you in before? It’s human nature BUT we can learn from this.
We can learn to not walk through the door, we can learn to identify diets quickly and move along.
How to identify a diet:
1. Weight loss is a focus. No matter what they say after this, if the point is to lose weight, it’s a diet. Yes, everytime.
2. There are ANY restrictions or classifications of foods. For instance labeling foods red, yellow and green.
3. There are restrictions on why or how you should eat – for instance, fasting windows.
Pretty much, if it isn’t IE or someone teaching you how to trust your own body, it’s a diet.
Much love and if you have found this podcast helpful on your journey please rate and review, it helps the movement and helps new people find this work.
Thank you so much.