Why Your Diet Didn’t Work

by | Nov 27, 2023

Today we’re talking all about why your diet didn’t work. Last week I did reveal the two biggest issues I tend to find. Obviously, something metabolic is happening.

It’s either, I’ve been on so many different diets and I’ve dieted away all my muscle. I’m all stressed out, I don’t sleep well, now I’m in perimenopause. We could have a lot of different metabolic factors that do keep us from losing weight, hence why your diet didn’t work. I have something metabolically wrong with me. 

Or, many of us do have some things we do with food that have nothing to do with our metabolism. It is just emotional eating, stress eating, the all or nothing thinking, all of that stuff. 

In my practice with clients, I’m kind of going back and forth between the two. I want to do a deep dive and figure out;

  • Is this a metabolic issue? 
  • Is this a mindset issue? 
  • What metabolic issues?
  • What mindset issues? 

It’s very easy just to say, oh, everything’s a metabolic issue. Everything’s a mindset issue. But that’s not necessarily true.

I think that’s the value of having a coach where you literally can go through and figure things out by process of elimination. Either we’re ruling things in or we’re ruling them out. I’ve never had a client that had everything wrong with them. But through trial and error, keeping a food journal, tracking a few things, we can usually pinpoint or narrow down the direction we want to go. Sometimes you need some blood work. Sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper. 

Why diets don’t always work.

There is one thing I did not mention last week, and I think it is the linchpin. It’s the thing. It’s the reason why diets, in general, don’t always work. I know that I often say that all diets do work, and yes, mathematically speaking all diets do work. If I just eat less than my body actually needs to maintain my current weight, then I would lose weight. Yeah, so from a math perspective, and if all things are reasonably steady in my body, then I should be able to lose weight. fOf course, we as humans want fast weight loss. We wanted it yesterday. We want the Verruca Salt of weight loss, like give it to me now weight loss. 

Diets typically don’t work long term when we are jumping from fad diet to fad diet. We go super low calorie. We do things with unsustainable rules, eat things with this color or within these hours or take away all of these food groups. Or this idea that there’s only one way to lose weight. We have to cut all of this stuff out and we can never have anything we like.That just makes it so that we can not stay on that diet. It just does not work. Instead I’m just ending that diet. 

It seems like we just rebound ourselves the other way. We’re either all in on restricting or all in on eating all the things because I’m so deprived. I’ve been so restricted and I deserve and I bla bla bla bla bla. I’m starving. 

There are other reasons.

Here it is. Are you ready? This is it. This is the big reveal. Here’s why your diet didn’t work and why diets tend not to work long term. Now I have a little caveat. I think diets serve a purpose aside from weight loss. 

If I’m busy dieting, if I’m busy, busy, busy. If I’m busy counting calories and counting macros and tracking my glasses of water and taking all the supplements and tracking all the steps and doing all the things. All of the actions I’m gonna get heavy into doing and I am all for doing. You have to actually do stuff in order to lose weight. So if you can’t just have good thoughts and lose weight, hug yourself and lose weight, you actually have to do the work. 

However, we can become very obsessive;

  • Counting the calories,
  • Weighing the food, 
  • Measuring the food, 
  • Tracking the scale, 
  • Using a tape measure,
  • Using Lumen,
  • Continuous glucose monitor, 

All the things. 

I’m going to use all the things I’m doing all the actions right I’m doing all the things to lose the weight, and I can. Dieting feels good. Dieting feels normal. Dieting is a way for me to actually hide and shield myself from other thoughts, beliefs, stories, and the world. 

The one thing we’re all running from is feelings. As long as I’m dieting, I’m working out, I’m doing things and I’m trying to outdo my feelings. I’m going to diet harder instead of feeling disappointed. I’m going to work out harder instead of feeling sad or angry or lonely or stressed. That’s the deal. 

Diets themselves are not transformational. 

You losing weight, the scale going down, your clothes falling off or whatever. You looking different in the mirror, like being more buff, lean toner. We got skinny, slimmer, whatever. Like, yeah, that is a before and after photo. 

So we have the before and after. And then six months a year goes by and that goes away. If I transformed, if I lost weight, why didn’t I keep it off? Well, because diets themselves are not transformational. I’m going to use an analogy to explain what I mean. This is going to ring true. I think this is going to be a big aha. 

You’ve heard this story before. It’s a tale as old as time. It’s in magazines, they always have this story about, Hey, did you hear about Joe or Mike or Fred or Susie or whomever? They won $10 million and within two years, they were destitute. In two years, it was gone, or in three years or six months, or however much. Whatever they did with the money, they probably bought a house, bought a friend a house, gave some away, bought a car ,when on vacation, did some more gambling. Who knows what that maybe they just did nice things. Maybe they didn’t and it doesn’t really matter what they did. 

Here’s the deal. They won the $10 million but they didn’t have a $10 million mindset. They didn’t have the brain thoughts. Not saying they’re not smart, they just didn’t have the same thoughts, the same beliefs, the same stories about themselves, as somebody who has millions of dollars. This is one of those things where people have budgeting problems, financial problems. It’s not dissimilar from weight problems. Sometimes they go hand in hand where there’s some level of self sabotage. 

This is just a fictional person, but just let’s say this person’s name was Joe. And Joe might have had some stories about;

  • I don’t have money. 
  • I don’t have enough money. 
  • I don’t know how to make money. 
  • I’ll never have money. 
  • I’m not good with money. 
  • I don’t budget things well.
  • I’m too generous with money. 
  • I like to give money away.
  • I need to hold on to money. 
  • Money is scarce. 
  • What if I run out of money? 

All of these different things. 

We’re never addressing the reasons why we had gained weight in the first place. What is going on for ourselves? Who are we? What do we believe about ourselves? Our story? 

  • I’m big boned. 
  • I’m always going to be bigger than anyone else. 
  • I weigh a lot. 
  • Weight loss is hard. 
  • I can never keep it off. 
  • I love food too much.

All of the things that become sort of who we think we are. 

If I do lose the 20 pounds, or the 30 pounds, or 50 or 100. At some point, if my mindset has not caught up to the number on the scale, I’m going to see the number creep back. 

Sometimes what happens with weight loss, especially when it’s a very big transformation, is that we run into things and we start to feel vulnerable, scared, unsafe in our physical body. We don’t really feel comfortable with people talking to us about our weight, looking at us differently, asking us questions. People watching what we eat. People wondering what we eat. People monitor it becomes overwhelming or frightening. 

When you want to lose weight and keep it off it isn’t just about the next diet, the next set of macros, the new calories, weighing your food, going for a walk, drinking all the water. Although, you do have to take actions and I do think tracking these actions is helpful so you get that positive reinforcement in the feedback, in the dopamine hit. You can show yourself that you’re doing the things. But you also have to take the time to work on who you are and who you want to be. 

Your brain is very eager to stay in the past, go to the past, show you your past. Because it’s comfortable, it’s familiar. It’s very unfamiliar if you’re walking around in a body that’s 30 pounds lighter. If you always have been heavier, or always been on a diet, or always been overweight. It really is about if you want that real transformation. 

We are going to have to redefine who we are. That new relationship with ourselves, with our bodies, with the clothing size, number on the scale, a new relationship with food. 

  • What does it mean to eat? 
  • What does it mean to take care of yourself? 
  • What do you mean by eating clean?

All of that stuff has to be addressed. Otherwise, we’re always going to be on a diet or off a diet. Chances are mostly off a diet we might feel like we’re sliding backwards. Feel like we have no control. Feel like we don’t know what to do or where to go. 

I hope that is helpful. 

What to do about this?

I think it is best to really not shy away from the feelings part. Believe me, I’m the first one to do so. Feelings about anything, my business, my personal life, my body. Like, no, let’s just diet harder. Let’s just work harder. You can see this and other people, maybe it’s not dieting, but maybe it’s being a workaholic. Maybe it’s being somebody who over spends money. There’s all different kinds of ways we exist in this world. We try to override or overcome our own thoughts and feelings. 

At the end of the day, if you want to;

  • Feel better, 
  • Feel more confident, 
  • Feel more certainty, 
  • Have more peace,
  • Enjoy your life and the process, 

You’re going to have to allow some of these thoughts and see what they’re all about. 

Feel the feelings. They’re going to come and go. If you really think about it, weight loss should be fun, exciting, awesome. Yet oftentimes, it can feel very hard, scary, traumatizing. It’s because we think;

  • This is never going to work. 
  • I’m going to gain the weight back. 
  • I can’t keep doing this. 
  • This is so hard. 
  • What if people see me fail? 
  • Everybody’s waiting for me to gain the weight back.

All kinds of stuff is in there. 

Here’s what I would do. Just for fun I would set a timer on your phone, or a kitchen timer, whatever you got. Give yourself two minutes, which is not long, to write down all the things that you think about yourself, your body, your ability to lose weight. Are you the person who has a money mindset issue? Who wins the $10 million? Are you a person who would lose the weight and gain it back because they haven’t cleared up some of the underlying thoughts, beliefs and stories they’re holding on to? 

When I say you write it down, your brain is just trying to keep you safe. Let’s figure that out. What’s that all about? Put it on paper. Whatever comes out comes out. You don’t like the answers, you can rip up the paper, you can burn it. You don’t have to keep it. It doesn’t have to be in a beautiful journal. Just see what’s in your head and get it out there because I think it’s going to be something that makes a major shift. If you’re on your way to weight loss, you will have a clear path. It will be easier for you. It will feel like I have the tools to keep the weight off. 


Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.

Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on.

Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.

By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.

Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you u****k your diet brain. She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.

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