The Popular Diet That You’ve Never Heard Of, But That You’re Probably Doing Right Now

Snacking and grazing between meals can get us into trouble.

Having a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit to help tide us over until our next full meal is one thing. But mindlessly eating food just because it’s there is ruining your body composition efforts.

It’s easy to ignore how much we’ve eaten when we eat mindlessly. We may eat the equivalent of half of our meal or more just trying to decide what we want to eat, or even as we prepare our meals! Mentally, the foods we graze on don’t even “count” as eating — that is, the bite size candy bar we grab from the communal candy bowl at the office, the handful of Goldfish crackers off of our toddlers’ plates, the bunch of grapes we munch on with the refrigerator door open…those bites barely register in our brain as “satisfying,” or lead us to realize that “I’m actually not that hungry anymore.”

It's tasty for about 30 seconds, but is the energy equivalent of about 30 minutes of running. And you just ate three...

It’s tasty for about 30 seconds, but is the energy equivalent of 20-30 minutes of running. And you just ate three…

But physiologically, those foods all COUNT towards your overall daily caloric consumption.

And if they reflect habits that you practice day in and day out…your body composition will reflect that additional input.

index I call it the “See It Eat It” diet plan. And it’s one plan that you definitely want to give up on.

So how do we rein in mindless eating between meals, especially if we are on autopilot and don’t even realize when the hand-to-mouth-and-repeat pattern is in effect?

It’s time to hydroxychloroquine to buy wake up and pay attention.

If you’ve picked up your own copy of the EES Handbook (You haven’t!? What!? Check out the right side of this page, stat!), you already know that the first thing you need to do before making any changes to your current diet is to recognize what you are doing right now. And the best tool for that job is a food journal.

I usually get grumbles from my clients when I assign the homework of keeping a food journal. I get that it’s a little bit of an inconvenience. But it is such a powerful tool that if often gets results without my directly assigning any other behavior changes. Plus, most people don’t need to journal forever; they just need to learn to attend to what they are doing.

If you are on the “See It Eat It” plan, then recording your food intake for a week and showing it to a coach may be just the thing you need to get back on track, see results, and to start to take control of your diet and your life.

And if you don’t see immediate results from journaling alone, then you and your coach will easily be able to find the ONE THING that you can do to start moving in that direction!

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, definitely check out the email form to the right. You’ll get my EES Handbook full of action steps for FREE, and you’ll receive updates and tips from me in your inbox each week!

And don’t forget that I’m always thrilled to get questions on my Emotional Eating Solutions Facebook page. See you over there!

Always here to help,



Short Term Diets without Long Term Crazy

Should you do a cleanse?

With summer around the corner, the pressure to be “fit,” “toned” and “in shape” for the warm weather grows with each rising degree.

And with the pressure to be in shape before beach season comes the bombardment of quick fixes for sale:

  • Claims for diet plans where you can lose 15 lbs in 6 weeks.
  • Juice cleanses for sale on Groupon.
  • Whole30’s being undertaken on left and right.
  • Questions from clients about which detoxes are worth the money.

I get the appeal for a promising 5-20lb drop, fast. I’ve been there. We all have those moments. It’s that place of mind where you are so sick of your current physique, that roll of flesh you can pinch between your fingers; you just can’t stand it being part of your body for another minute. You just want to get rid of the extra pounds NOW, so you can start living the rest of your life already!  You make a decision, a commitment in your head to just knock your fat loss of the park, get it done, and then finally move on from the obsession with your weight!

Sound familiar?

The biggest issue with any kind of short term detox or diet plan is the idea that you will be done with the diet at some point, when you can go back to your normal eating habits.

If you’re still pinching the extra pounds of fat on your body now, your “normal” is the problem. Your normal eating habits, daily movement expenditure, sleep patterns, and stress levels combined have brought you to this point. If you return to “normal” your body will return to its “normal” in response, and sometimes even faster than you believed possible.

The second biggest issue with your short term, hard core, get-in-and-get-it-done diet or detox is that the extreme rigidity and restriction will set you up for cravings, bingeing, and general rebound upon completion (if you even make it all the way through!). I love a challenge as much as anyone…but tackling the strictest, “healthiest” diet I could find got me good results and feelings of superiority, it completely drained my willpower and focus from other endeavors. I also had to rely on a second round of restrictive eating to handle the aftermath of the first round (which may or may not have involved an evening of THREE cookie sundaes…after all it had been a whopping FOUR WEEKS without ice cream, I deserved it). Thus the beginning of what we all recognize as yo-yo dieting.

I felt great after my first Whole30...until just 2 months later, I had to go back on it to lose the fat I had regained before my vacation!

I felt great after my first Whole30…until just 2 months later, I had to go back on it to lose the fat I had regained before my vacation!


If you DO decide to start some kind of detox, cleanse, or elimination diet without wanting to lose your mind or your results in the process, I would urge you to consider the following guidelines:

1) Weight loss during a cleanse is not always a good thing.

The goal of a cleanse, detox, or elimination diet should not be weight loss. If you are doing something extremely low calorie for just a few days, you probably will see the scale move, but it will be from a combination of mostly water, along with a bit of fat and muscle as well. (NOTE: the more muscle you lose as a result of calorie restriction, the higher the chance of slowing your metabolism to adjust to the new lower calorie intake, which increases the chance of regaining the weight all in FAT…not what we want!!)

2) The goal of elimination diets is improved health, not fat loss.

Elimination diets provide a method for self-experimentation, to test the effects of a single variable (i.e. type of food) by removing it from your diet entirely for 3-4 weeks and reintroducing it systematically. Elimination diets are not for fun or for proving how hardcore you are! The purpose is to identify food intolerances or allergies in your diet. Basically, remember this:  if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you generally feel good throughout the day, despite the fact that you may have a few pounds to lose, you do NOT need to eliminate everything and reinvent the wheel. You can be perfectly healthy and hormonally balanced with a just a few extra pounds of fat, and just need to cut back on the extra indulgences or bad habits like mindless snacking. However, if you notice poor digestion or discomfort after certain meals, or regularly suffer from migraines, poor sleep, low energy, mood swings, breakouts, and other symptoms of systemic inflammation, you may want to try attending to the types of food that may be causing your distress.

(From my experience, this was my downfall. I was at a healthy weight and body fat percentage but desired to be the “best” at eating healthfully. I figured that a month of 100% “perfect” or “clean” eating without any potential allergens would help me tighten things up, but all it did was absolutely rewire my relationship with food for the worse and ultimately lead to extreme yo-yo dieting and a net gain of over 20 lbs!)

3) You don’t need any special products or kits.

For cleanses and detoxes specifically, focus on taking things out, not adding them in. For example, you don’t really need any special juice to flush your liver of toxins. Your body flushes toxins naturally! Try instead to eliminate as many toxins as possible to lessen the load, for example by opting for farm fresh or organic produce and animal products, or by ditching alcohol, added sugar, and processed foods.

Raw veggies with apple cider vinegar and some seasonings. You don't need a kit to nourish your body!

Raw veggies with apple cider vinegar and some seasonings. You don’t need a kit to nourish your body!

4) You can jump start your fat loss with a sane, short term program.

If you are really looking for a “jump start” to fat loss, then make sure it is one that is nutritionally balanced and is calorically sufficient for your daily needs. It’s fine to be a little stricter with food quality for a few days to help establish better food habits and avoid trigger foods. Sometimes it’s easier to know exactly what you are choosing avoid for a day or week or two, to take away the “should I or shouldn’t I” debate when facing every indulgence or off-plan food item. Your jump start should be comprised of 90-100% whole foods, and include mostly vegetables,  adequate sources of protein from animal products, beans, and/or nuts, as well as healthy fats from olive oil, avocado, etc. For lasting results, your “jump start” should be the way that you eat at least 80% of the time once you are done.

5) Have a plan for re-entry.

This is THE most important step of any short term plan: integrating it back into your normal everyday habits. The completion of a short term program should be a jumping off point for future good eating habits, not cause for celebration due to the end of deprivation. It’s time to work in a few indulgences throughout the week that weren’t a part of your jump start, not the time to undo your hard earned results. Plan out what your one indulgence will be at first, and commit to sticking to your plan. Remember that the jump start should be what you do most of the time to continue seeing results. The indulgences are there to help you keep your sanity and social life in tact!

So there you have it! I’d love to know what your experience has been with short term diet fixes…did you get sucked in? Did it work? How did your relationship with food change because of it?


Always here to help,


Change is HARD…But That’s Okay

Recently, I had a member of the gym come to me for advice about his fat loss progress….or lack thereof. By his account, he was working out regularly, pushing himself in the gym, and eating reasonably well. Since I see him working hard in the gym all the time, I inquired about an average day of eating. His diet generally consisted of a protein smoothie with a couple of cups of berries or other fruit for breakfast, maybe a salad or sandwich for lunch, and mostly protein and veggies with the occasional starch for dinner.

“But after dinner is when I always have a hard time. Sometimes I have ice cream, but most nights I just eat pistachios. They’re healthy right? I love them, but I buy them in bulk, sit on my couch with the bag, and eat them while I watch TV at night. I probably eat at least 2 or 3 cups a night, and that’s probably too many, right?”

Right indeed, my friend! From an outsider’s perspective, it seems pretty apparent that 2 or 3 cups daily of a calorically dense food like pistachios could offset the rest of his good eating and exercise habits. The gentleman was even able to identify that this was probably the reason behind his stalled results.

I recommended that he should try to address the pistachio issue by sticking to a single serving (only a handful!) after dinner, and seeing if that improved his results. I could immediately tell by his reaction that this wasn’t what he wanted to hear, though deep down he knew that I was probably right.

Just a few days later, we crossed paths again and I asked how things were going. He danced around my questions about his progress in limiting his pistachio intake, but instead offered his new “solution.”

“Hey, what do you think is the best type of fruit for my shake in the morning? I think I’m going to try strawberries instead….I heard that bananas aren’t good for you.”

Polar bear facepalm. Go U Bears!

It’s not about the fruit…

Oh boy. I’ve seen this scenario play out so many times and with so many people. It comes down to the fact that this person from the gym didn’t want to make the changes necessary to see results. He wanted to make only the changes that were EASY, the ones that didn’t require any sacrifice or effort, and have that be enough. He felt it was easier to swap fruits in his smoothie than to try to change his nighttime habits (even though his pistachio routine was costing him 690 calories PER CUP).

I’m sorry, but just because it’s what you WANT to do to achieve fat loss, doesn’t mean it’s going to cut it. Sometimes you need to accept that the changes you have to make for the results you want to see will be HARD.

We just hate to be uncomfortable, don’t we? We look for the easiest, quickest, most thoughtless diet we can find to try to do the work of fat loss and body transformation FOR us.

“I love to have a few glasses of wine every night to unwind…but I really need to lose at least 40 lbs!”

“Show me the one ab exercise that is FINALLY going to turn my mushy belly into washboard abs, once and for all!”

“If I don’t eat any carbs all day long, I can offset the damage from my nightly bingefest from after dinner until bedtime, right?”

We will do everything in our power try to avoid the real issues, our real emotional hang-ups and behaviors that prevent us from seeing lasting change….even when we know exactly what those issues are!

But in the long term, you can’t cheat your way through it. You can’t half ass it. You have to make a change and be uncomfortable in your new habits for a bit. Like every other new skill or practice, it WILL get easier over time. You can’t expect that this process will be effortless! It should kind of suck to make these changes. EMBRACE THE SUCK! Stay focused on your goals, that far off destination of where your changes will ultimately take you, and start slogging through, one day at a time. Eventually, the process will become automatic (i.e., a habit!) and just something that you do. Ta da! You’ve successfully overcome the suck and achieved real and lasting change!

Take a real, honest look at what may be holding you back from your goals right now. If you really don’t know what it is, get a coach. Otherwise, it’s time to dig in and get to work.

For example, if you struggle with overeating, especially at night after dinner, YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO NOT OVEREAT AT NIGHT. Look at the rest of your day and make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods (especially protein), and work to establish new nighttime routines.

Mindless snacking all day long? Keep a journal, and be accountable to yourself or to a coach.

Social drinking taking over your life? Learn to say no, drink club soda, and start working to change the focus of your social engagements away from alcohol.

That’s it. Identify the behavior that is holding you back from you goals, and CHANGE IT.

I know, I know; I’m a huge party pooper.

But guess what? If the changes you’re trying to make feel hard and yucky and uncomfortable at first….they’re working. People don’t change by performing the same behaviors over and over again.

If you want to look, feel and perform drastically differently from where you are today, you ultimately will have to make drastically different choices on a regular basis.

Big changes come from making big changes. (Not that you have to make ALL the changes ALL at once, of course…)

Do NOT fear tackling a change because it will be hard. The “hard” is what makes the journey to success so rewarding.

I hope you guys get the tough love here. Yes, I want you to make small manageable changes that will STICK over time, because if your behavioral changes don’t stick then you’ll loop right back to where you started.

Many of you know exactly what your biggest struggle is with food…I get your emails! So let me know, in the comments or on Facebook, what is ONE way you can start to tackle those struggles head on?

Always here to help,