4 Diet Red Flags Diet To Avoid

I talk to a lot of people about losing weight. Not only our members at Castro Valley Fitness, but other people as well. There are a lot of aspects to it, and after talking with hundreds of people about this I’ve learned many things but I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how crucial the things we say to ourselves really are. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that for most people it’s much more important than the food itself.

Much More

What I want to do today is let you know some things I hear from people that are a red flag to me and why. I will also give you some suggestions so that you can make your self-talk help you reach what you are trying to achieve instead of impeding it.

One thing I need to mention before I go into all this is that, technically speaking, some of the things that we tell ourselves we should do to lose weight may actually work. The problem is when these things don’t work for the reasons we believe, put us in an unnecessarily bad frame of mind or aren’t thought about with the long-term in mind.

Let’s start with the biggest one.

Statement: I want to lose weight.

Why is this a problem? I’ve said this many times but it bears repeating:


People want what they feel losing weight will get them. They want to be healthier, look better, not be in pain, feel better about themselves, etc. They just think that losing weight will help them reach those goals.

How do I improve this thinking? This is going to take some work, but you need to think about what you really want and why. Not just surface level but go deep with yourself. The people that do this succeed in their goals. The people that don’t, by and large, do not. That is because there is nothing at all inspiring or empowering about looking at a number on a scale. It’s quite the opposite, in fact.

On the other hand, getting off a medication or fitting into something you’ve been wanting to wear or being able to finish a hike or lift a weight you weren’t able to before? That really means something.

Statement: I’m just going to cut out carbs.

Why is this a problem? While it’s true that cutting out carbs may help people lose weight, it’s not because there is something evil about carbs. It’s just a way to cut calories. The problem with cutting out carbs is that for most people it’s just not sustainable. It’s not sustainable because it makes people feel like garbage and the worst thing you can do for your long-term success is force yourself to do something that makes you feel like garbage. Besides, some carbs taste good!

How do I improve this thinking? Understand that demonizing one particular food group isn’t necessarily a healthy approach. There are a lot of approaches that work but the key is to figure out something that works for you and will work for a long time.

Statement: I’m going to do this (enter name of extreme diet here). 

Why is this a problem? This one is a minefield. There are a lot of diets out there that use extreme methods to cause weight loss. What do I consider an extreme method? Anything you can’t see yourself doing some version of for the next 5 years. Also, let’s get serious. You know what an extreme diet is. Stop kidding yourself.

How do I improve this thinking? Ask yourself if you want to eat only 800 calories a day for the next five years. Do you want to drink 2-3 shakes every day for the next five years? I get it. You see the ads and they’re filled with amazing before and after pictures.

This Could Be You!!!

What you don’t see is the after-after pictures which look pretty much exactly like the original before pictures. Because all of these diets focus only on crazy methods, you will lose a good amount of weight right away, but as soon as the diet is over (and it will be because you CANNOT sustain these approaches) you will very quickly gain all of the weight you lost back and probably more. Focus more on sustainability and a slow-steady approach and you will thank yourself in the long run when you are reaching your goals and everyone who was on the other diet is worse off than when they started.

Statement: I need to do more cardio.

Why is this a problem? There are a lot of problems with this statement but let’s keep it simple and talk about the biggest one. (In case you haven’t noticed I really like simple.) When it comes to losing weight, diet is 85-90% of it. I know you see all these ads and posts about fat-burning belly-flattening exercises and 1000 calorie burning workouts, etc. It’s garbage. You can do all the cardio you want and if you don’t work on your diet it won’t mean anything. Despite what a lot of people say, you just don’t burn all that many calories exercising. Especially if most of what you do is cardio. In the long-run, the type of exercise that really gets you the most bang for your buck is strength training anyway. Yes, you should do some cardio, but for general health reasons, not for weight loss.

How do I improve this thinking? First of all, understand what really matters for weight loss. Diet. Next. Stop trying to take the easy way out. You know what I mean. Put in the work. With your nutrition and with your real motivation. No one said that was going to be easy, but I promise that once you get going and put in that initial work, you’d be surprised at how it starts to flow.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or have any self-talk issues you need help turning around. It’s not easy, but I promise that if this is an issue for you, it’s going to be incredibly hard to make progress until it’s addressed.

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, PAS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

5 Easy Ways To Get Better Results in 2019

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all had a great holiday season. 2019 is upon us!!!! I hope you’re looking forward to it.

I know this is the time of year a lot of people set their goals for the next 12 months, so I wanted to give you a few ways to help you achieve even better results in 2019.

Here we go!!

  1. Don’t use your age as an excuse. This is going to be a new rule we have at Castro Valley Fitness starting this year. If you keep telling yourself that you are going to feel lousy because you’re getting older than you will. If you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter and you can keep getting better than you’ll find that to be the case. Don’t make me write more about self-talk please!
  2. Be engaged. Don’t just go through the motions. Think about what you’re doing. Feel what you’re doing. Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask questions. I promise you that you’ll get so much more from an exercise if you do these things. Are you feeling planks in your arms or shoulders? Do you think rows are an arm exercise? If you answered yes to these questions then you need to engage.
  3. Understand that exercise has very little to do with weight loss. If you want to lose weight and you think that exercising alone will do it, I’m sorry to tell you that it won’t. Diet is AT LEAST 80-90% of weight loss. Exercise can be an important and very helpful component, especially in the long run, but please hear me on this. IF YOU DON’T WORK ON YOUR DIET YOU WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT!!!!! 

    Weight Loss Is About Diet!!

  4. Be consistent. This is simple. You won’t get results if you don’t show up. I’d rather someone have ten “B” workouts than 3 “A” workouts.
  5. Work hard. You don’t need to work out like a crazy person to get results, but you do have to work hard. You know if you are or not. Don’t lie to yourself. Are doing 10 squats at a weight you could do 20 squats with? Are you taking 90 minutes to do a 60 minute workout? 

These are just a few ways to make sure that your 2019 is even better than your 2018. Some may apply to you and some may not but I hope that this at least gets your mind working a little bit.

Remember that 2020 is coming whether you like it or not so please don’t look back a year from now and regret not doing something.

Let me know how I can help.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, Egoscue PAS, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
We Help People Discover Their Strength



What’s More Important, Losing Weight or Adding Muscle?

I overheard a question the other day.

“What’s more important, losing weight or adding muscle?”


If I know one thing, it’s that there is a ton of information out there. Some of it good and helpful, but much of it pretty crummy and confusing. This question is an opportunity to hopefully sort some of that out.

Obviously this question is very general, so I’m going to put some parameters on it. We’re going to assume the following:

  • The person’s overall goal is weight loss for general reasons such as overall health and appearance
  • The person is generally healthy, meaning no serious injuries or illnesses
  • The person does not have a long history with intense resistance training

Also, it’s important to understand that when we say adding muscle, we are NOT talking about becoming a huge bodybuilder. We are talking about adding some lean body, and if you want more definition to your body YOU MUST ADD LEAN BODY!! The assumption with someone with these goals is that as you add lean body you are also decreasing body fat, thereby making you smaller. Take a look at this picture if you need a little clarification on that.

Muscle is denser than fat making the same weight much smaller!

OK. Let’s start with this.

Adding muscle and losing fat are done mostly with two different processes. Losing fat is done largely with diet and adding muscle is done largely in the gym. Now this doesn’t mean that the gym and diet aren’t involved with both to varying degrees, but for the most part losing fat is done with diet and adding muscle is done in the gym.

What does that mean? Well, it means that these things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can do both, to some extent. Note that the person we’re talking about does not have a long history with intense resistance training.

At home you can work on your diet and in the gym you can exercise with purpose and intensity and try hard to get stronger. Both of these things should be done if you’re trying to lose weight.

As to which is more important this is a tougher question. Here’s the thing, when you are trying to lose weight it would still be very helpful to include resistance training in your routine. Although you might not have a goal to build muscle per se, this can be a big help in a couple of different ways:

  1. More muscle means a higher metabolism. This means that instead of our metabolism slowing down as we lose weight (which it will) the muscle allows it to stay as high as possible which makes it easier and more manageable to either continue with weight loss or maintain it.
  2. More muscle gives us better nutrient partitioning. This is the process where your body decides what to do with the food you’re eating. The more muscle you have and the more resistance training you do, the more your body will take that food and use it to maintain and build muscle as opposed to adding fat.

What does this all mean when it comes to the original question?

“What’s more important, losing weight or adding muscle?”

Well, here is my answer:

I think that whatever your goal is, that is what’s most important. If you want to lose weight, then that is most important (by the way, figuring out WHY you want to lose weight is a huge key to this whole thing). Having said that, adding muscle would be a huge advantage to this whole process, especially in the long term.

I hope this gets you thinking a little differently about what you’re doing. Please let me know if you have any questions about how to make this all work for you.


Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way


Do Carbs Make You Fat?

I help one of our members who runs a preschool with the wellness program for her employees. I received a question from one of them that, I think, is a common source of confusion for many people. Here it is, along with my answer.

If you’re trying to lose weight as an older woman should you eat carbs at dinner or only have protein and vegetables? Also, is whole wheat making us fat? Should we avoid it to be slim?

This is a very common question and one that creates a lot of confusion for many people.

First I want to go over some basic facts.

  1. Weight loss is determined by calories. In other words, to lose weight you must eat fewer calories than you burn.
  2. Many studies have shown that the macronutrient (carbs, proteins and fats) makeup of someone’s diet doesn’t really matter for weight loss.
  3. It really doesn’t matter when you eat  for weight loss. The only thing that matters is calorie intake. In other words having carbs at breakfast or dinner makes no difference.

In other words eating carbs at dinner is perfectly fine as long as the overall amount of calories you are taking in is less than what you are burning.

Having said that, cutting down on carbs can be a perfectly legitimate and simple way to achieve the caloric deficit necessary for weight loss. The main issue with this, however, is that a low carb approach can be difficult to sustain for people. In fact, many studies have shown that people who resort to low carb diets don’t stay on them for very long, even if they have success with the diet!

My opinion is always that the most important thing to consider when dieting is sustainability. Simply put, you should not go on any diet that you can’t see yourself on for a long time. That is the only way to truly achieve and sustain weight loss.

Lastly, whole wheat is not making us fat unless it’s eaten at a caloric surplus. Really, any food eaten at a surplus will make us gain weight.

Mitch Rothbardt, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley

2 Things You Might Not Realize About Weight Loss

Hello! I hope you’re having a great day. I’m going to make this one pretty short today so let ‘s get started.

When it comes to losing weight I’ve found that there are a few things that typically get people’s way. Let’s talk about two of them.

1 – It’s not about the food. I can feel your eyes glazing over right now. “What do you mean?” you’re asking. “Aren’t you the one who’s always saying that losing weight is all about the nutrition?” Well yes, but let me explain. You don’t need me to tell you to eat your vegetables, right? You don’t need me to tell you that an apple is healthier than a candy bar, right? At least 5 times a week I hear some version of “I know what to do but I just can’t do it.” We all know what we need to know about nutrition. It’s really very simple. The issue is what is getting in our way of doing it.

Creating Healthy Lives

You don’t need me to tell you to eat this

2 – The most important skill for weight loss is emotional regulation. The truth is that the real reason most people can’t do what they know they should do has to do with emotions. When we’re emotional that’s when we have trouble making the decisions we know, deep down, that we should make.

I hope this helps clear some things up for you. I know this is tough. If it does help, I want to let you know about a program we are starting up. It’s a nutrition program that we’ve put together that we believe covers what REALLY MATTERS about weight loss. (remember it’s not about the food!) Its starts up on the 24th and you can get all the information right here:

Creating Healthy Nutrition 

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt



I Know What To Do But I Just Can’t Do It

I heard it again today. “I know what to do but I just can’t do it.”

If I’ve heard this once I’ve heard it a thousand (million) times.

I know what to do but I just can’t do it.

At Castro Valley Fitness we believe that, for the most part, people know just about everything they need to know about nutrition. You don’t need me to tell you that an apple is healthier than a candy bar and that you should eat your vegetables, right?

You may be asking yourself, if people know all they need to know, then what’s the problem?

Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? If we answer that, we can pretty much solve everyone’s food issues, right? The problem is that this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

It requires work that really has very little to do with food itself.

It requires an approach that is both honest and unemotional. Both of these qualities tend to get lost when we think about how and why we eat.

Let me give you a few things that have worked for some of our members when they’ve been tying to figure some things out.

  • Slow down. Sometimes I’ll ask someone how fast they eat. Usually they just laugh. Slowing down allows your stomach to let your brain know it’s full. That can take 10-15 minutes. How much food can you eat in that time? It also gets you out of GO-GO-GO-GO mode which is when so many of us wind up eating whatever is easy and fast. That’s not usually conducive to making good decisions.
  • Keep a journal. Just reading that might have given you a chill.
    Holiday Season

    An actual person when asked to keep a food journal.

    If it did frighten you, you should ask yourself why. You just might figure out something that’s been holding you back. Journaling keeps us honest and accountable. It also can reveal things that we didn’t know. You might not have realized how much you actually snack in a given day, for instance.

  • Aim for progress not perfection. One of the biggest problems I see is all-or-nothing thinking. This is when people think that one slight slip counteracts all the good they’ve done or they feel like they the “perfect” plan to get started. The truth is that there is no such thing as perfect. No perfect diet or perfect workout. The closest thing we have to perfection is in this picture right here.

    The Closest Thing To Perfection

                      All we need to aim for is progress in whatever form it takes.

Listen, we all have crazy lives. Kids, work, family. We sit in traffic for hours each week. The more we can figure out the REAL issues behind our diet the better off we will be.

Let me know what you think. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley

4 Ways To Feel Good About Your Diet

We know that feeling good about what you’re doing can make a HUGE difference when it comes to doing it. We also know that consistency over time is the absolute key to making your diet work for you.

In todays video let’s talk about 4 ways you can actually feel good about what you’re doing with your diet instead of angry and resentful.

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way

Are You Hungry? Deciphering the Clues for Weight Loss.

Don’t let them lie to you. You will be hungry if you are trying to lose weight. The thing is that it might not be physical hunger you feel. How you deal with this the the ABSOLUTE KEY to your weight loss journey.

In this video I go over:
– The 4 different kinds of hunger
– How to figure out which one you are experiencing
– How to deal with it so that you can reach your goal

Let me know what you think!

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness

5 Ways To Combat Emotional Eating

If I had to pick one thing that it seems gets in people’s way the most when it comes to their diet, it is definitely emotional eating. You can call it stress eating, too. I found a great definition of emotional eating at medicinenet.com. It says:

“Emotional Eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”

I don’t want to get super deep today but I do want you to notice the last sentence of that definition:

“Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”

emotional eating

I’ve said many times that emotional regulation is actually the most important part of weight loss.

What I’d like to do today is just give you a few different strategies you can use when you feel like the emotional and stress eating bug is about to bite you.

  1. Know that you are not alone. I’ve talked to many people that swear that they are the only ones who have this problem and that everyone else has it all together. Let me assure you, this is not the case. This is a huge issue for so many people. I refer again to the above sentence: “Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”
  2. Where does this happen? Try to figure out where these issues occur and get your trigger foods out of there. The old rule is this: If it’s there, you will eventually eat it.
  3. Be honest and prepare. A common version of this is when your schedule just gets in the way and you wind up eating whatever is easy and quick instead of something healthy and nourishing. Take an honest look at your schedule, figure out when eating good meals will be a problem and take some time to make something healthy that will be ready for you.
  4. Take a step back. I know this is hard. If it wasn’t this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. Having said that, if you don’t take a step back when things are going a little crazy this is just not going to get better. I know that emotional eating feels good when you’re doing it. That’s why people do it. I also know that most people don’t feel very good physically or emotionally when they’re done.
  5. Understand that it’s OK. One piece of cake or one bowl of ice cream is never the reason someone is overweight. Just like one apple or piece of broccoli is never the reason someone is in shape. The worst thing about emotional eating is that for some people it triggers a whole host of negativity. These thoughts usually go something like, “I just blew it. I might as well eat the rest of the carton” or “I knew it. I can’t do this. I might as well give up.” No, emotional eating isn’t good, but it’s understandable. What’s a whole lot worse is letting one episode extend to an emotional black hole that takes days or weeks to escape from.

emotional eating

I know that this is a pretty simplistic view of this. I also know that this is incredibly hard for so many people (again, you are not alone). I just want to try and get you thinking a little bit about some ways that you might be able to combat this a little bit. Also, I want you to notice that I didn’t say defeat this or beat it.

It is incredibly important that you understand that this is a process. This is not about winning or losing, it’s about getting better. I know that doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as “Lose 20 Pounds In 4 Weeks” but getting your mind around this process is the only way to make this really work in a way to make your life better, and that’s what we are all really looking for. Right?

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
We Help People Discover Their Strength

The CV Fitness Diet Guide

Diets are confusing. I know it and you know it. Amazon currently lists over 50,000 diet books! Just on the first page alone you can get books that promise you solutions in 30 days, 17 days, 14 days, 7 days and 20 days! It’s no wonder everyone is so confused!!

Well, I’m here to help sort a few things out. Today I’m going to break down a few of the diets that seem to be getting a lot of attention these days. I’m going to let you know the positives and negatives and I’m going to talk about the things you need to understand to get the most out of each diet.

Here’s the first thing you need to know. All of these diets work. Every one of them.

Yes. That’s right. All of the books that tell you that their diet is the best one are simultaneously right and wrong. The truth is that it very well may be the best diet for you. It might contain the foods you like. Whatever meal timing it promotes might fit perfectly into your schedule. The preparation for the meals might be easy for you. It might fit into your life in a very workable and sustainable way.

On the other hand, the opposite of all those things may be true.

Here are some very important facts to know.

  1. Weight loss diets work because they cause a calorie defecit. That’s it. They may cause the defecit in a number of different ways but that is why they work. Not because of insulin, not because of hormonal reactions to their specific combination of foods. Not because of blood types. Because they cause a calorie defecit.
  2. There have been a number of studies that show that over time there is virtually no difference between any type of diet.
  3. Those same studies have shown that the most important aspect of a diet is that a person will stick with it.
  4. The ability to stick with a diet is a very individual thing and takes many different forms.

I’m going to break things in a bit of a general way but I think I’ll be able to get the point across.

OK. Let’s talk diets.

Low-Carb Diets

Common diets: Atkins, Ketogenic, Paleo

What is it? Low carb diets are diets that contain a minimal amount of carbohydrates. That can run from as little as 20 grams per day to as many as 150 grams depending on the exact diet. These diets focus mainly on lean protein and varying amounts of healthy fats, again, depending on the exact diet.

How it works: Since carbohydrates, particularly processed ones, can contain lots of calories for the amount of food they contain, cutting them out may be a relatively easy way to get in a calorie defecit.

The Good:

  • There’s not much to think about. Other than vegetables and a little fruit just don’t eat any carbs.
  • These diets can also be a good way to change some general meal planning habits from starch-based (noodles and bread) meals to protein-based (lean meats or eggs).
  • It can bring some good initial weight loss (even though most of the initial weight is going to be due to less water and glycogen in your body, not fat loss).
  • This diet can lower systemic inflammation in some people although that may be the case mostly in people that tend to eat a lot of the processed carbs this diet eliminates, not due to any magical food combinations. In other words, if you stop eating the junk the inflammation goes down no matter what diet you’re on.

The Bad:

  • The adjustment to this kind of diet can be extremely hard for people. It can cause headaches, a lack of energy, general mental fatigue, and like any extreme diet it forces someone to make very big changes all at once. Because of these and some other factors,
  • ]most studies have shown that this diet is just not sustainable for most people.
  • Over time the lack of carbs can lead to some vitamin and mineral defiencies in some people.
  • It may cause a real lack of energy. Particularly among those that exercise on a regular basis.

Who is the diet good for?

  • Someone who is OK with the initial adjustment period. It can effect some people more than others.
  • Someone who is not emotional about food.
  • Someone who doesn’t mind eating pretty much the same food on a daily basis.

Who is the diet not good for?

  • Some people seemingly have a tougher time converting fat to energy. This diet would be problematic for them.
  • People who tend to emotional or stress eat usually eat the kinds of foods this diet prohibits. While this may sound good initially, the reality is that this diet sets up a feeling of denial which will inevitably lead to someone falling off the diet and usually in a very dramatic way. Again, for most people this diet is just not sustainable.

Intermittent Fasting

Common Diets: Eat Stop Eat, Warrior Diet

What is it? Intermittent Fasting diets alternate long periods of not eating with shorter periods of eating. Common fasting periods can range from as long as 23 hours (dinner from one night until dinner the next) down to 16 hours (this usually takes the form of either skipping breakfast or dinner each day)

How it works. It’s pretty simple, really. If you restrict when you eat, and not go crazy when you do eat, it can be easy to cut calories.

The Good:

  • It’s very simple. Just skip the meals you are supposed to skip and eat sensibly to rest of the time.
  • Many people find that not having to worry about certain meals can relieve stress.
  • Many people find that this diet allows them to realize that they’re just not as hungry as much as they think.

The Bad:

  • This kind of diet may lead to overcompensation during your eating periods, which can eliminate any caloric deficit, or even cause a caloric surplus.
  • Similar to the last point, this diet could lead could lead to the “if not eating for a little bit is good, then not eating for long time is better!” type mindset. That is NOT a good thing and could easily pave the way for problems.

Who is this diet good for?

  • People looking for an easy way to cut calories without a lot of prep work.
  • People who don’t mind feeling a little hungry.
  • People who don’t mind skipping breakfast.

Who is this diet not good for?

  • People who have difficulty when they feel a little hungry.
  • People who tend towards disordered eating patterns.

Calorie Counting Diets

Common Diets: Pretty much any diet that tells you eat specific amounts of food. Zone, South Beach, If It Fits Your Macros and a million others.

What is it? Any diet that gives you specific quantities or recipes to eat that require you to weigh out your food.

How it works: By weighing and measuring what you eat it can be easy to figure out where your calories need to be to get the desired results and make the necessary adjustments.

The Good:

  • It can be pretty easy to make adjustments on this diet as long as your are accurate with your measurements.
  • There’s not any guess work here.
  • Seeing what an accurately weighed out serving size really is can be pretty enlightening. I’m looking at you peanut butter!!!

The Bad:

  • Requires a lot of time to get used to weighing everything.
  • Raise your hand if you enjoy weighing out all your food. I didn’t think so.
  • Requires a lot of prep time, especially at the beginning.
  • If you are not accurate with your weighing (many people are not) these diets will simply not work.
  • These types of diets may not give the dieter an internal sense of what they should or shouldn’t be eating, which can crucial for long term success

Who is the diet good for?

  • Someone who is very disciplined about their eating and doesn’t mind doing the prep work.
  • Physique competitors.
  • Someone who already has a pretty good idea about their diet but wants to take things up another step.
  • People who don’t mind eating the same foods most days.

Who is the diet not good for?

  • Beginning dieters often think this is the approach they need but quickly find out that it simply requires too much change, too soon.
  • Busy, stressed people may find that the prep these diets require is a big problem.
  • People who need variety in their diet.
  • Emotional and stress eaters.

Habit Based Diets

Common diets: Precision Nutrition, this is our approach at CV Fitness

What is it? Diets that focus on specific habits and skills based around eating as opposed to specific meal planning. These diets are meant to establish good long-term habits to change or replace problematic ones. The idea being, that for sustained results a behavioral approach is more effective for the long term.

How it works: The dieter is to focus on one thing to work on. An common example would be taking 5 more minutes than usual to eat a meal. The idea is that we all have good habits and bad ones when it comes to eating. By working on good ones we can replace the bad ones.  Also, much research on behavior change has shown that a “one habit at a time” approach has shown a much greater long-term success rate than an approach where many things must be worked on at once.

The Good:

  • These diets tend to be dieter-driven. Meaning that the dieter themselves has more of a say in the approach than just doing what someone else says. This can lead to a greater feeling of autonomy and greater adherence.
  • Can start to really get to the issues around food that are the real root of the problem.
  • These diets take a gentler approach, for the most part, which can eliminate the intimidation factor that many people feel when starting a diet.

The Bad:

  • The dieter must be patient. These are not 20 pounds lost in two weeks kind of diets.
  • The dieter must be OK with trying to figure out what their real issues around food are.

Who is the diet good for?

  • People that may have tried to diet many times without success.
  • People who are good with a long-term approach to things.
  • People who want to be a part of the process as opposed to just being told what to do.

What is the diet not good for?

  • People who want dramatic fast results.
  • People who just want to be told what to do.
  • People who may have trouble being honest about what their issues around food really are.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I just wanted to give you a relatively quick rundown of some of these common and popular diets. You may have more questions now than you did before you started reading and if you do, please shoot me an email and let me know what they are.

I just wanted to touch on the very basics of these different approaches. Obviously there is much more to learn.

Please keep in mind what I said at the beginning of the post. All of these diets can work but what is most important is how they work for you! We all have different lives so it’s very important to understand that just because something works for someone else does not mean it will work for you.

That being said, let me leave you with this short list of things (in no particular order) to look for and think about when you start on a diet.

  • Is this sustainable for me?
  • What are the changes I have to make to do this?
  • Am I able to make these changes?
  • Am I willing to make these changes?
  • Do I need any additional support to do this?
  • How will this fit into my life?
  • What are my goals and why are they important to me?

There are, of course, many other questions you can and should ask and those will be individual to you. At times it can also be a huge help to have someone to talk through these things with you, as well. If you need that, please drop me a line and we will set up a time to do it.

Thanks for reading this fairly long post. I hope I was able to clear a few things up for you. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way