Are you stuck in a cycle of jumping ship from one failed diet to the next? Do you blame yourself every time a diet fails? Are diets actually worth the stress they produce?

In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about desperately seeking weight loss and the never-ending journey to nowhere.


  • My diet history
  • It is a set-up
  • Be real with yourself about diets

My diet history

I know for myself I was forever on the search for the holy grail of diet plans, and I cannot tell you the number of years I spent searching for some magical formula that would tell me exactly what I needed to eat and exactly how much or how little I needed to exercise so that I could finally look the way I wanted to.

I desperately wanted somebody to tell me what to do, it felt as if there was a secret out there that I needed to get in on. In treatment, I thought I would somehow be saved and would finally be told what I needed to do in order to achieve this unreachable dream.

But I’m here to tell you that there is no magical diet. There is no magical manual.

I would work so hard to succeed at this diet but it would always fail, and I would always blame myself. Or, because the diet was so restrictive and I was exhausted between working and going to the gym, I would crack and have an oreo. Due to this all or nothing mindset I would eat the whole box instead of just one, crashing and burning. The next day I would feel horrible, be bashing myself, and kickstarting into a new diet with a vengeance. This situation can, if not handled soon, lead to a full-blown eating disorder.

Here is a question: if diets worked, why are there so many? If they worked, would we not still be on the very first one that came out? There are so many diets that claim to have the answers but they are all contradictory and vastly different, so it is impossible for them to deliver on what they promise.

It is a set-up

The system always repeats itself where you are bombarded every day with images of people with unattainable beauty standards. They are unattainable because they do not exist, the people in those pictures do not even look like that themselves due to all the photoshopping and digital editing that happens.

We believe that they are the goal and that once we look like them, we will also be happy. So we seek out diets to follow in order to make us into these people. Ultimately, the diet fails and we end up blaming ourselves for this failure – when we should be blaming the diet – and we end up feeling worse off than we did before.

Now we have been set up to follow the diet and beauty industry and will do whatever they tell us to because they have us insecure, desperate to purchase a diet – we are exactly where they want to have us.

There’s so much research that shows that diets almost never result in long-term sustained weight loss.

Most people may lose weight at the beginning of a new diet because there is a shift in their eating and exercise, but this weight loss slows down until it plateaus.

But, 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it back within 1-5 years. Why? Because diets don’t work. Nobody can stay on anything that strict and restrictive for forever.

Be real with yourself about diets

The purpose of food is to nourish and sustain you and fuel your body. We have to eat food as our energy source, but people talk about food as if it is an option, or that it is a nuisance, or because it is something that they fear.

People who diet regularly or for many years may now be out of touch with what it feels like to be hungry because they have ignored it for so long, or they have a distorted view of how much to eat when they are hungry.

I sincerely doubt that you’d be foolish enough to drive all the way from California to New York on half a tank of gas, but how often do you push yourself to keep going and going without stopping to eat?

We are social beings and diets impact that. We would decline social invitations or spending time with friends because we know that might mean being around food that could pull us off our diet. Diets restrict too much to make it realistic to follow one for extended periods of time.

Ask yourself, why would you want to start something that has a 95% failure rate? Rethink it the next time you want to lose weight and start considering trying a new diet and rather ask yourself, what would be the sustainable way to do this?



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well.

One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand".

Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it.

If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times.

My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it".

I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades.

But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share.

I am so happy you are here!


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