What is your “common sense” around diet culture? What things do you still believe that are actually untrue, harmful, and just plain wrong? Why does cutting out food groups cause more harm than good? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about why diets don’t work and why the weight you lose keeps coming back with Andie Grange.


Andie has been a registered dietitian for 11 years. After struggling with an eating disorder in college and overcoming it, she now helps other women heal their relationship with food and their bodies through her Healthy Habits Coaching Program. She loves anything outdoors, riding her horses, and baking!

Visit Andie's website and connect on Instagram.


  • Health does not equate to a certain weight
  • Dieting is a large predictor of weight gain
  • You typically want what you can’t have
  • What carbs really are

Health does not equate to a certain weight

The BMI is a flawed system that is still in use today, even though it is outdated and incorrect. Many doctors still use BMI for their patients, but this often ends up causing much more harm than good because they prescribe weight loss to a person who may be in the overweight category that is perfectly healthy.
So many studies have shown that actually being in the overweight category with BMI is healthier than being in the “normal” category … We so often associate weight loss and a smaller body with being healthier, [but] you really can’t tell what somebody’s health is just by looking at them. (Andie Grange)
One of the biggest - and most important - mindset shifts you can make for your health and well-being is to separate health from size. You can be perfectly healthy in a larger body and unhealthy in a smaller body.

Dieting is a large predictor of weight gain

In a twist of fate, dieting is actually the highest and most accurate predictor of weight gain for a person. If someone is constantly dieting, trying new diets, or obsessing over their food, it is much more likely that they will gain more weight on average in the long run than if they had just treated food as food, and not as a method of judging themselves.
Dieting is the biggest predictor of weight gain. We know that, studies have shown that dieting is what causes weight gain because it decreases your metabolism, your leptin levels, [and] makes your body go into a conservation mode … Almost everybody that loses weight by dieting ends up gaining the weight back, plus some. (Andie Grange)
Even though it may be harder in the beginning, learning how to properly self-regulate, and eat whole meals while not avoiding major food groups, not using food as punishment, and so forth are all habits that help you to have a good relationship with food. Diet culture is trying to sell you a shortcut and an “easy way out” so that you will buy their products, but these products end up causing you real problems down the line. Rather learn how to truly care for and love yourself, because that keeps you safe from diet culture’s harmful narratives.

You typically want what you can’t have

With dieting and regimes that encourage you to completely avoid or cut out certain food groups, your body and your cravings go up, since it is not natural or normal for your body to be without something. Your body perceives a lack of food as a genuine lack of food, and so it creates stronger cravings to convince you to get it. When you disallow yourself from eating something, that will be all you can think about, even if it’s not something you necessarily truly like. So, when it comes to dieting, this behavior causes many problems. That’s why learning how to trust yourself, your body, and your behavior through intuitive eating is important so that you can stop being run purely on cravings and punishment for “giving in” to them. If you allow yourself to have something, you will not want it as much.
I have more treats and food in my house that I used to never allow than ever before, and I have less desire to eat them than ever because I know it’s there, I know I can have it whenever I want, and so that desire for it goes down. (Andie Grange)

What carbs really are

Your body needs a minimum of 130g of carbohydrates a day to function optimally since it’s our brain’s preferred source of fuel. Carbs from various sources provide your body with fuel and fiber. They don’t inherently cause weight gain, only if you are overeating or binging them regularly. If you allow them in your diet in a balanced way, they are not bad.



  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!


Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!