Diets Don't Work. But What Does? Joyful Eating Program is Here!

Today marks the official launch of the Joyful Eating, Nourished Life program! Learn why diets don't work and what does, and how we incorporated it into our program. 

 Joyful Eating Intuitive Eating Program

Hey guys! Exciting things are happening today - we are officially launching Joyful Eating, Nourished Life, the online intuitive eating program I created along with my lovely dietitian friends Anne and Alex!

As we wrap up the last little bits of the program (we're actually together in DC recording the audio this week!), we can't help but feel so proud of the program we've put together. And it feels like perfect timing too. With the release of The Biggest Loser study adding to a pile of evidence showing that diets simply don't work, plus International No Diet Day on Friday, the world is ready for a better, more compassionate way.

You probably know, either from research or experience, that diets simply don't work. You've experienced the cycle of weight loss and regain and the feelings of failure and shame that come with it. Whether it's the Whole 30 or low carb or Weight Watchers, you know it's not a sustainable way of eating. In your heart, diets just don't feel right.

But when another diet trend pops up, you hop on board, because what else is there to do? If diets don't work, what does?

First off, we must redefine "work." Working isn't getting your body as small as possible, as quickly as possible. If that's your aim, dieting is the way to go. Just don't expect your body to stay there or for your life to be very pleasant while you're dieting.

I understand the desire for rapid weight loss and having a "perfect" figure, especially when the diet industry makes it seem so achievable. But I think there's a growing number of people who want wellness over thinness. Who want to savor food and not fear it. Who want food to contribute to a joyful, well-nourished life.

When we use that as the definition of work, here's what does:

Making peace with food.

At the end of the day, no matter how much it's disguised as a "healthy lifestyle change," all diets set up a system of labeling food as good and bad, healthy and unhealthy. Of course, this simply creates a forbidden fruit scenario. You want it because you can't have it, not necessarily because you love it. In our Joyful Eating program, you create the rules. You dictate which foods bring you joy, taste good and make you feel great. You also dictate which foods aren't really worth eating. When you’re in the drivers seat, not arbitrary diet rules, you’re able to come up with a way of eating that feels good and is sustainable for you.

Moving your body for the fun of it.

Hate working out? You're most certainly not alone. That's because diets have turned fitness into a chore, an action that needs to be checked off the list in a quest to obtain a perfect body. The focus is on efficiency, not fun. Not only that, but recent research has shown when you exercise with a weight loss mindset, it frequently results in weight gain. Think of how easy it is to compensate by eating more ("I worked out hard so I earned that extra cookie") or moving less ("I went to the gym this morning so I deserve to relax on the couch the rest of the day"). Learning how to move your body in a way you enjoy, for benefits other than calorie burning, is a game changer. Yes, even you, the gym-phobe can learn to love fitness! In Joyful Eating, you'll learn to stop working out and start moving, how to view fitness as 'you time' and tips for building movement into your day.


Building sustainable habits and healthy behaviors.

Diets mean changing everything at once. One day you go to bed with a belly full of ice cream and chocolate (probably because you knew you were starting your diet tomorrow and weren't sure when you'd be "allowed" to eat it again), and the next day you wake up to a breakfast of egg whites and grapefruit. That's fine for getting quick results in a short period of time, but we're guessing you're wanting to live a healthy lifestyle for, well, life. Research on building habits shows that to build habits that stick, you have to start small. Joyful Eating teaches you how to create small, achievable goals that lead to habits that stick, so eating and living well eventually become fairly effortless.

Looking at the big picture.

What you eat matters, there's no question about that. But so does sleep, movement/fitness, stress, emotions, mindset. Each of these factors is so interrelated, it's impossible to change one without considering another. Have you ever sacrificed sleep to fit in a workout? Sure, you made it to the gym, but the missed hours of sleep mean a slower metabolism and greater hunger. Have you ever tried to diet without addressing your emotional connection to food and emotional eating? Then you know all the willpower if the world won't help when you're feeling stressed and there's chocolate cake nearby. In Joyful Eating, we look beyond the dinner plate and take a holistic approach to your wellness.

Embracing your body for where it's at now.

There is no single "right" body. If you've seen some of the stunning plus-size models working today, you know that to be true. Furthermore, there's no "right" body for health. Health isn't a size, it's the outcome of healthy behaviors plus a lot of things that are outside of our control. The truth is, you can be healthy and you can be beautiful (or handsome!) at any size. It's impossible to know what size is right for you, where your body will naturally settle when you're feeding it well with nutritious foods and leaving some room for mindful indulgence. There's no harm in embracing your body for where it's at right now. It's not the same as giving up - it's allowing you the strength and confidence to make changes that focus on health without the distraction of the scale. 

Joyful Eating, Nourished Life is a 6-week, online program that seeks to do all this and more. In it, you'll learn how to improve your health without calorie counting, diets and restriction and instead, foster wellness with healthy habits and a positive mindset. While the program is rooted in intuitive eating principles, we've also included basic nutrition, like meal planning strategies, fitness, and meditation to give a well rounded, holistic approach.

Here's a look at what the program includes:

  • A 50+ page starter guide, including 10 principles of joyful eating, 15 no-recipe formula meals and snacks, finding your happy weight and additional resources.

  • Bi-weekly emails with in depth, written lesson plans packed with action steps, learning activities, strategies and support.

  • Access to a private facebook group during the program for support, encouragement and sharing with other participants, and access to Q&A with Anne, Alex and Rachael.

  • Membership to a Joyful Eating alumni facebook group with other graduates of the program for the life of the Joyful Eating program.

  • Weekly challenges provided on a handy tracking worksheet to monitor your progress and success.

  • A guided meditation series in audio format.

  • Weekly thought provoking journaling exercises.

  • Four audio lectures for listening and learning on the go.

Our first group starts June 20th! We're offering it at a special rate, so sign up today if you're ready! If you'd like to learn more first or sign up for the mailing list for future groups, head to the Joyful Eating, Nourished Life website. 

Read what Anne has to say about Joyful Eating! And Alex too!