Diets have consequences… A LOT of consequences. They slow your metabolism. Increase your cravings and hunger. And turn you into a food obsessed human. Making it near impossible for you to keep the weight off in the long term.

In saying that, I’m not denying the fact diets work in the short term. But typically, what we see is that over time people regain more weight than before the diet. And this, my friend, is why we have a multi-billion dollar industry of diet companies. Where their whole business model is on you becoming a repeat customer.

So, if you’re tired of doing the yo yo diet dance – maybe it’s time for a better approach?

Here’s 10 healthy habits you can do instead of dieting, to help you find your happy weight.

1. Ditch the food labels

Forget the labels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ when it comes to food. Allowing yourself to enjoy ALL food can break the cycle of fixation and binge eating. Trust me.

If you eat differently when you’re in public versus in private, it’s a clue that you’re doing this. You’re probably thinking “I don’t want anyone to think I’m eating the wrong foods” – particularly if you’re in a larger body. I remember when I was much heavier than I am now, I would try and eat really healthily in front of other people. Then I’d binge on “bad” foods like in secret. Sound familiar?

Instead, take notes from the unicorns. Before you think I’m crazy, let me explain what I mean… Unicorns is how I like to refer to the people who effortlessly maintain a healthy weight. No fuss, calorie counting or strict rules. You know, those one of a kind humans.

So what sets them apart? They flip the script. Instead of stressing about every meal, they happily get ice-cream after dinner. And when they’re home, they effortlessly tune into healthier choices. It’s like they’ve cracked the code to enjoying food without the guilt trip.

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide. You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

2. Break-up with ALL diets

This is an obvious one. STOP DIETING. Please. I beg you.

Think about it like this.. if diets helped you lose weight and keep it off, wouldn’t you be at your goal weight by now?

I know this is so much easier said than done. Especially if you’ve been dieting for years. Maybe even decades. Your head is probably filled with diet rules. And it can be hard to release them.

Even if you’re not actually following a strict diet, you might lie in bed at night calculating how many points or calories you’ve eaten. Trying to figure out whether or not you’ve been good that day. Weighing yourself. Feel guilty for eating more than planned and try “do better” tomorrow. All of these things are sneaky ways in which you are still dieting by mistake.

This creates a scarcity mindset around food. You blame your willpower, thinking this is your fault. But I promise, it’s not. Your body is simply trying to protect you because it sees dieting as a threat.

One of the things you absolutely need to be doing is helping your body trust that food is always allowed, it’s not going to be taken away or run out, and this is what helps you feel more relaxed and in control around food.

Check out my YouTube video where I talk about the evidence behind why calorie counting is sabotaging your weight loss journey. And what you should do instead – that will work for good.

3. Stop skipping meals

If you under eat, your body will make up for it. With or without you.

Let me know if this sounds familiar: You skip breakfast and have a sad, low calorie salad for lunch. And by the end of the day, you feel physically and emotionally hungry. So you go through the drive-through on your way home from work. Hide in the car and eat a burger meal combo, hoping no one sees you’ve had a full meal right before dinner.

There’s a reason why this happens. Skipping meals results in intense hunger. And stopping it becomes a challenging task. Your body goes into survival mode, prioritising the need to satisfy hunger over all else. Despite good intentions and willpower, the primal instinct to eat takes over. At this point, your body craves calories. And it doesn’t care if it comes from a burger or 4 stale cookies. It’s a relentless pursuit to satisfy the hunger.

This emphasises the importance of consistent and balanced meals to help avoid this hunger game cycle. Which brings me onto the next healthy habit…

4. Make balanced meals

For a satisfying and balanced meal, try including slow burning carbs, protein and healthy fats. This combo not only leaves you feeling full, but also prevents out of control eating later.

Ignore the diet noise that demonises fats or carbs, and acknowledges the importance of all three.

If you finish a meal and still crave something, it’s a sign that what you ate didn’t hit the spot. Experiment with your meals. If a smoothie doesn’t feel like breakfast, switch it up to something like a comforting bowl of porridge with nut butter, honey, and fruit. Keep it simple and play around.

And if food choices overwhelm you, my Back to Basics app has you covered. It’s loaded with easy, nutritious recipes to save you from food obsession.

5. Prioritise sleep

I talk about this a lot. But incase you missed my spiel, hear me out on this one. When your body doesn’t get enough rest, it will seek energy wherever it can. And guess what’s the easiest source? Food.

Picture this: a lousy night’s sleep, feeling exhausted, and suddenly an entire block of chocolate sounds like the perfect snack in the afternoon for an energy boost. Sound familiar?

So let’s prioritise quality sleep. Whopping 60% of us miss the mark on that. We often obsess about what’s on our plate. But your actions, especially eating habits, are wired in your brain. If you’re grappling with motivation, consistency, or accountability, guess what might be the missing piece? Sleep!

My book Your Weight Is Not The Problem offers a simple plan to break free from the dieting trap with small, doable healthy habits you can stick to no matter how busy life gets. Click here to grab your copy

6. Stay hydrated

I know you’ve heard this a million times. But are you doing it?

This is not the most glamorous topic, but seriously, when was the last time you took a peek at your pee?

Your body is like a little messenger, dropping hints left and right. Because let’s be real, by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already on the dehydration train, and your body might just start confusing thirst for hunger. So consider this your reminder to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

In the hierarchy of healthy habits, water is the VIP. Aim for that light-coloured yellow pee – not the neon kind. And if your pee’s smelling like a scented candle, it’a clear sign to up your water game.

7. Add enjoyable movement

Alright, let’s leave behind the era of dreadful workouts, shall we? Sure, high-intensity stuff burns calories like a bonfire, and is basically cardio’s poster child. But what’s the point if it feels like a chore, a bore, or downright punishment? Consistency thrives on enjoyment and ease.

Picture this: instead of dragging yourself to a grueling gym session, why not try a fun dance class or go on a walk with a friend on Saturday mornings? Do something you ACTUALLY look forward to. Because enjoyment really is the secret.

And in the realm of health, less can indeed be more. A 20 minute stretch, dance, or brisk walk beats an hour at the gym that never happens. Any day.

If exercise has been that nagging, dreaded task, start small. Gardening, walking the dog, or taking the stairs all counts.

Remember, exercise is your mood’s BFF, your energy elixir, and your ticket to dreamland at night. So find daily doses that bring you joy and don’t feel like a dreadful chore. Exercise isn’t about making your body smaller. It’s about making your life bigger.

8. Re-introduce “forbidden” foods

Alright, let’s talk about facing your food fears. You know, those once-scary eats that made you feel like a kid in a candy story for the first time?

Nutella for instance was my kryptonite. One spoonful always turned into a whole jar. Until I started to include it more. Now, I’ve got a jar of Nutella chillin’ at home, and when’s the last time I had it? Couldn’t tell you.

So, the grand strategy: start small. Take your “forbidden” food on a date, like Nutella on toast at a cafe. Yeah, I heard the whispers in my head – “They’re judging you!” But guess what? No one cares. It’s a bit nerve-wracking. But trust me, it works. Slowly build up your tolerance, then bring it home.

The catch? No restrictions or guilt trips. And once you stop labelling food as ‘off limits’ it no longer becomes so exciting.

Inside my Back to Basics app, you can expect to find plenty of delicious, healthy recipes using your favourite foods – like chocolate. Plus tips to help you eat healthily, without the fuss. Click here to try 7 days free.

9. Recognise the difference between your happy weight vs. goal weight

Here’s a friendly reminder: your happy weight might not be the same as that goal weight you’ve been fixated on. Trust me, every epic battle to shrink yourself compromises your mental and physical well-being.

And aren’t you tired giving up 95% of your life just to weigh 5% less? Instead of drowning in thoughts about food, distract yourself. Say it with me: “Don’t think about food, don’t think about food.” Guess what? You’re probably thinking about food now.

So, how about a little less obsession with diets and rules? You might even become one of those forget-to-eat unicorns. Yes, they exist! If you’re like, “Wait, how can anyone forget to eat?” Well, it’s a sign you need to lighten the food load in your brain.

Dive into other interests, change the channel on that diet chatter, and remind yourself – listening to it hasn’t really been all that helpful.

Your happy weight isn’t just a number. It’s more about getting to a place where you have energy, your hormones are balanced, your mood is lifted, you fall asleep easily and you don’t constantly think about food. Need help finding your happy weight? Download my free guide.

10. Seperate your identity from your body

Time for some real talk – your worth is as infinite as a galaxy. And it sure isn’t determined by the pesky numbers on a scale. It’s time to channel that inner confidence and focus on the incredible human you are, beyond a mirror reflection.

Want to know what happens when you uncouple your identity from the body drama? The stress lightens, and the pressure to fit into some societal mould? Poof! It disappears. But stressing about losing the last 5kg’s can be the ultimate saboteur.

And let’s not forget about the MVP – Intuitive eating

Once I understood the principles of intuitive eating, the concept made so much sense to me – and it changed my life.

When you tune into your hunger and eat appropriately, your body will instinctively let you know when it is time to stop. No more counting calories or obsessing about food.

Safe to say, really digging into the concept of intuitive eating is going to be a total game-changer for you. Just like it was for me. And it’ll help you stop yo yo dieting once and for all.

To get started, head to this blog post. It’ll explain how intuitive eating works and equips you with the most important tool to get started: The Hunger Scale.

And if you want to learn more about being an intuitive eater, check out my FREE 5-day course. I’ll teach you proven strategies to help you feel in control around food.

Are you an Autumn like Beyonce or in the Spring colour palette like Taylor Swift? This speedy, fun quiz will help you identify your best colour season, giving you an effortless way of knowing the colours that suit your complexion best.

What type of eater are you?

like an old school cosmo quiz