Diets aren’t just a drag, they’re toxic and ineffective — here’s why

Hate dieting? You’re not the only one. Some dietitians hate them, too.

Katie Hottel, a registered dietitian nutritionist and wellness coach, has earned more than 40,000 TikTok followers for her fiery take on the effectiveness of strict meal regimens.

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“I am a dietitian who absolutely despises diets, and I’m gonna talk about it,” she said in one post.


If you didn’t watch the whole thing, don’t come in my comments saying a diet worked for you #wellnesstiktok #nutritioncoach #OurType

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Problems with the traditional dieting model

Hottel clarified that this doesn’t mean she’s anti-weight loss if that’s your goal, though. She said “your body is your business.”

It’s all about the approach you take — and dieting just isn’t it.

The word “diet” isn’t the problem, either. At its core, it’s all about your eating patterns.

The negative connotation of restriction and punishment that has built up over the years is what needs to end. Now, we think of dieting as “sacrificing joy.”

“The traditional dieting model just views you as an equation, right? Calories in vs. calories out,” she explained. “It fails to view you as a human being. Someone with emotions and habits and behaviors, who really desires living a joyful life.”

Hottel told In The Know’s Phoebe Zaslav that when you take into account your own desires and emotions, it’s “really freakin’ hard” to sustain your results long-term.

“If you’re miserable — girlfriend, the diet doesn’t work,” she continued.

How to practice a healthy lifestyle without dieting

Hottel shared a few easy steps people can take to work on their health without having to face that dreaded four-letter word.

First, start thinking of food as a way to fuel your body rather than something you need to restrict.

“I want to use this food to nourish my body by including different colors on my plate … making sure I’m giving myself foods that make me feel full and satisfied and I know that make my body feel good,” Hottel said as an example of a healthy relationship with food.

Next, she suggested focusing on “aligning with joy and managing stress,” because stress can have a negative impact on our bodies as well as our behavior.

There’s nothing wrong with turning to food for emotional support, she said, but we have to get to the root of the problem and manage stress in other ways too by creating joy elsewhere in our lives.

Lastly, Hottel urged viewers to be mindful about movement — another area that, like food, has a lot of negativity surrounding it.

“Instead of saying, ‘I have to go do this rigorous exercise routine,’ you say, ‘What kind of movement would feel really good for me and my body today?'” she said.

Don’t try to force yourself into doing something you don’t enjoy — walk your dog, watch a YouTube video or get out in the sunshine. Making movement enjoyable pays off.

“At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings … nobody has it all figured out,” Hottel told In The Know. “Everything that you need to create this confidence in yourself, you already have … inside of you.”

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If you enjoyed this story, read more about how weight loss and dieting can lead to something more dangerous.

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