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  • vanessavanderhoek

Why Diets Don't Work!

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

“I’ve tried everything – yoyo diets, counting calories, measuring macros and nothing works.” I hear variations of this statement so often.

It’s time that you stop blaming yourself. It’s time to understand the true causes of your weight fluctuations. It’s time for you to find your healthy and sustainable weight.

Diets do not work. You know many reasons – in my experience it’s because they leave you feeling deprived and hungry; and most of all, they’re not sustainable and don’t focus on you as a whole person – your biochemistry – how food, stress, sleep and your environment all react within your body.

The other thing that I’ve realised working with hundreds of people is that they’re not just struggling in losing weight. They’re often tired, have aches and pains, and fluctuating moods.

The good news is, the people I work with are able to reverse all of this in a permanent and healthy way – that doesn’t leave them feeling like they’re missing out.

Think of your body like a car. The food you eat is your fuel. If your car is low on fuel, the warning light flashes. If your car needs a service, performance starts to decline. If it has a flat tyre, it can’t be driven. If it gets a flat battery, it won’t even turn on.

Of course our body is so much more complex than your car. However like your car, your body is subject to wear and tear that impacts how it works. We have many warning signals, however we are lead to believe that because they’re “common” they’re “normal” – and this is not true!

When you’re tired, suffering from aches and pains, and struggling to shift weight, it can be a sign that things are not functioning the way they should. These can be signs that you’re in need of a “service”. And that’s where functional nutrition comes in…

Functional nutrition takes a holistic approach to how you fuel your body, taking into consideration lifestyle factors that impact your health and wellbeing including sleep, movement, hydration, social connection and stress.

You’ve no doubt heard that food has the power to heal or harm, it can be anti-inflammatory or inflammatory, helpful or hurtful for your body (you can learn more in this video). Despite all of the ‘diet’ advice out there, there is not a ‘one size that fits all’ approach to what we eat.

Foods that heal your body might harm mine. I learnt this first-hand when I undertook my first ever 21 Day Energy Jumpstart (Detox/Cleanse) Program – I learned that I’m sensitive to eggs and when I took them out of my diet my joint pain was eliminated.

Going back to the car analogy, if you have a problem losing weight there’s a chance that there’s some malfunction/s in your signalling system. Unless you address these issues, diets will not work. It’s time to stop blaming yourself and respond to these signals.

Functional nutrition has a central focus on your bio-individuality (your unique car – make, model, age, condition) – so you can fine tune those signals correctly and get back on track.

Functional nutrition mirrors the functional medicine approach where “food is medicine”. While standard nutrition focuses on the nutritional facts, functional nutrition does this too, but in the context of your individual’s physiological makeup and how you live.

Vanessa Vanderhoek is a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in the gut microbiome, biochemistry and nutrigenomics. She helps people to regain their health by taking a “food as medicine” approach that's unique to their body.

Whilst based in Canberra (Australia), Vanessa sees clients around the world in her virtual clinic. To get started book an initial consultation by clicking here. To register for the upcoming 21 Day Energy Jumpstart program click here.


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