Don’t let diet head lure you into doing the same old thing again

IT’S that time of year again! Wall to wall diets and eating plans, shakes and pills, and of course then there’s the “behaviour change” programmes like Noom, which have made a big entrance in the past few years. 

These are the ones that are supposed to focus on habit change rather than counting calories or dieting (but they’re really still all about food).

And there’s always the latest reinvention of WW and SW, isn’t there!  All done to attract new people at this time of year! 

So please, if there’s any temptation to go back to doing what you’ve always done, STOP!   Don’t let diet head kick in – give yourself a cold shower!  

Here’s the thing! Over the past decade I’ve noticed that people who have left the world of dieting and calorie counting behind STILL find themselves being lured into thinking the grass is greener elsewhere and get tempted by the marketing of all the shiny new stuff. 

Yes, diet head kicks in and sadly some people fall into the trap. They become hypnotised and descend into that same old vicious cycle of dieting and then failing all over again.

Those looking for something “different” could even be fooled into thinking the popular, new so-called “behaviour change” systems will be the answer.   

The programmes claim to be led by psychology and focus on habit change – and many people think they’re the same as my Slimpod programme.

So I thought I would do my very own fact-finding mission and I joined a self-styled behaviour change system in December (not Noom – I’ve done that before !)  just to see what it was all about.

 It’s important to me to know what’s out there so I can be well informed and help people understand the differences.

On the one I signed up for, you start with a five-day food “reset” in which you’re put on a very restrictive eating plan. It is suggested that you shouldn’t even drink coffee  . I fell at this hurdle instantly. 

The programme claims the five-day “reset” is all about starting “behaviour change.”

I thought I’d do what was asked for five days. After all, five days isn’t a ridiculously long period of time, is it?!

However I quickly found that restricting myself triggered all sorts of psychological things that I’d left behind many years ago. 

I found myself getting “hangry” (hungry and angry) because I was having to restrict myself so much – like going without the lovely daily latte I love!

There’s a food plan that you have to follow for five days and then there’s recipes you need to stick to for the remainder of the time.

You have to weigh and measure certain foods before you consume them but basically it’s a very low carb diet and by this I mean most of the recipes contain zero carbs.

The problem with doing this is it’s not the way you instinctively eat every day. So over time it gets hard to sustain because it’s not your normal behaviour.

It’s very restrictive and what if you don’t like cauliflower rice? What do you do then?! 

Now, please don’t get me wrong, this way of losing weight is absolutely fine if you’re someone who is happy with restrictions, weighing carbs and need someone/a book/a company to tell you what to eat and when to eat it. 

If that helps you, and you feel that’s the only way you’ll succeed and be happy, then it’s the way to go – for sure.  Success and happiness is what I’m all about and if following a plan/daily tracking/consciously focusing purely on low carb food works for you then absolutely do this.

BUT if you’re like me and you really just want to have a normal relationship with food, where you don’t have to rely on being told what to eat, where food isn’t on your mind the whole time and has no meanings and no emotional connections, then these other so called “behavioural change” systems really don’t go deep enough to solving the problem they say they solve. 

They say they put a lot of focus on changing habits because it’s the key to long term success and that part is absolutely correct. 

But here’s the thing.  A habit is created when a new behaviour becomes automatic and we can do it with minimum conscious effort (ie without thinking!). 

This happens when the behaviours have been repeated many times and they ingrain new neural pathways in your brain. 

Think about cleaning your teeth.  Or driving a car.  You do these automatically without thinking too much about it.  This is because you’ve done it over and over again and now it’s instinctive and part of your everyday life. 

Your subconscious mind has taken over the activity and made it a habit.  When your subconscious is in control, you’re not having to give it much conscious thought.   

And this is the real difference between the Slimpod programme and everything else. 

With the others, you have to put lots of effort into it and WORK at making the habit become automatic.  This can take anything from 21 days to 250 days of consistent conscious effort and willpower. 

And THIS is why so many people give up.

My Slimpod programme removes most of the conscious effort because it’s working with your subconscious to change your behaviour and what you WANT to eat, without you even thinking about it. 

This follows the first and most important rule of lasting behaviour change, which is to make it easy. Nothing is easier than listening to the Slimpod before you go to sleep! 

So unless you really stick to these so-called “behaviour change” systems for a long time, they do very little to change your subconscious behaviour around food and make it become automatic, which is how true behavioural change takes place. 

And this is why most people have failed to make a success of dieting in the past, because they don’t have the willpower to stick to anything for longer than a month or so (research says around 80% of people don’t stick to New Year weight loss plans for more than four weeks). 

So really these “new” systems are no different to anything else you’ve done that you’ve not been able to stick to because everything gets too hard.

True behaviour change happens when your healthy lifestyle habits become as automatic as cleaning your teeth. 

When you instinctively know what’s good for you and you enjoy eating it instead of  the stuff that’s not so good for you.

And above all where you TRUST yourself around food so you don’t need to rely on someone or a diet to TELL you what to eat. 

This is why I created my programme over a decade  ago. There was NOTHING for people who have had enough of the whole dieting/food plan thing and need a different way.

People who have yo-yo’d their way through life and just can’t face another food plan or prescribed way of eating. 

I wanted to empower people who have had their self-esteem eroded by the diet fail diet fail cycle and they’ve given up trusting anyone or anything that says they have the solution to their problem. 

So this time of year it really concerns me when I see the next reincarnation of something that’s been around for years, just looks different to appeal to the people who have already been there and done it. 

On the Slimpod Channel on YouTube there’s a short video I’ve made explaining why Slimpod is so different. Here’s where you can watch it.

I get really sad that many people will put their trust in these “behaviour change” systems but will not experience change in the true sense of the word, ie when your subconscious takes control and you experience freedom from food obsession and dieting for the first time in as long as you can remember. 

To get lasting weight loss, you need lasting behaviour change.  This involves building lasting habits.  You can do that the hard way…or the easy way.  

Which one will you choose?! 

Let me know what you think

Please leave a comment below if you’ve experienced one of the so-called behaviour change programmes. I love hearing from everyone.

Note that all comments are moderated by my team so yours may not appear for a little while.

Join me for a live chat

Join me on my Facebook live chat on our main Slimpod for weight loss page tomorrow night (Tuesday January 4) at 8pm UK time. You’ll find me on #livechat39 

I’ll be live in Slimpod Club with Brian Mayne, the creator of, on Thursday evening at 8pm 

And if you’re not following me on Instagram then come and say hello – I’m on @sandraroycroftdavis 

14 thoughts on “Don’t let diet head lure you into doing the same old thing again”

  1. I’ve tried second nature, but stopped even before I started as I realised it was a restrictive calorie/ food counting hell.

  2. I agree, it’s all too easy to be lured by the promises they make but with slimpod you don’t feel guilty. It’s taking me a very long time as I struggle with self sabotage, but I’m sticking with it. Thanks x

  3. I’m listening to the pod every night but having trouble visualise my self slim its a long time since I was can you give me any tips

    1. I fully understand you, I was the same and was over thinking this part, I believed that if I couldn’t picture myself slim then it wouldn’t happen and that’s why I wasn’t loosing weight and my clothes were still tight. I stared to fall into a depression fed by failure thoughts not only with Slimpod but my life in general. Then I saw a post from someone on the Slimpod Facebook group and it woke me up, I realised I’m not the only one.. and at the same time I found old photos of me when I was slim, granted I could only see from the waist up, but I saw a my collar bones! So I used this image and soon after more pictures came forward. I’ve still not lost weight but I know with deep conviction that one day when my mind and body is ready I will. Sorry for the extra long answer just hope it helps somehow.

  4. I’ve tried Slimming world, WW and noom. All worked for a short period of time but I always ended up crying and ‘hangry’ due to food restrictions. Upset that when we went out for a meal I’d feel guilty as it wasn’t ‘on the plan’. I’ve only been on slimpod for a couple of days and I’m actually having to remind myself I’m not on a diet. I’m already winning by listening to my body and eating when I’m hungry. (Normally not needing to eat until 11.30am-12 midday. I’m just thirsty!) I have to think about meals to feed my family but I’m not stressing. It’s so lovely.
    I’m hoping the weight does come off it’s still very early days but I feel better if nothing else.

  5. I did the 1:1 Diet (previously The Cambridge Diet), where I did get good visible results very quickly but felt so hangry and restricted it wasn’t manageable! It also cost a small fortune each week for their supplements. It also made me very anti-social as I stopped going out for lunch/coffees/evening meals with friends/family – as no eatery wants a customer only to have a glass of water!!

  6. i agree with all that you have said, at my age now i have tried almost every diet possible, my problem is stress related and when i’m unable to listen to your pods i find that i just over eat for the sake of it, now i’m back at home i will have the time to listen to the pods again and praying that i become focused mentally on improving my diet and changing my shape and my life! Happy New Year

  7. Hi Sandra Yes I am still using slimpod, But also using Noom. I’ve had a lot of losses since 2019 my mum, my dog, mum’s dog, my Brother, and my Auntie, Noom helped me put things in perspective as last year also my sister was diagnosed with cancer I really didn’t know how to get through this but with the questions they asked I was able to see bigger picture so I’m losing weight with both. I hope you don’t mind as your both helping me but in different ways

  8. I’ve tried WW (too restrictive and made me anxious) and SW (which helped a little but I couldn’t sustain the effort) and find Slimpod so much better as it is completely different and liberating.

  9. Suzanne Boultwood

    At 62 I have literally tried every conceivable diet on the market, including shakes and powder drinks. Having been on Slimpod since April I can honestly say this is the first Christmas I have not beaten myself up about over indulging and starting the New Year thoroughly depressed and angry with myself. I have actually only gained 4lbs and have still been listening to the pods but not religiously. I don’t feel guilty about the extra few pounds because I don’t feel I have fallen off any wagon and I know once I get back to exercising again and writing my wins it will soon come off. This year has felt very liberating with no rushing off to sign up for the new diet fad.

  10. Sue Spenceley-Burch

    You mention the Thursday evening Goalmapping event in “Slimpod Club” but there is no link… how would I access this? I am a member

    1. Hi Sue, Just go to Slimpod Club tomorrow evening a few moments before 8pm and you’ll see Sandra’s live chat appear. I’m sure you’ll find the goalmapping guidance very useful.

  11. I cancelled my monthly subscription because my life style changed ,nothing to do with eating.i do however really believe in your way of thinking ,I never have been an on of diet person because I actually believe all DIET plans work only if you stick to them and I will not count calories so although I’m no longer a slimpod member I still follow the thoughts, unfortunately I have put on a little of the weight I lost but I’m not phased or worried I will get back on the track ,cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and love reading all the positive stories on Facebook. Best wishes to you all for the new year.

  12. This is all so true, I’ve done the usual WW, Slimming World, taken dangerous ‘wonder Slimming tablets’ that resulted in heart problems! Then lastly I tried Lighter Life.. none of the above worked as like you say the focus was ALL about food and MY failures! So all in all not good..

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
DipCHyp HPD NLP MasterPrac
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