6 Ways to Lose Weight Instead of Dieting

Happy New Year my joyous reader!

Have you been thinking about dieting this New Year? Weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution but sadly very few actually follow through with their resolutions past January. I want to change this!

Whether your weight loss goal is 5, 10, 25 or 100lbs if you focus on a “diet” you will set yourself up for disappointment and misery (gosh, who likes a diet anyhow!). Diets are not sustainable period. Let’s forget about dieting while you read my article and perhaps open your mind to a new way of thinking about weight loss.

1. Stop Dieting and Start Nourishing.

 Nourish your body with nutrient-dense food and nourish your mind with joyous thoughts. Junk foods are missing critical nutrients including good bacteria, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Junk thoughts are setting the stage for a body that belongs in a garbage dump — not yours! Guess what? You will actually begin to crave nourishing food and this will automatically translate to more nourishing thoughts. Feed your body and you feed your mind! Not sure what to eat? Well you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got a book of amazing recipes and lifestyle recommendations, plenty of ideas here and online programs to inspire and educate you to joyous health!

2. Eat Fermented Foods.

 Research has shown that people who are overweight have very different gut microbe populations compared to healthy weight people. Your gut bacteria are totally dependent on what YOU eat for survival. If you eat a diet high in whole plant foods, like fruits, vegetables and focus on quality protein sources and good fats with few sugars, a very healthy population of bacteria will thrive. These bacteria even influence your mood! Do you think that bacteria grown from a fast food burger and fries will be feeding your brain nutrients for a good mood? Likely not.

Eat more of these foods: Kefir*, miso, kombucha, fermented vegetables like pickles (not the typical pickles you buy at the grocery store made with white vinegar), sauerkraut, Greens+ Whole Body Nutrition and more.

3. Improve Your Digestion.

 What goes in, should come out… we hope! The large majority of clients I see in my practice have a lot of stagnation in their bodies especially this time of year. People are moving less, eating fewer raw foods and bulking up on refined grains, heavy fatty foods and dairy. All these foods can promote mucus, congestion and inflammation in the body, in other words they can make you puffy, bloated and fat. Take a break from these foods to unclog your digestive system. On my blog and in my book all the recipes are created to help you get your gut moving joyously! Want to do a 10-day clean eating detox? Join now!

 4. Make Sleep Your Priority.

 Sometimes I feel like a broken record on this one but it can’t be said enough! If you don’t sleep 7.5-9 hours per night you are more likely to pack on pounds, have an appetite you can’t control and eat more junk food. If you exercise religiously, eat well but go to bed too late because you are on your computer working, checking emails, watching TV or texting on your phone this stimulates your central nervous system making it hard to get into parasympathetic mode and fall into a deep regenerative sleep.

 5. Skip The Intense Exercise.

 Most clients I see who are overexercising (i.e. intensely exercising every day with no rest) are inflamed, have excess cortisol (muffin top) and suffer from sugar cravings. Try yoga for weight loss instead. I am a lover and student of yoga myself. It personally changed my body, improved my digestion and is the best anti-stress activity you can possibly do. In fact, I love yoga so much I’m a student in my very own yoga videos with the amazing Michelle — this is an important component to the Joyous 10 Day Detox!  Yoga helps to lower cortisol which keeps cravings in check.

 6. Ditch the chemicals!

 Did you know that chemicals in your moisturizer could be inhibiting your weight loss goals? In fact, there are 12 known chemicals that disrupt your hormones and many of them are in products you could be using every single day. Years ago when I had hormone related health issues one of the significant changes I made was to detox my bathroom cabinet. Now, if you came over to my house and peeped into my bathroom you wouldn’t find a single product with an ingredient that wasn’t natural. Did I have to make any sacrifices? Nope! The products available now are as good as if not better because they are clean, than there conventional counterparts. Toxins keeps us fat. Ditch those chemicals! Better yet, learn how to make some of your own products with my Natural Beauty Online Guide.

Now that you have 6 great suggestions that do not involve dieting I hope you feel inspired to your most joyous health ever. Ditch the diet, eat and live well without restriction and have a happy New Year!

If you have a success story to share, please tell us what you did below to lose weight and transform your life.

Have a joyous day!


Joy McCarthy

Joy McCarthy is the vibrant Holistic Nutritionist behind Joyous Health. Author of JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting, professional speaker, nutrition expert on Global’s Morning Show, Faculty Member at Institute of Holistic Nutrition and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well. Read more...


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  • Hi Joy, Happy New Year! I Love all the tips in this article, especially stop dieting and start nourishing. When the body is getting the nutrients it needs, it releases what isn’t serving the body.

    • You are exactly right Trish! Glad you liked the article. Happy New Year!

  • I am a transformation in-progress…
    I had started reading a ton online (including your blog that I found – which I should say ‘thank you’ now for all of the useful tips and information!)
    It’s funny, you think you’re eating ‘healthy’ by eating a salad with iceburg lettuce and a few vegetables, but WOW – when you start reading about true healthy eating it is very eye-opening. People (and articles) really complicate something that I find you have made very easy to achieve, and that is, it comes down to providing as many nutrients for your cells – which, we don’t eat a whole lot a day, so trying to fit in as many nutrient-dense foods per day is a challenge at first, but really you just have to make sure that *every* meal you eat has these foods.
    I know I am rambling, but I can see how this is an addictive subject – I recently found out about the vibrational frequency of food – so packaged food = dead food, but amazing nutritious real food, like fruits & vegetables have an actual vibrational frequency because they are alive! SO COOL! No wonder you feel like crap when you eat crap. I know this sounds so simple but it is really neat when you think about it.
    Anyways, sorry for the rant – it just went along with your post. I am trying to Google for the most nutrient-dense food and incorporate those into all of my daily meals.
    My next challenge? Giving up the coffee… *le sigh* ;P
    Thanks again Joy! I love your blog so much, and you are a true gem :) Happy New Year!

    • Hi Heather! Have you tried dandy blend yet? It’s a gem when it comes to giving up coffee. It tastes and smells like coffee without the caffeine. Thanks for your comment, I enjoyed reading it. Happy New Year!

  • Where would be the best place to pick up or order Dandy Blend? I live in London, Ontario…about 2 hours from Toronto.

    • Most health food stores have it. You don’t need to come to Toronto for it. I would suggest you contact you local health food store and ask them if they carry it. If they don’t, more often then not they are happy to order it in for you. Good luck!