Ever Feel Like Quitting? You ALWAYS Have 3 Options

You’ve high proteined. You’ve low-carbed. You’ve fasted.

You’ve done packaged meals, juices, and low-fat.

You’ve maple syruped, detoxed, counted points and even boot-camped.
When you’ve been going on diets multiple times a year since your late teens, then there comes a moment when you suddenly decide it can’t go on.

This is diet-fatigue.

Even the thought of going on another diet is just exhausting.


For some, this can be a dreaded moment: “If I can’t bear going on another diet, then what else can I do to lose weight?”

But actually, I think diet-fatigue is a great gift that you should feel thrilled to receive.

When you have diet-fatigue, then you’re ready to consider something else. You’re ready to consider a long-term approach.


Losing weight always means considering your options.

Obviously you do this before you start losing weight. Deciding what to do.

But you also end up considering your alternatives WHILE you’re losing weight. Because every time you have any doubts about whether it’s working, you start wondering if there’s another way.
During these periods of doubt, you ask yourself “What are my options?”

And usually the answers are:

1. Stay overweight

2. Go on another diet

3. Keep going – and try and achieve long-term weight control.
Option #1 is not very good.

And if you have true diet fatigue, you might be able to kid yourself that you will try #2 AGAIN, but it won’t last long. It’s not worth it.

And so you’re left with the only real alternative, Option #3. An investment in your long-term health.


Whether you’re at the beginning of your weight loss journey, or halfway through, it’s always useful to consider the alternatives.

The day you’re sick of dieting, is the day you’re ready to lose weight for good.


I want to hear from you!

– Do you have “diet-fatigue”?

– In your moments of doubt, have you thought about your options? What was your conclusion?


Comment now. I’ll reply to every comment posted.


Posted in Blog
64 comments on “Ever Feel Like Quitting? You ALWAYS Have 3 Options
  1. vicky says:

    Yes, I have diet fatigue – I can not do another diet – they do not work and are just exhausting because they are not suited to real life. Of course, the options are clear, but the how to is complicated It is hard to maintain an eat less approach when I am feeling bone tired – that is when I am tempted to eat more “good” food – I just want some energy.

    • Hi Vicky,

      Thanks for the comment.

      This might seem a little simplistic, but I think the key for you is to find ways aside from food that give you more energy.

    • Rae says:

      Hi Vicky,
      I know what you mean being bone tired and needing that pick me up. I’ve been in that situation before. One time, while being in that state, I discovered that it was not a food energy pick me up I needed but a mental pick me up. Can you determine if it is food pick-me up you need or a mental pick me up?

  2. Eleanor Bartram says:

    I am hoping that this approach will work even though my weight gain is due to medication. Not only have I gained weight, but feel hungry a lot of the time (even though I have a healthy diet for most of the time). Will drinking water help to fill me up? I already eat fruit and/or raw carrots as a snack.

    Thank you


    • Hi Eleanor,

      Yes, medication is an annoying reason to gain weight, but the approach is the same regardless of the cause.

      Yes, both those things can be helpful.

      Drinking water before a meal can make you feel fuller, and drinking it during a meal can slow down your eating.

      • Eleanor Bartram says:

        Thank you for this.

        It is reassuring to know that I am doing suitable things…and also finding it very helpful to read other comments.

  3. Karen D says:

    This is so true and I am very much at this point now. I know that another two week juice detox will mean that I lose weight, but I also know that I will regain it again within a month. If I can summon the willpower to live on juice for two weeks, surely I can master long term healthy eating with sustainable weight loss?

    • Hi Karen,

      Nice example!

      Actually, the “willpower” you will need for long-term healthy eating should be MUCH less than that needed for a juice detox.

      Remember if you ever feel deprived or like you’re missing out, when losing weight, you’re doing it wrong!

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. barb says:

    Yup, diet fatique.. more in mind than in actions. I am always thinking about food, thinking about losing weight, but not sticking with anything more than a few days. Getting the mind wrapped around long term goals and the way to achieve them is not an easy thing to do.

    • Hi Barb,

      Agreed it isn’t easy. That’s why 2/3 of the population in the UK and the US are overweight.

      And also remember, It’s easy to agree with this in principle, but it does take time for it to really sink in, for everybody, because we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that we need to diet to lose weight.

      And even if it does take a while to get your mind wrapped around it, it’s OK.

      In the meantime, just being exposed to these ideas (like reading this newsletter and commenting), mulling it over in your mind is a great thing to do. Eventually one day, something will click and then you’ll be unstoppable.

  5. Helen says:

    What if you have large amounts of weight to lose. How is that ever going to happen?

    • Hi Helen,

      The only way it can happen is one pound at a time.

      One thing I recommend is to stop thinking about the large amount you need to lose, and focus on a smaller goal. Say, 10 pounds.

      Do what you can to lose the 10 pounds. Then set another goal of 10 pounds. Rinse, repeat. Do it one step at a time.

      The big goal is too intimidating and frankly overwhelming.

      If even 10 pounds feels too much, make it a 5 pound goal. Make it feel easy.

      One step at a time, it becomes doable.

  6. Carry says:

    Yes, diet fatigue. I do it for a while, lose some pounds, then eat daft foods….. My self sabotage kicks in.

    I found this forum really helpful last week and it helped me stay on track. I am hoping for the same this week.
    Thank you.

  7. Lauren says:

    Yes I have diet-fatigue. It’s exactly what you say Dr K – the only way forward is to continue with sensible eating to establish good eating forever – there is no other way without gaining weight! Last week I asked you why I had recently put on a kilo and you said -look at your food diary – snacks that I don’t usually eat had crept in! How quickly that had happened without me noticing – after 3 years of generally eating sensibly – even on holiday – and then suddenly without warning a lapse…so who needs a diet when constant vigilance is the only way forward? I understand it’s for life if I want a result that lasts a lifetime.

    • Hi Lauren,

      First of all, let’s take a second to acknowledge that you have lost weight (from memory, you told me you had got to your lowest weight in 30 years?) and have pretty much maintained it for 3 years. That’s an amazing accomplishment!

      There’s a few lessons in what you said:

      1. The food diary shows all!

      Some people wonder, “where am I going wrong?” but there’s no need to guess, just look at the food diary.

      2. It’s sometimes hard to spot things when they’re happening to you, and so sometimes it’s helpful to get a second opinion.

      3. Everyone’s entitled to a lapse every now and then. That’s life. The most important thing is getting back on track, which you’ve done. Well done!

  8. Jennifer Good says:

    Having always been overweight and not knowing the rewards, losing weight and keeping it off seems impossible. Even when I have momentary success, I doubt my ability to make it to the end. “Diet Fatige”? Diet doubt.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      It’s understandable that you would have doubts.

      I can’t remember a single client I’ve seen in clinic who didn’t have doubts about their ability to lose weight and keep it off.

      After all, if you’ve not had success before, it’s natural to feel doubtful.

      But that in itself isn’t a barrier to losing weight.

      It sounds like you’d benefit from some kind of social support while losing weight, to keep you on track and encourage you to keep going when you’re having doubts.

      You don’t have to do this alone.

  9. Helen says:

    I agree the alternative is no good.
    I feel so much better when i put good food in my body.
    Persistence is key! yes i fall off the wagon! but i get back on.
    I like to use non food rewards on my healthy eating journey; a new candle a bubble bath, new lipstick, some fake tan ha ha well it makes me feel good.
    New music CD for the car i love it.

  10. Janet says:

    I had diet fatigue and thought I would never be able to lose weight. I was very overweight and would get overwhelmed by how much weight I had to lose to reach a healthy weight.

    switched to the long term behavioural approach at the beginning of 2013. After a few challenges something clicked in my head in April 2013 and I haven’t looked back! I have now lost over 90 pounds in weight and am heading towards a loss of 100 pounds. With Dr K’s help I am still losing weight and find this approach to be very manageable – and much more successful than deleting!

    If I can do it, anyone else can too!

  11. Catherine says:

    I’m another who has experienced weight gain due to medication. I also have a healthy appetite! Having tried many times (and failed) to lose weight, I’ve reached the diet fatigue stage, and wonder if it’s even worth worrying about any more. I eat some bad things, (if I open a packet of corn crackers I will eat the lot!), but lots of fruit and veggies. Eating less doesn’t seem to work – I can’t stick to it. I’m also an endomorph who doesn’t exercise, partly because I’m so heavy. Am I a lost cause?

    • Hi Catherine,

      No, of course you’re not a lost cause!

      Sometimes it takes many attempts before things click.

      The main thing to say is that eating less doesn’t work if it’s too drastic and unpleasant. The trick is to find ways to cut back what you’re eating without it affecting your quality of life.

      Don’t worry about the exercise right this moment. I usually find that as people start losing weight, they suddenly feel much more motivated to get active.

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks Dr K – it would be really good if things would click at long last. At the moment it feels like I know all the right things I need to be doing, but can’t stick to them. My appetite wins out every time. I wish I could lose over 100 lb, like another commenter on this site – congratulations to her! Full of admiration for the work she must have put in.

  12. Parween says:

    Thank you Dr K for your news letter. I love the writing style of your letter, it makes you ask questions as you read it and you can find the answers also.

    I get diet Fatigue I try to make healthy eating more suited to real life, I find this helps.

    Dr K can you please give tips on if you have family and children some times it’s really hard if they want a certain meal i.e. junk food how can a person improvise, I find this really hard.
    Thank you

  13. Tina says:

    I too have diet fatigue. I have tried so many with the weight always returning. I’ve even reached a point where my body seems to know what I’m trying to do to it and is rebelling.
    I was pleased to learn that my approach after 40 has to be different. I’ve not heard this before.

    • Hi Tina,

      If your body can see what’s coming, you have to be sneaky and cut back what you’re eating in a way that your body doesn’t even notice.

      This means small changes that don’t make you feel deprived. And you’re right, this works much better for women over 40, than the usual diets.

  14. Tina Conner says:

    I am not a dieter. I am trying to make better decisions about what I eat–but it is a daily effort. Thank you for the blog & encouragement.

    • Hi Tina,

      You’re welcome.

      And that’s why it’s good to get daily encouragement. Whether it’s this blog, or reading a little bit every day. I say to my forum members, even if they haven’t got time to post on a particular day, they should still log in and read other people’s comments.

      The value of this sort of “immersion” is huge, because when you are surrounded by these ideas, they sink in.

  15. Di says:

    Yes me to diet fatigue not that I ever lasted on any crazy diet for long they are just too restrictive. I love your approach but I still need to find better ways to cope when I go on holiday. I can be slowly losing for months and the go on a holiday or long weekend and I’ll gain a kg in just a few days.

    • Hi Di,

      Absolutely. I’ve seen plenty of clients in clinic, who are perfect when they are at home, but they travel a few times a year and gain a pound each time.

      1 pound x 3 holidays a year = 3 pounds a year

      After 5 years = 15 pounds.

      So even though they’re perfect at home, after 5 years, they’re 15 pounds heavier, and not really sure how it happened.

      So well done for spotting the problem. Will make it much easier to solve it.

  16. Anne says:

    It’s funny, after a year and a half of eating healthy I find that crappy food just doesn’t taste as good as I remembered. I’ll get a craving for something, do my planning so as to do the least amount of damage to my diet, and then when I finally eat it, it’s just not as good as I remembered. Fast food just doesn’t have the appeal that it used to have.

  17. Sylvia Wadsley. says:

    I think there is no option really as being healthy in the long term means having a healthy BMI .Eating good nutritious food is part of it too.That is also important to me.
    So we have to watch our weight even if it happens slowly.Keeping patient and having small goals has helped me focus The Dr K way has been the only scheme that I haven’t suffered diet fatigue on. Yes sometimes I have a little wobble but that is a normal part of learning a different way of looking at eating behaviour.

    • Hi Sylvia,

      You’re doing so well.

      And EVERYONE has a wobble every now and then. You’re right, it’s part of learning a new behaviour. It’s like a baby falling over when they’re learning to walk.

  18. Dorothy Tole says:

    Thank you Dr. K for the news letter. Diet fatigue is real as I am going through it now.

    While it was easier to cut down on weight prior to entering menopause, I find myself fighting a losing battle with my weight nowadays. I do give up when I see that I am not reducing any kilos despite all the strategies that I have put in place to aid the reduction. I guess I need help! Thank you.

    • Hi Dorothy,

      It’s true that losing weight becomes a little more difficult (slower) as you get older, but that’s why I encourage abandoning diets and trying a more long-term focused approach.

      Two things:

      1. Are you keeping a food diary?

      2. Usually if someone feels that they are making lots of changes but not getting progress, it’s because either

      a. the changes they are making are not consistent enough, or

      b. they are offsetting the changes with other behaviours that are creeping in.

      In other words, the reason you are struggling is NOT because there’s something wrong with you, but just a small problem with implementation.

      And yes, if the alternatives are get some help or give up, you know which one I would encourage!

  19. Nikki says:

    I’m definitely diet fatigued, and like you Dorothy, I’m post menopausal. I eat healthily but weight loss is much, much slower than it was prior to menopause. I will be 50 in May and would love to be back to my old size (before surgery last year) for my party. Half a pound a week weight loss won’t get me there……what do I do?

    • Hi Nikki,

      I’ll be honest with you. My method of weight loss is NOT helpful if you want to lose weight in the next few weeks.

      In an ideal world, you’d abandon the deadline, and just focus on being slim and healthy for life. But realistically, you probably won’t be in that frame of mind till after the birthday. And that’s OK too.

  20. Dawn Jagdev says:

    Dear Dr K,
    I had despaired of EVER losing weight. Your method is working for me in a few ways; I’ve lost weight (and kept it off) AND inches, I’m not constantly thinking about food and no food is banned. In fact, for the first time in about 5 years, I’ve bought myself an Easter egg! A lot of seasoned dieters will be throwing their hands up in horror at what I’ve just said but you don’t know until you’ve tried it.

    • Hi Dawn,

      Glad to see you’re getting the results (and keeping them), and good on you for buying an Easter egg!

      And you’re right, most seasoned (aka unsuccessful) dieters will not understand how you can do that and still be slim.

  21. Dear Dr K
    I’m so glad you’re going to keep up the newsletters. Without them I feel sure I would dive into a giant weight gain. My cleaner and friend is now steadily losing weight, not by taking pills but doing just what you say, although she’s never read your wise advice.

    Thank you for being there.

  22. Sue S says:

    I often have diet fatigue. Low carb? Clean food? Vegan?Even just healthy eating fatigue. With divorce and menopause and teenagers, I’ve gained 25 lbs and know I need to lose that weight. But sometimes the stress over what to eat is just too much and I just want easy quick food that no one will complain about. Unfortunately in our house that is usually not the healthiest.

    • Hi Sue,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been through a tough time.

      Yes I understand what you say about healthy eating, because what is “healthy” seems to change from week to week, so it’s very confusing.

      I think you need to be a bit more gentle with yourself and don’t expect perfection in healthy eating. Rather than trying to be “good” (and stressed out if you can’t manage it) just aim to be a “little bit better”. Try and make each day slightly better than the previous one.

  23. Claire says:

    I too have diet fatigue. I have done just about everything, but the thing I have learned is that although I don’t like it I just can’t afford to take my eye off the ball. As soon as I stop the vigilance the weight creeps back on. I am now making small adjustments and focussing on my health, cutting back majorly on sugar and processed foods. My weight loss is slow, but I am sleeping better – largely due to the lack of sugar highs and lows. I feel like I’m on an experimental journey to try and find out what works long term and am being much kinder to myself. I spent years beating up myself every morning when I jumped on the scales. I still check everyday but try and be more objective about it.

    • Hi Claire,

      That’s great what you’re doing.

      I agree with you. I think one of the main things to learn is that you gain nothing from beating yourself up every morning.

      It’s much more productive to be kind to yourself and be gentle in the changes you make. The easier you can make it on yourself, the more likely you will stick to it.

  24. Maria says:

    Dear Dr K. Yes yes ‘diet fatigue indeed. In fact before meeting you I had become allergic to the word ‘diet’ and still find it repulsive generally speaking that you so often get the question ‘oh you are in a diet’ when you say no to desert. I have lost a bit these last weeks but more important I am not putting on and I feel more in control generally speaking. I have even found I happily answer ‘diet ? Well yes I guess. Life diet. Feels great. Not using my body as a waste bin type of diet ‘ … Maria

    • Hi Maria,

      Yes that’s one of the hardest things about this approach! It’s quite hard to explain to the average person what you’re doing.

      But in many ways, the results will speak for themselves.

      • Maria says:

        I have a few people who do make life difficult. Eating too late. Eating the wrong things. Drinking more than I would want. And of course the home made desert. This is still my greatest struggle. I sometimes give in just not to make a fuss. But then I resent the friend. And I resent myself for not being strong. In one case I have actually stopped seeing the friend. Have tried alternatives to meeting over a meal but does not work. Perhaps someday you will talk about this type of situation.

  25. Gilly says:

    ‘Diet fatigue’, that’s a great expression which I truly relate to… a sad cycle of deprivation dieting followed by uncontrollable binging.
    Thank goodness I found the ‘Dr K Way’, 10 months later, nearly 2 stone lighter and a ‘normal’ relationship with food.

    Freedom at last, thank you Dr K 🙂

  26. Birgit says:

    Dear Dr. K, THANK YOU for the newsletters and the FRIDAY BOOSTS especially. I’m diet fatigued, too. Once I decide I have to make changes for a healthier life, it’s quite easy to make “good” decisions about food. And I see that small changes and slow weight loss is the key. I’ve given myself 2 years to lose 40 kgs (88 lbs). Apart from eating healthier, I do allow myself a little treat every once in a while, because I know that this is a long term challenge and I won’t have to quit chocolate etc. for good. I do not store a lot of unhealthy stuff, though. Just to avoid the temptation. But still better than living on high processed food and seeing the scale going up all the time.

    • Hi Birgit,

      You’re welcome!

      Yes you’re right, no food should be forbidden. But very good to not keep tempting food at home. Make eating chocolate a deliberate enjoyable treat, not something you eat just because “it was there”.

      And I like that you’re embracing the “small changes” and being patient. Remember, no matter how long it takes, you’ll be getting the benefits pretty soon. For example, when you lose the first 10 pounds, you will notice it. You’ll be getting benefits straight away. And that will keep you motivated and on track.

  27. Beth says:

    I absolutely agree – diet fatigue just pulls you down even more, when you’re trying to be positive about yourself. My work means that lunch is usually ‘on the hop’ and so, if I haven’t eaten I will reward myself with a ‘treat’….. and so the cycle begins – eating for comfort or being tired, as a pick-me-up, then feeling guilty and resorting to not eating . . .I just can’t seem to make my mindset change, which I know will make me feel more positive about myself.

  28. Melody Pearce says:

    I am fifty and put on a lot of weight because of my medication. I have made a lot of changes… Lots of small things and l keep a food diary… But l eat healthy,.. I follow everything l’m supposed to but my weight continues to go up.. What could be causing this? I am almost giving up!! I think l have diet fatigue!! Thank you for the Newsletter and help, Melody

    • Hi Melody,

      Sorry to hear that. That’s a tough one to answer, because sometimes in these sorts of situations, I need a whole consultation with a client before I can figure out where things are going wrong.

      It’s a common issue to feel like you’re doing everything right and still not getting anywhere. I can’t comment specifically on your situation, but in general, it’s probably because you’re doing LOTS of things right, but a few things are possibly letting you down.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but would need a lot more detail to figure out exactly where things aren’t going to plan.

  29. Lesley says:

    I have lost my motivation…i guess thats diet fatigue. I think a lot of my eating is about managing my emotions. Its a vicious cycle really. Feel bad so eat….then feel bad because of eating….then eat because feeling bad …etc. sometimes i manage this better than others. Now is not one of the managing times! Ideas on getting back to a better space are welcome.

    • Hi Lesley,

      Well the fact that you care enough to be here and post a comment is a good sign!

      I agree with you, that finding a way to deal with your emotions (other than eating) will be very helpful.

      Also, perhaps being a little less hard on yourself. If you beat yourself up over one episode of over-eating, then as you say, you make yourself feel bad that then makes you want to eat more.

      Break the cycle, by not being so harsh on yourself. And look for other ways to handle emotions.

      Thanks for the comment

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