Stop Dieting! 3 Quick Steps to Stop Weight Regain

by JJ Virgin on December 21, 2021

Want to know how to finally get off the hamster wheel of losing and regaining weight for good?  

If there’s one thing I constantly see, it’s that most people don’t know there’s a simple way to drop extra pounds and make sure you never gain them back.

Do any of these sound familiar?

I’ve struggled to find my goal weight for years…

I can’t seem to lose those last few pounds…

Every time I lose weight, I gain it back (and usually with a few extra pounds)…

You’re Not Alone in Your Weight Loss Struggles

That most diets fail is common knowledge by now. By two years after they start a diet, about 85 percent of people regain what they lost. By five years, that number goes up to over 90 percent. Many of them even end up at a higher weight.  

You’ve probably tried everything and every diet imaginable. Everything from keto to paleo to vegan to fairy dust… and you’re discouraged and disgusted because nothing ultimately works.  

You’re exhausted and you’re wondering how other people can lose weight and keep it off. So you get back on the hamster wheel and think you need to do more of this…

Now, you’re starving and grumpy. When you collapse at the end of the day and decide to allow yourself just one or two chips, you hoover down the whole bag.

If any of that sounds like you (especially if you’re anywhere on the spectrum from perimenopausal to post-menopausal)… you probably think you can’t lose weight because you’re over 40 and your hormones are wrecked. Oh yeah, and you’ve got those genes… the ones your mom gave you!! 

Well, let’s ditch those myths right now. 

Yes, you should exercise. Working out is great for your physical and mental health.  Moving is really important. But not as important as diet when it comes to weight loss.

Busting the “Middle-Age Spread” Myth

In August 2021, the journal Science published a study that turned the idea of middle-age spread on its head. Turns out it’s false!

Researchers studied the metabolism of more than 6,400 people, from eight days old up to 95 years old, from 29 countries around the world. 

They adjusted for things like body size and muscle mass to level the playing field in terms of calorie burn. That’s because bigger bodies burn more calories than small ones, and muscle burns more calories than fat.

Researchers found that metabolism peaks around age one, when babies burn calories 50 percent faster than adults, and then gradually declines about three percent a year until we’re 20. 

From there, metabolism plateaus until we’re about 60, when it starts to slowly decline again… BUT by less than one percent a year.

In other words, our metabolism stays almost completely stable between the ages of 20 and 60, even during major hormonal shifts like pregnancy and menopause. We burn calories just as well at 50 as we do when we’re 20. 

Why is this great news? Because it blows up most of our excuses. If you’re over 60, I’m going to give you a little wiggle room-(ish)… but not much. 

What this study really shows us is that weight gain is about what you eat. It’s not always about how much. Most times it’s not about eating less (it’s about eating more), and for the love of all that’s holy, it’s not about dieting.  

Why can’t we get off the dieting hamster wheel then? What’s been beaten into us that makes us feel like we have to starve ourselves or take other drastic measures to get to our goal weight?  

Everything We’ve Learned About Weight Loss is WRONG

If you’ve been doing everything right but can’t seem to lose weight or feel better, that’s why!  

Losing weight is not about exercising more or harder. It ’s not about counting calories or entirely avoiding certain foods. Let’s let go of that mentality!

What’s worked for me and my clients for years is this three-step approach. And it works in just three weeks!

Step 1: Prep

You have to prepare for success. That includes everything from cleaning out your pantry to taking your measurements—your waist, your hips, and your weight.  

The scale is not your enemy, I promise. It will be there to help you celebrate, because what you measure you can improve. 

Setting yourself up for success really starts with your mindset. Until you accept that this isn’t your fault, you’ll never stop beating yourself up and you’ll never get the results you want.  

The decks have been stacked against you… on shelf after shelf after shelf of nutritionally bankrupt, addictive food.  When you try to quit cold turkey, you know what happens: You go through withdrawal and become obsessed with what you can’t have. 

Everyone responds to deprivation the same way. We become obsessed with what we can’t have. Then you just end up giving in and going overboard. 

If you’re carrying some extra pounds and you don’t want to be, even if it’s just those last stubborn few… it’s time to join me on my anti-diet crusade.  

I’m not only anti-diet, I’m anti-diet culture. What do I mean? Your body is not a bank account, it’s a chemistry lab. Dieting shouldn’t be a hobby, it shouldn’t be a way of life. It’s a way TO your best life. 

When you put crap food in your body, it sends your immune system into an inflammatory spin to deal with all the processed junk. Your stress hormones get out of whack and hijack your sleep cycle. On top of that, you set the table for chronic disease.  

That’s why moderation is a myth. If a food is hurting you, it’s hurting you. Even healthy foods can be hurting you. I like to take a YOUnique approach and help you make choices specific to you, for your body, your lifestyle, your taste buds, and your genes.

A diet is a therapeutic, short-term tool. And it can be used to help you lose fat fast but also to heal and detoxify your gut, soothe your inflammation, and ease your achy joints.  

When you use your diet—meaning what you’re eating—as a therapeutic tool, you discover what works best for YOU, and then you can create a personalized eating plan that will shift you from sugar burner to fat burner. And that’s when you’ll see the weight come off fast. 

With the right mindset, you stop beating yourself up. Instead, you’ll take some simple measurements and dive right in to an eating plan that works for you.

Step 2: Swap

If it’s not your metabolism slowing down and creating weight gain, what is it?  Of course it can be the amount of food you eat, sure.  

But if you’ve been on a diet rollercoaster most of your adult life, you’ve probably figured out you can’t starve and skinny margarita your way to your dream body.  

The hidden cause of most weight gain and the reason you put it right back on after you lose it is food intolerance. Food is your friend and should make you feel great.  If it doesn’t, there’s a reason.  

My approach with The Virgin Anti-Diet is to help you figure out the root cause of what ails you… whether it’s extra pounds, achy joints, dull skin, or a really unhappy gut.  

More often than not, food is the problem… but surprisingly, not the food itself. It’s your response to certain foods that matters.  

That inflammatory spin comes from food intolerance. Some intolerances are pretty well known, like lactose and gluten. 

For years, we’ve been taught that typical diet foods like whole grains, nonfat yogurt, and egg white omelets are the best options for fast fat loss.  

But the truth is that those so-called healthy foods may actually be causing you to gain weight and sabotaging your health. 

If you’re eating all the “right” foods, but still not making progress, then food intolerance is the likely culprit. And if your goal is to lose weight and be healthy, eliminating the foods that cause chronic inflammation is a must, and right now.

Which foods should you avoid? After working with thousands of people struggling with weight loss resistance, I’ve identified these 7 foods that are most likely to prevent your forever weight loss.

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Sugar (including artificial sweeteners)

Swapping out the foods that are hurting you (likely without you even knowing it) can be a game changer. And you only have to do it for three weeks!  

Just three weeks and you’ll see and feel a major difference. This can be as simple as swapping cow’s milk for almond or coconut milk. Believe it or not, making that easy switch can have a huge impact on your weight and the way you look and feel, fast.  

Why? Because dairy is super inflammatory, but we’ve been told it’s good for us.  Which is probably why you’ve been eating dairy your whole life. 

Food allergies can be life threatening. Think peanut allergy. But if you have a food allergy, you know it and you’re already avoiding that food. 

Food intolerances, on the other hand, are low grade and sneak up on you over time.  Usually, you don’t even connect your symptoms to that food. (I’ve taken a little poetic license with the definition of food intolerance because in reality there’s a broad spectrum of reactions to food.)

If you’re tired all the time, have headaches, digestive problems, skin problems, joint pain, brain fog, food cravings, and moodiness… You’re probably dealing with food intolerance, and that’s leading to even bigger problems like leaky gut.

Food intolerance can wreak havoc on your system and serve up symptoms ranging from low-grade irritability to metabolic disease and obesity. 

Swaps can make all the difference for you. And some are so delicious, and make you feel so good, that you’ll probably never go back. 

Here are a few simple swaps to get you going: 

  • Swap your peanut butter for almond butter
  • Swap your whole wheat pasta for lentil pasta or spaghetti squash
  • Swap your eggs for a loaded smoothie
  • Swap your popcorn for roasted chickpeas
  • Swap your artificial sweetener for allulose

With a little creativity, nearly any food or beverage can be upgraded!

Step 3: Challenge   

Once you’ve kept those seven highly inflammatory foods (I call them high-FI foods) out of your diet for three weeks, you’ll reintroduce them one at a time to find out which ones are causing you to hang on to extra weight and the miserable symptoms of food intolerance. 

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. For three days, you’ll challenge one high-FI food in one meal a day. After the first meal… you wait! You’ll monitor yourself for any symptoms and weight changes over the next 24 hours.
  2. If you don’t have any reaction, continue to test that food in one meal a day for the next two days.
  3. If you do have a reaction, stop! Immediately quit challenging that food and go back to avoiding all seven foods for the next two days, and ensure your symptoms have stopped before you move forward.

Then, repeat with the next food.

Once you figure out which foods you need to avoid, you’ll keep the weight off for good, you’ll feel amazing, and you can drop out of the dieting-for-life club forever!