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7 stages of dieting, where are you at?

Thursday, May 2017

7 stages of dieting, where are you at? 

Nutritionist Matt O’Neill explains the 7 stages of dieting, plus when you are most likely to see the biggest results.

By Harriet Edmund

Now more than ever, we are bombarded with information about fad diets which promise rapid – and often large amounts of – weight loss, fast.

A fad diet is best described as a weight loss diet that promises fast weight loss without a scientific basis, according to the Dietitians’ Association of Australia.

The truth is, dieting or establishing a long-term healthy eating plan takes time. Matt O’Neill, nutritionist and creator ofMetabolic Jumpstart shares what you need to know about the sevens stages of dieting.

He says, by understanding the normal stages of dieting you can feel better about the progress you are making.

“I’m always giving people a nudge to enhance their diet, but I never expect you to be perfect from day one,” says Matt. “It is also normal to experience slip ups and have days when you feel as if you’ve gone back a stage.”


Matt explains, if this happens to you, you should try to refocus on your goals and remember why you want to improve your diet in the first place. “If you feel as if you’ve reached stage seven, go easy on yourself – real success is usually achieved between stages four and six.”

Stage 1: I don’t want to change my diet and I’m not planning to

“You probably don’t see a need to improve your diet or you haven’t established important reasons to change what you are doing,” says Matt. This is a time to consider how your weight and health will suffer if you don’t make changes now. “Don't put off making plans for positive changes.”

Stage 2: I’m thinking about changing my diet

You know why you want to make changes, but you haven’t started yet. “This is either because you don’t have a plan or you are dwelling on what you’ll have to give up,” says Matt. At this stage, list the benefits of a better diet and commit to a date to start your diet.

Stage 3: I’ve started to change my diet

Well done! Now you need to make healthier food choices, easier choices. Make specific plans for how you’ll eat well at home, work and at social events.

Stage 4: I eat healthy foods because I know it will help me manage my weight

“This is when you’ve made some positive changes, but it still takes some effort to counter old habits and cravings,” says Matt. “Focus on your goals and accept occasional slip ups.”

Stage 5: I enjoy healthy foods, they taste better and it’s becoming a habit

Your taste buds are now on your side. Fatty or sugary foods are now a turn-off. Your new healthy habits are working for you most of the time.

Stage 6: Healthy eating is now automatic for me and part of my new lifestyle

“This is when you might start looking back and wondering how you ate what you did before you started dieting,” explains Matt. Now you are choosing healthy foods without feeling deprived and it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’ anymore.

Stage 7: I obsess about eating well

It is possible to become too serious about counting calories, which can make it difficult to enjoy food. “The stress elevates your cortisol hormone, which triggers cravings, retains abdominal body fat and makes matters worse,” explains Matt. If this happens, take a step back and reassess your habits and goals to see whether they are working for you or against you.

These 7 Stages of dieting have been modified from the Prochaska & DiClemente’s Stage of Change Model for Behaviour Change. If you would like a metabolically matched diet plan contact Step into Life partner, Matt O’Neill .

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7 stages of dieting, where are you at?