2 Things All Effective Diets Have in Common

The 2 Things That All Effective Diets Have in Common

Sometimes Bridget and I use BuzzSumo to look up what’s hot and trendy in the online wellness and weight loss world.

We don’t actually give a shit about the new weight loss tricks we see in ads for getting rid of belly fat, or whatever crazy, Amazonian fruit Dr. Oz is talking about this week but, we do feel the need to know about them. If for nothing else but to fuel our fire or for “SEO optimization.”

And a couple of weeks ago while using this little tool, and enjoying some sandwiches Bridget’s mom made us (because we’re adults), we stumbled across a new FDA-approved weight loss device and almost puked our lunch up on each other.

We literally cannot believe this shit is for real.
And after fighting back our dry heaves, we got really mad.

This device will suck the food back out of your stomach after you eat it. It’s like machine-assisted purging. And the FDA approved it?!!

Has the world gone fucking mad?

This was even more incentive to make our totally sane, dare we say enjoyable weight loss program even better for you.

We’ve been working on it since we realized that the majority of emails we get from you guys say that you’re having a hard time losing weight. And, more importantly, that your weight is holding you back from being happy and living the life you really want to live. Which sucks.

And we get it. We really, honestly do. We know other people say they get it. And they might, but we want you to know that we really do.

We have been there.

  • We know what it’s like to dread going to your college roommate’s wedding because you feel fat and hate how you look in every dress you try on and want to cry. The only thing worse than going and seeing your ex boyfriend on the dance floor would be staying home because you’re a certified, fat loser and a bad friend.
  • We get what it’s like to put off dating until you lose weight because you think no one will ever love you the way you look now.
  • And we get what it’s like to go home early on a Friday night, saying you don’t feel well but, really, you just can’t wait to put your sweatpants on and sit on your couch alone where no one can see you and escape the pain of feeling so miserably self-conscious in your own skin when you’re out with your girlfriends.

Seriously. We get it. And we want to help.

Because we’ve moved past this problem in our own lives, and we trained as Health Coaches in hopes to help you do the same. And because, in all honestly, nothing feels better than helping another woman reclaim her confidence and happiness.

And we’re almost ready to invite you to join us in our live program.

We just need a little more time. Mostly because it’s summer and we’ve been all over the place, and we’re not good at sticking to a schedule but, whatever… until then…

We wanted to write about what we believe are the two most important things that ALL effective weight loss programs have in common. Because the truth is, if you follow them correctly, there are a lot of good options out there.

And if you truly understand these two things that actually help people lose weight, it won’t matter which one you choose to follow – ours or someone else’s – you’ll be able to lose the weight. Promise.

Okay. So to understand these two things, we have to understand why we get fat in the first place. I’ve talked about this before but, here’s a recap:

We get fat because the carbohydrates we eat cause a hormonal response in our body that essentially funnels those calories into our fat cells for storage. We then get hungrier, because our body can’t use those calories for anything else it needs to do – like breathing or digestion or thinking – so we have to consume more calories just to live. Simultaneously, our body begins to try to save energy, by expending even fewer calories, effectively making us feel fatigued to discourage us from running around and burning them.

We get tired and hungry because our bodies want to store fat. Not the other way around.

Now, the two things that all effective diets have in common are that:

  1. They focus on eating whole foods.

  2. They reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars you eat.

The two go hand in hand. And they prevent the hormonal cause of weight gain from occurring.

So first, if you want to lose weight without starving yourself or counting calories, you have to eat whole foods.

It’s the only way to effectively avoid processed carbohydrates and sugar in your diet – the stuff that makes you fat. (It also happens to be the only way to effectively nourish your body with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs to function and stay healthy but, details, right?)

The vast majority of food that comes in a package across the globe (also known as processed foods, Frankenfoods and ‘food-like’ substances) is made from some form of processed grain, especially wheat and corn. And the even larger majority contain added sugar on top of that.

So if you’ve gained weight and you’re having trouble losing it, you have to cut these foods out – unless of course you want to eat so little that you’re essentially in a semi-starvation state. But that sucks real bad and cannot be sustained.

So that’s the first part. You have to eat whole foods. Foods that do not come in a package. Foods that don’t have a list of ingredients. And foods that are not derived from processed grains. Otherwise you’re always going to be fighting hunger and cravings and you’ll always feel like crap.

Second, you have to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating.

To do so, you’ll want to focus on eating mostly greens, vegetables, healthy fats and high-quality protein. These foods keep your blood sugar stable, which means no excess insulin, which means no switching on of the fat storage process. They also nourish your entire body. Everything from your digestive tract to your skin to your nervous system is supported by eating these whole foods.

(This is a core tenet of the popular Paleo or Primal or Caveman Diet, though details vary depending on the author and school of thought.)

Now, there are other healthy whole foods as well, like fruit and high-quality dairy and even gluten-free whole grains if you don’t have trouble digesting them. But for weight loss, you should focus on eating mostly the foods that stabilize blood sugar and nourish your body.

There are literally thousands of diets out there. Bridget and I learned about hundreds of them in nutrition school. And there’s good to be found in a lot of them. But, the science of fat accumulation has become pretty clear again in the past decade. We know why we get fat. And we also know how to fix it. And regardless of what program you choose to follow, be sure that both of these steps are included. Otherwise, it might just turn out to be a frustrating and ineffective waste of your time.

What do you think? Have you ever tried a diet that didn’t include these two steps that was actually effective? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

And if you can’t wait for us to get it together and launch the weight loss program and want to get started today, you can grab our FREE 3-day cleanse right now. Just pop your name and email below and we’ll send it over to you.

Also published on Medium.



  1. Hey Dana,

    I appreciate your humorous and honest responses and posts. Where did you two go to nutrition school and how did you both make the transition from the cubicle to a job you love. I am very interested in healthy eating (particularly mediterranean diet and no processed foods) and consistent exercise (like BBG; boxing, rowing; high impact)! You gals are onto something!! I love to see this!!

    So, basically, i just want to say you rock and if you can provide some insight into how you make this career change and are loving life, I’d appreciate it! thanks and blessings to you! Bianca

    • Awww, thanks so much, Bianca! And thanks for reading CTK, we really appreciate it! We went to Institute for Integrative nutrition which you can read more about here–> http://www.croptopsandkale.com/coaching/

      And as for making the transition from cubicle to a job we love well, that’s a work in progress. If you wanted to shoot us a note at hello@croptopsandkale.com we’d be happy to go into further detail. Might be a bit much for the comments section!!

      Thanks again for reading and for taking the time to comment!

  2. I’m really surprised by this one because there are plenty of diets/plans that are based mostly on complex carbs (plant based high carb low fat diets like the McDougall program, starch solution, raw vegan, rawtill4, etc.) and there are so many people who have been successful on these diets. Im vegan and I always go back and forth between wanting to add more fats or more carbs into my diet, but I ultimately feel better with mostly carbs and lower fats. Anyway, sorry for the rant! Any thoughts on this?

  3. Hey Kenzie!

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment, we really appreciate you taking the time to reach out!

    We think it’s great that you are so in tune with your body and can really pinpoint what makes you feel your best, if only everyone could do that.

    As far as our thoughts on this and the diets you’ve listed above, they most certainly can give people great results.

    They’re ultimately giving results though, because they are in fact focused on eating whole foods and reducing the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in the diet overall (especially as opposed to the Standard American Diet). Even if you’re still consuming carbs, you’re doing so through whole foods like whole grains, beans, and fruit and vegetables. You wouldn’t be consuming processed foods and added sugar on those plans, so you’d be controlling your blood sugar/insulin levels regardless.

    I was a strict vegetarian for years after nutrition school and I lost a lot of weight that way too. I just realize now that whether I ate meat, eggs and fish or not didn’t matter. I was still the eating whole foods; vegetables, brown rice, etc. and had reduced my overall carbohydrates vs. the way I had been eating.

    What’s also important to note here though, is that not everyone who eats a lot of carbohydrates will gain weight. Some people can eat anything they want and not gain a pound. But for those of us who do (like myself), or anyone who has already gained weight and simply cannot lose it by the traditional eat less/move more approach, the most effective thing to do is to focus on whole foods and reduce the amount of carbs.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks again for reading, and for commenting!

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