Wellington’s Body Balance Nutritionist

Are you a victim of Pseudo-dieting? Have you hopped off one diet rollercoaster and found you’ve stumbled onto another?

Hidden dieting is what I’m talking about here, or dieting without even knowing it!

The word Pseudo, pronounced “seu-doe” is a term for deception, or something that is misleading. This makes it the perfect way to describe the type of dieting we all do, or have done: when we believe we aren’t dieting but are still acting out diet-like behaviours (or thoughts!).

“My position with food and nutrition has now done a 180 and I’m thrilled to be here now with some Body Balancing wisdom!”

Don’t get me wrong it seems more and more of us are becoming wary of labelled diets and diet-culture (Yayay!). But it is so easy for the pseudo-dieting to sneak in and put us back on the diet rollercoaster.

To start here are a few examples, of how dieting might show up in disguise:

  • Cutting out food groups.
  • Choosing to go vegan or vegetarian in the pursuit of weight loss.
  • Making up for eating with not eating or exercising.
  • Limiting eating to certain times of the day.
  • Soothing hunger by other means, i.e. chewing gum, gulping down water or coffee, smoking cigarettes.
  • Second guessing and restricting based on what was eaten earlier!

Have any pseudo-diet behaviours creeped up on you?

These pseudo diet behaviours arise from our deeply engrained learned behaviours and are reinforced by societies “norms” (it’s normal to be dieting and to pursue the idea of thinness) – in our minds we have described it and prescribed it. But hey, habits can change! If after reading this and something strikes a chord, with some self-reflection, and a bit of habitual retaliation you will be able to rid yourself of these pseudo-diet behaviours.

Before we go further, let me tell you I know about those merry go round thoughts. I understand about the diet rollercoaster. I once was a fiend for the treadmill and I’d read every health and fitness magazine under the sun. Although I didn’t think I was dieting I attempted to follow every piece of advice. I ‘ate clean’ – so clean that I thought my food habits were perfect. But these controlled my lifestyle, and I soon became a very unhappy girl!

My position with food and nutrition has now done a 180 and I’m thrilled to be here now with some Body Balancing wisdom. Let’s start the process of breaking down pseudo-dieting.

Help! I think I might be pseudo-dieting…How can I change my ways?!


  1. Finding it       Believe in the need for change.

We want to consider where pseudo diet habits kick in for you! These are unique so it’s time for a bit of TRUTHFUL self-reflection. I say truthful as pseudo dieting often revolves around denial, in the continual yearn for those weight loss tools to work! But hello, this puts us straight back on that diet (not-so)merry-go-round.

So, being true to yourself think… do you find yourself abiding to rules around eating? Did any examples at the top of the page stand out to you? Grab a journal or notebook and write these out so you are aware of them. Habits form over a long time, but the realisation of restriction can be a quick game changer.

My advice: get hyperconscious about your habits, this is key to start thinking about the diet clear out.

  1. Fearing it      Tackle the diet hitches.

Okay so you may be thinking that saying good bye is said easier than done – well how about we pin point what’s stopping us from getting rid of these pesky behaviours. And right now, I feel we should really acknowledge the bombardment of external influences at play here.

Often there is the expectations from those around you – parents, partner, friends or colleagues in the endless diet battle. If you allow people to comment on your eating or you engage in their ‘diet chit chat’ you are more likely to continue with your secret diet tools.

My advice: respect your food bubble and keep it free of others’ opinions.

Media has a strong influence on pseudo dieting media can plant seeds of dieting within our food and body image bubbles. Keep an eye out for the hijacking of diet-free living. Confusion creeps in as headlines tell us: “Say no-more to dieting, and say yes to our top 5 weight loss tips!”. Media has no qualms about being full of contradictory weight loss messages! Become a critical reader. (Jess shares her thoughts on this here.)

My advice: skip over the ‘tips’, they aren’t going to give you any sort of superpowers.


  1. Fighting it    Reap the benefits of saying bye-bye.

While it might be scary stepping away from diet routine isn’t is scarier to realise you are not in full control? Or that you don’t trust yourself to move away from this mentality?

Are you going to turn down the ability to find joy in your food choices, and be free of food guilt? I have my hand up for you saying no.

It’s time to take back the control from pseudo dieting, you will create a confidence in yourself as a new food journey begins. It is a pathway to discovery, so explore, and be curious! See what happens when you allow yourself no limits.

My advice: keep reading, thinking and learning about yourself in rebellion against the pseudo-diet habits. 

If you are wanting some more inspiration to overthrow your pesky diet past check out some of our other blog posts on intuitive eating here!

If you are ready to illuminate your life and leap over the diet wall – have a chat with one our 100% diet-free BBN nutritionists & dietitians. We’ll wing-woman you through your diet break up and help you to trust your instincts, satisfy your emotions, and value your thoughts. See you then!

Rosa Bach x

Rosa is a non-diet nutritionist practicing online and in Wellington, New Zealand.

Rosa is a non-diet nutritionist practicing online and in Wellington, New Zealand.