What I Learned After 9 Years of Failed Dieting

I have tried a multitude of diets beginning when I was 12 years old. As a young girl I remember wanting to look as thin as my classmates and after much googling, I decided calorie counting was the answer.

If I could go back and talk to my 12 year old self, I would tell her to slow down. Not halt the curiosity entirely, but use that to seek knowledge about nutrition, wellness, and fitness. I would say explore different forms of movement you love whether that is sports or roller skating. And most of all, you are not defined by a size, weight, or slice of cake. Rather honey you are beautiful. In all sense of the word, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Since that time I have tried intermittent fasting, going keto, vegan, and more, all with the ambition to “lose weight quick”.

While these different eating styles may be sustainable for some people, they did not last with me but that’s okay because I learned something from each and every diet. While I no longer eat this way, I incorporate habits in my lifestyle that are lessons learned.


Keto is known for being low carb and high fat, which it is, but it also follows a strict no sugar policy. I never had the habit of checking labels for added sugar but after following this diet I am more aware of the sugar content of various foods. (Even the presumed healthy ones!)


I followed a plant based diet for over six months and in that time frame picked up nutrient dense recipes as well as the mentality that a meal is satiating without meat.

Intermittent fasting

Growing up I was used to eating breakfast first thing in the morning and eating all throughout the day. This not only taught me to wait in the morning until I am hungry, but also kick mindless snacking and late night grubbing to the curb.

So what does this mean? While these diets may have failed- meaning I no longer practice them, they each taught me something unique.

With this perspective not all dieting has to be negative. With a mindset shift from quick weight loss to trying a new way of eating, diets don’t have to last a lifetime to teach you something new. Besides your life is composed of elements that are best for you so it is important to explore then incorporate those practices.



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Lisa Gachara

Lisa Gachara

Global health student and storyteller. I hope to challenge mindset & provide understanding for global health issues and personal success alike. lisagachara.com