Trail 3: Choose what works

“I’ve tried so many diets before, but I couldn’t stick with any of them.”

You probably think it’s about willpower.

It’s not.

Well, some of it might be about busting nutrition myths or finding your mojo, but a big part of whether a diet works long term or not is how well the diet fits you: your likes and dislikes, your schedule, your health concerns.

Sure, you might be able to do a super restrictive diet for a few weeks — but can you do it forever? A British poll of one thousand women found that most women abandon a diet after five weeks, two days and 43 minutes! (But who’s counting?)

In previous diets in my twenties, thirties, and forties, I would try one thing for a while, then peter out, thinking, “well, that didn’t work,” or “I’m no good at this.”

When I got really serious in my early fifties, I had new determination. I started first with counting calories. And that did work, but it really wasn’t how I wanted to live the rest of my life. Also, it doesn’t really take into consideration the larger health picture.

I also tried lowering my carbs, which I know helps me feel better. A few months later, due to some health issues my husband had at the time, we tried eating a fairly strict Paleo diet. Once I figured out a new way to cook, that was pretty livable.

But over time, I’ve asked myself, “Is this part working? If not, why not? How could I tweak things to make it work better?” And gradually, I developed my own template. I know what works for me long term, what harms me or hinders me even in the short term. And how and when to flex my boundaries. This has kept working for me since 2015.

This is what Trail 3: Choose what works is about.

This topic offers you the opportunity to think through what’s most important to you in a way of eating and way of life, and it’ll help you recognize how your personality plays into your choices. Then you can use that info to define your own best boundaries.

Are you ready for Trail 3? Take the starter quiz.

Some resources for Trail 3:


Decide where you’re going, and why

How food boundaries bring freedom

How to choose a diet that works for you



Better Than Before — How we make and break habits, and how our personality plays into that

Wired to Eat – Focused on the Paleo diet, but explains how to test and determine which parts are right for you

(Note: The books below are about specific plans to consider, not about how to choose your boundaries.)

The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program – If you think you might be addicted to sugar

It Starts With Food – A basic intro about how food affects how we feel; focuses solely on the Paleo diet