This is what one of my clients heard from her mother repeatedly when she was growing up:

No one will love you if you are fat!

Many of my clients have expressed to me that as little girls they were chastised for overeating or eating “fattening” foods. Being slim and fit was the goal of any nice girl.

Nowadays, we are taught to appreciate ourselves at any size. And this is certainly a vast improvement upon the days when I was growing up in the 80s.

We were taught that “a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie.” We were taught that fat is bad and we should make do with a dressing-free salad and skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Starving oneself to reach the ideal size was not out of the question.

Over the past fifteen years, the conversation around fat and carbs has changed and it has nicely developed into a raging war. Should you “go keto” or eat raw vegan or maybe try out the latest fad, the carnivore diet?

It is no longer about just counting calories and doing aerobics. We have choices! But I’m afraid we are making the same mistakes as our moms. They just are packaged differently.

How can we get around this? What is the answer to the woes so many millions upon millions of women suffer from?

Here are four lessons you can learn from your mom’s mistakes.

Dietary dogma is dead.

Whether it is Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers or Oprah Winfrey, their latest spokeswoman, we have to stop listening to diet gurus. The antidote to all the confusion around which diet is best for you is to stop looking outward and to start looking inward.

Your body is speaking to you in volumes. You just have to listen. I like to coach my clients to pay attention to the following six factors to see if what they are eating is working for them or not: energy, mood, mental clarity, hunger, cravings, gut issues. If you feel a worsening or an improvement in any of those areas, you will know which way things are going.

It’s not about how much you sweat.

We now know there are ways you can work out in a short period of time and get maximal benefits. High-intensity interval training is a great example of this. A twelve-minute workout can have you burning more fat all day long.

It’s not about working hard. It’s about working smart. We also know that strength training is not just for guys pumping iron anymore.

You are never too old to start working out. Exercise is a crucial tool in the weight loss journey, but it needs to be done strategically. The days of slogging it out for an hour on the treadmill are gone.

You are beautiful and lovable, regardless of your dress size.

So many amazing women are out there performing and making an impact in the world that are not a size four. And they are delightfully unapologetic about the extra weight. They refuse to allow their physical size to inhibit their vibrant energy or their success.

This is absolutely fabulous! When I was growing up there were very few successful women out there that were plus-sized. The message was: “Women are judged by their appearance and you better be attractive or you are not going to make it.”

This is all changing and we should embrace it. Beauty is subjective and no woman should feel held back because she doesn’t fit into the Western, corporate, male-driven model of what is considered attractive. Your dress size should not deter you from experiencing a deep sense of self-love.

There are good calories and bad calories.

If there is one thing we have learned over the past 50 years, it is that not all calories should be considered to be the same. 100 calories of rice are very different from 100 calories of broccoli.

The way you feel after the meal is different: less hungry with the broccoli, in most cases. The way the nutrition is absorbed is different: Rice is much more quickly and easily digested and absorbed. So, yes, the type of calories you consume does make a difference.

Back in the day, we would see something like a bowl of fiber cereal with low-fat milk for breakfast and low-calorie pre-packaged meals (think Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers meals) for lunch and dinner. It didn’t matter what was in the food, just as long as the calories worked out. Borderline starvation on processed and bland meals was the key to success.

That is olden-days stuff. Now things are much more dynamic. Want eggs for breakfast? For most people, that’s just fine. Lunch can be made up of delicious soup made from bone broth. Throw some toasted pine nuts, artichoke hearts, quinoa, roasted cruciferous veggies, and a dash of avocado in your dinner and you are good to go. The same amount of calories, more or less, but way more exciting!

No longer are we beholden to listening to dietary gurus, working out like crazy, eating boring food, and judging ourselves. A strategic, dynamic, personalized approach is what works and it is also infinitely more pleasurable.

Originally published on Elevate Network

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.