adrienne: all the sh!t you already know about fad diets

12 Jun

There are 96 different “latest diet plans” listed on Web M.D.

Ninety-six different diets to do the exact same thing.

I question why we have to resort to 96 (or 100, or three hundred, or who knows) different methods to obtain the same goal. And why people “go on a diet” at all.

Maybe I’m a big diet snob now, having been through Weight Watchers, but one of the things I learned was that you don’t achieve long-term health or weight loss through “diets.” You achieve it through changing the way you live. Not for a week or six weeks or a month. For the rest of your life. Sustainable change that makes you feel good at the end of the day.

Tell me… does the idea of eating pureed food out of a baby food jar sound like something you’d like to do for forty years?

baby food. it’s what’s for breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and dessert.

And it’s all well and good if you lose 10 pounds in a week on the cabbage soup diet, but you just let me know when that weight comes back on, okay? And how you feel at the end of every day. I am guessing you feel like utter shit.

Just guessing.

And you know, looking through these diet plans, most of them are a healthy eating plan (fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, eliminating processed food, high fat foods, and high sugar foods) combined with a gimmick that makes the diet its own. On the O2 diet, for example, you need to consume foods that have ORAC points! (oxygen radical absorbance capacity… whatever that means)

Tell me how much any weight loss achieved on the O2 diet is attributed to the change to healthy eating habits and how much of it is due to HIGH ORAC FOODS.

I feel like I might be saying what everybody already knows. But I see this happening over and over, being done by people who I know are REALLY SMART PEOPLE.

The true path to weight loss isn’t a gimmick diet that you do for a few weeks. It is about cleaning up our eating habits and moving our bodies. It’s about changing an entire lifestyle. That is for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Until death do you part. Put a ring on it.

why do you have a fake hand?

Come on, we already know this. But fad diets are easier. They’re more fun. Sometimes you lose a ton of weight all at once and you feel awesome! Even if they don’t work or don’t last, you can tell your friends, “I can’t have that. I’m on the Hallelujah Diet.” or “I wish I could have a donut like you are enjoying but I am only allowed to drink cabbage.”

if only they made cabbage soup donuts

Cue the martyr.

By the way, nobody likes it when you say these things. Nobody thinks you’re more hardcore, more devoted, or healthier than them. If you’re making the dumbass decision to do one of these diets, don’t complain to me about how you can’t have a donut. If you were doing this healthily, you could have a donut if you really wanted. And you’d love it. Because it would be a treat, as it should be. Or maybe you wouldn’t love it, because you’d realize that hey, a donut doesn’t cure my ills or fill my heart with joy like it used to.

So quit complaining that you can’t eat a donut like my fat ass is eating a donut. AND ENJOYING IT.

Fad diets are also easier than real, permanent change. We’re all looking for the quick fix, for that massive drop in pounds that shows that what we’re doing works. Maybe some people use fad diets in order to ignite that change. That’s great. But they’re temporary unless you adhere to them (those that are healthy) for the long term.

And real lifestyle changes are a bitch.

Goddamn if I don’t want to eat the Chef’s Choice whopper at Burger King every night for dinner (by the way, BK was SOLD OUT of Chef’s Choice whoppers this weekend. SOLD OUT. How do you sell out of a burger! Jesus.), or at least four times per week. I want ice cream every weeknight for dinner, pizza every Friday, and to go out every lunchtime at work. It’s so easy and so delicious to live this way! And that, combined with human psychology that leaves us enslaved to habits, to rewards, makes permanent healthy living a very tough path to follow.

To me, healthy living is a huge bubble that encompasses many things.

Healthy Eating
I didn’t lose weight by juicing everyfuckinthing in my house and drinking it. But I did lose weight by portion control, incorporating fresher and healthier foods into my life, cooking more at home, and letting myself have treats and go out to eat sometimes.

Giving yourself rewards keeps your body and your mind satisfied. We all know one trip to Applebee’s won’t make you fat and it won’t kill you either. A few Dove chocolates a day also will not derail your health. Oh, and guess what. An entire day of eating like all you’ll have to eat tomorrow is paste made of palm leaves won’t kill you.

Moderation is key. Even attempting to moderate helps.

Healthy Moving
No matter how much good food we eat, or how much less food we eat, moving more and in different ways has to happen. Find an exercise you like and start it, slowly at first. Build up to super-athlete status.

Healthy Mind
Treat yourself well and your body is happier in return. Making healthy choices will make you feel better; giving yourself rewards (whether those are food, clothes, or otherwise) will also. Surround yourself with people who don’t drag you down. Make decisions that are right for you, even if they’re hard.

And for heaven’s sake, today, look up at the sky whether it’s rainy or sunny and be thankful for the life that you have. Breathe because you can.

view from my window, 11 a.m.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

6 Responses to “adrienne: all the sh!t you already know about fad diets”

  1. Molly June 12, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I love you guys.

  2. Carie Bosch June 12, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    i agree with molly. <3

  3. Dasha June 13, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    I just don’t get the appeal of fad diets. Do people really believe that a future life of size 2 clothes is ahead of them if they eat nothing but fig newtons and tater tots for 3 months? How dumb do you have to be to think that that’s going to do it? Or those ridiculous commercials for the latest over the counter weight loss drug. “Dr. Fred Schmitke* endorses our revolutionary product!” (*Turns out Dr. Fred Schmitke has a Doctorate in Nutritionimal Studeez from the University of Southwest Mongolia–Ulan Bator Campus.)

    God, I wish it were that easy. I’d be all over the fig newtons and tater tots or pounding back pill after pill of Flushthelardex.

    • icedteainthebag June 14, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      TOTS.

      I don’t get the appeal either. And LOL, yes, endorsements. What a joke. Do people actually buy into diets because of endorsements? I think I need to Ask The Blog. Jennifer Hudson being a WW spokesperson was the last thing on my mind when I joined. I could not care less. But she looks great!

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