Daily Archives: 10 March, 2013

Why Do People Diet? Diets Don’t Work.

diets-suckSo, I have to confess, I’m annoyed on a daily basis.

Why?

Every day, I hear about another celebrity or friend or whoever getting on a new, fad diet.*

And it’s so frustrating because I know – this person will come back to me a month later, discouraged, saying, “Why did I end up binging?  I just can’t eat healthy.”   Or we’ll see the celebrity have a lifelong struggle with rollercoaster weight gains and losses after 305 Jenny Craig trials.  And I get mad – because I know my dear friend – or even this celebrity that’s been hounded by critics and paparazzi and assholes – CAN eat healthy.  It is easily within their power.  If only they’d stop dieting!

The thing I find especially crazy about diets is that a great deal of them these days ask you to cut one, or two food groups out of your nutrition.

  • The Paleo diet advises that you eat only what hunters and gatherers eat (meat, nuts, vegetables – this means NO dairy and NO sugar except fruit).  As a mother, this is crazy to me – I’m not going to stand in front of my kid and say, “You drink your milk,  honey, but Mommy doesn’t drink any or eat any dairy!”  Also, it doesn’t encourage oatmeal, which would probably be a good idea to eat when you’re only eating meat, as it scrubs cholesterol from your body.
  • Let’s look at the popular South Beach Diet.  Ah, the land of no carbs.  This is also bullshit, because there are good carbs, like whole grain bread and fruit.  I’ve tried this before – WHEN I WAS ACTIVELY ANOREXIC.  It’s not sustainable.  Healthy carbs keep us full until our next meal.  Also, can you imagine not eating a piece of cake at your son or daughter’s birthday?  I can’t.  I might even eat ANOTHER piece of cake 😉
  • Can I even talk about cleanses without rolling my eyes?  This, to me, is idiocy.  We don’t need anything to clean our body out – our body’s organs do it naturally.  I contend that people do it to “feel” thin in the same way they claim they can “feel” fat – they want to feel pure because nothing is going into their systems.  Well, except for cayenne powder and tabasco sauce or, whatever.  So, great, you’re going to starve yourself, and set yourself up for a binge, and deny your body what it needs to function.  Good for you.

You know who doesn’t recommend any of these methods?  Nutritionists and doctors.  When I was in treatment for my ED, I was advised to have three meals and three snacks a day, complete with whole grains, meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and – god forbid – dessert!  Now, the portions have to be reasonable, and you’re not generally advised to consume soda or corned beef hash on a daily basis – but you can eat or drink everything once in a while.

Is it that people are looking for the next quick fix?  Is is that they can’t sit with uncomfortable feelings when feeling full?  Is it that, in our extreme-based country, we feel the need to meet obesity-causing McDonald’s food with anorexia-causing cleanses?  Why do we need to cut something out to be healthy?  Isn’t health about balance?  Incorporating everything within reason?

You tell me.  I need some feedback.  Why do we diet?

*Please note this is not a personal attack on anyone.  I realize diets may work for a few, and not everyone succeeds doing things my way.  I get annoyed because I get triggered by diet talk, and because I watch people try something that doesn’t work over and over again, at the cost of their mental and physical health.  I get annoyed because I want to change it.

(image provided by www.lbnonlinefitness.com)