Happy New Year!!! Time to start anew. And, of course, it’s time to resolve to lose weight. This post may seem a tad mean so if you’re sensitive, you may want to skip it. I love how everyone is suddenly a dieting expert around this time of year. I’ve encountered many “nutritionists” and “personal trainers” who have never actually studied the subject a day in their lives. Yet they have a lot of advice for me on how to stay in shape and lose weight.
It doesn’t have t be New Year’s for expert dieters to crowd my mental inbox with their so-called advice (incidentally these happen to be people who don’t live by their own tutoring). I notice that there are several kinds of dieters. I have put them into categories in my mind and vowed to learn from their mistakes. Here’s my list:
The Bandwagon Dieters– the ones who begin their diet just because everyone else is doing it. Name the occasion and they’re on it. They diet because ‘It’s New Year’s’ or Dr.Oz said it or ‘Oprah’s doing this new thing’. I’ve heard of church fastings, juicing, no-carb diets, clean eating (I’m not mad at this one), Paleo dieting, etc. I’m not knocking all of these but to jump in head first without understanding what you’re doing or having a long term, reasonable plan in place seems treacherous to me. What’s the point?
The Crisis Dieters– they start a diet because of a medical emergency. They have had a heart attack, high blood pressure, survived cancer or have been diagnosed with diabetes. Suddenly they are watching every morsel that goes into their mouths and starting sentences with “My doctor said…”. In some ways this is a blessing because in the world of health it’s better late than never. But I don’t need a near death experience to shake me into doing the right thing.
The Radical Dieters– these dieters feel that if they cut out an entire food group or target food they will lose the weight once and for all. No meat. No carbs. No fat. No dairy. No sweets. Do a Daniel’s Fast. Without fail, many these folks fall off the wagon within 8 weeks. Or the forbidden food finds it’s way back into their diet somehow. Can you really go the rest of your life not eating a single carb? Can you ‘juice’ permanently? Think long term.
The Product Whores– MY FAVE!!! People who swear by products to lose weight. I had a co-worker once who brought a protein bar to work everyday for her lunch. She insisted that she would eat that bar for lunch and nothing else to lose weight. Of course, once she got a whiff of what was cooking in the cafeteria, that bar ended up being a paperweight on her desk. She was also an admitted Coke head. If Coke was sold out of the soda machine in the lounge we all knew who drank them. It’s no wonder why she would remain the same size year after year. And if it’s not meal replacements or those devilish pills, then it’s a product you wear. Exhibit A: Ardyss Shape wear. This modern day corset strangles a woman’s midsection into submission. The claim is that you will not only look slimmer (a full 2 sizes smaller to be exact) but you will have a smaller appetite. Yeah I wouldn’t want to eat either if I was suffocating inside of a human sausage casing. Even my hairstylist was selling those things at one time. Jeez Louise!!!
I have no problem per se with these diets. But they often begin and end with no real nutritional guidance. Once you’re done swearing off all forms of sugar for three weeks what happens next? What will happen to your new body when the forbidden foods get introduced back into your diet? How do you bring them back into your diet sensibly? If they don’t come back, how do you replace the missing nutrients? Vegetarians know what to eat to get their protein in. Do you? I like things I can do for a lifetime not a moment in time. I love chocolate. I’m not giving it up. I love a good piece of fried chicken. I even drink a soda once in awhile. Tell me how I can coexist with these foods and still reach my goal. I know that Weight Watchers does this and that’s probably why they’ve been around for so long. I refuse to deny myself a few pleasures in life. It’s too short as is.
But alas, it is in fact New Years and the vicious cycle of crash dieting has begun again. Some folks will triumph this year. Other will fail miserably. The gun has sounded. Let the games begin.
Thanks for reading!