Thursday, 21 April 2011

the best and worst diets

Breakfast: omelette with bacon and veg (no toast); pear
“Have you ever counted calories, points or anything like that?” (leanneperry71)
The answer is yes, yes and yes. I have done WW, calorie counting, Jenny Craig, Rezults, Modifast shakes, Scarsdale, Fit for Life, rah rah rah (and a goodly spread of sundry alternate diets).
All of the above caused weight loss in varying degrees – some less than others. One promised amazingly quick results, which just didn’t occur despite me rigidly sticking to the plan while I grimly swallowed down the horrible and unfamiliar food.
None of the above were long term for me. That is, while I stuck to them I lost some weight, but the problem was I couldn’t stick to them long term. And you know what that meant.... yep... the yo-yo up/down merry-go-round which keeps the diet industry churning in business. Of course you might say the problem was me – I couldn’t stick to the plan. And you’d be right. But it seems that a gazillion others are in the same boat.
My personal belief is:
  • There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet
  • Different people have different needs that means their bodies respond to different conditions, foods and tastes
  • Succeeding at weight loss is more than just diet and exercise. There’s a whole lot of other stuff going on under the surface
  • Anything long term is inevitably about ongoing lifestyle, therefore anything ‘quick’ has less chance of being a long term thing
If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to choose a diet I had to do for the rest of my life, I would choose WW. Why? (And it’s been a long time since I did the diet...) but it was the one that made an attempt to provide informational and social support, and a range of approaches to meet different needs such as diet plans, recipes, encouragement to exercise, and points which help you control your own food intake in terms of volume and type of food. Also I know of several success stories where WW has played a significant role.
Now I am not interested in a formal diet for myself. If they work for you, and you can stick to them long term, that's great. That's the goal. So if you find one, well done. As for me, I will continue to plug away learning what works for me and adjust my eating accordingly.
Comments anyone?


  1. I agree with your approach to diets. I too am slowly learning to appreciate how my body tells me what is best for me. One question though, how do you deal with 'cravings'? Sometimes I crave sugar, other times bread, and sometimes just any food. Any ideas?

  2. hi Irene and Cyn,
    Cravings! Argh, sometimes they sneak up on you. Daggy but true for me - the gauge as to whether it's hunger or a craving is "would you like an apple?" If not, then it's a craving. [If you're craving an apple, you're ahead!] If the craving is not going away (distraction, more water, getting busy, more protein etc)then a moderate serving is a way of turning off the craving for me. If I just try willpower to avoid it, I end up eating even more. Normally my cravings come from boredom and as a procrastination technique. So I get busy as well.

  3. Hi PR. Since I read your comment I've noticed that boredom is a factor for me too. I like the apple test!