Diets don’t work out, therefore neither should you

BethCooperHowelOF ALL the things I’ve lost, I miss diets the least. And that’s not because I’ve found the magic secret to weight management – there isn’t one. I don’t have a website or products to sell, because probably, I’ll always lurk about on the scale.

But for the first time in mostly ages, I’ve started my year without the slightest urge to feast on a new fad or begin a chummy Facebook group for determined dieters following 2014’s latest slim-jim promise.

It’s barely a few weeks into January and virtually every woman I know has cut back on carbs, eased off wine, taken up pilates and bought a BPA-free, two-litre water bottle.

We are so darn enthusiastic after Christmas. Sucked into the man-made concept of new beginnings, we create 12-step plans that start with February flab and end in six-pack Decembers.

Show me one of us who’s stuck to this? We’re all good until March, but then it’s Easter. You can’t win.

The biggest chuckle in our cockamamie pursuit of the body beautiful is the plethora of celebrity-endorsed, buy-the- book and pop-the-pill strategies that claim so much, you’d swear they were political campaigns.

Until I stopped voting for diet trends, I must have spent a small fortune over the years – because mostly, if you’re banishing or gorging on a food group, or need to use a magic yoga mat together with a designer kilojoule-controlled menu, it ain’t going to be cheap.

I have followed so many weight loss cults that I’m ready to write a book – though that would be feeding the same monster, not so?

In short, I’d rather advise you, casually like, that diets don’t work out and therefore, neither should you.

Once, I asked a friend about her daily diet as she was exceptionally slim. Turns out her six slices of peanut butter toast, bottle of wine and three square meals daily totalled way over the recommended daily calories for your common or garden, average woman. I eat half of what she does, yet could easily hide her behind my bottom and nobody would know.

The protein diets have worked for some and been a damned disappointment for others, being expensive and difficult to follow – especially for harassed moms who just need a jam sandwich at the end of the day (with wine, which isn’t a protein).

I’ve done fat-free, which had the boomerang effect of sending my body into primitive starvation mode, resulting in a gain of at least 2kg for just walking into the bakery and gazing at pastries. The half-raw, half-cooked diet was just that – half-cooked.

It looks easy to fill 50% of your dinner plate with crudités and divide the rest between lean steak and brown, salt-washed, organic rice, but you just try eating the salad first; an epic fail, given that steak covering only 25% of your plate is cruel.

A writer I know has unearthed the most ridiculous diet fads. What’s most terrifying is that they’re real – actual people follow them. Mostly in America.

Would you do it? A boiled egg for breakfast and a glass of dry white wine, followed by black coffee and eggs (again – that’s lunch) and then more wine (counts as a snack), with black coffee at bed-time.

Apparently, it works. Which makes sense, given that you’d be too drunk to notice how hungry you were.

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