Friday, January 30, 2009

Random thoughts on dieting

I read a blog post yesterday about Bob Greene, Oprah's diet guru. The blogger asked why, if Bob's diet was so revolutionary and wonderful, was Oprah not able to stick to it? If Oprah had found the answer in his diet (she's praised him over and over again on her show), why did the diet fail Oprah or why did Oprah fail Bob????
We who diet know the answer. Diets really don't work. It's a head thing, not a regimen thing. I can follow some dumb ass list of foods and menus for weeks on end but then......a little switch clicks in my head and I want. I want pizza. I want ice cream. I want Pepsi. I want fried chicken. It's not about being "hungry" or even feeling deprived. Something drives me. And it's not sadness or celebration or anything I can actually put my finger on. It just happens. I can usually talk myself out of indulging when the switch clicks.... if I want to but I have to want to talk myself out of it. And I don't always want to. Regardless of the consequences.
And what about the non dieting approach? Eating until you are satisfied (not full) and being mindful of what you eat. All well and good. I can eat pizza until I'm satisfied and savor every delicious biteful. But that isn't going to get me leaner any time soon! Nor will it help me get healthier.
And cutting back a little might work for someone who only has five pounds to lose (like the person who gives up ice cream for one week and voila, they're five pounds slimmer) or someone who has 100 pounds to lose. Both of those people probably will notice a change quickly. But I have more than five pounds and less than 100 pounds to lose. Cutting back a little would take about twenty five years for me to lose the body fat I have to lose to be where I would like to be.
And, one more thing....once you're fat (and I don't mean that you gained a few pounds on vacation!), it will be a struggle to lose the weight and keep it off no matter how hard you try, no matter how satisfying the food on the diet you choose, no matter how motivated you are.
Old habits die hard.


MandyKat said...

Have you read Gina Kolata's latest book, Rethinking Thin? The book has the same premise of your post. I highly recommend it!!! I found it very eye opening. I'm pretty depressed about my job choice now, though (RD).

Fatty Matty said...

Yes, I've read her book and her articles. She's been pretty brave, I think, to write about obesity from a more "sane" angle than the hype we usually see in the media.