I mentioned to a friend that I was on a diet. Their response was, “dieting doesn’t work – it’s a waste of time”. And it’s not the first time I have heard that said. But what exactly doesn’t work?
My mother used to diet when I was a child. Her approach was to eat as little as possible and to cut out everything from her diet that she really liked. If she was very lucky she managed to do this for about a week. Her weight is perfectly under control now as instead of doing this she eats healthy food. You could, however, eat the same things as my mother does everyday and still claim that dieting doesn’t work.
It’s not that dieting doesn’t work it’s that our expectations are too high. Even if you follow a strict eating plan put together but a very experienced dietitian it does not mean that after a couple of months that you will have a body like one of the models you see on the cover of a fashion magazine. Those models work really hard to look like that and surely everyone knows by now that even pictures of the most beautiful people in the world are modified for print.
Why am I writing about this? Today I stepped onto my Wii fit and realised that I weigh exactly the same as I did one month ago. Does this mean I should give up my diet? Surely it’s a waste of time being careful what I eat if I weigh the same?
I am not dieting so that I am lighter when I step on the scales. I am dieting as I want to be healthier. We have become so obsessed with how much we weigh and being fashionably thin that we have forgotten that it’s possible to be thin and unhealthy. That by cutting out whole food groups from our diet we can damage our internal organs. That people who live in affluent countries can suffer from malnutrition because it’s more important to fit into a particular dress than to worry about what’s happening inside our bodies.
So I will continue eating healthier food even if my weight stays exactly the same.