Why diets don’t work

First I want to be clear about what I mean when I use the word “diet”. By “diet” I mean any food plan in which you greatly restrict your calorie intake in order to lose weight. As opposed to the use of the word diet as in “French diet” or “diet for diabetics” etc.

There are many popular diets out there and they do work, initially. But if you examine the most popular diets closely you will notice that the majority of them are highly calorie restrictive. The reason they work is because you are eating very few calories..usually 1200 or less. Initially the weight you lose is water weight. Then your body goes into starvation mode.

Growing up in NYC I felt a lot of pressure to be thin. Stick thin models were omnipresent. I started reading Vogue when I was about 15.  Up until I was 18 I could pack away 5,000 calories a day and not gain weight. At 18 everything changed and I didn’t like it.  So my friends and I went on every conceivable diet you could imagine.  I once ate frozen yogurt 3 times a day for a year and my weight would not budge. I actually wound up putting on weight and topped out at 140 at my heaviest. Now no one would have called me overweight even at 140 lbs and 5’5″. But I was not happy with the way my body looked.  It wasn’t until I read an article in Vogue about the French Fad diet that things started to change for me. I started out by giving up carbs entirely and gouged myself with bacon, steaks and put mayonnaise on everything. I was averaging about 3,000 calories a day and immediately started to lose weight.  After starving myself on under 1000 calories a day let me tell ya, I was having a blast. I came to realize that I was one of those people that were carb sensitive. I eventually modified the diet, gave up the bacon and mayo for the most part and came up with my own healthier version  of Atkins which I have been on for the last 10 years.  I have been able to keep my weight down to a level I am comfortable with and I don’t diet. I eat around 2000 calories a day mostly consisting of organic  fish, beef, chicken, eggs, yogurt, vegetables and fruit. I allow myself a little leeway on the weekends but I’ve learned to avoid foods that trigger the urge to lose control and overeat. As a compulsive eater I have learned a few tricks to keep myself on track and I will be sharing them with you.

The main thing you need to realize is that it’s not so much about quantity, but the quality of what you eat. If you nourish your body with the nutrients it needs you should feel satiated.

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