Diets Don’t Work

Thank you, Weight Watchers for finally saying it out loud. Diets don’t work because they’re based on the unrealistic principal that by denying ourselves (fill in your own blank here…carbs, calories, all white foods) we can quickly, effortlessly lose weight, and keep it off.  We’re simply not made to function properly without fats, carbs, etc. For most of us, eliminating one or more of these knocks our systems out of whack, decreasing our body’s efficiency, and generally making us feel like…well, like crap. The result is usually another failed attempt at dieting.

As a personal chef, I’m often called upon to make a strict diet taste like “mom’s cooking”.  It’s at this point that I remind my client I work with a whisk and not a magic wand, and that without their willingness to at least consider behavior modification on their part, they’re facing an uphill battle.

The easiest first step is portion control. “Super Sizing” is one of the worst things to happen to the American diet. The old standby rules of “leaving something on your plate” and no protein portion bigger than the palm of your hand have been with us so long because they are effective. Both put the responsibility of losing weight exactly where it belongs, on us, not on some sort of miracle diet.

The Joslin Diabetes Cookbook

The Joslin Diabetes Cookbook

Next time you’re tempted to try the new “Whatever Diet”, take a look at some diabetic cookbooks instead, especially those published by Joslin Diabetes Center. These cookbooks focus on the need for eating smaller portions and keeping the diet in balance.  And the fact that the food tastes great is a big plus over the typical “CardboardThatLooksLikeChickenWithSomeSortofLightSauce” frozen diet meals that fills so many home freezers these days.

Give it a try. What do you have to lose? Weight?

–Kent McDonald owns Kent Cooks! A Personal Chef Service, in Phoenix, AZ.


3 thoughts on “Diets Don’t Work

  1. I keep hoping for a miracle, but it’s true–it’s not about diet, it’s about changing your whole life. Most people don’t get a lot of support from friends and family–because it means they have to change, too. The cookbook is great, though.

  2. Diabetic cooking has always been the healthiest way to go. Not hard to do and once you get portion size stuck firmly in your head it’s easy to eat well both at home and in restaurants.

  3. Please, say it out loud, scream it, DIETS DON’T WORK! Dieting is typically temporary and therefore not a healthful long term approach to improving health, managing weight or sustaining a balanced relationship with food. We like that you’re able to remind your clients of this, and reinforce the idea of a healthy lifestyle and taking responsibility for our well-being.

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