Stop Calling It a 'Diet' & You WILL Lose the Weight

Rant 5

Ah, dieting. It gets such a bad rap among nutritionists and people in the know. Countless studies have been done showing how diets make you fatter and yet people still flock to Jenny Craig and fad diets like the Paleo Diet, South Beach, and Atkins.

A recent article in the Daily Mail only perpetuated the "dieting is bad" message by suggesting that some recent research shows dieting raises levels of hormones that stimulate the appetite -- and lowers levels of hormones that suppress it.

It all may be true. But call it whatever you like, there is only one formula to lose weight. You take in less calories than you burn.

For all those people who want to call it "dieting," well then fine. But it's not. It's a simple mathematical formula and, in the end, the only long-term way people have found to really lose weight and keep it off.

As someone who is actively trying to get myself back in shape after losing some of it over the past year, I feel this. But what I am doing is no "diet." It's a lifestyle change. I am following the basic Weight Watchers plan of recording all my food, paying attention to "points" (or calories), and calculating out my workouts. But I am not being too strict.

Truth be told, I am a long distance runner whose idea of "sedentary" (running only 30 miles a week) might seem different than others. And I have never been "fat." But I'm pushing up a dress size and it's time to pay the piper. With that in mind, I am cutting out the bags of Cadbury mini eggs and six cookie snacks at 3 in the afternoon. I am ditching the car more and biking as much as I can (in addition to the running) and I am also incorporating more weight training, yoga, and healthy foods into my life.

This isn't a diet. It's a return to the old me. So far, in two weeks, I have lost seven pounds. It is possible. The only difference between me and someone else, though, is my choice of wording.

This is no "diet." This is a sea change.

Do you "diet" or call it something else?


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MsRkg MsRkg

Nope! Between work, the kid, the husband, running the house, etc I barely have time to eat, much less eat healthy although I do avoid starches (i.e. rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, oats, etc.) completley. Between that and all the running around I weigh 120 for my 5'4" self which is healthy. It's all about everything in moderation. =]

jaxmadre jaxmadre

Umm... the word "diet" does not make anyone fat. USUALLY it's the copious anounts of crap "food" you consume that makes you fat. But hey, whatever society can do to shift the blame and make you feel better... The word "lifestyle" is just the word "diet" in disguise. Psychological hoo-ey if you ask me. and I like psychological hoo-ey!

Also, how long does a diet have to be in existance before it loses the qualifier of a "fad" diet? Not that I think Atkins diet is good or bad, but hasn't it been around for decades now? Can we really call it a "fad" anymore? Just wondering how fair it is to call these diets "fads."


Todd Vrancic

"Diet" is just a word for what you eat regularly.  The question is whether or not what you eat regularly is good for you.

Brandy Kennell

I have to completely agree with you. Anytime I called it a diet it never worked. After having my twins I just decided it was time to get healthy. I changed my life!! Just 2 weeks ago I reached 100lbs lost!!!!!

Not to be an advertisement or one of "those" people, but if I anyone wants to check out how I did it & what I am still doing check out my story at

nonmember avatar Robert

The only "fad" diet is the low-fat, calorie-restricted diet pushed by the AHA, ADA, USDA, etc. as it's only been around since the 1960's (and fairs very poorly in clinical trials).

The Atkin's Diet was the conventional wisdom from, at least as far back as the 1860's until the 1960's (read G. Taube's "Good Calories, Bad Calories").

The Paleo Diet (if anthropologists like S. Boyd Eaton and Loren Cordain are correct) was the conventional diet of most human populations from ~2 mil. to 10k years ago.

How can the latter two be considered "fads" if a fad is considered "an intense but short-lived fashion; craze."

Atkin's and Paleo are anything but short-lived; they've been around for hundreds if not thousands of years... much longer than a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet.

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