Friday, August 31, 2012

Fee, Fie, Foe, Friday: Diet is a 4-Letter Word

The evil scale, henchman of the d-i-e-t.                                             
Really, I was brought up in a household where nobody swore on a regular basis. I only ever heard my mother swear once in her 89 years, and it was a simple damn! when an oil painting she'd been working on for days fell face down, off the easel into newly mown grass. My father could be a little more colorful, but even then it was generally confined to situations like a flat tire, or finding that one of us had beat him to the chocolate ice cream in the basement freezer. I, however, have an entirely different 4-letter word I want to eliminate from my lexicon. D-I-E-T.

As soon as you use this word, or let it creep into your vocabulary, you are done for. I have just done a month of no grain foods and nearly no sugar. Not easy. But I have had some food allergies along the way, and elimination is the way to go. Sugar for me isn't an allergy, but more like an addiction. Gary Taubes is right. I will have a dessert or candy when it is worth eating. If a restaurant has a great pastry chef, I'll have dessert, but a supermarket doughnut, no thanks. Sugar is a real trigger for me that is best left alone. Grain starches are another separate issue. But now I do know when and how to manage that. If your plan doesn't have ANY wiggle-room ( unless you will become deathly ill if you vary), you will not be able to stick with it. I learned all about that with my diabetic clients, and later for my very own self.

I refuse to call it a diet; some people like to call it a way of eating or a "WOE". The problem with using the word diet is that it connotes a finite time. Diets have a beginning and an end, and most people just go back to the way they used to eat. They lose all the goodness they gained while their eating habits were better. A diet isn't the way to go. The real way is called permanent change. Pick a way you are willing to eat forever. Because that's the way it is. There is no going back.

Never say diet.


  1. More great advice from my favorite foodie. Sugar is a trigger for me; it may as well be alcohol.

  2. Yes, "diet" has far too many negative connotations. I participate in a low carb "lifestyle" (out of necessity, not to lose weight) but call it a diet and it seems like too much work, too much effort, too restrictive. :)