Thought for the Day--March 29, 2011: Learning From Old Diets

Okay, so you have tried every diet in the world. Most likely, many of them were dismal failures.

But here's the thing:
You can learn something important from each diet experience, even extreme diets.
If nothing else, sensible dieting does teach you about proper foods and knowing the correct portions. Each diet can teach you something you didn't know before.

After many attempts, including the old, old Weight Watchers and the old points WW, I have found what works for me now and what is likely to work for the long haul: PointsPlus Weight Watchers.

The original Weight Watchers' diet was very strict, high on protein and low on carbs and the old points was still a bit too strict. I like to think that WW has evolved since those old days.

What I have learned from other diets:
The Milkshake Diet
It doesn't matter which milkshake diet, the principle is the same: for one or even all meals, you don't eat food, you drink it.

What does that teach you? Not much, because once you begin to eat again, you haven't really learned how to eat properly, and it's binge time.

Also, not eating is a psychological nightmare. Once you begin to feel deprived, failure is often not far behind.
The "You-must-buy-your-food-from-us" Diet.
The only thing that lightens up is your wallet. Moreover, there comes a point where you just want to eat real food, not plastic, packaged (and overpriced) food.
Starvation Diets
I once went on a 500-calorie per-day diet. Not only was I constantly hungry, but whenever I went over 500 calories, I actually gained weight.

Our bodies are tenacious; if we try to starve ourselves thin, our bodies will act as if we are in a famine and respond by hanging onto our weight.
Diet Pill Diets
Unfortunately, diet pills work only for a short time before losing efficacy. And when you stop taking them, there is a rebound effect.

Lesson learned: There is no magic bullet or pill when it comes to losing weight. The person who discovers such a pill will become very rich, but I doubt if it will ever happen.

I'm afraid that the old model (less food, more exercise) is the only magic way to lose and maintain weight.


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