Diets: Part 1 – from a dieter’s perspective

This month we are going to be taking a look at our views of dieting, as Emma has dieted before and Gareth hasn’t. This week, Emma gives her opinion… 

The word ‘diet’ fills me with horror. It’s one of those words which have such a bad feeling to it. To me, ‘diet’ means restriction and self loathing.

As someone who has never been skinny, diets were once a huge part of my life. It’s a vicious circle. You’re miserable off the diet because you feel fat but you’re miserable on it because you’re restricting yourself and it’s not having the effects you wanted. You start eating such boring food that it’s unsustainable or you start forcing yourself to do exercises that push you too far. It’s not worth it.

I’ve never done Weight Watchers or Slimming World. They were never for me. However, I’ve done juice cleanses, eaten only raw food, cut down on carbs and stopped eating gluten. When I ate meat I remember going on a diet where for tea I would only eat a slab of chicken or salmon with some potatoes and green beans. It’s just so dull; I think I lasted all of a week. I’ve forced myself to go to the gym, do exercise videos and to do sit ups/push ups. Again, I couldn’t sustain it.

I’ve been doing diets for as long as I can remember. It’s quite sad really that from a young age I was convinced I needed to lose weight. Society is messed up. I know I’m not the only one to go through this.

Yet, I can now look back on it and realise how stupid I was being. Even at my heaviest, dieting wasn’t the answer. With the word diet comes unsustainability and if you truly want to lose weight then diets don’t work. Yet, you shouldn’t be looking at it like that anyway. Focus should be put on feeling better and being healthier rather than looking better. Appearance isn’t everything.

I can see the advantages of Weight Watchers and Slimming World. It’s this group mentality – we’re all going to lose weight together. However, do we really need to pay a company to get that? Can’t we just make a pact with our friends? Personally, getting on the scale in front of a load of strangers and being told I’ve put on weight fills me with horror but I guess that’s the point? Scaring yourself into change?

Although, my main problem with these two is the fuel behind it. Deep down they’re corporations out there to make money. They don’t honestly care if you lose the weight you wanted to. Weight Watchers and Slimming World want you to fail; they help you lose the weight, it’s unsustainable, you put the weight back on and you go running back to them again. They want you to be in the vicious cycle.

Break the cycle. Find a healthy lifestyle you love and stick to it. You’ll probably lose the weight anyway if you do that – I did.

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