I just learned that the author of the Beverly Hills Diet died a few days ago. There’s nothing in particular I have to say about this, or the diet, that wasn’t brilliantly summed up in a post on diet blog. Briefly, the post talks about formulas for these types of books: pseudo-scientific theories, celebrity testimonials, a sexy title named after a city, and a dose (large) of insecurity about being larger than the societal ideal.
The big question for me is why we keep falling for fad diet schemes like this? It does seem easy to follow the rules of these diets, which are so restrictive; we don’t have to think about the choices we’re making. But for the most part, we know any weight loss we achieve isn’t lasting, or for that matter, healthy.
Whether we’re trying to lose weight to improve our health, such as following a type 2 diabetes program, or whether we just want to fit into a pair of skinny jeans, the only answer is changing our lifestyle if it’s unhealthy, or changing our minds if we’re not genetically destined to fit into skinny jeans. And taking a step back, I keep asking whether research clearly links problems like type 2 diabetes with weight, or is it linked with the behaviors that lead to more weight than is good for us? I keep getting equivocal answers about this, according to whom I ask, which makes me suspect that the latter is the case. And if that’s true, fad diets are the last thing that are going to help. All they do is focus on the weight, and for many people, end up creating disordered eating behaviors that plague us in our efforts to get and stay healthy.
Here’s one way to implement that healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating behaviors: Go trick or treating with the kids tonight — taking those long walks through local streets. If you feel like eating a piece of candy or two, go for it. Bingeing on the candy obviously isn’t normal eating…it’s just one example of the disordered eating that diets like The Beverly Hills Diet has driven many of us to.