Is It Any Wonder? Diet Advice from the Past



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Do you have any diet books on your shelf from days gone by? Atkins, South Beach…maybe Low Carb, Low Fat?

Diet books and diet rules are endless. Just recently, Anne’s daughter told her that she’d started following a diet that she’d found online. A horrible thought occurred to Anne that her daughter had watched her diet before she found mindful eating and thought it was the only way to find her healthy weight…ugh.

Time for a talk. And talk with her daughter Anne did, about all the ways that dieting can actually set you up for weight GAIN, not LOSS…and can negatively affect your mental and physical health.

It made Anne think about all the conflicting stories that you see out in the media.

In a post a few years ago, Green Mountain’s co-owner Marsha shared some “wisdom” from an old book her daughter Lesley had found a couple years ago in her office….the title of which claimed to provide wisdom for dieters. Not sure how it got into one of our offices here at Green Mountain, but I can assure you it wasn’t because we were looking for wisdom from it.


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One look at what was contained within made us sure of that. If it was thought of as wisdom for dieters just a decade or so ago, it’s no wonder that as a society we continue to struggle with taking care of ourselves and realizing what is right or wrong.

Here are several of its tips in the book that stand in for wisdom:

  • If you can stay on them, unbalanced diets work. Oh yeah? For how long exactly do they work? Do you count the point at which you go off them and regain the weight that you may have lost?
  • If you reduce fat consumption from 40% of calories to 10% of total calories, you can eat 1/3 more food yet take in the same number of calories. Okay, so what does that look like on your plate? Hint: Not very good, at least in my humble opinion. But then again, I love food.
  • Rice cakes and sugar-free jelly or jam is good low-calorie, fat-free fare.  Confession time: Anne ate this, A LOT back in the day. A good snack? Not quite. We’d pick a nice juicy piece of fresh fruit over a rice cake any day of the week.
  • For each small pretzel that you eat, walk three minutes. Do we even need to say anything? ONE SMALL PRETZEL?
  • Nothing will ever taste as good as thin looks. We can barely type this one. We can feel our stomachs knotting up even as we read this.
  • Chocolates are a more disastrous binge food than cookies. Says who? Why? Who controls the binge food disaster scale anyway?
  • Never eat anything larger than your head. What?!?

To be fair, there were some good tips in the book. But with tips like those above, I say it’s no wonder that people are confused.

The really disturbing thing is that these kinds of tips aren’t confined to this one book; they’re something we’ve all heard many times before.

Do you have any old diet books on your shelves that make you wonder what people were thinking when it was written?

If so, the time is now to get rid of them. You don’t need them, they are full of false hope and old beliefs. Visit us here at Green Mountain to find the truth about all this diet hype.


3 responses to “Is It Any Wonder? Diet Advice from the Past”

  1. lyn dailey says:

    i really do believe nothing tastes as good as thin looks, but then again…i guess i wouldnt have gained my 60 pounds back if that were true. i write this as i lay here defeated, and hungry. my arms looking fat at my sides. im disgusted. whats my alternantive? start over, countless time start over. im really off the rails this time with my thoughts of food. good grief…and this is my start to the new year.

  2. Lisah Carpenter says:

    I’m with you, Lyn, so my gift to me this New Year’s was to book a week at Fox Run in February! Looking forward to a less toxic and more mindful, nurturing relationship with food. Join me!!

  3. Shiri Macri says:

    This is a tough time of year, Lyn. I’m glad you’re staying connected to us and our blogs and I hope they’re helping at least a little. If you’d like a couple of excellent resources, here are 2 books we recommend: “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole – this book helps rethink yo-yo dieting ; and “Eat What you Love, Love What You Eat For Binge Eating” by Michelle May and Kari Anderson. This is a mindful eating program that helps with emotional and/or binge eating.
    Take care of yourself and we hope to see you sometime so we can support you personally.

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