It never ceases to amaze me how many people have strange ideas of what constitutes a healthy diet or views on what they should eat to lose weight…..the weirdest one around me at the moment is the idea that putting a sheet of gelatin in a cup of tea will provide all the nutrients needed and will help to lose weight!
Over the years I have heard so many of these from the juice only diet, the 7-in-7 diet, very low-calorie diets and the common factors in very single one is
- they didn’t work
- people lasted about three days before giving up and then hating themselves for failing
Part of the problem, as we all know, are the digitally enhanced images making the before pictures look worse and the after pictures look better. Combined with a sensationalist spin that makes people believe that they don’t need to do ANYTHING ELSE, that this diet is a magic bullet that will fix years of overeating, and people are sucked into wanting to belive it will work, that this time it will be different…. Everyone forgets that they didn’t just put the weight on overnight, it took months or years to gain the weight and it will take at least the same amount of time to lose it.
The diet and media industries have played on people’s insecurities, weakness and self-esteem issues for years and have a vested interest in maintaining the belief that fad diets work – after all its a multi million dollar industry making large corporations huge amounts of profits. The latest news in the UK is that Weight Watchers are to open a chain of high street shops – hmm are they doing that out of some altruistic thought process? I think not.
The thing that intrigues me is the thought processes people go through to convince themselves that the gelatin diet, or the cabbage soup diet etc actually work and how they equate that with what they really know and understand about food, nutrition and what they actually eat. It’s all very well convincing yourself that gelatin is the best thing ever but if you are still consuming vast quantities of processed foods and doing no exercise at all, surely somewhere deep inside there must be a recognition that it can’t possibly work?
Or are diets just a triumph of hope over experience?!