I live in Los Angeles, which means I'm always hearing about other people's diets. Raw food, $75-per-day juice cleanses, space food, the cookie diet...you name it, and there is a good chance I know someone who has tried it. When the paleo diet swept through my circle of friends, I felt a little like an outcast, still hanging onto my whole grains and legumes. I know I am a healthy eater — yet it was hard to resist the judgement that I was somehow eating a "bad" diet.
So it was a relief to read a thoughtful, honest article by food writer and former naturopathic doctor Winnie Abramson on why the paleo diet — and diets in general — don't work for her.
When Abramson wrote an article about why she abandoned the paleo diet after trying it for about a week, she received a stream of critical comments about what she had done wrong. In response, she wrote "An Open Letter to Everyone Who Eats," a clear-eyed explanation of why dieting just doesn't work for her.
"It's nothing personal," she starts off saying. After many years spent severely restricting her eating in an attempt to lose weight, following the rules and restrictions of a diet — even one based on healthy, whole foods — returned her to that old, unhappy mindset. She would much rather eat her usual healthy diet of whole foods from all food groups, with the occasional slice of cake or other treat when she feels like it.
What do you think? Have you found that dieting just isn't for you? Or do the rules of a diet help you stick to healthy eating habits?
(Image: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock)