Not Your Grandfather’s Diet

My Dad and his sister like to tell about the time Granddaddy went on a lettuce diet back in the 50’s. According to them, his Doc told him he had to lose weight, and the Lettuce Diet was just the way to do it. The way they remember it he didn’t eat anything but lettuce for weeks.

Given that he doesn’t seem to have developed scurvy or any such malady, I imagine Dad and Aunt Joyce may be misremembering some details of the Lettuce Diet.

I know I sound like a broken record but, really world, enough with the weird diets.

Today NPR – National Public Radio – of all sources, told me about the 5:2 Diet. Which is basically “Eat whatever you want five days a week, but two days a week don’t eat much at all.”

(Yes, there’s more detail – if there were’t they wouldn’t be able to sell you a book and a DVD – but that’s pretty much the gist of it.)

Here’s the truth: All the diets work. Every single one of ’em. Butter in your coffee, 600 calories a day, All carbs, No carbs, Cabbage soup, Mediterranean, No fat, Brown rice … all of ’em. They all work. As long as you follow them to the letter and do what they say.

But sooner or later you’re going to stop living the way The Diet tells you to live. And when you do it’s going to feel good. And you’ll do it again. And again and again and again. And then you’ll realize you’ve gained it all back and maybe more.

The world is so crazy to find the magical, mystical perfect diet that when you start to type in the word “Mediterranean” the Google automatically fills in the word “Diet” before you get halfway through. Go ahead and try. I’ll wait right here.

I know that as the king of documented false starts and relapses in the world of healthy-eating attempts, I do not currently have a lot of credibility on the subject. But I remain convinced that the only way to reach and maintain a healthy weight in a healthy fashion is to follow the advice of my old standby, Michael Pollan:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Focus and intention, that’s the key. We all know what’s smart to eat (another Pollanism: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”), but the world wants us to act not-smart.

You’ll be happy to know that I’m on-track, and so far (13 days in) it’s been relatively simple. Hear that sound? That’s me knocking on wood that it stays that way.

Thanks for reading, as always.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri McKinney on January 14, 2015 at 6:05 am

    And don’t eat anything that you can’t put in water!


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