99% of you will have heard of Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast etc…..
In fact, I wouldn’t mind betting that a good number of you have been on one or more of these diets at some point in time.
They all work the same from a structural point of view, less calories in and more calories out (creating a calorie deficit), tracking the dieter with scales weekly, in a group/one to one setting for accountability.
There is nothing special about these diets and the success rate is shockingly bad despite the what their marketing says. These diets (like all diets) are setup to get you a boost of results initially, the idea is to create a reliance on the programme and on the group mentality. As motivation wanes, the dieter slips back to old patterned behaviours, which has them returning to the programme/group weekly, wondering why they can’t seem to lose the weight.
This is where the group accountability and group mentality comes in as the dieter is encouraged to keep returning i.e. keep paying for the privilege of being weighed and surrounding themselves with likeminded dieters.
Now this is a kicker “Like Minded Dieters”, are these the type of people who:
a) Weigh-in on a Friday morning, then go and binge eat Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then proceed to starve themselves Monday through to Friday morning in order to lose 1lb?
b) Are they the type of people who lose a 2 lbs one week, nothing for a few weeks and then pile on 5 lbs only to feel down about it, but bring the rest of the group down with them, all the while claiming to be sticking to the programme but not owning their misgivings, but underneath they are really living with the torment of shame about their misgivings and then self sooth with food the anxiety a weekly weigh-in brings. It’s a vicious cycle, but that is what these commercial diets and the groups associated with them create.
Your headspace is where you live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now you would not allow someone or a group to enter your house where you live and create havoc in your home once a week? So why would you allow that havoc into your headspace every week and bloody well pay for it too!
The amount of messed up people I meet on a daily basis from these commercial diet programmes is insane. We have to spend a long time working through, what is perceived as their “naughty foods”, “free foods” and “limited foods”. These programmes label foods as “free” – eat all you want and as “syns” – I mean what the hell is that implying…… If you know what the label “Catholic School Girl” means, then you will understand what telling people certain things are sinful, will eventually result in.
On the subject of “free foods”, look at who sponsors these Diet Programmes and you will start to understand why a particular brand of yogurt or pasta snack is considered free or virtually free….. it has nothing to do with healthy choices but everything to do with the brand sponsoring the diet plan.
I hear almost daily “oh isn’t that *insert food* bad for you”?
My clients, friends and family will tell you I have a very unflattering response to that, my face scrunches up, one nostril flares (the left) and a very sarcastic “WHY?” flies out my mouth.
I really feel strongly that we need to challenge the trend of demonising foods. We need to challenge the concept of paying to be weighed weekly and especially protect our headspace from these destructive and grossly inaccurate weight-loss programmes.
Thank you for reading.