Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh

I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

I am far more concerned about “starvation,” long-term poorly-considered caloric concentration camp-like diets. At any rate, comedienne Lynne Koplitz delivers the goods at a club in L.A.  There is a pressure to get married and a pressure to lose weight and become (allegedly) more attractive to men.  Jackie Fabulous seems to be dealing with all these pressures as exerted by her mother. “Juice fast?” — don’t even try that with supermarket juice drinks. High fructose corn syrup is basically poison.  Juicing fresh may give you more carbohydrates that you can metabolize.  And as for dating food rituals, it may be more insightful just to accept that people who love each other really can prepare and eat separate meals, and avoid premarital food rituals altogether.  I have always been just a little amazed by the tyranny that the numbers that appear on a scale exert over women.  When I was taught to weigh eating disorder patients, I would make them stand backward on the scale, so they could not see how much they weighed. I cannot remember a single one who did not at least try to crane her neck around and read the numbers. More recently, I have told those who suffer from obsessionality about their weight to simply write what they want to weigh on a little piece of paper and tape it over the place on the scale where they read their weight.  Then they could be happy any morning when they are checking their weight. Nobody did that one, either.

The “paleo” diet may have the most complete “culture” of any of the diets around. Major “losers” have several gurus they can follow, daily inspirational podcasts — and it seems — a wildly supportive community.  There are (understandably) several takes on it since none of us (including me) are old enough to remember exactly what Fred Flintstone yelled for with his brontoburger when he asked Wilma to serve it up.  Of course, here it is from the paleolithics themselves.  They seem as confused about their diet as we are. So in conclusion — even if you don’t lose weight, never lose your sense of humor.

Filed under eating disorders, Family, News, Nutrition, weight by on #

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