One of my regulars came in for lunch yesterday, and I gave him and his buddies their normal drinks, Pepsi and a water for 2, just a water for the 3rd. The one sat down and said “Oh, I just quit” and handed his Pepsi to his friend. He then went on to order the most boring thing you can get: a salad with no dressing, grilled chicken tenders with no sauce and a side of celery. When I mentioned it, he said he was going Paleo. When I laughed and said it was another fab diet, he claimed it’s not a fad, it’s how the cavemen ate, it’s way before fad.
Now, I don’t know too much about the Paleo diet, what I do know is it is supposed to be how the cavemen ate. My biggest issue with that is the recipes that I’ve been stumbling on for Paleo food is NOTHING like how the cavemen ate. How do I know? The cavemen only ate what they could get from where they were living; plants that were in the area that they knew were safe to eat, and whatever animal they could kill and get meat out of. A lot of the times, the meat wasn’t cooked. Yup, that’s right, RAW meat. You want to eat raw meat? No. This is why this diet is a fad, it worked for someone who wrote a book and claimed they based it off of some ancient diet. Now, that being said, this diet seems to follow the way I like to eat in that it does focus on actual food, not pre-packaged “health” bars or meal replacement supplements.
I’m not a stranger to fad diets myself. My senior year of high school dad went on the South Beach diet, and I decided to join him. The South Beach is similar to Atkins in that it gets rid of all carbs and sugars, but South Beach lets you add healthy sugar back in. The first day was AWFUL. I had been living on Mountain Dew, Munchies and free KFC for probably the past year. I was working, going to school, in band, orchestra and theatre, I was a busy lady. After the first week of agony (and super sleepy-ness due to lack of caffeine) I ended up doing alright. I think I lasted a few months, probably until I got into my freshmen year at Ball State.
While I don’t advocate this diet, it did help me change a bit. I used to have a really big sweet tooth, but now I can’t eat that much candy and the like anymore (I still like to bake it though!) and I do opt towards food with less processed sugar. But, as I said in my last post, Forget the Process, it wasn’t until I stopped eating all the really processed food last September that I really started feeling amazing.
Fad diets can be great only if they give a person a basis to live their lives in a healthy manner, but a lot of them don’t. Before you try one of them, take a look at what happens when you go off the diet. Did other people gain the weight back? Did they know how to eat without the guidelines? If you answer no to those questions, move on, eat some strawberries and find another one that will help you. Eating food is about fueling yourself to be the best person you can be, not any other reason.