D is for Diet Books

In 1983 I bought The F-Plan, a book that advocates a low calorie, high fibre diet. I tried to follow it, really I did, but one of the side effects is excessive flatulence and another one, paradoxically,  is constipation. After a month of chewing for England (that high fibre stuff is very, very chewy), farting for France, and straining for Spain, I abandoned it. It was either that or start living alone, the dearly beloved being less than enamoured by the atmosphere.
Result:Result: by the end of the year I had gained 5lbs.

In 1985 I bought Rosemary Conley's Eat Yourself Slim.
Result: It should have been called: "Eat Yourself To Another 5lb Weight Gain".

In 1990 I bought The Atkins Diet which is a very high protein, very low carbohydrate diet.  This produced bad breath, tiredness, dizziness and nausea but - yay! - I lost 10lbs in two weeks before I could stick it no longer.
Result: By the end of the year I had gained that back and another 5lbs besides.

In 1995 I bought The Cabbage Soup Diet, attracted by the tagline "you can eat as much as you wish as often as you like". Sadly, this only referred to cabbage soup. The F-Plan and The Atkin Diet's noxious side effects had nothing on The Cabbage Soup Diet. The flatulence was severe and the bad breath nauseating. These and the necessity to pee every two minutes turned me into a social pariah.
Result: by the end of the year I had gained 5lbs and lost five friends.

Then in quick succession came Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin (no you can't) and Dr Phil's Ultimate Weight Solution (didn't solve anything for me).
Result: another 5lb weight gain

I have bought books about The Beverley Hills Diet, The Blood Type Diet, The 5:2 Diet, The Dukan Diet, The South Beach Diet, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet and many, many more.
Result: weight gain every time.

Conclusion: Diet books make you fat. Avoid at all costs.

There is a happy ending to this tale of woe. I have at last very slowly, started to lose weight. How have I done it? Since I have started working from home rather than in an office,  I have stopped dieting, started eating more sensibly and moved around a lot more - walking, doing the housework and getting out into the garden. Nothing more and nothing less.

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  1. Ah! I've never got the hang of diet books. Loved your post to bits.

    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

  2. So, by my calculation, you are up 20 pounds on the diet. *grins* I see scads and scads of cookbooks/diet books at the thrift shops now. I guess everyone just Googles what is on the menu now ~

    www.thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com (No. 112 on the list)

  3. Good for you! Thank you for sharing your experience, too. We can all use more sensible advice.
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    I’m really enjoying my little focus on music this month. Be well!

  4. well done on reaching your goal.
    I succumbed to I can make you thin...stop eating when you are not hungry..how?!?

    I found my copy of The Only Diet There is by Sondra Ray..very affirmation based..when I remember, I say''everything I eat turns to health and beauty'

  5. LOL; this made me smile as I read it because I think I have purchased a few of those same books to no avail! I do admire you for actually losing weight while working at home. I work at home and it is often so tempting to take a break and sneak into the kitchen for this and for that to nibble on.

    good luck with the rest of the challenge and thanks for visiting!


  6. LOL, same results for me. It's watching what you put in your mouth. Walking regularly, and avoiding all 'diet' suggestions. Balance in all things!

    Love it! Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Happy April 5th!
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Murderous Imaginings

  7. Your humorous candor is refreshing! I can tell following your posts is going to be a blast :-)
    "Be careful reading health books. You may die of a misprint" ~ Mark Twain

  8. I think my most recent one was South Beach Diet...I've also been known to be a sucker for exercise videos.

  9. Ultimately, diets don't work. Especially the ones that restrict what you can and can't eat. I have been on Weight Watchers and have lost 100 pounds with it. But then I strayed, stopped going to meetings and stopped tracking. Result, gaining the weight back. it worked for me, so I should probably do it again. The real secret though, is calories in vs calories out. This means working out a lot and eating less. Anyone can do it, but for me it's finding the motivation. And sometimes the encouragement.

  10. You're funny. I appreciate your advice. Diet books are stupid, and I can't afford to lose five friends. There'd be none left. So, thank you.

    PS Sorry it took me so long to return the visit. Enjoy the rest of the alphabet, diet free.

  11. This made me smile. So true.
    ~VanillaBean at Travelling Spoons

  12. You have a gift for comedy! I LOVE this post.

    I'm going to stick with you after the A to Z as well.

    Congrats on losing weight the healthy way! Diets are crap.

  13. Sadly the only way to maintain a good weight is to change your daily eating habits forever. Which doesn't mean you can't have a piece of cake on your birthday, it means you can't have more cake the next day. (So you have to eat the whole cake on your birthday! :) Have you looked into the Whole 30? It's not for weight loss (though most do lose weight) but a way to get on track with healthy eating. Not for the faint of heart though, it's tough being that healthy!

    Love the post!

  14. Ha ha, yes I have a cupboard full of diet books and I can so identify with your experiences with diets. They simply do not work! Great article.

  15. You make a great point here, fad diets are just that, fads that don't work. The best way to lose weight it by eating healthier and moving more. Great job in sharing this to educate others who may try fad diets! Cassie from Mommy, RN