Do You Have 'Quick Fix' Dieters In Your Life?

22SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/16/2013 12:00 PM   :  81 comments   :  12,915 Views

When it comes to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, everyone has to do what works best for them.  I can give all kinds of reasons why a balanced diet and regular exercise is the way to go.  But in the end, everyone has to find a style of eating and activity that they can live with for the rest of their lives.  It’s not my place to judge whether or not someone is right or wrong if they choose to go about weight loss in a different way.
 
Let’s face it:  I’ve got opinions, and I’m usually not afraid to share them.  If someone asks me for the best weight loss tips, I’ll tell them what I know.   But it’s always gets a little tricky when friends or family members share their weight loss secrets with me (without asking what I think) and what they are doing goes against everything I’d recommend.  I’ve had friends on the “certain number of days” diet, raw food diets, liquid diets and more.  I have friends doing workout programs that (to me) seem less-than-effective.  In the back of my mind I’m thinking “There’s probably a better way to go about this,” and I’m tempted to ask the question “Can you live with this style of eating (or activity) forever?”  But instead of saying something, I usually stay quiet.  I figure that most of my friends and family know where I work and what I do.  If they wanted my advice, they’d ask for it.  Right?
 
Most people know that there is no magic pill or machine that’s going to make weight loss easy.  Even so, we’re tempted by all of the infomercials promising big results with little effort.  Maybe, just maybe, we hope the claims are true and it’s not going to take any hard work.  Those individuals who’ve lost weight the healthy way and kept it off know that’s just not the case.  The hard work is worth it, but it is work and it does take time. 
 
If someone in my life was doing a diet or exercise program I thought was dangerous to their health, I would certainly say something.  But most of them are just trying things that won’t likely lead to lasting change.   It’s hard to bite my tongue, but most of the time I don’t think it’s my place to say something unless asked.
 
What about you?  When you see a friend or family member starting the next crazy weight loss fad, do you say something?  Do you suggest it’s not a good idea, or just wait for them to ask for your opinion?
 


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Comments

  • 81
    Crash dieting is harder than eating intuitively and exercising. That's why it is bound to fail. It's not easy and it is impossible to maintain. Losing a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time can also destroy your liver. It did mine. I never give advice. It is not my place to proselytize. Most people learn the hard way that diets don't work. I did. - 8/22/2014   7:46:39 PM
  • CHERRYZMB60
    80
    Most fad diets have you cut out things your body needs. I tell people the only fad diet to use is Almased. I lost 22lbs in six weeks and to date since stopping it I havenít gained any back because Iím doing my best to watch what I eat. When I did Almased I used the shakes from the fasting plan. Today I use recipes and suggestions from here and they are working - 5/2/2014   11:43:11 PM
  • 79
    It's been my experience that when people ask about weight lose, they aren't really interested in an answer, they are just looking for an opening to complain or discuss their own ideas. So I usually just give them a generic answer and listen to whatever they want to say, smile, and go on with my life. - 5/2/2014   4:51:25 PM
  • 78
    I would not say a word to them, because different things work for different people, so it's not up to me to tell others what's good or bad. I've known several people who have succeeded really well on some "fad" diets (Adkins being the most common)....and to this day......years later, they are in excellent health and kept the weight off. It's a personal choice. - 5/2/2014   2:55:04 PM
  • 77
    My friends and I talk about weight loss every so often but we're all at the age where we've tried everything and keep coming back to moderate healthy eating and consistent low-impact exercise with a dose of self-love.There are some benefits to middle-age and wisdom is one of them. :) - 5/2/2014   1:22:12 PM
  • MIKA710
    76
    Since starting on the plan I'm following (nutritionist approved) I've lost almost 20 pounds. Surprisingly, few people have commented! (I was in overweight BMI range when I started and now in normal BMI range - so I know there was weight to be lost!) The plan I'm following is no picnic - because it makes you give up sugar, refined carbs, etc. - all the crap! But it works. I'm eating many more fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, healthy proteins and carbs. I have told people that have noticed that I've lost weight - and ask how I've done it. When I let them know what I've been doing - they comment that it's too complicated. I don't get it. I'm eating food from the perimeters of the grocery store. Nothing packaged. Fruits, veggies, etc. Meals do take a little planning, but I wouldn't say it's complicated. As Louis Armstrong said, "There's some people if they don't know, you can't tell 'em." - 5/2/2014   12:55:59 PM
  • 75
    It doesn't help that there are healthcare professionals out there giving out very, very bad advice. I have a friend who sees a "nurse practioner" instead of the actual doctor, and this crazy broad tells her things that I know for a fact she must be getting off of afternoon talk shows. She tells her she's fat because she uses artificial sweeteners (and not because she feeds her face all day long and never exercises), so she goes out and drops a fortune on stevia and agave nectar and all kinds of hippie-dippie what-all...and she's still fat, because she still overeats and doesn't move.
    This broad tells my friend all the Dr. Oz nonsense about raspberry ketones and all the other herbal quick-fix fad things, and my friend goes out and spends stupid money on supplements...and she's still fat.
    I tell her to please start asking to see the real doctor, and not this trumped-up nurse, but I guess she wants to believe that this lady's quick-fixes will actually work at some point.
    Sad thing is, if she had made an effort to reduce her intake and get some exercise instead of following crackpot advice for all these years, she'd be much smaller by now. - 5/2/2014   10:14:15 AM
  • RACEWELLWON
    74
    Great blog - yesterday I ran into a situation as this in the beauty Salon that I have been with for 20 years the girl that styles my hair has knowledge that I am on Spark and committed to a Healthy Life Style and have lost tremendous amount of weight along with NSV over a three year period , not the quick fix - well her coworker , young beautiful girl over heard our conversation and I mentioned Spark and even brought the site up on the lap top to show her all the success stories and she still was not convinced and had dead set her mind that quick fixes were the way to go , being older and have also traveled through that thought pattern , I did bite my tongue , my thought is until someone is ready to educate themselves on a healthy life style that correlates with their beliefs and health issues , talking is a waste of time , you can lead a horse to water - if its my granddaughters well I have focused on new traditions so that this new mindset of body image starts young and new menu's have replaced old traditional menu's. - 5/2/2014   8:26:23 AM
  • 73
    I am 55 years old and am learning to only give my advice or opinion when asked for it. I can only control myself and what I do. I've tried many diets from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. All have worked. My problem is once I lost the weight, I went back to my 'old' ways. I realize that must change. I'm still a work in progress. I feel this will be a GREAT community (through postings and articles like this) for accomplishing and discovering a new lifestyle change! - 5/23/2013   11:22:54 AM
  • 72
    I was glad to find this blog posting. Last night I went out to eat with friends. My closest friend was telling me she was going to do some type of "metabolism" diet. She mentioned that she would be limiting her intake of several foods. The claim is to lose 20 pounds in 28 days! I couldn't believe it but I just did not say anything. I want to be supportive but I am afraid that she is setting herself up for failure. I have lost 13 pound over the past 10 months. It is a slow process for me and I have been discouraged at times but I feel that I am making lifestyle changes that will stick with me for a lifetime, not just the next 28 days. She knows that I believe in calorie counting and exercise but I don't feel like she wants to do either. Live and learn... - 5/19/2013   2:56:49 PM
  • 71
    I am a quick fixer sometimes but I always try to err on the safe side. I'm experimenting now on water intake for cold hands/feet. - 5/18/2013   2:13:37 PM
  • 70
    If someone tries to sell me on the latest fad, I usually tell them that I am satisfied with how my current program is working and how good it makes me feel and that "I would be afraid to fix it, if it ain't broke." Yes, I will speak up if someone is doing something harmful, but most of the time I keep quiet and wait for them to approach me. I always speak in terms of health, rather than appearance like "you can't starve your way to good health you have to eat and exercise your way to good health." Noticeable successes lead to many opportunities to "testify" about making permanent commitment to healthy lifestyle changes. One of my favorite lines is "if a change isn't healthy enough to do it forever, then why bother doing it temporarily?" Whenever I hear someone expressing interest in improving their eating and exercise habits, I tell them about SP. - 5/18/2013   12:13:15 PM
  • 69
    You just have to put conscious of what you put in your mouth.
    I have a coworker who lost some much weigh that when she left work with her workout shorts and top...I saw nothing but rippled skin a lot's of cellulite.
    - 5/18/2013   12:10:38 PM
  • 68
    I get asked about my weight loss all the time. People ask "What are you doing/what's the secret?" I always explain that I am counting calories and exercising and keeping everything balanced. It seems most of the people that inquire either tell me about their new (lo-carb, sensa, green coffee, detox, raspberry ketone, all liquid, starvation) diet or ask if I am using one of those things. When I try to explain that proper knowledge of daily calorie burn and intake is all I have needed to lose the weight (I even direct them to SP!) they usually don't believe it or just don't want to hear it. Their loss! - 5/18/2013   11:30:17 AM
  • SCAREWALDORF
    67
    I like the idea of just saying "well let me know how you get on." Non committal and hopefully stops them pestering you. - 5/18/2013   11:28:43 AM
  • 66
    Over the years I have learned that I can talk until I'm blue in the face and it does no good. Especially to two of the people that I love and have seen my journey and how well it has worked. My husband and my son. - 5/17/2013   1:57:21 PM
  • 65
    I have a friend at work that trys every fad that comes her way! - 5/17/2013   11:26:54 AM
  • 64
    I have a friend at work that trys ever fad that comes her way! - 5/17/2013   11:26:53 AM
  • 63
    I don't worry about what other people are doing. I know that for me, I have to do Low Carb, and that works for me. Don't care what anyone else thinks about it. - 5/17/2013   8:05:05 AM
  • 62
    Sorry double post. - 5/17/2013   8:05:03 AM
  • 61
    I ALWAYS wait till I'm asked. Now that I'm at maintenance I often am.

    Funny, now I think of it, I've seldom asked anybody how she lost the weight. I've always known the only way that would work for me would be slow, steady, healthy nutrition with some exercise thrown in. - 5/17/2013   7:00:34 AM
  • 60
    My friend is constantly on and off this ridiculously restrictive diet. It even limits which fruit and veg you can eat!
    But I'm not the kind of person to throw my opinion around. If she asks I'll tell her how much better Sparking is and how much happier she would be (you should see her face when we're all eating chilli and rice and she's stuck with 10 asparagus spears) if she would just try it. Until then I shall just stick to secretly rolling my eyes. - 5/17/2013   5:29:36 AM
  • 59
    The biggest problem with my "quick fix" diet/exercise friend is that she loses weight fast -- but she can't sustain the rigid diet, she regains the weight and more. - 5/16/2013   4:23:49 PM
  • 58
    I am not one to hold my tongue. I tell them what I think but not what they should do. A friend of mine is pretty heavy and she is thinking of getting weight loss surgery. I said "Why would you want to put your life at risk when all you need to do is walk and eat less????" I don't know why people would want to go under the knife so easily. And I know 3 people who did get the surgery done, and all 3 have put on at least 20 pounds afterward. - 5/16/2013   4:13:55 PM
  • 57
    I've learned that the vast majority of people don't want practical advice. They want a magic bullet. I am surrounded by family members who think cutting out carbs will magically help them lose weight...and it might...but it also causes heart troubles...and never results in sustainable weight loss. No matter how many times they try their low carb nonsense and fail, they keep on insisting that my way is wrong...and that low carb is the way to go. So, now I let them do as they please. It's their right as a human to stupid and destroy their health. - 5/16/2013   2:37:41 PM
  • OURSHADOW
    56
    I guess we all have people in our lives that are always trying one quick fix diet after another. We all know there are no long lasting quick fixes because as soon as you go back to your regular habits back comes the weight. I don't comment on these diets because I don't appreciate someone telling me what I should be doing. Besides, these people already know that there is no fast track to healthy, safe weight loss. - 5/16/2013   2:11:19 PM
  • 55
    I can keep my mouth shut when people just share their weight-loss "secrets" but are not looking for an opinion. What I can't stand is when people try to sell me the latest pill, powder or fasting program. Then, I'm not afraid to say "I won't waste my money on that, and you shouldn't either". Also, when people whine to me that they've "tried every diet and nothing works" I am not afraid to tell them that diets don't work; they need to eat less, exercise more, and stick to it for life. If I know the person well, I'll also try to tell them that they need to examine why they eat (speaking as someone who has big issues with emotional eating and boredom eating myself). - 5/16/2013   1:04:08 PM
  • 54
    Usually wait to see if they ask my opinion. If I feel it is unhealthy I will usually speak up. So many people have their own idea on how to lose weight and don't like to listen to someone else. All I can do is keep trying to give them some advice. - 5/16/2013   1:03:10 PM
  • 53
    My usual reply is, "Is that a way you can eat for the rest of your life?" - 5/16/2013   12:52:18 PM
  • 52
    Here's the thing.....When I am asked about diet and nutrition, the first thing I do is make the person keep a food log for at least 4 days. Typically, I ask them to keep it from Thursday through Sunday. That gives me an indication of what their weekend eating habits and weekday habit are. When I have that information, I can look at it and tweak it to meet and fit into their current eating styles and tastes. Beyond that, let's be honest. People look at a diet as a limited thing- something they do for a small amount of time. To really make it work, it needs to incorporate their culture, lifestyle, and general health and well-being. This is a food plan for life, not a quick fix. It needs to be addressed accordingly. - 5/16/2013   12:50:49 PM
  • 51
    I'm pretty outspoken when a friend says she's on a wacky diet, and my one-time only comment is: that sounds wacky to me; next week, they'll be on another. If they ask how I'm losing the weight, then I tell them. I'm more obsessed about people on this site who give out bad advice about serious health issues, and I will speak up then, also, and what I do is recommend they talk to their personal health adviser. SP is not the forum for espousing radical health cures, and there are a lot of people on this site who are trying to sell their bad ideas and/or products. - 5/16/2013   12:41:56 PM
  • 50
    Jen, I think you are on the right track here. A person needs to be ready to hear what you have to say otherwise it will just get them on the defensive if they think you are critizing them. Your best move is to set an example that will make them want what you have. Then they will ask for your secret to success. Keep up the good work. - 5/16/2013   12:39:01 PM
  • TBERRY1295
    49
    I give advice only when asked, but wanted to state here for the record that at 14 I was 5'9" and 135# and tried every crash diet in the books because I wanted to get down to 120#. By the time I was 21 I was over 200#. Crash dieting makes you fatter. - 5/16/2013   12:21:25 PM
  • 48
    My friends and family who talk about weight loss constantly sometimes will mention a strategy that is a fad diet or one that cuts out an entire food group(s)/ nutrient(s). In those situations I usually don't say anything because when I have before they typically shrug off the advice. I just try to live the healthy example and maybe someday they'll ask how I did it. - 1/9/2013   5:24:30 PM
  • 47
    I try not to discourage anyone who is trying to get healthier. I will give advise when asked and sometimes offer pointers when they are talking about their plans. - 1/4/2013   9:43:12 PM
  • 46
    I'm horrible here!! I try to just say, "The studies show that folks who lose weight slowly, keep it off better." - 1/3/2013   11:17:32 AM
  • 45
    Lots of people at my church have all gotten involved in this one liquid diet program. It's multi-level marketing, too, so they are all pressuring people to join (they get money if you do.) Then they all ask me why I'm not losing weight faster--after all, I could lose more than 5 pounds a week on their liquid! But I don't WANT to just lose 5 pounds a week. I want to be healthy, balanced and strong. I can't get that on their plan. I never know what to say about the constant badgering to join them. I want to be healthy. I don't think a liquid diet is healthy. Not to mention just because we have to eat sensibly doesn't mean we can't enjoy food. I do enjoy my food, and I don't think it's healthy or balanced to do something so drastic. Sigh. I do get tired of all the "Just do OUR program!" comments. - 1/3/2013   9:03:42 AM
  • 44
    I give advice only when it's asked for.

    Usually it's asked by people who've noticed my weightloss.

    Usually the quick-fixers NEVER ask. - 4/2/2012   7:38:24 PM
  • 43
    I keep my mouth shut. Diet is such a sensitive issue. No one wants to be told they're doing it wrong, this or that isn't a good idea, etc. I have a friend that bought a juicer and went on a "juice fast." I wanted to ask her if she honestly believed that was a good idea or what, but of course I couldn't. A family member went on Nutrisystem, and I wanted to tell her to cancel that and get on SparkPeople, but I thought she'd think I was being insulting. Besides, what do I know? I'm overweight, too. People don't take advice your advice seriously if you're overweight. What would I know about a healthy lifestyle? So, yeah, I keep my mouth shut. - 3/29/2012   12:35:12 PM
  • 42
    These comments make me feel better! I was feeling like I just didn't know how to talk about this, since my friends are clearly not interested in my input on this subject. I have a couple friends who started the HCG diet a couple years ago, before I had even heard about it. During one of their conversations in front of me one of them let it slip that they only eat 500 calories a day, and then admitted that they hadn't wanted me to find out about that because I would "freak". I don't "freak", and I didn't even give my opinion. They already know what it is and were embarassed to let me know what they were doing. No one is going to change until they want to change - period. - 1/11/2012   5:34:43 PM
  • 41
    i try not to be negative about other people's weight loss fads. I have one friend in particular who does all of the wrong things. I try to lead by example and when i am asked what i am doing I tell them they should check out sparkpeople. it takes a while but it also took me a while to get as big as i was too. - 1/3/2012   11:16:41 AM
  • FORDGIRL8907
    40
    I've learned to keep my mouth shut unless I have been asked my opinion. I have had a couple people get mad at me for giving my input without being asked for it.
    - 1/1/2012   1:43:49 PM
  • JULIA1154
    39
    I don't volunteer my opinions unless asked or given some other indication that they would be welcome. - 12/31/2011   3:48:38 PM
  • 38
    I hear you! Sometimes I want to say something, but I'm still working on losing weight myself. Maybe when I reach my goal and keep it off for a couple of years I'll have earned the right to say something. Plus I've tried a few of those fads myself. Maybe just saying, "way to go for working on your health - I am, too!" would be best! - 12/30/2011   5:01:19 PM
  • RICOCHETBEAR
    37
    I am a Leader for a TOPS group ( Take Off Pounds Sensibly) and a diabetic, both for over half of my life.

    I am very outspoken about good lifestyle habits, what most people call a diet. But...People around me also know, that this is what my life is all about, lifestyles, diets, self esteem issues, body imaging, exercise so on and so forth.

    Meetings are held in my home. Posters are on the walls here and there of portions sizing, proper nutrition. There s a treadmill planted in my front room. An exercise bike and scale down the hall.....

    I also feel, knowing all the stuff I knowand the life I live, that I have a responsibility to help my fellow human being to find the right path to follow to a better health plan.

    I have seen and heard of a lot of fad diets, some very dangerous to a person's health. I have seen people I know get into some serious health problems and addictions because of their wishes to be thinner.

    So...Yes, I speak out about these diets and diet aids, but in a nice way. I ask if they can see themselves doing this lifestyle forever? I ask why they chose that particular fad diet or aid? If they realize, what the flaw of what their choice is? I poibt out, what might be a better choice to achieve the same end.

    I then ask what they think is the big problem with the lifestyle they were following, which will lead into a discussion of their diet. Then I suggest a few easy changes in their lifestyle. Up to them after that. If they ask my help, I gladly give them more ideas to work on, over time. But I can not possibly sit by, without any comment at all, if they are chosing to follow something that could do more harm than good.

    But like I said, people around me know these things about me and I am sure, if they chose to reveal to me what they are thinking of doing/ or doing, in any regards to their health connections with food and exercise, they are, in fact, asking me my thoughts on it

    Take care all - 12/30/2011   4:39:06 PM
  • 36
    I know a lot of girls who have done the HCG. It worked for them, at first. I just keep my mouth shut. They know how I feel and they know its unhealthy. - 12/30/2011   2:33:47 PM
  • PINKY82012
    35
    My father in law is doing the bodytrim diet because his wife made him. She has lost a lot of weight and he has now joined the gym, have a healthier life style...but the thing which worries me is the high protein meals and no carbs, pretty much forever more. I havent said anything but I am worried about them.
    - 12/30/2011   4:03:30 AM
  • 34
    I lost 120 pounds as a teenager and when people found/find out, they always ask, "How did you do it?" They want a big get-thin-quick secret. I reply, "I stopped stuffing my face and got off my butt." And that's pretty much all I say. - 12/29/2011   2:50:44 PM
  • 33
    Bite your tongue - I'm in great shape, but surrounded by overweight and obese people. Learned that they want to be the way they are. Christmas has left the kitchen counters covered with boxes of cookies, candy, cake, chips, etc. All gifts from the same people.
    My favorite - SIL was upset over her health ( I hadn't said a word) and yelled "You can do all that stuff because you're skinny!". That tells a lot. The correct angle is that I'm skinny because I do all those things, not the other way round. - 12/29/2011   9:33:23 AM
  • 32
    Only once did I speak up, when a student proudly announced in my office hour that she was eating 300-500 cal./day. She was already painfully thin, but didn't realize what she was doing. We spent an hour going over nutrition (thanks to SP, I could show her lots of basic information without any judgmental overtone), health, and the issues of anorexia. She'd "heard of that, but didn't think I was doing it." The end of the hour, she called a counselor at the health center. I went home and shook--interfering can be SO dangerous, but as a professor, I do have a small responsibility. Long story short, she just had her first baby two months ago--she's a shining, healthy young woman now (who struggles daily with eating for her daughter's sake) and her daughter is a dream-child. Otherwise, I say NOTHing, the stress is just too great. - 12/29/2011   9:27:51 AM

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