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

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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 bullet 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?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


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. Report
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. Report
I'm horrible here!! I try to just say, "The studies show that folks who lose weight slowly, keep it off better." Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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.
I don't volunteer my opinions unless asked or given some other indication that they would be welcome. Report
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! Report
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 Report
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. Report
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.
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
I usually don't say much Report
My lips are sealed... ;-) Report
I just grin and bear it, I have relatives that go on the Atkins and lose weight and six months later they are back on the same diet or a different one, the workouts are minimal or non existant and I see them lose muscle mass. Meanwhile I keep to my daily workouts, watching what I eat and recording it, the weight is coming off slowly, but I know I am stronger than ever. I don't see that there is a point in causing more angst by offering my opinion, instead I listen to them lecture me on what I should do and smile and go on my own way. I find it interesting that I have brought the SparkPeople site to their attention and none of them have gone to look at it much less join. :-) Report
its really hard for me to keep my mouth shut recently i had my in law in town and we were kinda of going back and forth and it does get me a little bothered because she doesnt like to work out she is a little heavy likes to eat out all the time and she want to be telling me how to eat so then i just said people wont change unless they really want to and like i told her i wont go further with a client unless they really want to go through the hard work and change their eating and that ended the whole disaster. It is a touchy subject for everyone but quick fixes are only going to get you to gain double the weight Report
I keep it to myself, unless someone asks, then I just give my general opinion on cutting carbs, hcg, whatever the diet is, and mention what I do for myself. I usually leave it at that unless they ask follow up questions. Report
I find it telling that all the Sparkers know its pretty useless to try and tell people that the best way to lose weight and be healthy is eat normal portions and exercise. People don't want to hear it because its not a quick fix, takes effort and consistency which is hard work and pretty boring LOL Report
My MIL and most of her 2nd husbands family. Whatever the newest diet craze, they are on it. She has a medicine cabinet full of diet pills, and a basement full of crazy exercise equipment. She saw some crazy doctor that put her on pills and a "restricted" diet. She only eats once per day so yeah I would say it's restricted.

They always say "I lost 10 lbs in the first week", "Sherry's lost 25 lbs taking these". All I say anymore is, "let me know how you're doing with it in 6 months". I don't suggest health eating and exercise because they aren't ready to hear it. Report
My best friend is quite overweight and for a month went to the gym 3x week for an hour and then quit because she gained 5 lbs. I asked her if she had changed her diet and she said no. I suggested committing to 10 min a day and she said that wouldn't do any good. I suggested Spark and she said someday. Now am leaving it alone. It's just sad; she's a great gal. Report
Scientific findings change all the time so I don't get into whether it's a good diet or not. I just say "Well, keep me updated on your progress," to show I care about them. If they ask my opinion I suggest they use the Spark tools to help them along. Report
I read everyones posts and was hoping for a get thin quick plan. Lol just kidding. Report
I should probably bite my tongue also, but they know what I've been doing and they are saying it to me and not someone else...that's the same as looking for my opinion, in my opinion...soooo, I generally quote an article that I have recently read and tell them the potential impact or lack of it... :~) Report
Live and let live - only offer an opinion if asked Report
I don't like to get into endless discussions about weight loss and plans for it. If they ask me what I'm doing I just say, "I eat everything I want...just not a lot of it!" I tire of the over analysis of this vs that vs the other. Report
When I first started out I used to give my opinion without being asked, after a year and a half on this journey I keep my opinions to myself. I've realized that those around me want a quick fix they are not interested in a life long committment. Report
Im trying to get my son Ernie interested in the SparkPeople Site now. He lives with 5 other people all way over weight. Time will tell if he will or not. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
I think I'm going to try "Gee I'm glad that works for you, we are all different. This is what worked for me."
If that doesn't work I'll live and let live. Report
"Live and let live" is a motto that has served me well through life. Report
Oh, God! My mother....

What's the nutritional content of blood from a bitten lip? I agree with you that if they want your advice, they'll ask. Report
I would only offer my opinion if asked... or if I honestly thought they were endangering their health (but even then I would tread carefully... its their life to risk, not mine!). When I first started weight watchers I kept it quiet - mostly because I wasn't sure I was really going to stick with it and make it a true lifestlye change...which I knew it had to be to do any good... but I think a year and a half into it I can say I've shown some commitment! LOL... Anyway, I used to keep quiet about I won't talk on and on about it but I will mention it in an offhand way...and if people ask I answer questions. But I don't want to push because I know how I hated that. A person will only change when they are ready and not before. Report
I also have a friend who used HCG and she also has lost a lot of weight! It's tempting, but I believe Sparkpeople has the right plan for me. And who knows what might be down the road for people who are now using HCG? Have any long term, double-blind studies been done? Report
I have this problem with my eldest son, who is the one who got me on Spark... I don't wait, I just keep reminding him there is NO magic bullet! Sure wish he would come back to Spark! Report
I don't say anything against someone's "quick fix". I just talk about getting regular exercise, eating lots of fruit & veggies, limiting take out and " I " can feel it's working for "ME"! And invite them to come work out at the gym. Report
I try to remind them that they didn't put the weight on overnight. It will take more then a pill or drink, or magic soup to keep the weight off. I also know first hand how hard "yo-yo dieting" is on your heart. Report
I just mention that it's about eating a healthy diet and including some exersice in the mix and leave it to that. They can see by what I do that it works. Report
I keep quiet about other people's weight loss methods. My friends and family know my background and what I probably think about "quick fix" plans. I'm not the diet police and I sure don't want people working MY plan for me. Report
It's hard to envision a point where I'd pipe up and ask someone whether they could stick with it as a lifestyle change. Mostly because if they're doing ANY quick-fix diet, it sort of negates the idea that they want any change other than the loss of weight.

I think it also depends on what it is. Any of the drink systems (Isogenix comes to mind) and I'd keep my mouth shut. Something really loopy like the "cabbage soup diet" and I'd be more likely to ask if they were serious and what they expected to have happen when they "finished". Report
A relative is losing weight on an all liquid diet after buying a super juicer. Yuck. I can't imagine that approach leading to any longterm lifestyle change that will keep the weight from coming back once it's off. When someone is convinced their way is THE way, it's not worth discussing. Report
If I know them pretty well, I would give them my opinion, because they are probably asking me for a reason. But there is one woman at work who is constantly talking about going on this crazy diet or that crazy diet. I don't say anything to her because I know that by 9:40 AM on Day 1, she will be cheating. Report
My sister still thinks starving herself is an effective way to lose weight, what is so funny is she is the biggest i have ever seen her. I wish I could talk to her. Report
A friend of mine started using HCG. I didn't even know what it was, but SparkPeople did an article on it a few weeks ago, so I sent him the article. He's not mentioned it, but I hope he took the time to read it. He has lost a good amount of weight, so I'm sure he thinks HCG is very effective. He knows I promote SparkPeople's lifestyle changes. Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.