I’ve drunk nothing but lemon water mixed with maple syrup for three days. I’ve eaten nothing but cabbage soup for two weeks. I’ve eaten nothing but bacon and eggs for a month. The Master Cleanse, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins – I even bought The Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle Diet juice at Walgreens. I’ve counted calories, sugar grams, fat grams, and carbohydrates. I was a fad diet junkie.
I would gorge on Mexican food the night before the beginning of each new diet. As I shoved salty tortilla chips topped with mounds of guacamole into my mouth, I convinced myself that it wouldn’t matter because in two weeks I would have lost ten pounds on the Cookie Diet.
Savvy marketers will lure you into diets that deplete your body of vitamins and cost you hundreds of dollar a month, with reasons like French women are always thin, or that Hoodia staved off the hunger of tribal hunters for days. Merci! The only French woman I have ever met was fat and I have taken bottles of Hoodia only to be followed by bags of potato chips.
“They” say eggs are good for you. “They” say eggs are bad for you. Eat shrimp. Don’t eat shrimp. Eat fat. Don’t eat fat. Eat fat, but only with carbohydrates. And what about all those years “they” told us to eat margarine filled with hydrogenated fat? I don’t trust “them” anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the diets did worked, at least for awhile. I lost eight pounds within the first two weeks on The South Beach Diet. I even kept it off for a few months. But the recipes got boring, the food expensive, and one can only eat so much couscous.
For fifteen years I yo-yoed, gaining and losing the same 25 pounds. And it took its toll on my body: stretch marks, sagging breasts, fatigue, and intense cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. My doctor told me I was the perfect candidate for Type 2 Diabetes.
It was time to get serious. At age thirty seven, no longer was just my vanity in danger, but my health.
My metabolism was damaged. I had developed what is called Insulin Resistance from my years of fad dieting. Insulin Resistance creates inappropriate levels of insulin and glucose in the blood stream, which is a major underlying cause of excess weight and obesity, Pre-Diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Metabolic Syndrome, depression, and even heart disease.
Some of the most common symptoms of Insulin Resistance are fatigue (sometimes everyday at the same time of day, or all day for some people), inability to concentrate, sleepiness after eating a meal comprised mostly of carbohydrates, and a tendency to carry excess weight in the abdomen.
While there is no miracle cure, Insulin Resistance is reversible. Over the course of a year I was able to lose the 25 pounds. To an ex-fad dieter like me, this seemed like a long time. But I felt so much better both physically and mentally after only a few weeks, I decided the gradual way was the right way. Instead of looking for the next fad diet I focused on eating for my health. I slowly weaned myself from cookies, chips, and sugar-laden drinks, replacing them with brown rice, whole wheat toast, and oatmeal. I started to eat more often instead of waiting until my hunger was out of control. I began a regimen of nutraceuticals to help correct my metabolism not help me starve myself.
And most importantly, I found a support group of women who had also decided to change their lifestyles, not just move on to the next fad diet.
About the author:
Amanda Robertson lives in the mountains of Colorado, enjoys 100 day of skiing a year and works remotely as a marketing executive for www.tricalyx.com