The No-Food Diet?

I’m troubled.

A few days ago, I was privy to a conversation between a few coworkers. It was right around lunchtime, and one coworker was ordering takeout. She asked if anyone wanted to get in on the order. 

I then heard two of the women involved say, “No thanks. We can’t eat until Wednesday.”


No food for 2 whole days?

Man, did my ears perk up….!

As it turns out, they are in the beginning stages of the Hollywood Diet. Now, my food mindset is worlds away from any kind of restrictive “diet”, so I am not familiar with the Hollywood Diet, but to hear them tell it, they have to drink some “miracle” liquid, and eat nothing but a few “miracle” cookies, and they are supposed to lose 8 pounds in a matter of a day or two.

I’m not sure if I have that exactly right (and they may not have, either) but I can’t imagine specifics would make a whole lot of difference. No matter how the diet goes, it just strikes me as sad. 

Seeing perfectly beautiful, healthy women talk about how to lose weight and “get skinny” without one mention of health hurts me to my very core, and frankly, it makes me kind of angry. We need to be setting a better example for our younger sisters, nieces, daughters and friends. And what I find REALLY scary is the fact that where there’s one woman with this attitude toward weight loss, there is usually a whole group willing to join in the diet with her. 

It’s so discouraging. 

And then, there’s the new diet drug, Qnexa, that I keep hearing about on the news.

What I took from the newscast I saw was:

  • There is a new weight loss drug coming to the market.
  • This time it’s really supposed to work! (Big, fat WHATEVER to that…)
  • It contains Fentermine, the Fen of Fen-Phen fame infamy.

OK. Yeah, THAT sounds like a good idea. Sign me up for a bottle. What could go wrong?

What’s even better, it seems that we have THREE new diet drugs coming our way!

What the %#*? is going on!!??

Haven’t we gotten past all this? Haven’t we made PROGRESS? And then I remember that not everyone takes advantage of the great, supportive community of healthy lifestyle bloggers that I am lucky enough to have on my side. 😉

There are very few things in life that I know for sure, but I am certain that skinny doesn’t equal healthy, and neither will ever be found in a pill or empty plate. 

It’s really, really difficult to keep my mouth shut when I hear conversations like the one I heard at work. I want to butt in and spout off and ask them if they have ever heard of whole grains and clean, whole foods and water and fruits and veggies and NO SODA! I want to shake them and tell them that, for years, this fad diet garbage has been peddled to women with poor self esteem and body image issues, and they shouldn’t buy into it. But most of all, I want to tell them that they are worth more than the size of their pants, and that they are beautiful just the way they are, and that health should be their main priority for the sake of their children, if nothing else.

But I don’t do those things. I’m already the one in my office who is a little different, a little strange, because of the way I eat and the choices I make. So I don’t make waves, but I do plant seeds.

I continue to bring things like my quinoa berry salad (and tolerate the disgusted faces people make when they ask what it is) and banana, like I did today, and say, “No, thanks” when someone offers me something that I don’t feel good about eating, because good sense tells me there is only one true way to achieve good health and an appropriate, comfortable weight:

I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have it all figured out, nor am I an extreme “health nut.”

I slip up on my health goals nearly every day, and I’ll admit that one of my biggest fears about stating my beliefs is that someone will look at me and think I’m not thin enough to actually practice what I preach…that I’m a big fraud.

And maybe I’m just a wee bit jealous that folks aren’t as eager to jump on my bandwagon as they are to drink miracle elixers and look for easy fixes, but I do strive to set the best example I can in the hopes that one day one of those women just might ask me for a recipe.


What do you do when you hear people talk about losing weight in an unhealthy way? Do you keep quiet, or do you chime in and state your opinion? Do you ever feel like you’ve made a difference?


  1. says

    Oh my gosh, I can’t handle this stuff. I had an eating disorder for several years and now, whenever I hear people talking about losing weight in unhealthy ways it sets off all sorts of emotions for me. I’m not sure if I would say something to them, but I hope I would. The crazy things people do…

    • says

      I didn’t end up saying anything, but I did get a couple of knowing smiles from others in the office who knew what I was thinking. I think I stayed quiet because I knew those dieters were people who wouldn’t be receptive to what I would have to say. I just hope their daughters aren’t forming the same relationship with food.

      It DID make me feel so proud that I no longer engage in those diets, because I definitely tried my share of them! I actually got sodium poisoning from a soup diet once….

  2. says

    when people talk about diets its enough to make my skin crawl!! but NO FOOD DIETS! kk WTF, obviously we all need to eat, and starvation isnt a fix to anything. the sooner people realize that food is not the problem, but the real issues lie below the surface, the sooner they can live happier lives full of healthy goals and healthy relationships. so much nonsense that we are fed into believe quite literally. so glad you posted this!! <3

  3. says

    it is so so hard to hear others talk about how “bad” and “fat” they look, when clearly they are not.. Or how there is “bad food” and “good foods”. it is so triggering..and i never know what to do in those situations.
    Thank you for this post. I love your blog..

  4. says

    As someone who struggled with starving herself for years I HATE to hear that people are going on crash diets. I definitely would have said something in this situation. I most likely would have went off on how unhealthy it is and how they are only screwing with their metabolism and making it harder for them to lose weight in the long wrong.

    Dana xo

  5. says

    Ug, this kind of thing makes me SO frustrated! Here I am, a dietitian, trying to bring people a HEALTHY weight-loss solution and yet the things that get the most fame? FAD DIETS! Sooo unhealthy!!

    ps. mentioning you in a post today!

    • says

      We have RDs in my office, and they don’t say much, but I know it bugs them. They can’t comment every time, so they just try to lead by example. I guess some people just won’t get it until they are ready. That was true of me!

      I started out as a dietetics major, and I’ve thought about going back to add that degree to the one I have. But then, I have about 10 dream careers I’d like to try!

      Thanks for the mention!

  6. says

    That definitely is frustrating! I worked in ny at a few fashion places where those types of diet were definitely discussed…lots of people ordered juices/cleanses which are at least real calories from fruits and vegetables..but still not adequate nutrition wise…

    keeping quiet can be hard but usually most appropriate in the work place but with friends, I would definitely say something!

  7. says

    Wow, that’s some crazy stuff. I get so frustrated and hurt when I see women beating themselves up – literally – in pursuit of thinness. For the past two years I’ve been in a women’s studies graduate program, so I was relatively immune from it all as I was surrounded by women who were very aware of the impossibly-ideal standards and stereotypes, but now that I’ve entered the “real world” again, I’m amazed at how “normal” it is to try fad diets and basically treat your body like crap. :(

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