Should You Stop Dieting?
We asked if diets make you slender, or obsessed. Here's what you
Yes, Diets Can Make You Fat
—Monica, 32, paramedic
My first diet was Slim-Fast, and I was probably 20 or 21. It didn't work. I
tried Atkins until I felt sick. Weight Watchers worked, but I had to
obsessively add up calories, figure out food points, and deduct activity
points. I can't say I've stopped dieting and lost weight, but I have stopped
obsessing and lost stress. I realize that losing 10 pounds won't fix my life
any more than gaining 10 will wreck it. If my mind is constantly attacking my
body, then I can't be at peace. As a paramedic, I'm used to viewing the body as
working/not working; alive/dead. I've never seen anyone die from being 10
pounds overweight. I have, however, seen people who've tried to cut their fat
off, or have ruined their bodies by not eating. If your weight is taking years
off your life, it should be addressed. Otherwise, do the best you can and be at
peace with where it leaves you.
No, Diets Don't Make You Fat
—Colleen, 24, foster-care caseworker
I think diets make you aware, but not obsessed. I grew up playing sports but
also eating pizza, curly fries, and mac and cheese. I started college at 180
pounds; I'm 5'5".
While studying forensic psychology in grad school, I started looking into jobs
at the New York Police Department and the FBI. That's when my life took a
serious blow...there were weight requirements! I decided to try Weight
Watchers. I lost six pounds in the first two weeks. I was shocked to learn how
bad my eating habits were. Through the program, I learned how to cook for
myself and include my family in my healthy lifestyle.
I started going to the gym, too — within four months, 35 pounds were gone (my
fiancé lost 45). I look 100 times better, but the most drastic improvement has
been to my health: When I was overweight, I couldn't even run a mile. Recently,
I completed my first triathlon.
Not Sure if Diets Make You Fat
—Erin, 23, marketing coordinator
I've watched friends and coworkers try Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, the
Zone, or eliminating sugar, wheat, or dairy — and they never seem to be happy
even if they do lose the weight. I think the key is to eat everything in
moderation. If you want ice cream, eat it — just not every day, and not the
entire gallon. I've never really dieted, but I've also never been a huge
junk-food fan. The only time I gained a significant amount of weight was during
my freshman year of college. Those 20 pounds were horrifying. The summer
afterward, I realized I should start exercising and watching portions — but not
necessarily change what I eat. It took about a year for me to lose the
Now, I eat lots of fruit, yogurt, chicken, and other healthy foods. I just let
myself eat what I want, in moderation, until I'm full. I'm happy with my weight
now, though I'd love to gain more muscle tone.
Related content on marieclaire.com