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Should You Stop Dieting?

WebMD Feature from "Marie Claire" Magazine

Marie Claire magazine logo

We asked if diets make you slender, or obsessed. Here's what you said.


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 weight.
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.



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