What it’s actually like to be on a diet

Oh I know….you’re not meant to say it. It’s become like this taboo word, instead, I should preach that I’m on a healthy lifestyle kick or some other delightful bullshit that makes the dieting package look prettier. But, that’s garbage. And, frankly I am tired of defending myself for wanting to lose those extra pounds. So, instead here are the hard and ugly truths about losing weight.

  1. Hard

Dieting is really really hard. Seriously, properly difficult. Every moment of every day there is temptation and if most of us struggle to say no to friends/family/colleagues, think how hard that is when confronted with the yummy deliciousness that is the Kosher Kingdom Pick ‘n’ Mix aisle *insert your favourite here*. At every moment, of every day you basically have to constantly say no, when your entire body is screaming, craving, desperate for you to acquiesce. And only the feeblest part of your brain, that knows this can spell long-term trouble is able to remain strong. Hopefully. So here’s my first truth about dieting: – it’s a bit like sex, if it ain’t hard, you ain’t doing it right.

  1. People suck

I dare you. I double dare you to tell someone you are on a diet. In general you will find two responses:

  1. “Oh that’s lovely, but please just try some of *insert calorific food of choice here*
  2. “Oooh you’re not getting anorexic are you?”

Both of these are incredibly annoying for rather separate reasons. For the first point I will refer you happily to my original statement. Dieting is fucking hard, and by tempting and teasing me with food I obviously want, but have actively chosen not to eat you are being cruel. The second point is so shockingly insensitive to both the severity of an eating disorder and the psychology that goes behind this tragic issue that it leaves me dumbfounded. Please, I beg of you try something new. When someone announces they are on a diet, simply say nothing. Boom. Ladies and gentleman problem solved.

  1. Calorie deficit

There is a shit tonne of health food stores out there where you can buy any number of delicious items. From rich and creamy peanut butter, to chocolate covered raisins right the way through to protein powder. You will, undoubtedly come out of these stores with the warm glow of self-righteousness and fragrant upper middle-class vibes. However, food that is of a high quality, organic, or “healthy” is not necessarily low calorie. Dare I say it…even an avocado is rather high in calorie…with the average hipster favourite being around 300 calories. And ultimately, to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. That is it. So you can buy dates that were farmed by the spritely virgins in deep India next to the purest Himalayan mountains. Hell, they could come from Gan Eden themselves. But, unless you’re in a calorie deficit. You. Won’t. lose. Weight.

  1. Weekends

The problem with weekends is that they are two days long. And for the more observant amongst us they also contain Shabbat and its plethora of rigidly organised meals rich with fluffy carbohydrates and calorific deliciousness. And so you can be strict all week, take your foot off the pedal on the weekend and before you know it. You’ve lost before you’ve even had a chance. Sadly, on a diet, there really does need to be some sense of control i.e. I currently have a blanket rule that I’m neither eating challah nor am I drinking alcohol. If I’m honest this also has a little something to do with my behaviour on Simchat Torah and the resulting hangover tinged with shame, but that is somewhat aside from the remit of this story. On a diet you really can’t lose control for any lengthy period of time (think cheat meal, rather than a two-day orgy of fattening and calorfic food stuffs.)

  1. Gym

I love exercising. As many of you know, and judge, I pay inordinate amounts of money to attend glorified sheds around North West London. However, that being said you can go to the gym till the cows come home. But, if you’re not in a calorie deficit you can’t lose weight. That is obviously not to say that aren’t a huge number of extremely valid reasons for attending the gym – as it brings a number of health and psychological benefits. But, eating a KitKat and justifying it with time on the treadmill, it ain’t gonna work.

Now obviously I will end this article with the, rather more humble, acknowledgement that I am neither a PT nor am I a nutritionist. So for some properly reliable information go check out Martin McDonald #god on Instagram.

Meanwhile, I shall get cracking with my breakfast of boiled eggs and hope and see y’all on the other side.


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