The “Best” Diet Tips?

facepalm Every year around this time we are bombarded with articles of the Best Diet Tips EVER!!!  I thought I would take a stab at re-writing some of them to be a little more in touch with reality:

Tip:  Blog your goal, it’s hard to fail in front of an audience.

Blog your goal. Then if you are like the vast majority of people who attempt weight loss,  you can fail in front of an audience!

Tip:  After a sweet treat, eat half a slice of deli turkey to keep you from wanting more.

This tip brought to you by the deli turkey lobby. Seriously, that shit is specific. (Remember, only a half a slice!) Is there a reason that deli chicken or deli roast beef won’t work?  Didn’t they used to just tell us to brush our teeth?  When did lunch meat replace dental hygiene in the health world?

Tip:  Be specific about our weight loss goals

Because you don’t just want a vague sense of failure, you want fail specifically.

Tip:  Add a zero to your weight and use that to figure out how many calories you should eat.

This tip is especially useful for those who don’t have a set of darts or other mechanism to help them come up with a random number of calories upon which to base their food choices.

Tip:  Cravings usually only last for 10 minutes, distract yourself by having sex.

Who can resist the siren call of “Honey, come have sex with me so I don’t eat this cookie,” or, in the heat of the moment, hearing your partner moan “Oh baby do you still want the cookie or can we stop?”  People who follow this tip are heard to say “My partner has carpel tunnel and TMJ, but I’m 10 pounds lighter!”

Tip:  Buy an outfit in your healthiest size and hang it on the door for motivation.

It’s bad enough that magazines spread the myth that you have to be a certain weight to be healthy, but now we have to psychically know what size we’re going to be when we get there? The only reason this is better than just setting your money on fire is that you can always donate the outfit to Goodwill and go buy something that fits.

Tip:  Weigh yourself every day to stay on track.

This tip also appears on the “100 Best Ways to Trigger an Eating Disorder” list and the “100 Ways to Freak Yourself Out a Week Before Your Period” list.

Tip: Add cucumbers to water and drink it – it feels like a treat.

Cucumber water is fine, but let’s be honest that water with vegetables floating in it is not going to be mistaken for a “treat” unless the rest of the time you’re eating cardboard.

Tip:  Eat with chopsticks or your non-dominant hand to slow down.

Impress your coworkers at lunch by being the only person who can’t reliably get food into your mouth!  What date can resist the sexy “Bend and Snap” you do to pick up the sushi roll that is rolling away.  Plus nothing’s more sexy than having your date take your bra off after that sushi date and having a half cup of rice pour out!  Why not try other things with your non-dominant hand, maybe shaving your bikini area can be next?

Like  every article I see like this, these tips are old, tired, and have basically nothing to do with health. On the bright side, since these are supposedly the  Best Diet Tips EVER, maybe they won’t publish any more.  But if history is any judge, then sadly they probably will.

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53 thoughts on “The “Best” Diet Tips?

  1. Haha. Awesome commentary on these ridiculous “tips.” Interestingly, the non-dominant hand / chopsticks one has proven helpful as a mindfulness technique when I was recovering from my eating disorder, especially when it came to bingeing (not as a weight loss tip by any stretch – more like a meditative / observational technique). Of course, I appreciate the angle you’re coming from, and I belly-laughed at the rice visual. 😉

  2. If I add a zero to my weight and use that as my calorie guide, I’m going to double my grocery bill or wind up stuffing on junk food to meet my goal. I’d ask how much they think I currently eat, but I have this feeling the answer’s going to be something along the lines of “the whole world.” Because obviously you can’t be fat on two regular-sized meals a day, and if you say you are then you must be lying.

    1. I was just thinking that. in what world is 3600 calories a day … some kind of goal? I mean…. i would have to eat all day every day to reach that.

    2. I was wondering about units. I’m in part of the world that uses kg, so it was about what is recomended for weight loss by the type of magazines that publish that stuff. (i.e. the WHO would be worried about malnutrition in anyone getting that few calories.)

  3. Or the “tip” which starts off reasonable, go ahead, have one burger BUT…have only half, no bun, no cheese & leave off the bacon. Its enough to make ya weep!

    1. I have coeliac, so can’t have the bun, and don’t have the bacon anyway. I do it because I will be very poorly if I have the bun, or the pickled stuff, but people assume that it is because I am fat! drives me crazy!

  4. LOL. I can see cucumber water being a treat in July or August, particularly right after coming inside from the blazing heat. But at New Year’s? Nope.

    1. Last summer I was seriously into agua fresca and my favorite was cucumber-lime. However, it in no way was an acceptable substitute for cake. Or even for 1/2 slice of deli turkey if that’s what I was craving.

  5. Positively howling with laughter. Thank you! Getting ready to dig ourselves out of the first blizzard of 2014 and I welcome the hilarity.

    Between the two activities, I’ll bet I could “allow myself” to add a whole slice of turkey breast to my menu! I’d use the recommended distraction and skip it altogether but…hours of work in the driveway 😉
    Happy New Year everybody!

  6. I use chopsticks often (because I like to, and they work better for certain types of foods) and I hear that ‘chopsticks make you slow down eating and lose weight’ crap all.the.time.

    And I just laugh! Because chopsticks are really an excellent tool for getting an impressive amount of food into one’s face in a short period of time (if one is motivated to do so). But because the commenter lacks skill, they assume I do too and that I’m going to pick up rice one grain at a time, I guess.

    1. Fellow chopstick lover here! I was taught to use them shortly after I learned to use a fork, and sometimes can eat faster with them.

      This was also useful in impressing my Japanese mother-in-law when I first met her. She was inclined to think well of me, anyway, but the fact I knew how to use chopsticks made her very happy. I was inclined to think well of her, too, but her salmon tempura definitely put things over the top on my side! LOL!

      1. My partner’s mother is Japanese, and she was also relieved that I could use chopsticks 🙂 I’ve been lucky to eat her excellent cooking often and increase my fluency with them!

    2. I hate that chopsticks one always showing up. It’s racist. And I look like Whitey McWhitepants, but I’m faster with chopsticks than a fork most days. Slowing down a bit with arthritis, but at least chopsticks tell me to EAT and not just push things around!

      And now I want Vietnamese food. Or Chinese if that’s not an option.

      1. It is totally racist– what they call a ‘weight loss tool’ is simply a good chunk of the world’s eating utensils.

        1. I was coming down the comments to say this, too! I have one aunt from Japan, and one aunt who’s Chinese-American, and I learned chopsticks youngish, too. One of my cousins taught me how to “properly” eat soup with them when she was three!

          Now I’ve taught my husband how to use them, and he’s not much slower with chopsticks, either, although he prefers a spoon for soups 🙂

          It makes it blindingly clear that their intended audience is white, or possibly African-American, doesn’t it?

          (sadly I have had to give up my very favorite food of all time because of gluten (if only gochuchang weren’t gluteny!)

          1. Hi Mercy, I too an gluten free, I have coeliac disease. I have nod idea what gochuchang is, but I have discovered most recipes can be adapted quite easily, have you googled it?

    3. Another chopstick lover here. Married a man from South Korea and eat with them often. I can even eat cake with them.

  7. These kinds of tips never fail to amuse me. And sadly, I remember the time when I thought these were good tips for success. At least I know better now and just find the humor in them. Thanks for the laughter today, Ragen; I needed it. 🙂

      1. Chocolate is the worst for me, anything else I’ll probably notice but the chocolate just melts onto your skin and clothes without warning you it’s there. I seriously need a bib half the time, or one of those classy napkin chains…

      2. Yep, if it’s not in my rack, it’s on my shirt in front of it. I’m about to give up on low necklines entirely.

        1. Even without a rack of doom, my leaky lower lip issues make my shirt a graveyard of gravies past and a handy carryall for popcorn, rice, and other small items.

          I’m starting to think of becoming a mealtime naturist. Then at the end of the meal someone can just hose me off.

        2. My mom was a seamstress and sewed for women of all sizes. She learned very early in her career to offer to make a “discrete bosom apron” with the fabric scraps for all of them, especially when making expensive formal wear. She made them in the same neckline style as the gown so it would be discreet and undetectable. The inside of the neckline of the dress as well as the underside of the bib had snaps (This was in the days before Velcro), so when the formal meal was about to start all the woman had to do was hit the restroom (Or at the table if it was all close family or friends), snap the bib into the front of the dress, and eat in peace, with nobody walking past the table even aware they were wearing a bib. After the meal they just unsnapped, rolled it up and stuck it in their purse again so they can clean it later. They’ve now enjoyed their meal without having to worry about dribbles on their gowns and looking a mess, or worse, ruining an expensive outfit.

          1. What a great idea! Being a pear-shape, my dropped food usually lands on my tummy, but my best friend has quite a rack. She’d love this.

  8. Tip: When you reach a new dress size, throw out all of your larger clothes.

    So that when you inevitably gain the weight back, you can not only be fatter than you were pre-diet, you can look even fatter than that in your too-small wardrobe.

    1. This one really bugs me. I happened to lose weight when I joined a gym, hadn’t expected to if I am honest, and struggled to come to terms with the fact but that is long story! And everyone is telling to get rid of bigger clothes. and they say I am “being defeatist” when I say no I am not. They just don’t get it at all!

  9. I don’t know about anyone else here, but when I eat something really salty like bacon or that much ballyhooed deli turkey, one of the first things I want to do is eat something sweet as a contrast.

    And yes, Ragen, once upon a time the tip was to brush your teeth immediately after eating sweets so you wouldn’t crave any more. It amuses me to think of the deli turkey lobby showing up with sacks of money in the night and getting the diet industry to make the Tooth Fairy an offer she couldn’t refuse.

    Sometimes my brain is a scary place.

  10. Your link to the “fashion magazine freakout” leads to “page not found.” This happened with another link yesterday and never before, so maybe it’s a WordPress problem?

  11. I’m 60 years old. Those ‘greatest diet tips ever’ have been around since the 1950s. I have an etiquette book from 1890 that has a section ‘to reduce excess flesh’ and it had a couple in it.

    The last one made me snort. I routinely eat with chopsticks and I’m ambidextrous. Guess I could try eating with my toes?

  12. “Tip: Add a zero to your weight and use that to figure out how many calories you should eat.”

    Hold on a second. By that logic, fat people would have to eat a hell lot more calories, no?

    1. That was the rationale when I was doing WW. The heavier you were when you started, the bigger your ration; as your weight went down, so did your ration. You could increase your ration for the day (week? don’t remember anymore) by exercising before you ate.

      Realizing that I never seemed to be any less hungry as my weight dropped, even if I hadn’t exercised, was one of the bits of cognitive dissonance that started me on my journey out of Diet Land.

      Hmm. Can I think of Non-Jerk Universe versions of these tips?

      Tip: If you are working toward a long-term personal goal, look for a support group online.

      Tip: If you’re continually craving sweets, try a drink of water; if the craving goes away, you were actually thirsty.

      Tip: Dentists recommend three brief brushings with a soft toothbrush every day. Some people find that the best way to remember do to this is to always brush before or after a certain activity; usually, after the three main meals of the day.

      Tip: Be specific about your personal goal. “Be more sociable” is too vague; consider “find a club I like and join it” instead.

      Tip: If you find yourself always getting hungry headaches or falling asleep after you eat, keep a log of what you eat and when for about a week. Note your hunger level every few hours. Do you spot any patterns–for example, do you get a hungry headache at about the same time each day or after the same type of meal?

      Tip: If drinking water, getting fresh air, changing your scenery, or doing something pleasant don’t make a craving go away, you’re hungry; go eat!

      Tip: Buy the highest quality clothes you can afford in classic styles.

      Tip: Write a card that briefly describes a personal goal and keep it where you can see it.

      Tip: Here are five classic ways to make water more palatable on hot days . . .

      Tip: Try learning to eat a cuisine the way the natives eat it: in courses, with chopsticks, followed by a particular drink, with your hands, etc. You may find a deeper appreciation of familiar dishes.

  13. This had me rolling on the floor!

    “What date can resist the sexy “Bend and Snap” you do to pick up the sushi roll that is rolling away. Plus nothing’s more sexy than having your date take your bra off after that sushi date and having a half cup of rice pour out! ”

    I had visions of doing the “Bend and Snap” with chopsticks in my left hand and a sushi roll careening across a restaurant!

  14. “Reach for your mate instead of a plate”…was popular my second year of teaching when it seemed every female on the faculty was trying to lose weight. I tried it a few times…hubby thought I was passing out from sexual satiation when it was actually low blood sugar.


  15. The chopsticks one made me laugh, because my husband actually tried that years ago. Only thing that came of it is that he’s now extremely proud of his superior skills with chopsticks. 🙂

  16. Back in the day, when I was young, I bought a lot of clothes too small for motivation. Every time I moved, I ended up donating all of them but man, if only I could get that money back or better! Had spent it on clothes that would have fit and looked cute at the time. It depresses me to think how much money and time I spent shopping for clothes I would never wear.

    The chopstick one is hilarious to me because I’m very skilled at chopsticks. I order thai take out at least once a week and it doesn’t slow me down at all. 🙂

  17. The part about shaving one’s bikini area with the non-dominant hand was priceless!! Thanks for another great blog, Ragen.

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