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I Hate Swimsuit Season! Crash Diets, Fad Diets and Diet Humor
Oh, to Look This Good in a Swimsuit!
I Hate Swimsuit Season
Am I alone here, or do others also hate swimsuit season? I not only hate swimsuit season; I hate reminders that swimsuit season will soon be here. I hate magazines that tell me I must get ready for swimsuit season by starting to diet NOW! Dire warnings of the coming swimsuit season usually catch up with me around mid-April when I decide I must lose twenty pounds in two weeks.
Enter fad diets. They promise quick results with just a little effort. Who cares if they are sensible or not? We just have to stick to them for a few weeks and we'll fit into that cute little swimsuit again.
Promises of quick and easy weight loss led me to try many of the fad diets that came along as well as some more sensible diet plans.
Here are some of the most popular fad diets that have enticed desperate dieters, including me, over the years:
Do crash diets work? Maybe you've tried one of these
Why Grapefruit Diets Work
If you like grapefruit and can get past the boredom of eating the same foods every day, variations of the grapefruit diets do work for the following reasons:
- Grapefruit is very low in calories. One grapefruit is only about 53 calories.
- Grapefruit contains fiber, too, and its bulk will help you feel full if you eat it before a meal.
- Some research has shown that even the scent of grapefruit oils work with your liver enzymes to curb your appetite. (This is great for people who can't eat the fruit -- just smell it!
The Grapefruit and Eggs Diet
Popular in the 60's, this one made a few comebacks through the years, and it's enough to make you hate eggs forever! It advocates eating nothing but eggs and grapefruit for three meals a day for the first week. Oh, it works because the daily calorie intake averages about 400 calories a day, there is no fat, no sugar and low carbs. Grapefruit has less that 4% carbohydrates, eggs have no carbs, so you can eat five eggs and two large grapefruits a day (gag…gag!) and still consume only 332 calories in a day. Splurge and add a tomato and a whole head of lettuce and still consume less than 500 calories a day. I once lost about 20 pounds on this diet, but didn’t eat eggs or grapefruit again for years to come.
Daily Calories for Grapefruit and Egg Diet
- 1 large hard boiled egg or 1 dry fried egg = 13 calories
- 1 large raw grapefruit=53 calories.
- 1 whole tomato=22 calories
- 1 head of lettuce (1 lb. 6 oz. head) =106 calories
Warning About Eating Grapefruit
Do not try these diets if you are on immunosuppressants or anti-depressants as grapefruit can affect how these drugs work. There has also been research published in the the July 2007 issue of the "British Journal of Cancer" that found a link between postmenopausal women eating grapefruit and breast cancer. It seems that grapefruit can increase estrogen production which, in turn, can increase possibility of breast cancer. These side effects of eating grapefruit were not known in the 1960’s when I tried these diets, and luckily, I was not taking any medications.
On this one, you are supposed to eat a half of a grapefruit before every meal. Grapefruit is touted as a fat burning fruit. Although studies have shown that over a period of time, people who followed this practice lost a few more pounds than those who didn’t, It seems to me that the half grapefruit as an appetizer would blunt your appetite and help fill you up. And it only adds 27 calories to your meal. Before you go on this diet, be sure to read the warning at right.
Boring Crash Diets That Work (for a While!)
This is easy. Just don't eat carbs. On this diet, carbohydrates are eliminated or cut drastically from your diet. That means that, with a few exceptions, no grains, breads or fruit is consumed on this diet. You may have a limited selection of vegetables. Sure it works, but it can be BORING, BORING, BORING!
Basically, you eat meat, fish, cheese and fats three times a day and for snacks. There are a few very low calorie vegetables allowed after the first few day. This diet not only works, but can show dramatic results. I lost 45 lbs. on this diet one year, but retaliated by going on the Christmas Cookie Diet for two whole months.
WARNING! Check with your doctor before starting a diet, especially a fad diet!
Do not try these diets without checking with your doctor. This is especially important if you are on any medication or have any other health issues. You already know what she’s going to tell you, “why don’t you try this more sensible plan of cutting calories and exercising?”
Oh, COME ON! I really want to lose twenty pounds in two weeks!
Negative Calorie Diet
The theory behind it is that there are some foods that take more energy to digest than they contain. So you can munch on apples, celery, carrots, asparagus, broccoli all you want and still lose weight. Hmmm…. sounds interesting…can I have some peanut butter with that?
The Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup made with cabbage, onions, celery, peppers and tomatoes, contains almost no calories. You’re bound to lose weight, though it might be all water and muscle tissue, not fat. It’s definitely not one you’d want to be on longer than a week. No protein, no carbs, no fat. Hey, what’s left? If you're prone to flatulence, you'd better open the windows...
An Actual Healthy Diet That Works
There Are Healthy Diets
Weight Watchers Diet
Oh, this one works great! It encourages healthy eating, exercise and a positive lifestyle. In 1967 I lost forty pounds at Weight Watchers. There is the support of group meetings. In 1997, I lost sixty-five pounds with Weight Watchers. (Yes, the same forty-five pounds again plus twenty). It works! But it takes months of healthy eating to lose this much weight.
Healthy Diets Don't Promise Miracles
Actually, there are scads of healthy and sensible diets that work. The trouble is, they don't promise miracles. None of that "LOSE 20 POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS" stuff. On a healthy diet, you might expect to lose a pound or two a week. This is very frustrating for those of us who procrastinate with our dieting until the week before we want to go to the beach.
So, if I Lost 165 lbs. on Crash Diets, I Must be Skinny, Right?
Let’s see, that’s a total of one hundred and sixty-five pounds lost on some of my favorite crash diets. You may be thinking that if I added up all the weight I lost with these various diets, I would certainly not need to worry about this year’s swimsuit season.
Well, You Thought Wrong! Here Are My Favorite Between-Dieting Diets:
Facts About Gaining and Losing Weight
- Gain a pound a week by consuming an extra 3500 calories a week or 500 calories a day.
- Lose a pound a week by consuming 3500 calories less per week (that's 500 calories a day less than normal).
- Repeated cycles of weight gain and weight loss have been shown by some studies to increase chance of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Some medications can cause weight gain in some people. Check the side effects of your medications and ask your doctor about them.
- Some medical conditions cause weight gain. Check with your doctor to see if weight gain is caused by a medical condition.
- Stress can cause weight gain. When under stress, the body secretes the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol causes an increased appetite. With the increased appetite, stress may make us reach for high calorie “comfort food.” No wonder we gain weight when under stress!
- Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. Hormones secreted when you are sleep deprived can make you feel hungrier as well as not feel as full after eating.
Stressed-Out Mothers' Chocolate Diet
Drink seventeen cups of coffee every day (there are benefits to drinking coffee!) and eat about a pound of chocolate with it. If you have teenagers, then add an additional 2 cups of coffee and another 6 oz. of chocolate. This is good for adding a few pounds here and a few pounds there over the years… they add up to about five pounds a year.
The Valentine’s Day Diet
Just eat boxes of luscious filled chocolates. Is it just me, or does anyone else go out and buy chocolates the day after Valentine’s Day if their sweetheart had the poor judgment to give flowers or jewelry that year? How can a two-pound box of chocolate add five pounds on the scale?
The Bagel and Muffin Breakfast Meeting Diet
This is a favorite of working men and women. Who deserves a bagel or giant muffin more that someone who has to sit through these boring, endless meetings every day? Those budget meetings can easily help you put on ten pounds.
The Danish Vacation Diet
Go to the little bakery on the corner every day during your beach vacation, and have two cheese Danish with coffee. Get a cherry turnover to-go for lunch. This diet is good for a nice little six pound weight gain during vacation. Just keep wearing that beach cover-up over your bathing suit.
The Halloween Candy Diet
So – hands please– who doesn’t go out and buy a few extra pounds of their favorite candy at Halloween just so they can have extra for the Trick or Treaters that never show up? We can fool ourselves, but we can’t fool that scale. Add five pounds.
Do You Diet?
Do you have a favorite diet?
The Thanksgiving Pie Diet
Come on, nobody can be expected to pass up that pumpkin (pecan, apple, mince) pie, can they? And the stuffing, gravy, corn pudding, homemade rolls… It’s a holiday. You can’t diet on a national holiday, or the weekend after the national holiday. Add seven pounds— each Thanksgiving!
And, Last, but Not Least, The Christmas Cookie Diet
Bake cookies every day in December; eat them every day in December and January until they are gone. This diet is mandatory if you have grandchildren because it's your job to keep the cookie jar filled. Lets see, fifteen cookies a day times forty calories equals 600 calories a day times forty-five days equals…. Oh, at least fifteen pounds!
Vintage Bathing Suits
So, What to Do About Bathing Suit Season?
It's fast approaching! What can we do? Well, people, here's the thing... you can't have your cake and look good in a bikini, too. Take it from an experienced yo-yo dieter, crash diets are not the way to go. If you are "pleasingly plump," you have several options:
- Accept yourself as you are. Come to terms with your nature and allow yourself to be who you are without feeling guilty.
- Shop for slimming swimsuits. Shop around for the most slimming swimsuits, and call it good.
- Wear a cover-up. Tell everyone you burn easily, and wear an attractive beach cover-up at all times.
- Start a sensible eating/exercise program. Start a sensible lifelong eating program that includes a balanced, healthy diet as well as regular exercise.
As for me, I've decided that at my age, it's o.k. not to look like a teenager, or even a 40 year-old. I will enjoy the beach and swim in the ocean. I'll wear shorts when it's hot. I am who I am— take it or leave it!
© 2011 Stephanie Henkel