Embarrassing, But Familiar Approaches to Dieting
Emma St. Aubin

None of us want to look like the before picture on a weight-loss ad, but we also don’t want to give up fried food and couches for green stuff and crunches.

Maybe we should have ordered a smaller size, eaten an apple instead or gone to the gym this morning, but we didn’t… for the past few weeks. Maybe you are okay with that. However, this is usually when the shame kicks in, and the diets begin.

The Crash Dieter

You want it all or nothing.  Cutting out sweets and eating nothing but dark leafy vegetables sounds easy now, but just wait until the end of the week.  Let’s face it. If you can continue eating like this for any period of time, you must be a the spawn of Hercules because no one can crash-diet forever and stay both fit and healthy.

The “Diet” Dieter

Today’s lunch includes carrots dipped in low-fat ranch, a light vanilla yogurt, a sandwich made with 35-calorie bread and a diet Coke.  Although you have successfully cut approximately 400 calories from your diet, you have consumed approximately 400 weird, unpronounceable chemicals.

The Tomorrow Dieter

“I’ll start tomorrow,” you say, scrolling through the “health and fitness” tab in Pinterest while mindlessly shoving all things consumable into your mouth.  Tomorrow comes. Repeat.

The Health Critic

Most dining experiences these days include scouring the menu to guess which of the foods have been processed the least. Nothing enters your mouth without weighing its caloric impact and nutritional value.  To avoid chocolate-y temptations, you make sure everyone around you is healthy, too. Health food comments shoot from your mouth like cannons at the dinner table.   Hey, it’s for their best interest.

The “I’ll just burn it off at the gym” Dieter

Every time you eat, you trot off to the gym to try to reverse anything that wouldn’t look good in a swimsuit.  If you didn’t eat before the gym, you head straight home post-workout to make a protein shake.  If you are serious enough about this fitness stuff, you even bring that green drink into your classes to show everyone how both physically and mentally strong you are by choking it down at 9 a.m.

The Fad Dieter

You eat cookies at every meal because a five-year-old on TV told you that they are nutritious, but you stay away from the bread aisle because you heard that carbs will make you fat.  Last week, you were collecting “points,” and next week you and Jenny Craig will be BFFs.  If Dr. Oz recommended rubbing jalapenos on your legs to get rid of cellulite, you would do that, too.

The Drunk Dieter

You eat fresh, organic food all week, but once the weekend arrives, you have no idea what is in half of the alcohol you drink.   In attempt to stay somewhat within your daily recommended calorie limit, you eat a small salad for lunch so you can spend your calories on drinking—until you end up somewhere that serves chicken-bacon-ranch pizza.

The Lifestyle Changer

You will never admit that what you are doing is a diet.  You have been incorporating more fresh ingredients into your diet, making things yourself and eating slowly—you are gung-ho on sticking to this plan for a lifetime.  Last time this happened, you ended up going solo through the drive-through at Culver’s because you didn’t want your friends to find out that you were eating ice cream and french fries dipped in tartar sauce.


Looking to get your eating patterns back on track?  Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov for resources on weight management, healthy eating tips and more nutritional information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.