So, the general diet philosophy to which this blog subscribes is: everything in moderation.

In the past, however, I wasn’t always so loosey-goosey with my eating habits. I was queen of trying whatever new diet sounded snazziest. Yep, I would enthusiastically hop on the latest restrictive diet bandwagon, and happily check my common sense and nutritional needs at the door. I would inevitably start chomping on a piece of sugar-free gum while telling someone about how I can only eat almonds for the next 14 hours, until the day I realized I sounded like a crazy person.


Following rules like only eating meat or only eating raw foods makes about as much sense, in my opinion, as only sitting on things that are purple.

Now I am not a dietitian so I can only speak to what I’ve noticed works for me- but when I cut out a certain food group, I end up over compensating with another food group. This compensation just leads to more calories and suddenly I’m still hungry, still feeling deprived, but still somehow eating more than I normally would. (oh hello, binge)


Maybe I’m just the worst dieter ever (almost definitely true) but I’m happiest when I’m working out regularly and eating a little bit of everything.

I simply say this as a person who has literally tried every single restrictive diet at some point, failed miserably at each, and has therefore earned the right to make fun of them all.

How is it possible that I’ve tried all the diets, you wonder? Well, because there are only really like, four different diets out there, all of which get re-packaged and re-marketed as something completely new every couple of years.


I don’t know about you, but I turn into the biggest sucker every time a new diet developed by someone fit, attractive and with a medical degree hits the media. I get so excited that after thousands of years as a species someone has finally thought of this whole new way for me to turn edible things into energy by putting them into my mouth.

Alas, it’s always just the same old diets in fancy new clothes. In fact, I probably already own the book under a slightly different title, but that doesn’t stop me from buying the new one.


Give that marketing team a raise.

If you haven’t tried all the diets, I’m going to save you the agony and give you the Spark Notes versions of each:

Protein heavy/ high fat/caveman diets:

To be honest, I’m surprised this is still a thing. Granted I’m also the girl who bet against the success of Wii and the iPad, so I obviously don’t have the best track record for choosing things that have staying power. Perhaps it’s because the foods on this diet do tend to be delicious, and it seems to actually work for some people according to everything I’ve read. But, I still wonder about the long term effects.

I mean, most cavemen lived on tubers like rutabaga, not bacon and pork rinds. And according to the discovery channel, most women died by the age of 30, so I really don’t get what we’re all so nostalgic about. In my opinion, it should be okay to enjoy the agricultural benefits of the neolithic revolution without guilt.

Raw foods:

There’s nothing wrong with eating a lot of veggies and sushi. That’s a cool thing to do. But did it really need to become a movement? Personally, my social life went downhill fast when I started morphing into the “I’ll just have the salad” girl. Maybe everybody who stopped getting invited to things decided to ban together and this is the club those people formed. I’m just not down with it.

And I’m aware that I’m over simplifying what is actually a very diverse group of people who all operate under the category of rawism, but I don’t buy that all the toxins will suddenly toxify me if heaven forbid I cook my steak.

No sugar/carbs:

I don’t like that this one restricts fruit and sugary veggies so much. I’m all for cutting back on sugar from time to time in order to get your body back in balance, but, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. Plus as Gwyneth Paltrow said in a recent interview, when she deprives her and her family of carbs they are all “left with that specific hunger”.

Um, life is too short to feel that specific hunger voluntarily. Doesn’t that just sound awful? Ugh I have felt that specific hunger, and yes, it is awful. I mean, don’t go crazy and eat muffins all day long, but have an apple or a piece of toast or something. It’s ok. Your body will thank you. Besides, if you’re like me, you end up replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners and that is 10 times worse anyways.

Low fat/ no fat:

Ugh aren’t you STARVING??

And that pretty much sums it up. Any other diet you can think of probably fits into one of these categories somehow. (I’m not even going to count juice fasts and cleanses because those are different and only last for a few days. I personally can’t finish one, so kudos to you if you can. )

Plus, what’s worse than the physical discomfort of these diets is the emotional turmoil you put yourself through when you eat something you shouldn’t. How bad do you feel when you’re on Sugar Busters and you eat a piece of cake at a birthday party? SO BAD.

so mad

That type of self-abuse is horrible and it makes you miss the larger picture. You’re at a birthday party, someone you love just turned a year older and you are there celebrating with them and having delicious foods. All that stress you’re stirring up by hating yourself after eating that cake is doing way more damage than that one piece of cake ever could.

What is your “food philosophy”?

If I have misjudged or criticized any of the above diet plans too harshly, please chime in! I’m always interested in what works for others, that’s why I have a blog :)





45 Thoughts on “I Don’t Think It’s A Mistake The Word “Diet” Has The Word “Die” In It


    I’ve had all the same thoughts about these diet fads — I’ve always scratched my head and said “Uhhhh…wasn’t the life expectancy insanely short back in the caveman era? Also, can I give a shout-out to evolution?” whenever people talk about caveman diets. (As you can imagine, I thought your comment about the agricultural benefits of the neolithic period was freakin’ awesome.)

    And, while I’m all in favor of eating lots of raw produce, eating it at the exclusion of everything else just doesn’t jive with me or my estomago. My rule of thumb has become everything in moderation, just like you said — and if a diet recommends food restriction or cutting out entire food groups, I advise people to run, not walk, in the opposite direction.

    • ex-act-ly. there shouldn’t be anything completely off limits. like, obviously it’s not good to eat certain things every day but there’s no reason to just banish an entire food groups from your diet. I think it comes down to people needing to feel like they’re in control- which i totally understand- but isn’t that just another form of an eating disorder

  2. I could agree more with this. I have never been one to follow diets because my parents brought me up living a balanced lifestyle but as someone who has experienced an eating disorder, it drives me up the wall to see any kind of purposefully restrictive diet. The minute I see someone doing it, I either make a really snarky comment if it’s someone I’m not close with, or I tell my friends to cut the bs if I am close to them. Basically, I eat healthy and balanced. That’s how I did “diet” back in my ED days and you’re right- eventually it leads to a binge cycle. Any type of restrictive diet will go through that phase, even anorexia. It’s what I’m finally getting a handle on now. It’s possible to have your cake AND eat it too.

    • So true!! And good I’m glad you say things to friends to save them from developing unhealthy habits. A good relationship with food is SO important, the stress alone that you cut out of your life when you don’t have to stress over food is, in itself, it’s own reward.

  3. YAY Charlotte! Thanks for an honest post about dieting that TOTALLY gets it right! I’m definitely an all-things-in-moderation gal and will NEVER give up my ice cream or fountain Coke. What’s the point of running & busting your hump if you can’t enjoy the little rewards? And now that I’m a mom, I never want my girls to think they need to restrict their diets or follow some fad to attain the ‘perfect’ body. I want them to understand the importance of a balanced diet and to love their bodies just the way they are. Great post!

  4. Rephrase – I want my girls to understand the importance of healthy, balanced ‘eating.’ Diet is not a word we use in our house! ; )

    • That’s SO great! it’s so important for girls to get a healthy sense of self and body image when they’re young. you’re exactly right- it should be all about health, not dieting and not being “skinny”. when i was younger i thought all the super skinny models were the image of perfection which i now realize was so messed up, i can’t even. being strong should be what every little girl aims for.

      and ps i love fountain soda too :)

  5. You are spot on today Charlotte!

  6. Love this Charlotte! I couldn’t agree more. Life is too short to be hungry all the time. Moderation is the key :)

  7. “I simply say this as a person who has literally tried every single restrictive diet at some point, failed miserably at each, and has therefore earned the right to make fun of them all.”

    +1 for this!

    I wish I had an answer for you, but I’m 25 years old and honestly have no effing clue what works for me. I have had a sketchy relationship with food for 10+ years now and I have yet to find a philosophy that works for me.

    I guess the only thing that I try to stick by is avoiding chemical-laden foods. I still eat procesesd foods (almond milk, tofu, etc), but I try to avoid things with weird engineering in them.

    • Yeah, that’s a great way to eat! those chemically foods like sweeteners are not good. even if they are technically not adding calories, the body processes them differently and they can lead to variety of health issues, and even cravings for real sugar.

  8. So I’m definitely in love with you because of this post.

    I once tried the caveman/high protein/high fat/low carb thing once upon a time (as well as the low fat thing)–not eating any kind of grains, or carb-y veggies, or fruit that was high(er) in sugar. I tried to keep my carb intake under 120g every day. The first week or two, I was fine. And then the binges started. Despite this, I carried this out for a few months.

    Since adding carbs back into my diet, I’ve found that my body likes carbs (surprise, surprise?) and that it functions a lot better with them. I still have moments where I think, “wow, this has 40g of carbs” but I end up eating it because I know that my body will be much happier than if I didn’t.

    • hahaha yay i’m so glad you agree! i found the exact same thing- cutting out carbs leads to crazy binges. and yeah as a left over habit from my no carb days, i’ll look at a bagel and gawk at the amount of carbs in it, but then i’ll eat it, and amazingly nothing bad happens except i enjoy it, feel satisfied and move on with my day:)

  9. You mean it’s not normal to only sit on purple things? Dang :(

    But seriously, I love this! And I couldn’t agree more with you about the ridiculousness of all the diets out there. I tried the high protein thing and my stomach went insane. I tried low carbs and my mood and energy went south. I tried going all raw and ended up with an eating disorder. Now? There’s no way in heck I’m cutting out anything – not even junk food. I think the worst part about dieting is the restrictive mentality that comes with it. Food is food. Yes, some are better than others, but labelling it as good and bad is just asking for trouble. One thing I’ve noticed is that the people who don’t diet and don’t stress seem to always have an easier time managing their weight than the people who are constantly dieting and worrying about what they’re putting in their mouths. Coincidence? I think not…

    • Ahh exactly!! Just getting out of the “good”/ “bad” mentality can do wonders for one’s eating habits and overall health. Losing energy is the worst- i used to suffer the same fate on low carbs. it would even affect my mental processes and it just lead to a general pessimism toward life. when i would then eat something to give me energy, i’d hate myself for being weak. Its just natural that sometimes you’re up a few lbs, sometimes you’re down a few lbs, but as long as you’re enjoying life, healthy, strong, have energy and your brain is working, that’s what counts.

  10. I’m so against all of those diets that you listed! Paleo? Um, it sounds like a recipe for high blood pressure. Raw foods? But what about pizza?!?! No sugar/carbs? Yeah, no thanks. Low-fat? I refuse to give up avocado.

    My favorite “diet” I ever did was when I cut out all added sugar. I felt great- I could still eat “junk” foods, like chips and popcorn, but it really forced me to avoid a lot of processed stuff! But, I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again. I love sweets too much!

    • Yep i know exactly what you mean!! sometimes a little break from processed sugars can actually help your body re-balance itself and you start tasting the natural sweetness more in fruits and stuff like that. But yeah its good for a cleanse and thats it. longer than that and it becomes an impediment to enjoying life.

  11. I am similar to how you are now. I don’t resitrict myself to certain types of food. I eat basically what I want in moderation. If I did binge on something one day, the next day I will be careful about what I eat. I always try and get in at least 3or 4 if not more servings of fruit and veggies in a day. I make sure to have protein and something with calcium too. But, I like to have good tasting food so I let myself indulge.

    • exactly- moderation is all about balancing. some days are going to be more caloric than others, just the way it goes! I like to make sure I get protein and calcium too, luckily those things tend to come in delicious forms :)

  12. I must concur – I LOVE THIS POST!! And, I Totally agree – I Don’t Think It’s A Mistake The Word “Diet” Has The Word “Die” In It. 😉 Haha! I’ve had many discussions with my grad school classmates about these very same things. It’s amazing how so many people can’t quite grasp the concept of just eating certain foods “in moderation.” Gotta love diet marketing! Lol. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare your blog space. :) Great post!

    • Yay thanks Koryn! i love this subject, i could go on and on as well. it really is all about clever marketing and somehow the business of “losing weight” is as profitable as ever during a time when people are as unhealthy as ever. obviously something needs to change in that respect.

  13. Good grief I am relating to everyone’s posts today! I’m loving it. I can’t get over how much importance people place on certain types of diets. It’s a pretty obvious pattern, and as you’ve said, it’s overcompensating. From experience, I can tell you, everything in moderation suits me best. I tried Paleo. I failed. I missed so many types of food that when I got the chance to cheat, I would. Don’t get me wrong, it works for some people, but when people fall off the wagon of their respective ‘diets’ it’s a slippery slope. I’d rather eat healthily to my standards and knowledge and enjoy some something sinful once in a while without overdoing it. It’s much healthier to me to eat beans and rice and sometimes a slice of cake than to eat clean for 5 days in a row and then binge on candy, chips and everything in between. You’re so insightful. I wish I could fight your claims for some fun blogger arguments but nope – you’re spot on with your opinion. :)

    • YEP SAME! when i did no carbs, i could go for a couple days or even a week- but then i would have one cracker or something so small and suddenly it would just snowball into a binge of ridiculous proportions before i even realized what was going on. haha im so glad you agree!

  14. This is AWESOME! I totally agree – I don’t see the fascination with alot of those diets. Especially paleo – seriously. Why would you eat like that???? I am a big believer of moderation. EVERYTHING in moderation.

  15. Fountain soda is the BEST! And the older (and wiser..ha!) I get, the more I realize that the ideal body type I admire is not super skinny. It’s healthy, toned, and fit. I think fitness is about moderation too. You don’t have to be ripped like Jillian Michaels or devote every moment of your free time to exercise to reap the benefits!

    • Haha don’t worry I followed the train of conversation. YES i completely agree with fitness in moderation too. i feel like when i was younger everything had to be the “-est”. i wanted to be the thinnest, fittest, etc. now i realize that’s ridiculous because all that does is build up these absurd standards for perfection, lead to over-exercising and under-eating, and set you up for failure.

  16. I must say I’m surprised you’ve tried tons of diets! They are sneaky in remarketing them to sounds new again. And, who wouldn’t love a quick fix to drop weight and feel great?!
    The only ‘diet’ I tried was Weight Watchers. It seemed like the best one out there. However, I’m sure if I had just started portion controlled eating again I would have lost the weight without following Weight Watchers.
    No carbs drives me the most crazy. I don’t understand how people function!!!

    • yeah, in high school and college my eating habits were all over the place. and i agree- weight watchers can be great to help people regain control over their portion sizes. plus it promotes food as part of your lifestyle, not turning your food INTO your lifestyle, if that makes sense. so, yeah weight watchers is a good one! i will never truly understand no carbs either.

  17. Not sure why that reply didn’t reply to your reply to my comment. Oh well. That sentence was confusing!

  18. Chelsea on May 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm said:

    This is just SO completely spot on, it’s kind of ridiculous! In fact, as you know, I’ve recently been having my fair share of struggles with that pesky scale and calorie counters, and I’ve kind of decided to just shuck it and go with the No-Duh diet.

    The No-Duh diet goes as follows: if you’re hungry, eat. Eat real food whenever possible. Have a glass of water when you sit down to eat it, another when you’re done. Eat slow and stop when you’re not hungry. If, 30 minutes later you’re still hungry, have another little piece or few bites. Then stop. At night, have dessert, but something small. Then stop. Every now and then, visit the folks at Jack in the Box. Don’t ever hate yourself.

    That’s basically my eating philosophy. Or at least, that’s it in an ideal world. It doesn’t always look like this, of course, and I’ve got my more neurotic and self-hatin’ days, but that’s always the goal at the end of the day.

    PS: About paleo? No offense intended, but the cavemen also didn’t have electricity, written language, or medicine. So…just sayin’. 😉

    • Ha!! I like it! Sounds very civilized, laid back and easy to follow! beats my old method of waiting til you’re absolutely starving then hoovering everything up in a gigantic tornado-like fashion:)

      • Chelsea on May 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm said:

        Oh, I’ve done The Hoover too. Usually while repeating to myself over and over in my mind: you don’t even want this, oh my god is this bad, what even is all this food, wait where’d my cookies go? :)

  19. LOVED everything about this post! And all the little videos and picks cracked me up. I’m right with you. Work out and eat a bit of everything. For me it’s mostly healthy, but definitely not all the time! And I don’t beat myself up if I have a cupcake. I like cupcakes :)

    • Lol i like cupcakes too :) And that’s exactly my point, eat healthy for the most part and don’t shame yourself when you eat something more indulgent. seriously, what would life be without cupcakes??

  20. First of all, your title had me cracking up! Second, I completely agree with your philosophy- you shouldn’t limit yourself. I try to eat mostly good stuff with a small amount of bad and stay active in between which I find to be a healthy balance for me. I do limit myself from meat, but I don’t really consider that a diet, more like a personal belief. The Paleo diet seems a little crazy to me too but to each their own!

    • Yep, exactly- it’s about listening to your body. (i meant to mention that!) Not all foods agree with everyone, and it’s important to know which work best for you. So suddenly following a restrictive diet plan because it’s mapped out in a book is basically the opposite of listening to your body.

  21. First time here, great post. Food is my life, I can totally relate to what you are saying. I too have reached the point I can stop dieting and start eating “sensible”.

    will be back :)

  22. i love this post. you have a strong head on your shoulders, i applaud you girl!! :)
    nicole recently posted…Coupon CrazyMy Profile

  23. Pingback: Fitness & Healthy Living Resources | Bean Bytes 37

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation