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Diet Cliches

by Meghann on October 25, 2012

Good Morning!

Maddie and I put our running shoes on this morning for a quick 5K around the block. My little speed demon kept a 9:15ish pace and still managed to finish looking like she was ready for more. Her energy is ENDLESS. :)

Breakfast was a big bowl of pumpkin yogurt, apple, and walnuts.

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The pumpkin yogurt was my own creation, I’m sad Stonyfield doesn’t make their seasonable blend anymore. :(

The yogurt was simple, just a quick mix of plain greek yogurt, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and a little bit of honey (it needs some sort of sweetness in my opinion). Topped with a giant chopped apple and a generous handful of walnuts.

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So good.

On my mind

Last week someone told me something that’s been bugging me. It’s not that I haven’t heard it before (I usually brush it off), but I thought it would be a topic worth discussing on the blog.

“Once I stopped eating sugar, I never wanted it again. I don’t even miss it.”

The person was trying to sell me on a diet I had no intention of taking part in and thought wrapping up the sales speech with this little zinger would seal the deal. Ha. I politely nodded my head in agreement and walked away.

The truth is I know that sugar is an addiction and once you start cutting back the cravings do die down. But taking sugar out of your life completely? Never enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot summer day? Never having a piece of birthday cake? Never indulging in your favorite dessert at a fancy restaurant on a special occasion? I would miss it.

I think instead of drawing a hard line of taking sugar out (which would never work in the long run – ice cream is way too good for that to happen ;) ) we should instead focus on moderation from the beginning. That’s something I’m working at the moment (I was going a little sugar-dessert crazy there for a hot minute) by replacing nightly bowls of ice cream with squares of dark chocolate or cups of hot tea. So far, so good.

This could also dive into another little saying out there I’m not a fan of:

“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”

I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. ..1) being thin does NOT equal happiness. 2) there are some pretty awesome meals and desserts out there I would happily hand over my skinny jeans for. 3) if the only way to get “thin” was being miserable, then no thanks 4) the goal should be healthy, not thin.

Whenever I hear that saying I automatically start craving a really good cheeseburger, I think it’s my stubborn side’s way to prove it wrong.

What are some diet cliches that drive you crazy?

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian October 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

The whole “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is such bull. Wanna know what tastes better than thin? A cheeseburger.

If you live your life with moderation (on all things – alcohol, food, exercise, work) then you can live a healthy, full life. Eating is NOT fun when it’s limited like that.

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2 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution October 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

This reminded me of an interview I read with Victoria Beckham once. The interviewer asked her if she would ever eat a cupcake, and she said, “No. Never.” and I immediately thought, “How sad!” — can you imagine a life without cupcakes? I certainly cannot. I’ll take my moderation, even if it does mean I’ll never be a size two (I won’t lie and say that being a size two never seemed appealing!)

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3 Holly October 25, 2012 at 10:42 am

Just an FYI that “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” is a mantra commonly used by the pro-ana community. Not something usually said by people simply trying to diet–it typically is associated with a severe eating disorder.

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4 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution October 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

One more reason to ditch it entirely!

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5 Meghann October 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I’d argue that point and say I’ve heard spokespeople for different weight loss programs use it before in off-the-cuff interviews.

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6 julia October 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

they say it at Weight Watchers meetings. I’ve been a member for years, but I also hate that saying. There is A LOT that tastes better than being thing feels in my mind :)

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7 JennyV October 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

You got it — thin doesn’t equal healthy. You can be both, of course, but being one doesn’t mean you’re the other.

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8 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution October 25, 2012 at 10:48 am

…and I think it’s important to note that being overweight doesn’t automatically = unhealthy either. I think that’s a huge issue, it may be even bigger than automatically equating being very thin to being healthy.

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9 kalli October 25, 2012 at 10:49 am

this is so great girl! i love being healthy-do i have 6 pack abs no but that is because i enjoy wine and a hamburger when i want to :)

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10 Blythe October 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

I’m with you in the moderation boat. Because it’s been my experience with people who have TOO restrictive diets aren’t much fun to be around (my husband’s cousin literally only eats like 5 things and he’s 25). There are days when my sugar intake is too much, but then I just cut back for a while and feel better. But, never deny myself when the next craving comes!

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11 Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

I’m right there with you! Cheeseburgers and Ice Cream are too good to give up. And who the freak cares about being ‘thin’ anyway? Thin is out, healthy is in!

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12 Carolyn October 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

Was it the Paleo diet? That line (first, not second) rings clear from my CrossFitting friends. I don’t want a life without sugar! I want a long, healthy life made with choices that are both good for my heart and tongue. :-P

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13 Beth @ 990 Square October 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing! I have some running friends that are doing Paleo for athletes and they are pushing it on me BIG TIME. They say the thing about sugar, but then they are making desserts sweetened with dates and coconut sugar…pretty sure they still spike your blood sugar!

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14 Cheryll October 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

Most programs I’ve heard of don’t say you can never eat sugar. But, for people who struggle with strong sugar cravings, it can be beneficial to go without it for a few weeks and “reset” your cravings. For me, the Whole 30 does a nice job because I only eat whole foods for 30 days. After that, I can eat sugar in moderation without going overboard.

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15 May October 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I agree completely! And I think Meghan that if you really do want to start decreasing your overall sugar consumption that you have to be aware of all sugar and not just added sugar. For example, yogurt has sugar, some fruits are really high in sugar, etc and even natural sugars can spark a craving for added sugar.
I think it’s best NOT to start the day with a bowl full of anything with sugar in it because it can make you more likely to eat sugar throughout the day. Maybe try some eggs for breakfast?

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16 Amanda October 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I agree, I met with a RD and the first thing she told me was no sugar for breakfast. I used to make healthy breakfasts with fruit and she told me the sugar, even though it is natural and a healthy type of sugar, still sets your day off craving more sugar. I switched to eggs/protein for breakfast and have noticed a huge drop in how sugar affects me. Something to think about.

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17 Carolyn October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Interesting – thanks for sharing!

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18 Liz October 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

Just want to point out that there is a difference between addiction and simply over indulging. Actual, compulsive addiction of food is very difficult to deal with because we HAVE to eat. But with most other addictions – alcohol, cigarettes, drugs – the only way to stop is to give it up completely. Rarely (not never, but rarely) does moderation work for those things.

But in general, I’m with you! I could never give up chocolate, pie, or brownies completely!

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19 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

That second one you have listed drives me absolutely insane. I’ve been skinny (from anorexia) and it definitely did not make me happy. In fact, I was pretty miserable. I’m much happier eating cookies and chocolate cake (and right now, candy corn!) whenever the urge strikes me.

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20 Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily October 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

For the past 4 years I tried cutting everything out that was delicious because I thought I was being “bad.” In May of this year I decided that living my life without my favorite foods wasn’t a life worth living and I started eating whatever I wanted, but just smaller portions. From that moment, the weight started melting away, I’m currently 37 pounds down and never turn down a delicious dessert. I’ve just learned how to manage my portions.

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21 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

I agree with your last one, that sounds like mantra of someone with a serious eating disorder! It’s all about moderation!

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22 Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel October 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

Haha… one of my favorite ever ecards sums it up:

http://www.someecards.com/usercards/nsviewcard/MjAxMi1iOTQzYTkxODk5MTJjZjJi

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23 Karen October 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

I have to comment on the “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”. I honestly think of the old weight watchers program when I hear this. I believe that this little “mantra” if you will, was a result of trying to motivate extremely overweight people from eating everything in sight and to help them gain some control over their eating. Remember, those people were probably never thin in their lives…I don’t mind that saying so much, but I do believe in moderation. I try to eat very little sugar, but every once in awhile I cave…such is life.

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24 Jean October 25, 2012 at 11:32 am

ALL diet cliches drive me crazy.

I get what you mean about energetic dogs-I can take my dog on a 3+ hour hike and she’s running around like crazy the entire time, yet once we get home she’s good as new and is begging me to take her out again! Silly dogs.

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25 Poptartyogini October 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

Believe me, I’ve been thin. It is called anorexia and it doesn’t feel great at all. It is dark and lonely and hateful and hurtful. I’ve never heard that expression and hope never to again.

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26 Michelle October 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

I definitely agree that moderation is so key, but so is eating whole foods. 10 years ago everything I ate was fat free, sugar free, overprocessed, and fake. It wasn’t until my first pregnancy where I realized that I was SOOOO missing out on REAL food and if I didn’t think the food was good enough to eat when I was pregnant — why was I eating it?? We don’t need crazy preservatives or dyes or any of that crap in our bodies! Is hard to avoid sometimes (and it is NOT cheap), but honestly I feel like if people want to focus on some kind of diet whole foods should be it!

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27 Meghann October 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Excellent point! You’re right, whole foods are key too!

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28 Caitlin October 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

Oh this has become an annoyance of mine. A relative invited to my wedding lost a bunch of weight 10-15 years ago and since refuses to eat sugar or flour- she travels with her own food and when there are events to demands to speak with the caterer. It makes me nuts for various reasons and the most important of those are that a) do you really want to be on your death bed, all thin, and be thinking, “I wish I would’ve had a slice of my birthday cake”? and b) so you eat a bit too much ice cream or chocolate and you gain a few lbs…it’s not the end of the world! Cut back and go on a run, it will come off. I think it’s important for people to be active and maintain a healthy weight, but within reason- everyone deserves the occasional over flowing cup of froyo or the basket of fries. Live.

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29 Lindsay@A Healthy State of Mind October 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I often think that too about people on their deathbeds. Is a lifetime of restriction really worth it to die skinny?

Sorry for the morbid thought :) I try to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy/whole foods, 20% indulgence foods (and ENJOY it when you indulge. Don’t feel guilty!)

I could never live without chocolate. Nor would I want to :)

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30 Laura October 25, 2012 at 11:54 am

Love this post! Both of those cliches make me a little nuts. Does it feel great to be at a healthy weight? Sure. Is sugar addictive and not the best for you? Yes. But I think this kind of thinking leads to life without fun, spontaneity or adventure. I think we should focus on health and nourishing ourselves with the good stuff, not putting an easily broken ban on the “bad” stuff!

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31 Lynn October 25, 2012 at 11:58 am

I will admit right now that I have been critical of your website in the past. However, I think you’re right on about this. It’s actually really refreshing to hear this in a world full of HLBs that have taken a SEVERE turn for unbalanced (obsessive/restrictive) lifestyles in recent months/years. Sure you can overdo sugar, but it is not the evil force in the world that some people/diets make it out to be. If it were, I would surely be dead, raised as I was on a constant stream of soda. I don’t drink it anymore, because it’s bad for me and I’d rather have a piece of cake or a cookie. But I’m not dead (or overweight, actually).

Any cliche or diet that says “NEVER eat [naturally occurring food]” is out in my books. You can only be so healthy. The secret they won’t tell you is–you’re still going to die. And if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I’ll be damn glad I had a slice of cake today. :)

That said, exercise cliches get to me, too. “You never regret a workout”: UNTRUE. I have totally regretted a workout either because 1) I got up early for it and it sucked, 2) I knew I was too busy for it, and, yup, I was too busy and even more behind after it, or 3) my body just really wanted to take a rest day.

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32 Beth @ 990 Square October 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I’ve definitely regretted a few workouts that pushed me into injury, so good point there!

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33 Maureen October 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Unless you have some type of intolerance or allergy, or other medical issue, I really can’t get on board with wholesale elimination of any one thing from your diet. For me, it’s just not a happy way to live. I agree with Lynn’s comment about never regretting a workout. I’ve seen this mantra many times in different publications, websites, etc. and every time I want to yell “Yes can you can!” Just like with food, everything in moderation. If you need to rest, chill out, whatever, do it! The gym will still be there tomorrow.

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34 Natalie @ Free Range Human October 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I don’t know if it’s a cliche, but the diet fad that’s driving me crazy right now is the gluten-free kick everyone is on. I completely understand if you truly have a gluten intolerance. That’s terrible, and must be really hard to adjust to. But I feel like a lot of those same people are trying to convince everyone to go gluten-free, and all of the research I’ve seen suggests that there is no benefit for people who don’t suffer from an intolerance!

Sorry for ranting, but that one has really been getting to me. And, in all fairness, that could just be because Elizabeth Hasselback is one of the biggest offenders in this area and I’m not a big fan of hers!

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35 Ashley @ This Is The Place October 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I used to agree with you about GF, but research is indicating that more and more people actually suffer side effects from gluten. Did you know that the cause of 95% of hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten? I didn’t – until I was diagnosed.

Now I’m gluten free to manage my thyroid. It wasn’t until I cut gluten out completely that I realized how much it was affecting my body.

What annoys the hell out of me is people who go GF, then eat a bunch of fake replacement foods that are MUCH higher in sugar and calories and pretend like it’s healthier. Not true. Whole foods. Real foods. Not gluten.

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36 Natalie @ Free Range Human October 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for the different perspective! And I hope I didn’t come off harsh. I think it’s a tendency in everyone to think that the way they do things is the way everyone should do it. It’s interesting to think about what may actually be affecting us that we aren’t even aware of.

I agree with you about the fake replacement foods. It’s just like when people go on crash diets and decide they’re only going to eat 100 calorie packs! It seems like eating whole foods is the answer to just about everything :)

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37 Lauren October 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more! The number one reason why diets fail is because people set unrealistic expectations. I hate the word diet because it alludes that there is an end. Once you’ve reached your goal, then what? Oh if everyone could just find a healthy balance. So much easier said than done but it’s truly the key to health.

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38 Annette @FitnessPerks October 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Diets in general are just setting up someone for failure. When you take out an entire food group (or taste, such as salty or sweet), the person will eventually want it. Our brains are wired that way< —tell it it can't ever have it, and that's all it craves. Moderation is key! Besides, being fit knows NO size.

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39 Lisa in IL October 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

“A pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat”. Makes me want to scream, it is physically impossible and most often said by someone who has no flippin idea how hard you’ve been working to get healthy and then hit a plateau. As a matter of fact most “diet advice” drives me nutso, I didn’t go on a diet, I changed my entire lifestyle. I move more and just make wiser choices when it comes to food.

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40 Crystal October 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

That drives me crazy too. A pound will always weigh a pound, whether it’s feathers or fat.

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41 Lindsay@A Healthy State of Mind October 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hahahaha I despise that saying too! A pound is a pound!

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42 Cheryl October 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

The saying is actually “muscle weighs more than fat”. And this is a true statement.

I have never heard anyone say “a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat”. If someone is saying that, they have the saying wrong and you have every reason to by annoyed- I would be too!

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43 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I love that thing on Pinterest that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” with the rebuttal “Have you tasted Nutella?”

I’m all for moderation.

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44 Brit October 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

That’s exactly what I was thinking! Wrong, bitch. Nutella :)

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45 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian October 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Mine in peanut butter. It tastes way better than skinny.

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46 Vivian October 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm

“the goal should be healthy, not thin” – you said it! i enjoy eating too much to worry about diets. my mantra is “work to live, work out to eat”

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47 Cindy October 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

“Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” makes me crazy! I had that mentality when I lost 85 pounds, never enjoyed what I ate, never practiced moderation, and as a result didn’t learn sustainable practices for maintenance and slowly gained it all back. That being said, whomever coined the phrase clearly never had cheesecake. :)

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48 Michael Anderson October 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I love all of the discussion!

I am not a young person (I’m 46), and have lost 90 pounds this year, starting from the 2nd heaviest I have ever been – and have managed to run my first marathon and am in the best shape of my life.

Yet I continue to love to bake, share cooking with my wife and teen boys, eat ice cream and other goodies, enjoy wine, and so on.

Balance and moderation really are the keys – diets and absolutes really do just set you up to fail … and the feeling that you can’t stay away from ‘x’ just spirals that feeling until rather than having a cookie a day you just gve up and eat the whole batch of cookie dough in a sitting!

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49 Stephani October 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I totally agree on the “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” saying. Every time I hear it I think of something really delicious and bad for me I want to eat! :)

I could never do no sugar either. I think that is too extreme. I’ve switched to all unrefined/unprocessed sugars and that has even made a huge difference in cravings (no more “time of the month” NEED THE SUGAR binges). But I still enjoy sweets – EVERY day. They are just made in a better way…my daily sweet treats are generally unrefined sugar and made with whole grains.

I believe in eating healthy, but life is too short to eat no gluten, no diary (unless medically necessary for those of course!), nothing sweet, etc.

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50 Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom October 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Any of the all or nothing “diets” drive me crazy!! That in my opinion is what leads to binging and feelings that you are not good enough or strong enough or skinny enough….or whatever negative emotion you are feeling about yourself.

Eat carbs, sugar, fat, meat, ect but keep it in moderation and all is good!!! We all know what happens when we drink too much(we get drunk) and we all know what happens when we eat too much(we get fat and lethargic). Too much of ANYTHING is never a good thing(unless it’s green veggies or something, lol).

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51 Jess October 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I hate the myth that you can’t get a muscular or ‘ripped’ body as a vegan: there are so many ‘lifting’ bloggers that were vegan and started eating meat again without caring about the ethics due to this principle. It makes me sad :( It is entirely possible to get enough protein as a vegan, and the idea that figure competitors and the like need 175g of protein (I am not joking) just seems insane to me.

Great post :)

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52 Aimee @ Happy Medium October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I can relate to your friend who cut out sugar and didn’t miss it – that was my experience too when I first started shrinking. I have since come around to eat sugar in moderation, but for a long time, I really didn’t miss it. At least in the form of ice cream, cookies, cake, etc. When I wasn’t eating sweets a lot, fruit became much sweeter, and the desserty stuff became way too sweet.

That said, I think we are all way too pedantic when it comes to diet advice, myself included. Different strategies work for different people, and we all have different relationships with food. I, for example, could totally give up cupcakes because I don’t care for them that much, but I would really miss a glass of wine from time to time.

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53 Amy October 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

This! I rarely eat candy or baked goods because they taste much too sweet to me. I’d rather have a nice glass of wine or something salty. I’ll occasionally buy a cupcake, but I usually end up not finishing it because it’s just too much. Never a big sweets person (don’t like chocolate at all), there are some of us who truly do lose the taste for that type of thing.

However, I’ll happily enjoy a giant Honeycrisp apple every day this time of year which tastes as sweet as any candy to me.

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54 Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, but I have to admit that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to look your best…and to openly admit it. (Just how you did re your wedding day.) I know that you’re not really saying that’s “bad,” but I do think sometimes people are looked down on for openly saying they want to, for instance, shake the last 5 pounds…even if they look perfectly great to most people as they already are. Now, I would never EVER give up ice cream or froyo completely to shake some lbs (impossible!), but I now always, always ask myself how much I really want it when a craving strikes. Usually, like you, I’m fine with a cup of tea or a couple pieces of dark chocolate. Having dessert less frequently makes it taste that much better when you do indulge!

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55 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Oh man! I have SO much to say so I’ll try to keep it short… ;)

For the sugar comment – while I don’t know the person who made that comment (obviously), chances are she doesn’t realize that she IS still eating sugar, though maybe not so much in the form of cookies or sweets. I’m a firm believer of all things in moderation and while I don’t REGULARLY eat (excess) sugar (because my cravings go THROUGH the roof!), I won’t deprive myself of something because if I do, I’ll OVER-do it later.

And as for the “thin” comment – this takes me back to my days when I had a HORRIBLE self-image and was extremely body-conscious is the worst way possible. Every time I see that quote I cringe and I wish it would disappear.

There, the Cliff notes version. ;)

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56 Amanda October 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I think there are some great comments on here but I’m going to play devil’s advocate just for a second. I actually kind of like the saying “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”. And yes, I agree, the wording isn’t the greatest, but hear me out. To me, the phrase is more about my end goal being more important than a piece of cake/beer/staying up late/skipping a workout/whatever the tempting action might be. And I don’t think the phrase works all the time. I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge here and there. For me, it comes down to why am I eating what I’m eating? Am I eating it because I’m hungry? Because it’s there? Because I want it? Because I’m bored? If the reason isn’t good enough, that’s when the phrase will come into my head. Eating this is not going to feel as good as reaching my goal.

For example, this summer I had a really important race and the day before the race I had a party to attend. At the party they served my absolute favorite cake!! Did I really want the cake? Heck yeah!! But the phrase popped into my head. I wanted to PR at the race way more than the cake. And I knew if I ate the cake there was a good chance that I’d feel sluggish at the race. So I said no.

So yeah, for the most part, I agree that the phrase is more bad than good, but like with everything, I think the phrase can be good in moderation.

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57 Jamie October 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I get what you’re saying – I recently saw a pinterest-y quote or whatever that I think describes that much better though – “Don’t give up what you want the most for what you want now.” or something along those lines. I think that saying sums up your comment! :)

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58 Amanda October 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Yeah, that’s perfect!

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59 Jess October 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

People who think they have to cut anything out drive m nuts. I have lost over 30lb since the start of the year (probably the only person on the planet to keep a new years resolution) and I haven’t cut anything out. Do I eat a king size chocolate bar a day? No way, but I will have meals out with friends that include dessert, the occasional glass of wine, McDonalds every few months, etc. Moderation is the key!

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60 Jill E. October 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Personally diets or saying you can never eat xyz does not work for me. The more I restrict the more likely I am to binge. But I have an old co worker who stopped eating sugar, I think also started exercising more and eating a better in general, but has not eaten sugar in 3 years and lost a 100 pounds. So its important to remember that to each there own.

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61 Melissa October 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Coming from a 20+ year ballet background, I’m totally with you on the nothing tastes as good as thin feels. In ballet, food is like the enemy (especially things like cake and ice cream). I remember one time where I went super hard core and cut out all “bad” food for a month before a Nutcracker performance. Yeah, I lost weight, but then after the shows were over and I was “allowed” to have sugar again, I FREAKED out that I would get fat. Ballet messes with your head. Makes me wonder whether or not I want to put my future daughters in it.

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62 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It drives me crazy when people limit themselves so drastically or think they can’t afford to eat healthy. I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation bc sometimes i need a giant piece of cheesecake or a margarita. and when it comes to cost, being a smart shopper can really save money no matter what youre buying. Plus if your health isnt worth a lil extra money then what is?

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63 Kerry October 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Great post today! I have to say I have significantly cut sugar out of my diet and I agree with the person who said it feels great. Now I just cut it WAY back, I don’t eat desserts except for at my birthday and really special occassions (I’m getting married December 1 and you can bet I will have my wedding cake), natural sugars (in fruits and vegtables), and alcohol. I have noticed I feel better and an apple has never stasted so good. I have been doing it for almost a year and I don’t find I am truely sacrificing much. But I think it is all in moderation.

Also “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is the most ridiculous thing ever. We are all set up differently. This works for me and might totally not work at all for someone else. The best advice for healthy eating (I don’t like “dieting”) is do what works for you, your body and your lifestyle.

Thanks for the inspiration and great information!

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64 Meghan @ After the Ivy League October 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Sugar free diet – 100% with you on that one. A life without sugar is no life at all my friend.

I have to admit I used to quote those mantras “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” etc. back when I was trying to lose weight. And honestly, they did help at the time. I was overweight by a good 15-20 pounds, unhappy, and wanted to get my size back under control. So I dieted/exercised for a few months. Did I see it as a lifestyle change? Yes and no. I wanted to eat healthier and be more active in general yes, but I also knew I would need to make some extra sacrifices to really see the weight come off. I could do it for a few months. But there’s no way you can do it forever. You’re just setting yourself up for failure. When I got back to a comfortable size, I went back to a more “normal” diet (healthy for the most part), kept exercising fairly regularly, and have maintained the loss for over 6 months now.

I guess what I’m saying is that for people who genuinely need to/want to lose weight, that can be motivation. And saying no to dessert more often than not will help you lose weight. The problems sneak up when people who do not need to lose weight at all think they do and try to eat and exercise perfectly all the time.

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65 Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge October 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I’m a dietitian so I hear things like that all day in my office. Bottom line it comes down to your relationship with food- feel fabulous about what you eat. For me, it just simply depends on whether or not something is really worth the calories. If I’m in cookies and someone just made the best homemade ones I’m gonna go for it! If there is store-bought junk in front of me I’m saying no thank you because it’s not worth it.

I specialize in disordered eating and emotional eating so I have to say to people that are susceptible to yo-yo dieting… you really do never want to restrict when you really want something food-wise (not talking about wanting something emotionally and not getting it). Chances are you will end up bingeing and starting a cycle that’s really hard to get out of.

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66 lindsey October 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Sugar is a very real physical addiction. Not all people are capable of moderating.

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67 Sara@RunningInPinkProject October 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I am really struggling. REALLY struggling to lose the weight I need to lose. What drives me crazy on this end is people with their unsolicited diet advice. I hear approximately one million cliches a week on this topic. I just keep thinking…running, bikram yoga, whole foods, and Ill get there. :)

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68 Nicole @ HealthyGirlAdventures October 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I hear ya. I love sugar and its hard to not gorge myself. But you gotta LIVE too. Your right…I mean not eating a Mickey Ice Cream Bar when you go to Disney? Sorry not uh…not going to happen.

I can’t think of any mantra’s I hate, however there is one that I love: “You will never regret a workout.” How true is that? Sometimes that is what it takes to get out of bed for a 7 am run. :)

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69 Laura October 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hi Meghann. I really appreciate this post. It hits close to home because I saw they same two things on pinterest lately. Dieting is definitely all about moderation. :)

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70 Julianna @ Julianna Bananna October 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

absolutely loved reading this post!!!

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71 Cher @ Weddicted October 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I just want to point out that mantras such as “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” are often TRULY believed by women (and men!) with eating disorders. I just want to say this because everyone here is saying that it’s bull, but to some people, these thoughts run through their mind constantly, and it’s reality.

THAT being said.. a diet cliche I hate is when people put together a concotion (say, oatmeal on the stove top with apples and butterscotch chips on top and say, “OMG. This tastes EXACTLY like apple crumble.” I’m sure it’s delicious. Perhaps it’s a good alternative. But it doesn’t taste like apple crumble!

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72 Maria October 26, 2012 at 10:14 am

This is a great post! I love food and I especially love sweets. But, like Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge said, you have to consider if it’s worth it at the moment. I will rarely pass up homemade sweets, but I will quickly pass up store brand stuff because it will always be there. My favorite post-race meal is a cheeseburger and milkshake, preferably an oreo cookie milkshake :). There’s no way I could give up ice cream.
Moderation is key. It’s not easy, but there are a lot of things that are not easy. I think it’s something worth learning to do.

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73 Charlie (The Runner Beans) October 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I hate ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’. I don’t agree- sometimes I work my ass off at the gym purely so I can enjoy my dessert that evening guilt free! Also have you seen the new Toshiba adverts? they say ‘Beautiful is thin’ and I know they’re talking about a laptop but it still makes me mad!

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74 k.e.p.g. October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Here’s a diet/healthy living cliche : Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
I understand from where the point comes; if all one looks forward to is a string of fattening, processed, fried, greasy binges, then the person will end up sick and unhappy.
I am a healthy person, an active person, conscientious about (nearly) everything I eat, and I certainly am a proponent of eating whole foods, lots of veggies and fruits and etc., but I also love to eat. I love a good cheeseburger. A luscious pasta dish. Bacon. You get the idea. I think food (preparing, eating, discussing it) is often a catalyst for good things. What’s wrong with being excited about food, and eating in general? In my opinion, nothing.
I think problems such as disordered eating occur when food becomes a mere source of fuel, when detached thinking leads to assessing a food source in terms of caloric content only. Why should we view something that sustains our amazing, capable bodies in a clinical capacity?
I eat to live AND live to eat, and the balance works for me!
Interesting topic; thank you!

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75 Erin November 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I agree with your ideas about moderation in the first place instead of extremism. I’m currently on a path to quit sugar — not indefinitely, but to prove that I can, to reset my body, and to become more mindful of WHY I crave sugar so that, when I do, I can resist not because “thin feels better” (I hate that saying too!) but because I know I’m wanting something else instead. I think birthday cake and ice cream cones in moderation are good for us — not necessarily because of the sugar, but because of the nostalgia and the memories. And that begs the question of why is food always so central to our memory-making? Anyway, not to get too philosophical :)

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76 Hillary November 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

Totally agree! I am so much happier mentally living in moderation than in deprivation.

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