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AIBU to wonder what's going on with Diet Companies

(78 Posts)
Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:11:45

I know it's January and the media is inundating us companies selling us diet plans (Weight Watchers and Slimming Worls seem to be bombarding ATM).

Admittedly I have never been on a diet (I am not overweight but I could do with exercising more, eating more healthily and losing maybe half a stone).

I just feel like these companies recruit people to become almost evangelical about their certain plan and have quite a few colleagues who have followed a certain plan, lost weight, hit their target weight and then gone back to eating as before and within a year being back to where they started.

Also have several friends who have used the plans, succeeded and now running their own groups and all FB posts about how amazing their life is etc - and it feels a bit like people that get caught up in pyramid selling.

It's no secret that it's a massive industry and generated millions - but what was "fat club" at the local village hall almost seems to be brain washing when really we need to get behind the reasons why we overeat, and then eat less exercise more and change our lifestyles forever (ideally).

AIBU to think that it's preying on vulnerable people with low self esteem, offering a quick fix not a long term solution then either leaving them back where they started or recruiting them to recruit more people (the food associated with these diets does not seem cheap).

It makes me uneasy - I dunno I am happy to be told I am wrong.

memyselfandaye Wed 20-Jan-16 12:29:21

Im a yo yo dieter, Weight Watchers and Slimming World do work, you do lose the flab and you dont have to buy any special food.

However, most people like me lose the weight and then don't bother to maintain it, its not the fault of these clubs that I put it back on, and the only reason I do put it back on is because I love cake and hate exercise.

Nothing to do with having low self esteem or issues and Im certainly not vulnerable, cos Im happy fat or thin, i just want to look better in my clothes.

As I say they do work and they try hard to make you see it as a lifestyle change, but it comes down to the individual, and this individual is a greedy pig who loves sweets and drives everywhere, therefore I have a fat arse grin

We all know what we should be doing, we know about portion control, fat grams, not too many starchy carbs, 10000 steps a day and processed crap, but its boring to us greedy pigs we just want cakecakecake and winewinewine and a few biscuitbiscuitbiscuit

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:30:56

So why do you think you lose the weight is it because you get encouraged and supported by other group members?

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Wed 20-Jan-16 12:32:15

There was a really interesting three part series on this on BBC last year by Jacques Peretti. It's not on iPlayer anymore but sometimes BBC documentaries turn on up on Netflix. It's called The Men Who Made Us Thin.

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:45:52

I think I watched a programme recently about how the low fat (microwave) meals aren't that much better than "normal" ones but I wouldn't eat them often anyway.

My main problems are that I love carbs, and alcohol grin

tabulahrasa Wed 20-Jan-16 12:50:34

"AIBU to think that it's preying on vulnerable people with low self esteem, offering a quick fix not a long term solution then either leaving them back where they started or recruiting them to recruit more people (the food associated with these diets does not seem cheap)."

You are.

I'm a slimming world member and I do rave about it - because it's a complete revelation after being either on or off 'diets' pretty much my entire adult life.

It's absolutely not a quick fix, it's got to be a proper change in your eating habits or weight will go back on - so they give you free membership if you're within 3lb either side of your target weight.

I don't have an entirely healthy relationship with food, I know that, but doing something about it isn't as simple as identifying them...I have to eat differently to stay a healthy weight.

The associated food isn't expensive...it's just food, pasta, vegetables, fruit, eggs...would be meat, but I don't eat that, it's not special 'diet' food and I can keep control of my weight without having to weigh my dinner or miss out food groups...so um, yeah I suppose I can get a bit evangelical blush but it's because for the first time ever I'm not obese and I don't have to be obsessive over my food to stay healthy.

memyselfandaye Wed 20-Jan-16 12:58:12

I lose the weight because I regulate my gluttony, I give up having cake and 3 cans of full fat coke everyday, I eat fruit and lots of leafy salads and salmon etc.

Its nothing to do with the group support thing because I dont stay for the meetings, I or we, thats me and my collegue, just get weighed and bugger off grin

However we have started again, only this time Im doing it alone and using the Nutracheck app for the food diary and she feels she needs to go to WW to get weighed to motivate her to stick to it, Ive lost 7lbs this week and she was supposed to rejoin WW last week and weigh in yesterday, but didnt join until this week so shes a week behind.

We also have a friend who lost 7 stones with a different diet club, but she has got complacent and put 2 stone back on so she has also rejoined.

Like I said it isn't the fault of these diet clubs, they dont tell you its a quick fix, its down to the individual to learn self control.

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:06:59

I agree about self control but I was once a drug and alcohol worker - we didn't charge for our services - they were free (ok we were funded by charity's and the government drug action teams).

Being overweight is as bad for your health as drugs, alcohol etc and for some food is an addiction - so why is it this is such a massive industry and the Addictions field is not.

You don't have to pay to go to AA - although some people get just as evangelical about it.

tabulahrasa Wed 20-Jan-16 13:21:56

"Being overweight is as bad for your health as drugs, alcohol etc and for some food is an addiction - so why is it this is such a massive industry and the Addictions field is not."

Because they're perceived as something people need help with, weight isn't unless it's an extreme case, you're supposed to just eat less and move more - simples.

I say it like that because I've seen that exact phrase many many times, not because it's a phrase is usually use btw, lol.

It's not that addictions don't have a stigma, they do, but there is also some understanding that combatting one is hard, even among people who have never had one.

With weight it's very very different.

Yes it's a business and yes they're making money from me, but I'd rather give them a fraction of what I'd give to Cadbury's if left to my own devices.

ItsOutThere Wed 20-Jan-16 13:29:45

I nearly joined SW. I did lose some weight on it in the past.

My problem is I can eat for England. I have no idea what constitutes a healthy portion size. And even on SW "free food", I'd over eat. I'd just eat loads of potatoes, fruit and muller lights = extra calories I don't need.

I'm trying My Fitness Pal.

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 20-Jan-16 13:31:36

"It's not the clubs' fault if I put the weight back on"

Don't you find it interesting to note though that this essentially sums up their absolute dream customer? You have paid them to help you be lighter/thinner, long term it has not worked, but you retain a great impression of the club to the point that you (presumably) would happily pay them all over again.

Sirzy Wed 20-Jan-16 13:35:36

The issue is the group though, the issue is people getting to target and then slipping back to old habits and regaining weight. That is why slimming world (I don't know about ww but I guess they have something similar) have support for people to maintain their weight and group becomes free when you reach your target weight.

They can't force people to follow a plan though, it is down the individual.

I lost 4 stone by just healthy eating and exercise, it was great until old habits slipped in and I gained a stone. Doesn't mean my initial healthy eating didn't work it was my willpower and motivation which were to blame!

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:36:37

Giraffes that is kind of my point yes.

I did My Fitness Pal last year and it was really good - as with anything you have to have self control - but it's free.

Might try it again actually or Couch to 5K which is also free.

notenoughbottle Wed 20-Jan-16 13:36:59

I've also lost over three stones with SW. Due it being entirely my fault though I have put half of that back on. I know the plan inside out but deep down at the moment I really can't be bothered. I don't agree with things like Cambridge Plan etc as I know several people who yo yo ridiculously on them while being conned a lot more than £5 a week... Yes these people are basically making money out of selling a healthy eating plan but it does work. Only you though can make it work for yourself.

KakiFruit Wed 20-Jan-16 13:39:40

If a medical treatment had the same rate of "cure" as SW, WW and all the others, it wouldn't be in use. They just don't work.

tabulahrasa Wed 20-Jan-16 13:41:41

"Don't you find it interesting to note though that this essentially sums up their absolute dream customer? You have paid them to help you be lighter/thinner, long term it has not worked, but you retain a great impression of the club to the point that you (presumably) would happily pay them all over again."

Why would you blame them for what you choose to do when it's not what they recommend?

Nothing short of a load of therapy (which would cost a lot more) is actually ever going to change my relationship with food, for less than a fiver a week (or nothing if I'm near target) they give me healthy eating advice that I can actually live with following and awareness of why and how I make bad choices and strategies that might help me overcome that.

They can't actually do it for me if I decide not to follow it.

Sirzy Wed 20-Jan-16 13:43:27

Kaki that would only apply if the poor success rate was because people got the condition stable and then stopped taking the medication and wondered why the condition became a problem again.

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:43:31

I think the therapy would be more cost effective long term.

You would get to the root of it rather than deal with the symptoms and therefore get out of the cycle permanently.

tabulahrasa Wed 20-Jan-16 13:46:18

"I did My Fitness Pal last year and it was really good - as with anything you have to have self control - but it's free."

I can't cope with having to keep track of everything I eat for the rest of my life, I've tried MFP and WW (WW is basically complicated calorie counting) and yes I can lose weight - but I become obsessive and I then spend way too much time thinking about what I can/can't eat, what's left out if that day's allowance and how it throws everything out if I'm hungry mid afternoon when I wasn't expecting to be.

To stay in a healthy weight range I'd have to do that either forever or periodically forever and I really really don't want to live like that.

specialsubject Wed 20-Jan-16 13:52:28

what annoys me is the promotion of the childish concept of 'syns' (no food is 'naughty' - are you 12?) and the idea of healthy and unhealthy food. A one-hour science lesson on food groups, nutrients and where to find them would be so much better. Then another on seeing through babble about low-fat, 'health' bars and all the other crap.

yes, the diet industry is a sure-fire moneymaker because most people will keep coming back.

jamhot Wed 20-Jan-16 13:53:17

I lost 7st, 6 of which I lost with WW. I kept it off for years until I got pregnant. I am successfully losing the pregnancy weight with the principles I learned with WW.

WW offer free meetings to those within 5lbs of their goal weight, which helped me keep the weight off. I didn't buy any of their branded products. You don't need to!

I think success long term depends on whether the person views it as a fix to their weight problem, or a way of eating for life. The latter works (but is a lot less fun).

tabulahrasa Wed 20-Jan-16 13:54:15

"A one-hour science lesson on food groups, nutrients and where to find them would be so much better."

Because people who are overweight are uneducated? Or too stupid to have understood things like that themselves?...

memyselfandaye Wed 20-Jan-16 15:13:47

I don't need therapy. I had an ideal childhood, I have a job I love, great friends and a fantastic kid. Theres no root cause of me being overweight.

Sometimes its just as simple as liking food and hating exercise

Cutecat78 Wed 20-Jan-16 15:20:40

Therapy isn't just about having a shit childhood/life.

If you are happy with your weight fine but if you are not I think it's about changing the way you think about food and exercise and your body rather than dieting - putting on weight - dieting etc.

This is just my opinion.

Sirzy Wed 20-Jan-16 15:37:19

But cute that is exactly what slimming world teaches!

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