No — It’s A Diet, Not A Lifestyle

DONUTS > DIETS

I can dress my little doggie in a shark outfit and it still doesn’t make her a shark. Just like I can call myself a billionaire and it doesn’t change the reality in my bank account. 

You count every last calorie and macro to obtain or maintain the “perfect” body. You obsess over every ingredient in your food and how it’s prepared. You have a laundry list of things you “can’t” (or, more accurately, won’t) eat. And yet, you’re not on a diet. 

“It’s a lifestyle, not a diet!” you declare. 

I call bullshit.

You know whose slogan used to be, “Stop dieting. Start living”? 

Weight Watchers!

Yep, Weight Watchers. One of the biggest household names in the dieting industry. 

You see, those clever bastards figured out that the term “diet” tested poorly. People were getting fed up and jaded with diets, and this was, of course, hurting the “diet” brand.

So, back in the diet season frenzy of December 2007/January 2008, Weight Watchers came out with a new campaign that bashed diets. (Seriously, you've got to check it out. It'll blow your mind.) They called diet a four letter word and said that diets don’t work, are mean, and “take away the things we love.”

Holy shit, right?! They were actually making some damn sense for a change, so it seemed.

Here’s the catch: They claimed that “Weight Watchers isn’t a diet. [It’s] a change of lifestyle.” (Bwahahaha. Please excuse me while I LMFAO for a sec.)

Sound familiar?

And we’ve bought into it hook, line and sinker, opening our wallets and pummeling our self-worth for more of the same bullshit just repackaged in newer, hipper, more in-vogue packaging.

With this campaign, Weight Watchers sparked a whole new diet trend that has since taken over the industry: the so-called It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle Diet.

This new diet trend includes things like Paleo, Whole30, clean eating, the Mediterranean Diet, the gluten-free hysteria, etc.

Each of these diets has their own set of food rules with long lists of off-limit foods and even whole food groups. For instance, dairy, legumes, and grains are all banned from the Whole30 and classic Paleo diets. Yet, while these prescriptive food regimens epitomize the definition of a diet, they’ve all wittily taken a page from the Weight Watchers playbook and marketed themselves as “lifestyles” instead of “diets.”

And we’ve bought into it hook, line and sinker, opening our wallets and pummeling our self-worth for more of the same bullshit just repackaged in newer, hipper, more in-vogue packaging.

But, I can dress my little doggie in a shark outfit and it still doesn’t make her a shark. Just like I can call myself a billionaire and it doesn’t change the reality in my bank account. 

So, let’s call a spade a spade and stop fooling ourselves. Or, better yet, let’s stop letting them fool us!

The whole “It’s a lifestylenot a diet” thing is slimy, albeit genius: marketing, pure and simple. 

The more honest and accurate ad campaign would be: Want to spend your lifetime obsessing over food and hating yourself for eating carbs? Try Paleo — it’s not just a diet, it’s a diet lifestyle! 

And you know who benefits the most from turning dieting into a whole lifestyle? 

Hint: It’s not you. It’s the $61 billion diet industry!

Awesome — now a diet isn’t just something you do once for a month or a year. It’s something you do all the time, every day of your life, indefinitely, forever.

Cha-ching!

Meanwhile, while those mofos are profiting, we’re suffering because the one thing the Weight Watchers campaign told the truth about is that diets are mean, they don’t work and they take away the things we love. 

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