Rank #1: LINDA BACON, author of Body Respect and HAES
She is currently a Health Professor at City College of San Francisco and an Associate Nutritionist at the University of California, Davis. An internationally recognized authority on weight and health, Dr. Bacon has published her work in top scientific journals as well as the highly acclaimed bestseller, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight. Her recently released book, Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, or Just Fail to Understand about Weight, is a crash course in what you need to know about bodies and health.
Jul 09 2016
Rank #2: My Chat with Your Fat Friend
Today’s episode is a conversation with anonymous essayist Your Fat Friend!
Your Fat Friend writes anonymously about the social realities of life as a very fat person. Her work has been translated into 19 languages and covered around the world.
Listen to our chat (and fast forward to 17 minutes in to jump right in.)
0:00 – Hello, and welcome, and I don’t know how to use my garage band (song: Extremely Sneaky Cat)
6:15 – More follow up about Molly, trauma, and Goose, the dog to attacked her
17:55 – My conversation with Your Fat Friend!
Here are links to find and follow Your Fat Friend on the internet:
1:09:00 – Goodbye and also, I’m obsessed with Vanderpump Rules (song: Dena Deadly: Raise Your Glass)
Dec 11 2019
Rank #3: Q&A: Intermittent Fasting and More!
May 04 2019
Rank #4: How To Eat Like a Normal Person
This totally depends on your definition of ‘normal.’
Here’s the truth: most people are a little disordered with their eating these days. Obsessive or disordered eating is common, so you could call it normal.
But it’s not normal - it shouldn’t be normal. And it’s definitely not healthy.
So instead of calling it normal eating, I call it ease with food.
This is how a person who has ease with food eats:
-They can go through their day and pretty much only think about food when they are actually hungry.
-They have a strong, healthy appetite for lots of food, and yet their weight stays stable in their weight set range, because their metabolism isn’t compromised and stressed from dieting.
-They eat what they crave, and crave what they need. Sometimes salads, sometimes cookies, sometimes fruit, sometimes steak, etc.
-They can eat a meal and stop in the ballpark of satiation and fullness without overthinking it.
-They can eat distracted, or tired, or stressed, or sad and still stop once they get full, because when food is neutral, and the body is fed, food intuition is easy.
-They will have a strong sense of what food they want, when, and how much, but it won’t be that important that they follow it perfectly, because life is too short to obsess about food, hunger, and satiation levels.
How do we get there? How do we find ease with food? How to feel neutral and even joyful with all foods, not just your “safe” diet foods?
BELIEVE ME, back before the F*** It Diet, I was so far from normal and so fixated on food and weight, that I wasn’t even sure what the other alternative was. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like.
I would look at people who didn’t overthink food and think, “Well — I guess they are just lucky to not have a food addiction.” I didn’t realize that my “food addiction” was biologically driven, and constantly being made worse by every diet I went on.
I didn’t realize that, in a way, we are meant to be fixated on food. Because food is a fundamentally important part of staying alive, so when the body senses that food access is scarce, our food fixation increases. Thankfully the reverse is also true. Hallelujah. Once the body knows it will be fed, it can calm down.
(**Bleeped words are just for iTunes rules. Blerg. I know.)
May 14 2018
Rank #5: What’s Going to Happen With My Weight?
I don’t show my full body often in my work with TFID - when I do, it raises lots of questions that I think are ultimately unhelpful distractions.
Like this comment from a follower:
First of all, think about what it means when you say, "you are thin and you look great." What are you implying? That if I wasn't I wouldn't look great? That people who don't look thin don't look great? Think about the implications of the way we choose to compliment people, women especially. This is why we are dysfunctional with food. This is why we are at odds with ourselves. I understand that this was a lead-in to her questions about what happens with weight on the fuck it diet, but still.
I am not trying to be aggressive or difficult... this just happens all the time and it's tiring.
I have a fat mirror
A year ago I moved into a house that had put up a flimsy full length mirror on the bedroom wall to cover the water damage to the exposed brick. This also means that the mirror puffs out and turns into a WIDENING or “fat mirror”. I know this and I accept it because I am currently too overwhelmed to deal with the brick water damage in the house I bought.
What this also means is that every morning I look wider in the mirror than I actually am. In my laziness I figured this maybe was also a sort of interesting TFID experiment. Because, no it’s not fully accurate, but like, ultimately so what?
This is not something that I would have ever been ok with say… 5 or 6 years ago? Back then all I did was check out how wide I looked in windows, mirrors, everything- just always so so so afraid of being wide.
Everyone who comes over to my house and looks in that mirror says, “CAROLINE THIS IS A HORRIBLE MIRROR!?!?!? WHY DO YOU HAVE THIS?! I LOOK HORRIBLE?!?!?”
What they mean is they look SLIGHTLY wider than they do IRL.
They say, “CAROLINE, YOU NEED TO GET A NEW MIRROR!” And I say, like ok, eventually. But it’s not like a fucking emergency. Calm down.
Anyway, what this means is that when I see a rare video of myself, even I am shocked that I look so thin. Woa, I have some extra padding in my warped bedroom mirror.
I am steeped in thin privilege. Because yes, I yo-yoed hardcore, 20-30 lbs, all the time, many times a year, for 10 years. And I’d gain weight in my face and boobs and I would vacillate so much that clothes, bras, dresses wouldn’t fit and acting teachers didn't know what kind of scenes to give me because like, was I mainstream pretty or not? Who knew. It changed month to month.
In college, a freaking creep of a headshot photographer told me at my creepy headshot photoshoot that when we had our consult he thought I was the chubby friend, but now I looked liked the hot, thin ingenue. (Screw him and his epic creepiness.) But yea, there was always a microscope on my weight, thanks to acting, and even though I was like “ingenue chubby”, I was probably always real-world thin, and that is also why media beauty standards are extra fucked up.
But all of this to say: Yes, I have yo-yoed. Also, yes I am sometimes a bra size G. Yes I also have always had a naturally lower weight set range and have lots of thin privilege. With this out of the way, let’s talk about the questions people ask me about my weight.
BUT CAROLINE WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN WITH MY WEIGHT THO?!
When I show my full body on TFID these are some of the questions I get:
Can I/Will I become thin by not dieting?
Can I NOT trust you because you are thin and I am not?
How much weight did you gain?
How much weight did you lose?
Are you thinner now than you were before?
And I’m positive that the answer to those questions isn’t necessarily helpful,
Apr 17 2018
Rank #6: When You Worry You’re Being Irresponsible
“How do I get to a place where I am confident enough to tune out diet culture? (When it’s …everywhere?)”
The truth of the matter is that weight loss and diet talk are everywhere. It’s actually, in many ways, the definition of diet culture: a culture where dieting and weight loss attempts are the norm – and are everywhere.
But when it gets hard, or when we don’t feel so great, or so confident, we wonder if we’ve made a mistake. If maybe, the diet that your co-worker is now on is maybe the one you should have tried before you gave up dieting. You wonder… maybe… maybe I really didn’t give it my all. Maybe I really was happier then.
I don’t think it’s much about “tuning out diet culture” as it is about being super honest with ourselves when we start to get pulled in by the siren song … what are we looking for? What are we craving or missing that we think intermittent fasting is going to give us? What beliefs might be rearing their head? It’s an opportunity to look at how our minds work, get some more awareness, and do some more healing.
One of the big core fears, (or beliefs if you will) is the fear that when we stop dieting, “we are not taking care of ourselves”. That dieting is responsible, and not dieting is irresponsible. And when we are having a rough day or a rough week, or new or recurring health woes, wanting just want to know that we are taking care of things and taking care of ourselves. Feeling responsible is often what we are craving.
And nobody will stop talking about how responsible dieting is.
So… we panic. Oh no. Oh no. Maybe I really should be intermittent fasting. Maybe I really would be happier and healthier if I were on keto. Maybe I should be intermittent fasting and doing keto.
Dieting is not the answer. And dieting is not a cure-all. And dieting is wired to backfire. It’s even not so good for us long term. So if you’re having trouble remembering that, remind yourself:
“Why did I stop dieting in the first place?” Answer the question. If that doesn’t remind you (or if you haven’t actually stopped yet…), start reading. Read The F*ck It Diet. Read Body Respect. Read or listen to whatever helped you wake up and snap out of it in the first place.
And then, ask yourself: “How can I make sure I’m taking care of myself today?”
Health is not a black-and-white thing. Sometimes all we want to know is that we are, in fact, taking care of ourselves, and in the moment we sometimes assume that a diet is best (or only) way to do that. (It’s not.)
So, take a moment. Ask, “what can I do to take care of myself today?”
Maybe the answer is to take a walk. Maybe the answer is to lie down. Maybe the answer is to cry. Maybe the answer is to call a friend. Maybe the answer is to cancel plans. Maybe the answer is to make plans. Maybe the answer is to stretch. Maybe the answer is to eat two pieces of cake. Maybe the answer is to go grocery shopping for vegetables and sauté them up. Maybe the answer is to make a doctor’s appointment. It doesn’t matter what the answer is, but ask yourself what little thing you can do to take care of yourself today, and then do it! Even if it’s just: take two deep breaths!
The Holidays are here, and with them will come … lots of diet talk. If you haven’t read the book yet, you can check read the beginning and get some other helpful intro lessons from here. And if you’ve read the book you can get lots of resources to support next steps over here.
0:00 – New podcast music!: “Extremely Sneaky Cat”
7:00 – Q&A: How do I tune out diet Culture?
16:52 – Story about how my sweet angel dog got attacked on Thanksgiving and how I’m now traumatized, but realized I was traumatized right after, because I’m fascinated by how trauma works. (+ lots of musings on trauma). And I just realized that I talked about this for 44 minutes on this podcast….
Nov 30 2019
Rank #7: Intuitive Eating Mistakes
Jun 02 2017
Rank #8: Calories In vs Calories Out is BS
"Eat less than you expend and you'll lose weight".
But this is what really happens:
"Eat less that you expend and you'll lose weight at first, but then you'll gain it all back and think it's your fault- but it is actually because your body will compensate your metabolism in order to keep your weight stably around the same place, because biologically that is how we have survived as a species during all those years when food wasn't as easy to ensure or come by."
I understand that it's a mind trip after the simplicity of calories in vs calories out.
Because first few times you dieted, I bet you really did lose weight easily. Then, when you gained it back, you were sure it was your fault. But it wasn't. Your body made sure that that happened. And it even wanted you to go a bit ABOVE where you started, just for good measure.
But now you're convinced that if you can just do it like you did the first time, you'll lose weight again, but THIS time you'll keep it off. This time you'll do it right. This time you'll succeed and be beautiful and happy foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.
But it's harder to do now because your body isn't having any of this shit. You've already pressed your luck, and now your body is fighting back harder.
And even if you happen to muster the willpower to override your body's efforts to make you eat and keep on weight, and even if you actually do lose weight again, your body will immediately lower your metabolism and make you expend less in order to eventually bring your weight back up. It will also wire you to crave more food than you ever would have wanted under normal eating and metabolic conditions.
It should be noted that increasing exercise will have the same effect. The body will encourage rest to make up for your exertion. And if you force more exertion, it'll just slow down your system altogether.
There's a good reason why Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day. That's what extreme exercise requires. (And it's also around the amount that men rehabilitating from semi-starvation ate after the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.)
So, for any of you who thinks that weight is just a matter of decreasing your consumption, and are confused and frustrated that it's not working anymore... it's just because your body wants you to chill the eff out and start eating normally again.
It also wants you to put on weight.
You know why? Weight is actually healthy. Letting yourself gain weight actually is the only way to heal your metabolism.
Paradoxically, once you stop trying to control your appetite, and finally eat whatever it wants (even if that's a LOT), it'll heal. It'll speed up. It'll trust that there is food. And that is the surest way to have a healthy stable weight for you.
Bring on the calories.
Feb 20 2018
Rank #9: Isabel Foxen Duke – Stop Fighting Food
Aug 29 2017
Rank #10: Is This the Same as Intuitive Eating?
Lots of people have been asking me: "Is TFID the same as Intuitive Eating?"
It is and it isn't. They have the same goal: body trust, appetite trust, and food trust, with different ways of teaching and explaining how to get there.
A lot of my writing over the years has talked about how I turned (what I thought was) "intuitive eating" and "listening to my body" into a diet. I turned it into a weird stressful attempt to eat the smallest amount possible. I interpreted good advice through a fat-phobic, food fearing, diet culture belief system.
Lots of people do the same thing I did: they take good advice and twist it into a diet that they convince themselves is not a diet, because they let themselves eat a few squares of dark chocolate 3 times a week! Moderation is intuition! Right?! (UGH!)
But... the more I've been asked to answer if TFID is the same as intuitive eating, the more I realize it's important to reflect on how I've referred to IE over the past seven years of writing this site, as well as in my book that's coming out in less than a month.
First of all, Intuitive Eating is a book written by two registered dietitian nutritionists, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, that came out in 1995. The book is revolutionary in its genre and field, completely evidence based, and I recommend you read it.
However, my experience with official Intuitive Eating and the official Intuitive Eating book is actually pretty limited, which means the way that I've referred to it (or not referred to it) should probably be examined. In fact, the book Intuitive Eating and Geneen Roth's books are mixed up in my mind at this very moment as I write this. Maybe that's because there is a hunger scale in both of them? (And I DEF turned that hunger scale into a diet.)
I only read Intuitive Eating book once, when I was 18. And I'm not positive if I even finished it because I became a raw vegan 2 weeks later.
I obsessively dieted as a teenager. I went on every fad diet that existed at the time. It was disordered, it was extreme, and I felt more and more and more out of control with food the more I dieted. When I read the book Intuitive Eating, it was the first time I realized that my dieting was dysfunctional. Before then, I thought that this was just the way it had to be. I remember the book really spoke to me.
But I still didn't fully understand how deep it all went for me: culturally and metabolically and emotionally and on and on. And I didn't see how messed up my relationship was with weight, and how that was actually the core of the whole thing.
I needed very, very explicit instructions to F IT: f all diet and weight loss noise, and be willing to gain weight and take up space and be angry and prioritize my mental health over my desire to be a pretty little thing. But I was also young, and clearly needed to suffer a little more before I really understood that dieting was always going to backfire.
(***I bleep curse words for iTunes)
Weeks after reading the book, and just a few weeks before I went off to college, my mom told me she had cancer, and we both became raw vegan to try and heal all of our earthly ills (it didn't work) (my mom is fine, but not because of raw veganism, she ditched it soon after starting chemo) (also, I have complex feelings about pharmaceutical companies too, but raw veganism was still not the answer).(Yes I was a raw vegan in freshman year of college.)
I was raw vegan for almost a year - and then after I realized it wasn't "working" (read: I was less healthy, starving all the time, horrible skin, horrible digestion, and crazier than ever around food), I started trying to "eat intuitively" again... for 6 years. My general idea was that if I could listen to my body, and "not eat too much," that that was intuitive. But I didn't revisit the book, instead, for six years I did some version of "listening to my body sooooo closely and constantly trying to eat the smallest amount possible".
Mar 03 2019
Rank #11: Sugar Addiction?
Oct 16 2017
Rank #12: How to Start
Sep 16 2017
Rank #13: What About Vegetarianism?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Hello cruel world, I am back.
I’ve been on a sort-of hiatus from writing these posts, and from podcasting – even though I spend approximately 9 hours a day on instagram, and tried to go on a vacation but still posted on instagram every day.
I also tried to say to myself: “Caroline, why don’t you just relax and not worry about what you’re going to do next. You just spent 3 years on a book, you just released the book, people are reading it, buying it, loving it. And you just ran the book course in the summer. Just chill.” And I listen to myself and I say, “Ok, I’ll chill, but first let me figure out xyz and post xyz and bring back a more legit version of the podcast, and run an even better version of the group, and figure out my second book and …”
This is sort of similar to telling yourself you’re allowed to eat and then judging yourself for every little thing you put in your mouth. Telling yourself you’re allowed to relax and then worrying that you’re really not allowed to be relaxing because you haven’t figured everything out yet.
News flash: Everything will never be figured out. And what I mean by that is: as soon as you figure things out there will be new things to figure out.
I am trying to take my own advice. And trying to let myself float in the metaphorical pool.
I don’t usually start these posts with a diary entry like I just did, I usually get right to my F* It Diet advice. So let’s do it. Here we go.
This is one of the most asked questions since my book came out by both book readers and by people new to my site or my instagram:
AM I ALLOWED TO BE VEGETARIAN/(OR VEGAN) ON TFID?!?
Short answer: Yes.
But there is also a long answer. There is always a long answer.
Long answer: It is totally possible to be vegetarian, or vegan, for the right reasons🌹. But (BIG but), when you are dealing with chronic dieting, disordered eating, or eating disorders, it is rarely (fully) for the right reasons.
EVEN IF you tell yourself you are only being vegetarian for ethical reasons, if you have some sort of eating issue, then a disordered and fear-based reason for being vegetarian is often tangled in with your ethical reasons. A lot of people hide their disordered eating, even from themselves, behind vegetarianism or other moralistic ways to eat, and call themselves responsible, instead of acknowledging it is still a manifestation of control issues.
A lot of people recovering from eating disorders adopt veganism or vegetarianism as a sort of buffer, because it feels safe. “Ok I’ll eat more, but I’ll only eat ___________”. It’s another (socially acceptable) set of rules and another way to exert some control over your eating that makes you feel safe. It’s understandable. And it’s common. But there is still more to unpack on the reasons why you are eating the way you are eating.
It’s also a common expression of orthorexia (a fear of impurity and a disordered worry about food and health.)
Here is a barometer: if you are doing it because you genuinely care, but you don’t feel any sort of stress over slipping up and eating some soup with a little butter or stock in it, then it’s closer to a healthy relationship for you.
If you are trying to be vegetarian or vegan and you over worry, over think, over scrutinize menus, and get panicked when think you might have eaten something that doesn’t fit your rules, that’s a big sign that there is something else going on, and that being vegetarian might not actually be the healthiest for you at the time.
So! If you are recovering from dieting or disordered eating, and want to be vegetarian (or vegan) for whatever reason, I would say: see if you are willing to go through a time where you are either not vegetarian or vegan, or in the very least, see if you can stop being stressed or over-worried about it.
Sustainability matters, but your mental health matters too. It isn’t mutually exclusive.
This is a matter of constant checking in on why we do the things we do, eat the things we eat, and avoid the foods we avoid.
(In the podcast episode attached to this, I read the last blog post too about diabetes and PCOS, I recommended Julie Duffy Dillon’s PCOS and Food Peace Course (I am an affiliate! It’s a great resource!)
Sep 29 2019
Rank #14: Minnesota Starvation Experiment
Mar 18 2017
Rank #15: The Fear of Being Ugly
Aug 22 2017
Rank #16: I shouldn’t be this hungry…
Judging your appetite is one of the things that will keep you very stuck.
We are trying to heal the body and mind of all restriction, not just physical under eating, but the guilt and overthinking that comes along with restriction, too — mental restriction.
If you feel guilt over your eating, you are experiencing mental restriction. It’s the kind of guilt that makes you feel like you should or shouldn’t be eating a certain way. It is very common to make major improvements with actual physical restriction and finally be eating what you’re hungry for, but still be completely plagued by mental restriction.
Guilt and overthinking about food affects the body, metabolism, hormones, stress, and appetite, and will keep you stuck in the yo-yo just like physical restriction.
Mental restriction will also take the form of anxiety, panic, and constant cycling thoughts about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, or what should or shouldn’t be happening. Without mental restriction, this whole thing would be pretty easy. The body would fix itself in a few months, and eating would normalize. But thanks to our brain. Our brains freaking get in the way.
Mental restriction often sounds something like this:
I shouldn’t be this hungry…
Maybe I’ll just do this for another week and then go on another diet if I keep eating like this.
Ok, I’m allowed to eat whatever I want, but if it doesn’t prove to me that it’s working soon, I’m quitting.
I can eat this brownie, but I’d better only eat half.
I shouldn’t be craving so much.
I’ll eat this piece of pizza and then have a salad later.
Oh I shouldn’t be eating all of this bread. I’m ruining everything.
Oh if I were really being intuitive I’d probably be eating more vegetables!
If I were really being intuitive I’d be eating less by now!
Mental restriction is constant bargaining, judging, guilt, and is normally run by old diet rules and subconscious beliefs.
A lot of this mental restriction is so habitual, and feels so normal, that we barely notice it’s happening. What we notice more, is just the general anxiety and mistrust of the process.
It also doesn’t help that everywhere you look, every person you talk to, and every magazine you’ve ever read seems to confirm, add to, and applaud your ‘responsible’ mental restriction. Our collective and cultural disordered eating just makes it harder to identify that the way we are thinking about food and weight is really weird and messed up.
Most of us have always believed that this constant judgment and worry about food was ‘responsible’. It’s not. It is actually the reason you may still be bingeing, and the reason why your relationship with food became so dysfunctional in the first place.
Without mental restriction, bingeing would just be eating a lot and it would do exactly what it was supposed to do: re-feed the body. Once we start judging the food we are eating and subconsciously deciding there will be a diet (famine) the next day, it spirals out of control.
So if you are bingeing, but haven’t been restricting physically, the cause is mental restriction, and the answer is awareness of the beliefs that are perpetuating the anxiety.
Mar 20 2018
Rank #17: Emotional Eating n’ Stuff
Nov 20 2017
Rank #18: How do I grocery shop now that nothing is off limits?
Woa! Calm down! First of all, there is nothing more expensive than being on a diet. Diet food and low-calorie food is often marked up to be way more expensive than normal food (when most normal food is more filling because it usually has more calories).
But yes, staying alive on enough food costs money. And you’ll need to prioritize that if you want to heal. Frugality is sometimes a necessity but beware of the irrational fear of spending money on food. I’ve known people who had that as part of their disordered eating. Someone I knew in college refused to eat any food unless it was free and they didn’t have to pay for it. It was an eating disorder, but they were able to formally call it a financial decision.
Everyone on TFID will be in totally different financial situations, so, like all things, it will need to be tailored to what you can access and afford.
And when I say eat whatever you want, in any quantities, I don’t mean that if you crave a lobster feast and strawberry shortcake at 11 am in the middle of winter, that you need to go get that for yourself. I mean… you can, but you also can and should satiate your hunger and cravings with what’s around, and what you can afford. Maybe you can compromise with some lemony, buttery seafood for dinner, with some sort of cake or cookie and fruit.
If you have never grocery shopped for what you want, as opposed to what is on your diet, there is going to be a learning curve. You are going to have to try things out. Get things you think you’ll like. And next week, edit your choices depending on what you learned, what you liked, didn’t like, what you wanna try and have around this week. Or try going food shopping more often. If you’re looking for cheap ways to make sure you get in lots of calories, look to build meals around rice and potatoes, bread and peanut butter and cheese. See? Can’t do that on your diet.
It’s that simple. But I get it, I am a terrible grocery shopper, and also a really basic cook. But my first two years of The Fuck It Diet included a lot of sourdough bread and cheese, avocado toast, and granola and ice cream. So much ice cream that my original secret Fuck It Diet pen name was Caroline Haagen (as in Haagen Dasz ice cream brand). Now I sometimes make elaborate vegetable stews from scratch.
If you are like most people and can’t afford to eat your favorite foods out at restaurants all the time, welcome to the world. You need to learn to cook the things you like and save eating out for special occasions. Or just eat sourdough sharp cheddar grilled cheeses for a year like me. If you’re cooking for a family, navigating your cravings with your kids and partner will probably always be hard, but maybe now that you can eat Macaroni and Cheese, some nights will get easier.
And you may not always have what you crave in your pantry, so you’ll either go out and get it, or make do with what you do have. If you can make grilled cheese, you can do this. I believe in you.
Aug 02 2018
Rank #19: Reading My Old Blog Posts
Read these posts:
Not About Anger
Everything Is Good For You: Starting to Bust Food Phobias
When Does Real Food Become a Problem?
Why I Don’t Do Cardio Anymore
Letting Go of Health Perfectionism
YAY! Let me know how you like this, and I'll keep it up!
Jul 16 2016
Rank #20: Why Do People Swear By Keto?
However, for every comment where someone is swearing by keto, there are twenty more comments with people saying that they too tried keto, with hope bursting in their hearts, only to find that after a few months it had fucked up their metabolism, hormones, energy levels, sanity, and has been really hard to recover from, mentally and physically.
I've spent a long time trying to decide how to be diplomatic and to not claim to know what's best for everyone's body. Because-- everyone is different. Some people are allergic to fucking tomatoes. We are all different.
I'm also not a doctor or nutritionist or dietitian so I have no authority or desire to weigh in on diets that people claim are medically necessary and helpful to them. TFID is concerned with the mental and spiritual ramifications of chronic dieting, it just so happens that there are very physical consequences to dieting, too.
So in my attempts to be diplomatic, I say things like: I'm so glad you feel good on keto, but this is an account for people trying to heal from chronic dieting or disordered eating, and your comments about keto do not belong here. And many many people have had opposite experiences on keto.
I've also compared keto to wheelchairs or mobility devices. Meaning, just because a select number of people are benefitted (read: children with seizures, maybe), that doesn't mean that it cures any underlying condition, and also doesn't mean that people who don't need keto/mobility devices should be using them, in fact if they do, it will probably make things worse in the long run. (I also asked Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S, who uses a wheelchair, if this was a cool comparison and she gave me the green light.)
But the most honest thing I can say about the keto diet is: what the fuck do you think I'm going to say?
Keto is a very, very restrictive diet, and therefore it has no place in or on or around The Fuck It Diet. It has no place in the lives of people recovering from disordered eating or eating disorders.
And if you are someone who is on the keto diet and you feel great, then you don't need the Fuck It Diet either. Why are we fighting? If your diet is truly supporting your mental and physical health: that's great. Round of applause. Most people don't have that experience, and I'd love for you to check in with me in two or three years and tell me how you're doing, too.
More frankly: I don't care how you eat, Pamela. Eat a no-carb-diet to your heart's content. I have no desire to evangelize you. If it is 'working' for you - I'm not going to try and tell you it's not working.
If you want to know what I think, the short term "benefits" of the keto diet, and any diet for that matter, are just that: short term. The long term effects can be physically and mentally devastating, and have yet to be truly studied.
So, where does this leave us?
Do you need to do keto?
If you want to recover from chronic dieting: NO. HELL NO.
But could keto cure your chronic health problems?
Probably not. It was shown to help children with epilepsy in the 1920s, but it still comes with side effects (kidney strain, hypoglycemia, dehydration, GI issues, etc). Are those side effects worth it for kids with epilepsy? Yes! Potentially! Is it the cure-all that people claim it is? I don't think so.
Will keto help you lose weight?
Temporarily, yes. Like all diets. But now we are getting into our usual TFID rigemroll. Diets backfire longterm. It's how we are wired. And, diets and weight loss can actually negatively impact health, against all our cultural common knowledge. We are all confused about weight loss and health. We are assuming weight loss is always good for us - often it's not .
But more importantly,
Nov 05 2018