Diets Don’t work

On my return from my Christmas break in France I popped onto my bathroom scales, yes I do occasionally check. It was no surprise to find that I had gained a couple of kilos I could feel that there was a little more adipose tissue around my waist. Those patisseries were so good!

I don’t normally stray into the overcrowded world of diets, that’s probably because I don’t know much about them except that on the few occasions I have tried the latest “fad diet”, the last one being the “Dukan” it has ended in failure. The question I sometimes ask myself is “If they did work why do we keep falling off them and putting the weight back on?”

Last week-end my attention was caught by an interesting article in the Sunday Times by AAGill. Back to basics. He alleges that we have forgotten the basic food laws that have kept humans healthy for centuries.

In my opinion AA Gill is a talented journalist often critical but with a down to earth pragmatic approach to many subjects. If you are a subscriber to the Times it is well worth checking out the original article here. If not here are a few of his guidelines for eating healthily. He reckons that we are focusing on what we eat instead of how we eat. He may well have a point.

  1. Always eat sitting at a table that is set for a meal. This sets up an anchor and a ritual.
  2. Always eat with a knife and fork. Old fashioned manners. Eating with fingers just won’t do especially out of cartons (see rule 8)
  3. Whenever possible eat in company. Eating is a centuries old way of communicating and bonding with other humans.
  4. Never eat standing up and certainly not in the street and this includes take away coffee.
  5. Never eat with a screen in the same room, that refers to TVs, computers etc. How many of us would admit to doing this one.
  6. Eat meals at fixed times. This creates routine and teaches the body to eat at certain times and therefore we will not be so prone to snacking.
  7. Keep meals varied thus engaging the taste buds and the senses
  8. Never eat from plastic, paper or cardboard
  9. Never eat in a car. Crumbs all over the car and it’s not safe.
  10. Enjoy your food.
Do any of the above sound familiar to you? If you have read any of the books especially Why French women don’t get fat by Mureille Guiliano they probably will be. This seems to epitomise the very essence of the French woman’s attitude to food. No more counting calories just living in the moment remembering our “table manners” and enjoying “a little of what you fancy”.  Sounds like the advice my mother would have given me.
Thank you for reading. I really love to hear from you and appreciate the time you take to leave comments.
Fashion and Style, Beauty tips, Lifestyle


  1. 20th January 2014 / 12:31

    So many rules…I am beginning to wonder if I will ever get this right. I guess there is always hope…I break just about everything listed here. I am trying to be teachable at 60!! Thanks for the information.

  2. 20th January 2014 / 13:30

    Good advice, thanks for sharing.

  3. 20th January 2014 / 14:18

    Hi Pam It is tricky. I am breaking No. 5 at the moment. Am not too bad on the others.

  4. Anonymous
    20th January 2014 / 21:44

    It’s so interesting to read something I have long suspected. We are far too used to eating and drinking at every opportunity in the modern world. Thirty years ago in the UK it was unheard of to walk around with a paper cup of coffee or eat chips on the street. I remember seeing it in the US in 1985 and thinking how odd it was that there was even a slot for a coffee cup in the car!

    Whenever I need to lose a couple of pounds, I always revert to how my mother brought me up, ie. 3 meals a day with absolutely no snacking. It works every time. A propos of this, portion sizes now are way bigger than when we were young. I have my mother’s cookery book from the 1970s and cannot believe she fed a family of four on such small amounts.

    My husband has recently lost a stone on the 5:2 diet, which is fast becoming the rage. I find the fasting gives me a headache, but in a way, its philosophy is to be heeded – we eat far too much today and our bodies do not need it. When you see films or photos of women in the 1960s and 70s, they were healthy and slim – and that was the norm. I think we could learn a lot from looking back – and I don’t say that very often!


  5. 21st January 2014 / 07:22

    Thanks for your comment and extra words of wisdom Catherine. I watched the program on the 5.2 diet and thought it very interesting. Fasting also gives me a headache but I agree with the philosophy we eat far too much.

  6. 21st January 2014 / 15:34

    You make a really good point about portions–they’re much too big in restaurants. I’m not a fan of diets although I have found that when I read up on some books for women over 40–the metabolism changes there, I actually lost weight by eating more. My worst problem is going too long without eating because I get caught up in work, then I want to eat things that are really not great for the figure, ha!
    xo Mary Jo

  7. Anonymous
    21st January 2014 / 16:53


  8. Anonymous
    22nd January 2014 / 04:04

    Isn’t this how we all used to eat just a generation ago? What’s happened…fast food! and, subsequently, fast fatness. That journalist is spot on in his observations, it is a no-brainer.
    Linda C.

  9. 22nd January 2014 / 04:14

    Guilty. We almost always eat in front of the TV. But I think it’s the snacking that is my biggest downfall – it’s so easy to graze, even while I’m cooking dinner. Must be more disciplined.

  10. 23rd January 2014 / 19:26

    I agree AA Gill is a love or hate character not much in-between and he can be very arrogant however I find him quite insightful at times.

I love to hear from you please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for new posts

And don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Disclaimer: Products featured on Chicatanyage sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that a small referral commission may be paid to the retailer (at no extra cost to you). This contributes to the cost of maintaining this blog including Hosting fees etc. Chicatanyage could not exist without these small payments so thank you for your contribution.