People go on diets for all sorts of reasons: health, cosmetic, personal well-being. It would take a very strong person to never have any kind of anxiety over their weight, whether they be male or female, young or old. The benefits of dieting are obvious, and are extolled far and wide – especially in this day and age when we as a species are, more than ever, fixated on looks and weight. Although glossy magazines are frequently and often correctly criticized for contributing to a widespread sense of poor body image chiefly but not solely suffered by adolescent girls, diets come with a real sense of pressure – lose weight or bear the consequences!
Sticking word for word to a diet plan is, in these circumstances, a real strain on anybody. Having no room for maneuvering only serves to increase the pressure and for many people the added pressure can lead to a damaging collapse. Think for a moment of people who drink too much – having to stop immediately and completely can often have terrible consequences, with a week or so of cold turkey leading to a damaging and depressing binge. Cutting down on “naughty” foods can be viewed in the same way. Complete bans on rich sauces, juicy cuts of meat and sweet cakes might easily read like a charge sheet, and a fortnight of tofu might just lead someone to rebel and make a defiant decision to eat a pizza loaded with toppings – and this can have really damaging results.
It’s much better to live by a motto that doesn’t sound like it would fit above the gates of a maximum security prison. A good one is “Moderation in all things – including moderation”. Of course it’s a bad thing to have pasta with rich sauce one day, gooey pizza the next and deep-fried goodies afterwards, and to add desserts into the bargain. On the other hand, life is for the living and it would be a depressing existence if you didn’t indulge yourself once in a while. Just make sure it is once in a while, and not once a day!