We’re going to play a game. It’s called: Match the Testimonial to the Diet!

Below we have 3 real testimonials from 3 very different diets – Paleo, Vegan, Carnivore

Diet 1:

This diet change resulted in her being able to sit up easily after waking up for the first time in many years and it “felt like magic” to her. Apart from her chronic pain slowly subsiding, she also regained control of her bladder after having dealt with incontinence for a few years. She then lost 25 pounds without trying, her adult acne cleared up, and her endometriosis pain (which she’d had for 20 years) went away.

Diet 2:

My allergies are gone, and my body no longer feels toxic and inflamed. I no longer suffer the joint and muscle aches and pains that I have spent the last few years struggling with. Debilitating headaches and migraines are rare now. My eyes are clear, my skin glows and my hair is healthy.

Diet 3:

After I had my daughter I stopped being able to tolerate almost all the foods I could eat before. My autoimmune symptoms came back, not as bad as they had been, but still bad. My depression came back. I got itchy again. Now I only eat… this was the only thing that made the depression completely lift, and autoimmune symptoms go away again. I’ve been eating like this since December 2017. I will never go back. I’ve never felt like this before and it’s amazing.

So, can you guess which testimonial belongs to which diet?

That would be a perfect health meal were it not for that deadly nightshade… Bru-nO / Pixabay

Probably not. And they could all easily belong to a myriad of other diets.

Weight loss, the feeling of more energy, the end of depression and autoimmune diseases are reported by succesful adherents to basically any and all diets, from low carb to keto, calorie counting to intermittent fasting.

I’ll put you out of your misery, here are the answers with links to the full testimonials:

I think it’s a very interesting insight into the human psyche.

Indeed, I was a true believer paleo fanatic myself for many years.

When you make a change in your lifestyle, then experience dramatic positive changes in your life, we are programmed by evolution to cling to those lifestyle changes.

It’s very easy to make incorrect associations and cling to the wrong things however when you are doing self-experimentation.

Mmm, delicious healthy vegan “food” anasegota / Pixabay

The vegans believe that their new-found health comes from cutting out meat, the paleo dieters from cutting out grains and legumes, and the carnivores…. well basically everything but meat!

But if meat were so bad, surely the cavemen and carnivores would be suffering, and if grains and legumes really were the culprits, surely the vegans wouldn’t be so cheerful and full of energy… (But wait, before you  jump in with the “It must be the dairy!”, there are people doing 100% milk diets too).

The reality is, however, you can never just change one variable when you alter your diet.

With the 3 diets above, and all other diets, one may well be seeing benefits due to:

  • Weight Loss
  • Reduction in Calorie Intake
  • Placebo Effect
  • Coincidence
  • Removal of Junk Food

Now perhaps it is the case that certain specific foods do cause you problems.

Food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies are real in some cases, but do some careful testing via elimination dieting to try to identify what, if anything, really causes you problems and in what quantities.

Pretty much every positive diet testimonial you will ever see is relatively short-term, a couple of years at most. It can take many years for nutritional deficiencies to start to creep through.

It would be a real shame to needlessly cut out entire nutrient dense food groups such as meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, and legumes, when really all that was necessary was cutting back on the fried chicken, burgers, fries and pizza!

The truth is, that any deviation from the standard diet of high calorie, low nutrient, trans fat laden junk, is likely to result in rapid and radical improvements in health and physique.

Now, perhaps it is possible the diet you picked just happens to be the perfect diet for you, and will continue to pay dividends to you for the rest of your life.

It is worth, however, keeping an open mind to the possibilities that:

  1. There may be other diets that produce the same or even better results
  2. There might be long-term drawbacks to the diet

That’s all I’ve got to say for today, trying to keep it brief for a change!

For a deeper delve into food and nutrition, and an alternative to dieting, check out my series “What is Food?”

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Diet Testimonials”

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