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quotations about diets and dieting

I've been on a diet for two weeks, and all I've lost is 14 days.

TOTIE FIELDS, Woman's Day, Aug. 2011

One swears by wholemeal bread, one by sour milk; vegetarianism is the only road to salvation of some, others insist not only on vegetables alone, but on eating those raw. At one time the only thing that matters is calories; at another time they are crazy about vitamins or about roughage. The scientific truth may be put quite briefly; eat moderately, having an ordinary mixed diet, and don’t worry.

SIR ROBERT GRIEVE HUTCHISON, Newcastle Medical Journal, Vol. 12, 1932

Dieting fooled you into thinking you could control your life.


The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.

JONATHAN SWIFT, Polite Conversation

Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, "No thank you" to desert that night. And for what?

ERMA BOMBECK, attributed, A Year of Living Sinfully

Diets show to what great lengths women will go so as not to go to great widths.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye diet!

LEWIS C. HENRY, attributed, Quote Unquote

Mark what and how great blessings flow from a frugal diet; in the first place, thou enjoyest good health.

HORACE, attributed, Day's Collacon

It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet.

MARGARET MEAD, attributed, The Inside Tract

Diets are a game of chance that dieters play in order to maintain hope for a better life--with a thin body. To the compulsive eater, the diet is the only game in town. Game? We use the word cautiously and in the most ironic sense. This is a game in which the quality of people's lives is at stake. Chronic dieters are trapped in the diet-binge cycle and can't see beyond it. Their worlds have become narrow, focused on pounds lost and pounds regained. This painful preoccupation keeps them from truly living.

JANE R. HIRSCHMANN & CAROL H. MUNTER, Overcoming Overeating

A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.

NAOMI WOLF, The Beauty Myth

What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, is not much better than tedious disease.


One of the main effects of dieting is that it contributes to actual loss of control over eating. Dieting causes increases in the preoccupation with food, making food more attractive, it alters responses to food, resulting in certain foods becoming "forbidden," which triggers specific states of mind, and it causes mood changes. All these contribute to actual loss of control and result in the dieter eating more than she would have if she hadn't dieted in the first place.

JANE OGDEN, Fat Chance!

Stop dieting, start living.

BARBARA GODFREY, Stop Dieting, Start Living

The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life. If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will become a peaceful, relaxed human being.

GENEEN ROTH, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

I hate France. It's like the whole country's on a diet.


Women diet to retain their girlish figures or their boyish husbands.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Oh yeah, the heartbreak diet.... Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.


Dieting is long-haul. Many rapid weight loss programs actually only squeeze the water out of you. Just like a wet sponge. But a good dieter maintains his or her grip on that sponge, not letting it soak up water again.

OWEN JONES, Aspects of Dieting

No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation. And when we can't stand it any longer, we binge.

GENEEN ROTH, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

The trouble with dieting is that a pound of will power takes off only an ounce of weight.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

In two decades I've lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.

ERMA BOMBECK, attributed, On Being Blonde: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

MICHAEL POLLAN, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Simple diet is best: for many dishes bring many diseases, and rich sauces are worse than even heaping several meats upon each other.

PLINY, attributed, Day's Collacon

More diets start in dress shops than in doctors' offices.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Being exaltingly thin was, of course, the foundation for the visibility, the man, the adornments of this life-to-be; it was the prerequisite that made the rest of the dream possible. And since no matter how thin I got, I was frightened that I could wake up tomorrow and be fat again, the rest of the dream was forever ten or twenty pounds away.

GENEEN ROTH, Appetites: On the Search for True Nourishment

Dieting is easy. It's like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire. And the ground is on fire. And everything is on fire because you're in hell.


I am a better person when I have less on my plate.



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