It’s up to you (and maybe your doctor) whether or not you want to make “diet” foods part of your diet. Personally, I avoid them. Why? There are plenty of reasons. Number One, because I don’t think they really work.

If diet foods really made losing weight easier, wouldn’t we be getting slimmer as a people? But we’re not. In fact, quite the opposite.

Diet foods may approximate the taste of some of your favorite foods, but they’re never quite as good. And I don’t think the human body is really fooled by them. Are you?

I remember back in the days when I experimented with “diet” foods. And the thing is, I always wanted more of them than of their real counterparts. I’m not sure whether it was a physical or a psychological reaction. Meaning, I’m not sure whether they were sending all the signals of real food but were not satisfying me the way real foods did, or whether I just thought that since they were “diet” foods I could afford to eat more.

There are experts who think that diet foods may actually make people fat for those very reasons. They trick your body into thinking it’s having the real thing, but the body doesn’t get real nourishment. And if you’re not well nourished, you’ll feel hungry, right?

And if you have food issues…if one of your problems is that you want to eat when you’re not really hungry and your body doesn’t really need more food, you may play games with yourself and believe that you can indulge in diet foods simply because they are diet foods and have fewer calories.

But if you do that, you defeat the purpose of eating them.

I remember many years back when I discovered a “diet” cheesecake. Halleluja! I thought it was so great to stumble upon it because it really did taste an awful lot like real cheesecake. Except for one thing. The consistency was more like air. Now, one of the things that makes cheesecake satisfying is it’s dense texture. Air-weight cheesecake just doesn’t give a sense of satisfaction. To get that, you had to eat almost an entire box of it! And that was certainly more calorie-laden than one slice of real cheesecake.

Now I only eat real cheesecake — small pieces of it — once in a very great while.

How about diet sodas? Have you ever had the experience of not wanting just one, but several, because after all, they hardly had any calories? But would you ever gulp down can after can of real soda? Not if you’re a healthy person.

And what are all those chemicals in diet sodas doing to your body?

I mentioned elsewhere that someone once told me that if I wanted to get rid of cellulite, I should banish all processed foods from my diet — particularly cakes and cookies and snack food. You know what? I haven’t had a real problem with cellulite since I did that.

I sometimes wonder if strange lumps and bumps that look and feel abnormal on a body might have to do with the body trying to deal with or displace chemical-laden foods that were never meant to go into it.I’ve actually read how this can happen, and if I can find the research again, I’ll share it with you.

Since the jury’s still out on these things, I don’t think you can go wrong with trying to eat as naturally as possible. And once you refine your palate and become accustomed to the taste of real food, chemical foods with ingredients that sound as if they belong in a science experiment will cease to hold much allure.