If we look at the primary definition of the word diet, it simply means- food (sidebar: as you can see, I love Wikipedia). But with today’s focus on weight loss, most people think of a diet as a four-letter word…as a temporary/fad plan someone goes on to lose weight. These “diets” will have a certain gimmick or theme (Atkins, South Beach, etc), and are centered around temporary deprivation as a means of achieving weight loss.
The main (and obvious) problem with these “diets” is that many simply don’t work long-term because people find them unrealistic, too restrictive, too costly, too complicated, or too inconvenient to maintain.
Most importantly, restrictive dieting (too little calories or inadequate balance of carbs, fats, and proteins) messes with your nervous, endocrine (hormones), digestive, and musculoskelatal systems. Furthermore, with regard to caloric restriction, it’s a fine line. Yes, you want to burn more than you consume, but consume to little and your body thinks it’s starving and slows your metabolism to try to conserve energy. Take it from someone who has been there, done that…temporary weight loss from a starvation/overly restrictive diet isn’t worth it. You’ll wreck your metabolism and lose lean muscle mass instead of fat.
So I’m going to tell you what you’ve heard many times before: What we need to do is reconsider the way we think about food. Rather than thinking we should temporarily go on some fad “diet,” we should be thinking about making changes that we can realistically achieve and sustain for a lifetime.
Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat certain foods…if you tune into it, you will realize that you have an innate intelligence about the inner workings of your anatomy. Eat what makes you feel energetic and alive. But forget all the dieting and weight loss nonsense. Eat for health and nutrition the majority of the time, but if it’s your birthday and you want some cake, eat some damn cake and enjoy it! Each one of us is unique, different and truly beautiful in every shape, age, ethnicity, and any other form. Focus on health and a balanced lifestyle, not weight, and treat your body with the love and respect it deserves.
Ciao for now!