Normally, I would try to navigate my way around the word DIET. But this time I thought it was better for the readers to define their relationship with food pretty early on in their fitness process so it doesn’t come back and bite them later on.
Frankly, because of all the fads, advice, and simple craziness presented to people every single day in the name of the word ‘diet’, I actually have a mental reaction every time I use it. But in reality, a diet is not what it has been made to mean. It’s not that fast-track way to lose weight. Rather, I think of a diet as one of two things: 1) A particular selection of food and drink consumed with the health effects considered, i.e. to improve a person’s physical condition, maintain health or prevent disease; or 2) Foods habitually eaten, especially by a particular group.
Really, if you think about a diet this way, you would see that it centers more on a lifestyle choice with the health benefits considered, and not a fast path to weight loss. A true diet is meant to be long-term, and meant to be nutritious. Your body does need a certain amount of nutrients daily to maintain your physical well being. A diet should sufficiently provide those nutrients and not starve the individual of essential food. If you research some of the most popular diet programs, they seem like they are simply depriving people of the things they need to stay healthy, just so they can lose weight. For example, muscles are good for you. They help you stay strong, and help burn fat. To build muscle, you need protein, but you also need carbohydrates. So many diet programs out there are either low fat or low carb diets. I am yet to see one very successful, well-balanced, muscular, toned gentleman who is totally sworn off carbs and fat. Hell, I’m just saying.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need a healthy diet. Thus, it is particularly important to pay attention to the ingredients in the food we eat. Boxed, processed, and packaged foods may be low in calories, but then contain an excessive amount of sodium, which should really only be consumed in moderation. Food may be low in fat and high in calories, and calories contribute to weight gain over time. A relatively large amount of protein is needed for muscle gain so if we’re eating foods low in fat and low in protein, that does very little to assist our bodies with muscle growth. We should also pay attention to the content of our drinks because though we may be eating relatively healthy, our drinks could be the enemy of our diet by containing everything bad for us, like lots of calories, lots of sugar, or lots of cholesterol.
So let’s spend time getting comfortable with the word ‘Diet’. If you’ve read the rest of this article, hopefully you understand that this does not mean cutting out all food, and only keeping things with the word diet in them. Rather, this is spending time understanding what your health goals are, and trying to tweak your diet to fit your goals accordingly. If you buy mostly natural unpackaged food, and need help figuring out the nutrition information of the food you eat, I suggest checking out www.calorieking.com. This is an excellent website that details the nutrition content of raw and cooked foods.
Phew! I said the word ‘diet’ about seventeen times in this post. Let’s see how many more times I can say or read the word today before it stops affecting me. Diet. Diet. Diet. Okay, I’m done now.
Do you have a problem with the word ‘Diet’? Or just a problem with the so-called diet programs out there?