Read time : 8 mins -|- Download this Blog
Yes, a blanket BAN! Without mercy.
Think about it, these words are vague having no standard definition. Meaning such words are often misused and can mislead the innocent. In fact it’s a great playing field for the diet & weight-loss industry.
Go ahead and name all the diets you can think of. All crazy! Besides calorie restriction by means of low or No carb, the only common thing all these diets agree upon is supplements. Since vitamin deficiency is a major side effects of these diets. So keeping the golden goose alive is important. Hence supplements.
For your information, all that you will get from this article is a bunch of facts, questions and opinions, No recommendation and Not another fad diet.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “diet”? Weight loss, pounds, kilos, weeks, months. Right? That’s not what diet is, such is the state of our skewed perception.
Most people have either tried dieting or considered it at some point in their life. And that’s merely based on one’s physical appearance. Thanks to the Fashion and Entertainment industry, young people have more reasons to hate their body!
In a desperate attempt to look thin, young and old alike are jumping onto crazy diets that promises rapid weight loss. Little do they realize that the diet and supplement industry stands unregulated. Meaning any one can claim to be experts in the field and take you for a ride. Those too good to be true commercials and high claims are so tempting.
Here is the “medical” definition (Merriam Webster) for diet
- the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
- a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight going on a diet
A special reason? what might that be? sparingly? So many definitions for different context is sure to confuse one.
The definitions clearly shout a diet culture, where a persons worth and virtue is measure by how one looks in shape and size and how much their measuring scale reads.
No diet plan is complete without a prescription to supplements and a subscription to a workout plan. It’s a great business strategy ($400B industry by 2030). Because according to experts one has to undergo a tiring workout plan. And eat certain food in a certain way (often forced by obsession) to lose weight. There is no other way! Is there?
How does this sound for a re-definition of Diet
“Sustainable choice of natural food that maintains good health.”
Now that I have banned Diet, what should I replace it with so that it fits my new definition?
Weight loss Fat-loss
Weight loss is synonymous to diet and often interpreted as the same thing. We know for a fact that the purpose of weight-loss is to lose unwanted FAT. Hence Fat-loss sounds more suitable thereby avoiding any misinterpretation.
Overweight and obese on the border is like no mans land and is worrisome.
A BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 is borderline overweight thus eligible for dietary prescriptions, a potential patient. A 24.9 is normal weight. Physically those two numbers means the same. But the notion of attaching an overweight tag is sure to give one sleepless nights? See how these number games messes with our thoughts.
Counting calorie – more numbers.
All fad diets are calorie restrictive by nature.
These diets promote very low carb or no carb foods that puts the body into starvation mode. Initially giving the impression of rapid weight loss. Similar to sick people losing weight, due to inadequate calorie intake (because of lack of appetite).
A simple social activity of eating with friends and family, engaging in the pleasure of taste and flavors, reduced to a prescription plan with a narrow selection of food based on body shape and numbers on the weighing scale.
Sumo Wrestlers Vs TOFI (Thin Outside Fat Inside)
Sumo wrestlers are healthy people! By medical definition they are morbidly obese.
In fact, they are so healthy their bad cholesterol levels are so low and they do not show any signs of chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
They accumulate all the fat under the skin. And their intense training and exercise regime prevents visceral fat (abdominal fat forming around vital organs like liver, kidney, pancreas). Visceral fat is the cause of all chronic illness.
On the other hand, we have TOFI people. They are normal looking often lean but with more visceral fat and are general at risk of developing diabetes.
In this scan image, Both have the same amount of fat. But the person on the left is TOFI since most of that fat lies in the abdomen.(Visceral fat)
If only we had a weighing scale that showed how much visceral fat we wear.
Another deceiving word with no official definition. “Superfood” is mostly used to market particular foods with higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. Superfruit word used to market exotic foreign fruits. Likewise Supergrains used to market quinoa, chia seed, hemp seed.
Superfood like spirulina, blue-green algae and wheatgrass are a rage among fad dieters.
Beware of the health & fitness blogs that list only a few foods (usually top 10) as superfood. Because a narrow list of food often gives the false impression of being important. And one can be mentally inclined to overeat or prioritize such food over others.
Every food under the sun and under the soil has a role to play in our well being. No food is superior or inferior to the other. Which is why Food must be a wholesome package and not an accumulation of high nutrient ingredients. Superfood is just food.
Unlike prescription medication that undergo rigorous research and trials, regulations for dietary supplements are less strict. Manufacturers are responsible to test their own products. This is concerning because manufacturers are free to make misleading claims to market their products.
Most vitamin supplements are synthetic in nature. Overdosing and their side effects are always a concern. The most popular Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. Meaning the body cannot store it. Excess vitamin C gets excreted in your urine.
So gulping down vitamin C in excess is not a smart idea, unless you have a better use
for that “costly urine”!
We have the freedom to choose, so lets make that an informed choice. Consult your body it always tells the truth. Lets ban the words Diet, weight-loss and superfood, that negatively impacts our mental and physical well-being. Let’s not fall prey to pressure of maintaining a body shape. Enjoy all the diverse food nature provides. And focus on the overall health and well- being.
Until another post,