It breaks my heart to see people going from diet to diet, trying to lose weight.
Many, many people have been duped, tricked, misinformed and otherwise convinced that a diet is a temporary way of eating, typically based on some cult belief in a “miracle” discovery, to achieve something physical, usually weight loss.
Stop being so gullible.
You can’t “go on” a diet because you were never off a diet. You can only change your diet.
Most of us have the common sense to know that the house always wins, getting rich quick is a scam and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Why do we keep buying into the bull that is the diet industry??
It is a well intended but myopic view of the body at best and a scam most of the time.
Your diet is how you eat every day. If it is temporary, you are just messing with your body.
I am not skinny. I am also not overweight. I love food and eat anything that fits my definition of food with total abandon. I am muscle bound and capable of keeping up with pretty much anyone when it comes to physical labor. Before I started on a journey to health, I had a hell of a time maintaining a steady weight and losing baby weight. I’ve been there, in front of the mirror, completely crushed.
I’ve watched my family members and friends try every “diet” on the market and I’ve watched nothing work for long. I’ve seen people believe deprivation and willpower are the keys to finally being thin and fit. I’ve seen judgement from those who don’t struggle. I’ve seen people try to count and measure everything they eat. I’ve seen people try to exercise themselves thin. None of it brings the desired results. This isn’t a failure on their part. It is how we have been taught to look at food.
And it has to change.
We started this country without a coherent food culture. We came from all over and tried to adapt our food traditions to a new place.
We were eventually lured into a desire for the food of the wealthy. We wanted the fluffy white refined stuff, both flour and sugars. Then we wanted meat all the time, in greater quantity and as the focus of every meal.
We moved away from the source of our food and moved the source away from us.
Then we industrialized food.
We succumb to convenience, hyper-specialization and the complete outsourcing of this most fundamental component of our existence.
Reductionist science forgot itself as part of the whole and taught us that we could add and subtract, isolate and enhance our way back to what food used to provide.
Our waistlines and illnesses brought us ubiquitous temporary diets that further wrecked our health.
And here we sit, as Michael Pollan has explained, confusing nourishment with the cult of nutritionism.
You can sugar yourself into being fat and unhealthy. You can diet yourself into being fat and unhealthy. You can get fat because your body is responding to a heavy toxic load. You will never get fat because you live on a clean, plant based diet.
Calories are not all the same. Protein is not all the same. Carbs are not all the same. Of the four types of biomolecules, (lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids) none, of quality, should be restricted in the human diet. If they are ingested in the course of eating clean, minimally processed, actual food, they serve a purpose.
I have starting asking people if they even know what a carbohydrate is. It turns out, almost no one has any idea but everyone has an opinion about them.
Fat is not the enemy and if you are eating “food” with it removed or “food” that brags it is bereft of calories, you should question whether it is really food. The same applies to “food” that has to tell you about what nutrient has been added. Trash sprayed with antioxidants is still trash.
White bread makes you fat and unhealthy, whole, sprouted grains do not. Diet ice cream makes you fat and sick, nuts do not. (…unless you have a nut allergy, but you understand the principle here.) You do not need to count calories in that salad the size of a couch cushion, you need to pitch the GE, soy based, HFCS laden garbage dressing and throw some balsamic and unrefined oil on that bad boy.
All real food is miracle food. Stop looking for a silver bullet.
I am slowly learning that you cannot beat the idea that real food is enough into someone. I talked to a bright person the other day, who has read about real food, and is still unable to make a paradigm shift. She tries. She wants to eat real food but still restricts calories and thinks she cannot eat bread, all the trapping of a lifetime of bad information about food.
If you have to do math, your diet is as bogus as the hair on a frog and I’ve got bridge to sell you.
The amount of time it takes you to recover from yo-yo dieting gets longer with age and the amount of damage you have done.
Eat seasonal, eat whole, eat actual food, and stop stressing about it.
Real health doesn’t come overnight. It isn’t the result of switching to real food for 30 or even 90 days. It is a lifelong commitment not to eat the fake, the highly processed and the toxic. It is a mindset that won’t allow you to look back in 10 years and wish you’d started taking care of yourself today.
Do you know what happens when you do that? You can eat some Ben and Jerry’s at a birthday party or accept when someone asks you to try a homemade cookie and because you don’t live on diet pop, fast “food”, and quick fix lies. You can move on without another thought, go right back to normal and suffer not at all.
The secret to enjoying food is to eat actual food.
Real food has no guilt attached.
The bottom line:
Temporary diets are not the way to permanent change.
Temporary diets are bad for you and teach you poor habits.*
I love you. Stop beating yourself up.
Chew on This
Every once in awhile someone will send me an article slamming the real, clean, sustainable or eco food movements. These are really easy to trace back to the PR firms through which the “information” has been disseminated. Then you can trace it right back to the source, which is always some industrial agri-giant who is trying to save their own skin at the expense of ours. The playbook is the exact same one used by the tobacco industry for decades and some of the exact same people are at work. Usually, there will be several articles saying the same thing and espousing the same faux science over a period of a month or so. When I was sent an article from National Review a couple months ago, a friend was convinced of the authenticity. After all, the name of the group sounded so official! It was still pretty easy to trace. Here is an article about that and several others involved in scamming the public. You, as someone who eats, spends money, and lives in this world, should understand this scam and that this is how information is brought to you: Academics Review is a front group for Monsanto. Great job, Stacy Malkan.
Happy eating, Katy
*The exception to this rule is a temporary diet prescribed by your health professional. We have been on several elimination diets, the goal of which is to identify food allergies and sensitivities. Make no mistake, this article is about temporary weight loss programs.
6 thoughts on “Never Diet”
I’ve always told people who complain they need to lose weight or go on a diet that a diet isn’t an option — they need a life style change and it has to be permanent. Plus being sedentary is the surest way to an early grave. You have to be active and not just a walk around the block. You have to get your pulse up, your heart moving. I think everyone just wants a pill to make everything all better so they don’t actually have to do any of the work. Thus the huge pharmaceutical industry. Everyone wants immediate results. That is just not going to happen. They should ask themselves this, “How long did it take me to get into this kind of shape?” Well, triple that amount of time and that is about how long it could take to get back to where you began or want to be. Give or take, I’m not an expert but I know it doesn’t work out that losing weight is as easy as it is to gain it.
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Preach on, Katy!!! There is a science behind why diets do not work. Eat bad, go on “a diet” and metabolism slows down, The “diet” ends, so you return to old, bad ways of eating. Metabolism has not changed gears. Before you know it, you have gained back any you lost plus more! A horrible cycle to get into! Eat real food, eat healthy nutritional food…let thy food be thy medicine. Love reading your blog.
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It’s just laziness.
Lazy eating, lazy thinking… People want a fully 5* level meals in 6 minutes. No. You do actually have to work at the start. Plan meals, learn to cook in a different way. It gets easier over time (Especially as your palate changes) but you will have to work at it.
Oh… And diet changes should NOT be seen as a chore or you will start to hate them because they are taking your favourite foods away.
Although I have to admit that I am on two diets because I don’t have enough to eat while on one.
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Bullseye! Keep speaking the truth in love, Katy! Nice to know how much you care.