I was wasting time surfing the internet like all good writers do when I found an article outlining how and why the "clean eating" diet has gone bad since it's arrival to the diet scene several years ago. It got me thinking.
I've never been one to diet. I know that my genes don't support the kind of body I wish I had. No amount of physical exercise or "clean eating" is going to result in a Jennifer Anston body for this gal. That's not to say I don't believe in eating well and exercising, I do. I may not be able to achieve my idea of an ideal body, but I also don't want to look like Miss Piggy.
A few years ago my husband brought home the idea of trying these weight loss shakes. Of course, he had a friend who was the living poster boy for these shakes, lost all sorts of crazy weight just by throwing back a few of these shakes every day. No gym routines or Sunday nights spent portioning out a week's worth of food. We just had to pay what I thought was an obscene amount of cash for a months worth of magic potions in little packages.
I had no doubt this diet would work, but I also knew the results would be short-lived.
I think this goes back to the idea that we as a society are lazy! We don't want to put in the work to see the results we want. We'll sit in a puddle of our own sweat...or other peoples sweat in a public sauna at the gym. We'll eat a diet consisting of nothing but rice cakes and apple cider vinegar, but we won't add a 30-minute walk to our daily schedules, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. I'm guilty of it, too. We want an answer with instant results.
But here's the truth...
The term "diet" has two definitions; diet refers to the sum of food consumed by a person, and two, "the word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons." The second definition, as far as I am concerned shouldn't exist. Here's why:
If you are looking to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle than the food you consume should be a lifestyle choice that pertains to your everyday patterns of consumption. "Diets" are temporary and so are their results. Once you return to consuming a more realistic diet, chances are, the Donut of depression is going to return to your midsection...probably with a few sprinkle friends.
Diets (definition falling under the second listed above) don't work.
We've all heard it before, "you have to eat a balanced diet." That doesn't mean cutting out all dairy products or never enjoying a piece of red meat again. It means eating those pleasure foods in moderation and not slurping down a frozen hot chocolate from Tim Hortons every day. Seriously, do you have any idea how many calories are in those things! A full days calorie count in a single drink. Crazy, but oh-so-delicious!
I am all for eating a healthy, well-balanced diet (see definition numero uno above). Go ahead and spend Sunday night portioning out your meals if it's going to help you stay on track, and by all means go to the gym or go for a walk on your lunch break, but PLEASE STOP trying to sell me "health shakes" that are going to make me lose ten pounds a week. I'm also not interested in wrapping myself in saran wrap and sweating myself into a better bod. Drinking nothing but water with a package of magical powder added that's "designed" to curve my appetite (I hope people realize that just drinking a glass of plain old water can make you feel full. You REALLY don't need to buy special powder to make the grumbles go away until you can get some actual nutrition into your body.) Or eating baby food as a meal replacement for several weeks.
Nope, no thank you. I like real food.
Also, just for clarity reasons, I am currently eating some Easter chocolate. Yuuuummmm