I’ve tried all the “diets”. No, really. I’m pretty sure I have tried them all. Atkins, Soup Diet, Weightwatchers, Herbalife, weight loss teas, Low carb, Keto, Paleo. That’s just without thinking. I lost 20 KGs on weight loss shakes, but I was fucking Hangry the whole time.
If I did try to change the way I ate, I would be met with Karen: “oh, should you be eating that?” “Is that allowed on your diet?”
Then there is Sharon in the work break room making morning tea: “oh it’s just a small cupcake, surely that won’t hurt?”
Maybe not… but one morsel of cupcake and suddenly I find myself at 8pm on the couch in front of the TV nursing a guilt trip with a bag of popcorn, 6 tim tams, a tub of ice cream and what was left of the kids lunchbox.
Look, I’m no expert. I’m not a nutritionist, I did a PT course which consisted of 1 module and looking back it was the most biased/unscientific nutritional advice I have ever seen. Here is something I do know… whilst I am able to live life to it’s fullest, I intend to enjoy it, and I don’t want to be in a constant state of guilt, regret or shame.
Here’s the thing… the original definition of “diet” is the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. That’s it. It’s the sum of food that a person (or animal) eats. Over time it have evolved to a verb, meaning restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
So what do I do? I switched from a “diet” mentality to a “nutrition” mentality. Nutrition is what we need to enjoy health and growth. I don’t restrict myself in anyway. If I want a burger, I have a fucking burger. Do I eat them every day? Hell no, because I know what I need other foods to supplement my nutritional requirements.
I also believe that all those so called “diets” work for one reason only – they involve calorie restriction. Weight loss is simple maths. Calories in Vs calories out. If you have an active lifestyle, you burn more energy, so you need more nutrients. If you sit on your ass all day like me, you may need to be more careful about where your nutrition comes from. It doesn’t mean you have to be miserable, you just might want to incorporate exercise to counter balance any days you might want to overindulge.
Restricting yourself of certain things, especially things you enjoy, does not serve you. Palaeolithic men ate veg and meat if they could catch it because Maccas wasn’t invented. That’s it. We are lucky to live in a world where food is more accessible than ever. Food should be a means of nutrition, and an accompaniment to the those good memories of time spent with friends and family.
It's a simple decision in my view. What do you want more? Six pack abs and buns of steel, or a life lived to it's fullest with no regrets? I'm here to tell you, that the majority of the population can't have both. What do you choose?