What is a diet?
Somewhere along the line, we lost complete control over what the meaning of a diet is.
We’ve bastardized it even.
Google it, just the word diet. Unlike most singular words you may search for, you won’t even get a definition of the word--believe me I tried. Instead, you have to actually search “Diet definition.”
Then you’ll get to the heart of the word: “the kinds of foods that a person, animal or community habitually eats.”
Hmm, that’s a little weird?
Isn’t it supposed to say things like ketogenic, high-carb, low-carb, caloric restriction, caloric surplus, starvation, cleansing etc? Where are those words?
The unfortunate reality is that none of the above terms actually encapsulates what a diet is. Sure, they are types of diets, but that’s of little actual relevance.
The issue I bring forth here is when someone watches what you happen to be putting into your mouth and make the statement, “oh you’re on a diet are you?”
Well, yeah, I am. So are you. Educate yourself.
We’re all on diet and we have been since the day we entered this world and that’s a good thing. The guy who’s sitting on his couch watching Sportscentre all day drinking Mountain Dew and eating Doritos is also on a diet.
The reason this is important is that it’s crucial we develop an understanding and empathy for the way people eat throughout society. As you are probably aware, some people are able to eat certain foods and others are not. A ketogenic diet works for some but may be the worst possible strategy for others. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a different reality.
We need to start looking at diets for the benefits they provide to the person who’s using them. Are some dieting strategies better than others?
Sure, only insofar as a certain diet works better for that individual person. Where someone might work better through a high-fat diet, a competitive CrossFitter likely wouldn’t perform and feel as good on said diet. That doesn’t make it a bad thing though.
With all food decisions, it’s crucial we start removing judgement whether that be internal on yourself or external on those around you. If you eat a donut, eat the donut and no that doesn’t mean you’re, “going off your diet.” It’s in your diet. The problem becomes when we look at dieting and eating in these binary terms where it’s all or nothing and you end up falling off the wagon because the “diet” got ruined from one decision.
What you eat, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, is the diet. The goal is always making the best decisions for your lifestyle and activities. What’s best doesn’t always mean eating broccoli and kale.
A former journalist and sports blogger, I've turned my writing prowess and love of fitness and nutrition into a personal blog where you can find anything you are looking for on the world of health, nutrition and fitness.