It sounds contradictory, but the reality is that people don’t usually diet to get healthy. They diet to lose weight. They diet to look better. They cut calories and entire food groups out of their DIET. They switch to artificial sweeteners and low fat options all in the name of “eating better”. They forget that our bodies actually need food. It’s how we live.
When I started my journey to become more healthy I didn’t just go the same old route of reading some magazine with the cover “lose 20 lbs in 20 days”. I’ve done that before..and it’s great. 20 days later you feel awesome. 40 days later the weight is back on and then some. That ever happen to you? Do you wonder why after you stop a diet you end up bigger than you started a few months later? I’m seeing articles about it all the time now. Even the hit show “The Biggest Loser” has winning contestants who are coming out saying that they have gained a lot of the weight back and it just keeps piling on.
When I made the choice to actually get healthy and not just skinny. When I made the choice to LIVE for my son and for me. I made the choice to change my life. That’s really the problem with diets. There’s no get skinny quick trick. There’s no magic pill to health. There is only lifestyle changes.
When I made the choice to get healthy and not just skinny I started taking nutrition classes. I started learning about how the food I put in my body effects everything from fatigue and illness, to my complexion. I learned how all the calorie cutting and fake sugars affected my metabolism over the years and actually caused me to gain weight. The meme to the right spoke volumes to me. We all remember when we first started thinking that we were fat and the diet yo-yo began. We would starve ourselves and only drink diet sodas. We’d cut carbs and fat and the weight would fall off and then we’d be so DONE dieting we’d eat a whole cake… pizza… tub of ice cream… pick your poison.
This is because our bodies actually need calories. It actually needs carbs and fats and all these things that we have been taught are so bad for us… they just need the right ones and not so many. When we deprive our bodies of carbs or fats our bodies basically get scared. They hold on to the ones they have like a grandma with old cookie tins. They know they’re gonna need those carbs and fats at some point to burn into energy and if you’re not going to be giving them new ones every so often they are going to hoard the ones they get. This is also where fatigue hits… calories=energy. If we cut out too much our bodies scream back at us and we cave and end up eating even more than we would have at the start… and now our bodies are so used to storing it becomes the fist line of defense.
I’m not going to get into a whole class on caloric breakdown, that’s not what I’m here for. What I am going to do is remind everyone that EATING IS GOOD. Our bodies are designed for it. It’s what we eat that matters. We need need to eat good… real foods on a regular basis. Food that fills us. Food that tastes good. Food that does its job. And we have to not think of a diet as a quick fix but as what a DIET actually is, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”