It is astonishing how much BAD information abounds in the world of “fad diets.” The onset of what I call the “Get Skinny Era” has completely over shadowed what should be the true purpose of eating well and exercising – your health!
So many of us want so desperately to be skinny that we cling on to these “fad diets” without ever realizing what they are actually doing to our bodies. Let’s break down one of the most
bullshit “ tried-and-true” fad diets that won’t go back to hell where it belongs: the calorie counting diet. Maybe this story sounds familiar:
It’s day one of your diet, you’ve read all the hand outs, you’re impressed by the celebrity endorsements, you’ve been to you first meeting, you’ve cleaned out your cabinets, and your online food tracking/calorie tracking/exercise tracking/ “stop right there, you fat mother fucker, you’ve had too much today, put that fork down” push notifications are all set up and ready to go. You eat exactly what “they” tell you to eat, not really knowing why you may or may not want to eat it, from a nutritional stand point. Then you literally starve yourself thin.
You feel great about it at first because you’re getting what you wanted – to be thin! The months go by and you’re rockin’ your two-sizes-smaller outfits and collecting compliments left and right. But then the weight loss starts to slow down. You cave and eat something on the naughty list. That cave turns into a big black hole of indulgent diet sinfulness. You make a few vain attempts to get back on track, but life is busy, you’re stressed out, keeping track is too much work, and, oh yeah, food tastes so fucking good it’s hard to make yourself stop eating it. You blame yourself for going off of the diet (which you were destined to do because no healthy person can stick with these “starvation diets,” since, duh, we’re not made to fucking starve!) The weight starts to creep back on – this time you gain weight until you are heavier than when you started. You’ve now plummeted from feeling great to feeling like shit about yourself.
You think, “That diet worked for me before. I’m going to go back on it. I just have to be stronger this time.” So you do. You start to lose weight again, but this time it isn’t as much or as fast as you did the first time. You blame age, bad exercise habits, a naturally slow metabolism, genetics, or maybe you even suspect yourself of eating in your sleep. In your mind, you go over a million reasons why this slowed weight loss is somehow your fault, never guessing that when you went on the first diet, your body, which is built for survival, didn’t understand that you were starving it to make it fit in a pair of skinny jeans. It only understood that it was starving. So it slowed down your metabolism, causing your weight loss to slow. But that’s not all.
A slowed metabolism in starvation mode causes you to start gaining weight rapidly as soon as you set even a tiny toe outside that starvation level. Your body gets a few extra calories and it’s like, “Fuck yeah! I have three extra calories today! I’d better eat one and save two for later.”
So here you are starving yourself again, and you lose some weight eventually. And eventually you go off the diet again and put the weight back on again. And again, you blame yourself. You were too weak to resist the cookies in the snack machine. You weren’t able to control yourself in the ice cream aisle of the grocery store. Your kids snack packs became your midnight snack packs because, clearly, you’re a terrible mother.
Time passes, you want this mother fucking stupid yo-yo bloody stinking fat on your body to go the fuck away once and for all. So what do you do? You go back to where you started – with the diet that ruined your metabolism in the first place. Makes total sense, right? Because it “worked” the first time. You must be the problem. Not the diet. It could never be the diet.
Guess what? It’s not you. It’s the diet.
But wait! There’s hope!
You can repair your slowed metabolism and give yourself a healthy body by learning how to eat food for the reason food exists, to nourish your body. Step one is to Stop. Fucking. Dieting.
Step two is to start to learn about nutrition. For many, the prospect of learning about nutrition as opposed to having a pre-planned, pre-packaged “diet” seems like a lot of work. You think “I don’t have time, I’m too busy!” or “There’s so much information, I’ll never know it all, and I don’t really understand it to begin with!”
That’s step three. To stop the “instant gratification” mentality. Yes, you are busy. Yes, there is a lot of information. No, you don’t currently understand it. Yes, it’s going to take you a while to learn some of this stuff. But the basics are fairly simple and can be learned over a few short weeks (or a few
short long blog posts!) Start small. Pick one thing to learn about. Then pick something else.
I’ll make this super easy for you and give you your first piece of nutritional knowledge. You should eat leafy greens every day. They provide nutrients that clean toxins out of your body and contain vitamins and minerals that can do everything from keeping away the common cold, to helping you sleep better, to preventing cancer.
Your next bit of research should be to google the words “Partially Hydrogenated.” That will change your food choices immediately.
Step four is to take a walk. Every day. For fifteen minutes. If possible, break that walk up in to five minute segments and do them immediately after each meal. If not, just walk.
You can do this. You can end this stupid cycle of bodily abuse perpetrated in the name of skinny. Fuck skinny. Let’s get some bad ass nutrition up in this body of yours.