Friday, July 20, 2018

The stupidity of fad diets

Credit: Image taken from my website
Chocolate and raspberry cheesecake with chocolate sauce.

A look at modern diet trends and how the public have been sucked into a needless world of pills, supplements and shakes.

I don't think we can hide form the fact people are getting fatter, with fast food becoming ever more popular for it's fast and easy approach to battering hunger into submission, and of course the post war abolition of rationing opening the doors for convenience foods and the invention of the microwave oven meant that people could eat what they wanted, when they wanted, a good thing you might say? And in some respects I would agree, it paved the way for poorer families to eat better foods that were previously in accessible, and it allowed the busy working parent to whip up an occasional quick and easy meal if in a rush.

But what was once an occasional option when in a hurry, has turned into a corporate monopoly on peoples health and well being, it seems that fast and un healthy food has almost been absorbed into our DNA. OK maybe a bit too extreme but poignant none the less.

The resulting change in the first world diet has seen us eat less fruit and veg and more fat laden fast food, which has led those people concerned about their weight turn to 'special' diets involving pill popping, drinking gloopy shakes, and hitting the gym 5 times a week, leaving just enough time to sit down to an evening meal of a bowl of lettuce and a glass of hot water. Exaggerating? No people really do go this far to reduce weight, and I think it seldom works because people get bored, fed up and miserable from such an appalling diet, thrashing it out at the gym 5 times a week, eventually returning to old eating habits and getting nowhere. I have seen it first hand myself and my response is stop doing it to yourself, your body doesn't like you doing it.

I must stress at this point I'm not a nutritional expert, but one thing I do know about is food, which of course is where weight loss starts. In order to have a healthy lifestyle you need to eat properly, this means eating things like fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, potatoes, rice, grains and pulses and of course water, none of which you will get from a pill or a shake. If you eat a well balanced diet, or should I say a normal diet fit for a human being, with plenty of moderate exercise, your body will naturally fall within it's own balance. When I say moderate exercise that means nice long walks in the park, a bike ride, swimming, something you actually enjoy doing, rather than feeling out of place in a starkly lit fashion parade of a gym.

It all boils down to common sense, eat smaller portion sizes, exercise regularly, eat good healthy food and don't eat too much of the stuff that made you fat in the first place, and that's it.

Life should be for enjoying, we work hard as it is in our day jobs, and food is a pleasure we should not deny ourselves. It is ok to have a piece of cake and not feel bad about it, it is OK to have a bacon sandwich, and it's OK to have a nice cold beer on a sunny afternoon. The point is be happy, you don't need to punish your body into submission to feel better about yourself. you will notice that the picture for this article is a nice slice of cheesecake, yes I made it, yes I ate some of it, and no I'm not over weight or unhealthy, because I didn't eat the whole lot! much as I probably could have :)

About the Writer

I am a foodie, a haphazard culinary procrastinator, wild with enthusiasm for all things gastronomy, bereft of any self control. A cook, giver of recipes, absorber of knowledge. Always hungry.
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5 comments on The stupidity of fad diets

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By TonyBerkman on July 30, 2012 at 05:04 pm

and they still continue to manage to create fads with new diets ... it's amazing though shows the desparation of people to lose weight.

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By thebritishmenu on July 31, 2012 at 05:07 pm

I think this obsession to feel valued by peers, successors and celebrities has caused people to become almost panicked into dieting, and companies know that with false insecurity comes profit. And this is an utter abomination. We don't need shakes and pills, we just need to eat sensibly, moderatly and have some exercise. It is that simple.

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By TonyBerkman on July 31, 2012 at 06:49 pm

@britishmenu couldn't agree more.

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By Marie-Louise on August 06, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Even though I agree with most of your opinions regarding fad diets in the article, I do feel it is over-simplified.

Sure for the average person it can be that simple. Unfortunately, simple doesn't work for everyone.

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By thebritishmenu on August 08, 2012 at 03:44 am

Oh absoloutely, I probably should have put something in there about different circumstances, I mean people have medical conditions that restrict what and how they eat, and of course lifestyle has a big part to play, but I just think people are led to beilieve that it's what they need to stay slim, like I said as well peer pressure has a lot to do with it like 'Celebrity size 0 diet plans' 'lose 5 stone in 6 weeks with these pills' Can't be good for you.

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