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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Rubin

Damn, Those Diets got me Down

Diet. Don’t you just hate that word. It reminds you of salad, tasteless and dry. The grumble in your stomach. The opening and closing of the refrigerator, the silent pain of gazing at those chocolates in your pantry and imagining the taste in your mouth. The defeat and hopelessness you experience when you finally give in. In life, we often separate objects and ideas into categories, temporary and permanent. We regard the permanent category as superior and the temporary as less important. The appeal in the word “diet” is the hidden word “temporary”. We get excited by the prospect of something that can completely change our bodies in a matter of weeks and we never have to go back and do it again. So excited that we forget to ask ourselves the key question; “What will I do when my diet ends?”. The diet is the reason all your experiences with maintaining your weight loss have not succeeded, and the reason why we often feel defeated and hopeless. A diet is changing your eating pattern for a short period of time, and usually it is unnatural. A diet revolves around the idea of restriction, cutting out foods, cutting back calories, eating weird foods, fasting, you know the deal. The problem with diets is that you cannot live on a diet your whole life. Diets also tend to backfire because after eating restrictively, you are more likely to go back and eat badly again.

Restrictive eating is possibly the worst idea in the world. When you restrict your calories for too long, your body assumes you are starving. Your body reacts by dropping your metabolism. The issue is when you decide to eat a normal amount of calories again, your body will put on weight. This leads to a vicious cycle of dieting and gaining more weight. Though you may lose weight initially, you become a slave to this cycle and become in worse shape then ever before. If you want to lose weight, restricting calories is not the way to do this, and it can lead to a multitude of health problems.

I want you to replace the word diet with the word lifestyle. Wow, doesn’t that sentence feel full of possibility! It not only sounds great, but it makes us feel renewed. A lifestyle does not only involve your nutrition, but it is the entirety of your way of life. With a healthy lifestyle, you don't only lose weight healthfully, but you will maintain that weight afterwards, something that is impossible when going on a restrictive diet. Instead of cutting calories, swap your usual unhealthy food to good, wholesome, natural food like fish, meat, healthy carbs, low-glycemic fruit, and lots of vegetables. This way of losing weight is much more effective, healthier, and better for your health.

My friends always ask me, "So Caroline, what do you eat?". They always assume I eat like a rabbit, just eating lettuce, but in reality the way I eat is not like that at all. I eat tons of meat, healthy grains, healthy carbs, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats. Every time I go to any restaurant I see at least 5 things that I could choose from. In fact, I hate salad! My way of eating and living is not some unachievable goal, but rather it is quite simple. Anything that you know is junk, don't eat it, or save it for special occasions!

Beginning a journey to a healthy lifestyle does take effort, but it a completely attainable goal as long as you stick with it!

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