This status update showed up in my newsfeed last night:
I really feel for this person, because I love fries too, and wouldn’t want to give them up either.
While this post didn’t inspire me to reach for a salad (although I also love my greens), I was inspired by his honesty.
C’mon, how many of us would readily admit that we’d rather chow down on a burger, fries and Coke than a quinoa salad and wheatgrass smoothie…and then face up to the food police (these guys seem to be everywhere)?
Which brings me to the word ‘diet’ … a word that everyone throws around so loosely, and sits like a dark cloud over most people’s heads.
“Ughh. My diet starts on Monday.”
I can almost taste the drudgery, dread and sadness whenever someone says something like this to me.
The definition of ‘diet’ in the Cambridge dictionary is as follows:
…of which, I’m very partial to the top-most entry.
The word itself has gotten a bad rap for a very long time now, but to me, it simply means: The food you eat.
Good or bad, rice or no rice, salad or no salad, it’s still a diet, dammit. How can you go on a diet when you’re already ON one?
A diet = The food you eat
Whatever diet you’re on, you can however, make it better.
And how you make it better depends on your:
- Health status (Are you diabetic? Do you have Celiac’s disease? Suffer from irritable bowel syndrome? All these conditions affect what and how you need to eat.)
- Body composition goals (do you want to lose fat, gain muscle or stay the way you are now?)
- Hormonal profile (chronic ups and downs can make it easy for you to gain weight, or lose weight)
- Level of physical activity (are you sedentary, a recreational exerciser or a performance athlete?)
- Lifestyle (How active are you throughout your day? What are your stress levels like?)
- Allergies (Which foods can and can you not eat?)
- Aversions and preferences (Not a vegetable person? Don’t like meat? Can’t stand dairy? I get it. We all like what we like and no one should judge you for it.)
This list could go on for a very long time.
The point I’m getting at is that no matter what your diet looks like, it’s got to take into account all your lifestyle, personal and medical preferences. There is no perfect diet, no right, no wrong …. as long as what you’re eating consistently isn’t digging you an early grave or causing you unnecessary grief.
If you want to have that burger with a side of fries, go ahead. As long as everything else you do and eat supports the outcome you want.
I say have your fries and eat it too, but also think about this: What’s one super easy tweak you can make right now to make your diet work for you, instead of against you? Could it be having those fries once a week instead of 3 days a week? Or have 3 spicy chicken wings instead of 6?
The plate’s on your side of the table.
Photo credit: Thomas Kelley/Unsplash