Diet dogma kills

When you hear the word diet you probably think of try-hards in Lycra downing powders out of a can or doing their best to convince you to join their “it’s-not-a-pyramid-scheme” supplement scam. Or maybe you think of whichever diet guru was king of the castle in your era – Scarsdale, Pritikin, Slim Fast, Fit For Life, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Dukan. In 1925 the Lucky Strike diet encouraged people to reach for a cigarette instead of a sweet, and look where that got us.

Somewhere along the way humans confused the real meaning of the word diet. It may seem just a small matter of semantics but in the age of food mass marketing semantics is where it’s at.

See, there’s diet and then there is Diet. The first means the kind of food a person or animal or community habitually eat. The second is some kind of whack job created to make people who eat badly feel better about themselves. If you’re on a Diet there is something wrong in your life and this is manifesting through your food choices. There is Die in Diet, after all.

Little d diet is what we do everyday, while big D Diet is what people say you should do while swiping your credit cards. Sure, you can go on a big D Diet to lose weight if you need some kind of structure or you could just listen to your body and stop eating crap in your little d diet.

Want to feel good, lose weight and change your life? It’s pretty simple; stop eating things that come out of packets. That’s it in a nutshell.

Here we go. There’s the vegetarians in one corner with their heirloom carrots, the pescatarians in the other saying fish is fine, the raw foodists wanly waving their banners, the juicers passive aggressively discussing machinery, there’s the wholegrain champions chomping down on croissants, the gluten-free cause celebres loving up Gwyenth Paltrow, the Paleo squad ripping into bone broths and nut bars, and watch out! Here come the vegans with dairy-free broccoli ice cream… who’s right? Who’s wrong?

It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong because nobody is. Diet dogma kills. It kills the individual’s innate ability to listen to what their body is telling them, it kills the enjoyment of food, it kills the ability to share the experience of eating, it kills people’s self esteem, it kills the fun.

Underneath the fat, shaky body image or the guilt lays a person who has it in them the means to make good choices simply by taking a moment to listen to their body.

Look, you’re not stupid but let’s make it real simple anyway. Stop eating things you know are bad for you.

That’s the only diet anyone needs to follow.