Want to lose some weight? Start dieting!
Want to compensate for binge eating? Start dieting!
Want to look attractive? Start dieting!
Diet has become the ultimate answer for such questions. It is like a new culture which is trending at a very fast pace. And you’ll find its propagators almost everywhere!
Go to a birthday party, a wedding, a social gathering or a kitty lunch and you will definitely come across someone who is on a “diet” and will be avoiding all the fried appetizers and desserts on the menu and will be seen simply tanking up on soup or nibbling on salads. All this hullabaloo around ‘dieting’ is because of the notion that ‘dieting leads to weight loss!’ Weight-watchers consider it as the sure shot way of attaining the goals of weight loss. Gosh! This dieting culture is spreading like an ‘Epidemic’. Yes, ‘epidemic’ because dieting is nothing less than an infectious disease. It isn’t permanent and definitely isn’t a healthy way of remaining hale, hearty and fit!
Interestingly, Merriam – Webster dictionary defines a diet as a regimen to eat and drink sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight. If you are an expert in reading between the lines, you must have noticed that even the dictionary doesn’t consider dieting as healthy! , In fact, several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain.”
Read along to know why we don’t ask you to jump on the diet bandwagon:
- Makes you gain more weight.
“Follow this diet for 2 weeks and lose 3 or 4 kilograms of weight”. You all must have come across advertisements like these very often.
It’s obviously easy to fall prey to such a promising diet when you have your school re-union coming up in 2 weeks and you wish to look your best, isn’t it?
So, you start following the diet regimen for 2 weeks and get magical results – 3 kilograms lost in 2 weeks. You get floored with compliments for your svelte avatar at the re-union.
Now the re-union is over and you are back to your old eating routine.
Boom! 2 weeks later, you’re back to where you started or perhaps even a kilogram more. Because, when you are on a diet, your body gets into a starvation mode and starts seeking balance. You start craving calorie-dense food because it’s a great way to replenish depleted energy stores and raise blood sugar to normal rapidly. Your body doesn’t care about vitamins and minerals. You eat quickly and forget about slow, mindful eating after dieting. Your body tries to feed all the cells in the body and doesn’t care if you feel stuffed or experience stomach-ache because it is trying to get the deprived energy. And thus, you gain more weight!
Hence, dieting means losing weight fast and re-gaining it even faster than you lost it.
2. Not sustainable
Let’s say you’ve enrolled for a weight loss program for 6 weeks and your nutritionist has absolutely forbidden you from eating your favorite parathas, poha for breakfast and instead asked you to opt for cereal and low-fat milk for breakfast throughout the program. Since you are all enthusiastic about losing weight, you embark with great determination and start eating your new breakfast.
It’s been 10 days and you are bored of eating cereal with milk every single day and given a chance would love to get the poha, upma and parathas back for breakfast.
With dieting, your taste buds take a beating since diet plans revolve around calories, not taste. Since palatability and variety is a very crucial aspect of food, when you are stuck to eating such boring and so-called low calorie food you can bid goodbye to weight loss. Dieting helps you attain short-term weight loss goals, but fails in the long run since it asks you to make drastic changes to your eating habits which may not necessarily be healthy like skipping dinner, eating just salad for lunch, etc.
Reality check – The chances of adhering to such strict diets are as slim as your dream of getting thin.
3. Diets = Deprivation and deprivation doesn’t work
Most diet plans come with a diktat of foods to eat and foods to avoid.
Now, you’ve been adhering to a diet that involves eating oats porridge for breakfast, khichdi for lunch and soup and salad for dinner for the past 2-3 weeks. Suddenly, a friend invites you over to your favorite restaurant for catching up and with a strong willpower you decide to just meet and not eat. You see your friend munching on your favorite pav bhaji and eventually get tempted to have just a bite.
Poof! You are suddenly gobbling down an entire plate of pav bhaji.
Clearly, when you deprive yourself of foods which your taste buds relish and replace them with foods you don’t like, the temptation to eat them increases multi-fold which later results in uncontrollable binge sessions.
Strict diets lead to deprivation which derails all your weight loss efforts.
4. Diets focus on weight loss and not on Health
We always correlate a healthy weight with good fitness levels. Your weight is an indicator of your health status – The thought has been imprinted in our minds since childhood. So, dieting which aims at losing weight should be the right manner to go about weight loss, right?
But you’re wrong because weight is just a number, not a yardstick to your health status.
If you weigh 2-3 kilograms more than your ideal weight, but get a sound sleep, empty your bowels regularly, thrive on high energy levels throughout, guess you need not fret over those extra kilos right?
However, given the obsession with numbers, you embark on a no-carb diet which helps you shed weight but at the same time, gets you constipated every other day or makes you irritable.
Well, clearly, you are better off with those extra weight instead of being at the ideal weight, right?
Diet plans simply focus on weight loss without taking your overall health in consideration. Weight loss achieved through rigorous dieting is often accompanied with alarming health concerns.
5. Makes you anti-social
Food is an important aspect of all social outings- be it a party, wedding, a school re-union, a family picnic or perhaps even a movie outing.
You’re on a strict diet plan when your spouse plans to watch a movie which has garnered rave reviews and has earned 100 crores in just 3 days. Your favourite actor being cast as the lead hero is another reason why you would love to watch this flick. But still you dishevel your movie plans? The reason – Movies in a multiplex means eating a tub of flavoured popcorn/samosas with coke during the interval, which is going to derail your diet plan.
A team lunch with your colleagues, a get-together of friends for a soccer match, a weekend pool party, a Diwali get-together in the family – You are more likely to give such outings a miss when you are on a diet because it’s difficult to keep your willpower strong when the menu boasts of an impressive food spread.
Rather than watching other’s relish the live counters, chaat, mithai and desserts while you are stuck to soup, sprouts and salad, it’s better to give the event a skip.
And obviously if you still manage to go, and excuse yourself every time your niece/aunt/best friend gets you a piece of your favourite gulab jamun, you’re not winning brownie points with them, right?
Yes, dieting makes your social life and socializing go for a toss!
6. Makes you chase numbers like calories
Most diet plans are devised based on the calorie requirement which is calculated by considering factors like age, height, weight and gender.
Now you have been on a 1300 calorie meal plan by your nutritionist and are expected to strictly adhere to it.
Let’s say, you’ve eaten a cheese sandwich for breakfast. Instead of relishing it, your mind will be doing the math – A cheese sandwich means 300 calories, which is 100 calories more than the prescribed 200 calories of oats upma. I’ll have to run 20 minutes more on the treadmill in the evening to burn those extra calories.
Or maybe you are planning a pizza party with friends and so you simply starve yourself from morning to ensure that your calorie intake is in check.
When you are too occupied with calculating/balancing calories at the back of your mind all the time, relishing your meals will become a rarity, won’t it? C’mon food was designed to enjoy its taste and satiate hunger and not to practice your math skills with!
Since dieting revolves around this math of calories, it just takes away the simple pleasures of relishing your meals…
Let’s check out the diet plan that your nutritionist has chalked out for you. It reads – Oats for breakfast, a large bowl of salad and a leafy vegetable and 1 small bhakhri for lunch, fruit plate for evening snacks and a bowl of soup for dinner.
Your next visit is scheduled for the next month, which means you are stuck with this menu for a month!!
With your amazing resolve, you embark on this diet and a week or ten days later, your willpower has left you stranded and your taste buds are craving for parathas and dal-chawal.
Come to think of it, we don’t eat food only because it satisfies our hunger, we also eat food because food appeals to the foodie within us. Don’t we love the flavor of ghee on freshly prepared parathas or the taste of butter on freshly prepared toast?
But when on a diet, you have to forget butter and ghee and give variety in your plate a miss- you’re going to be stuck to eating soup, salad, oats or khichdi.
With a repetitive menu or eating foods that doesn’t appeal to your palate, the chances of you following the diet and losing weight are quite low.
No wonder, you are better off without being on a diet.
Celebrity endorsements on how they achieved amazing weight loss results by sipping on green tea or eating quinoa for breakfast, sound like a full-proof plan to weight loss, don’t they?
So, off you dash to the supermarket and buy all the diet products that your favorite celebrity endorses so that you can flaunt your fab figure just like her.
However, when you check out the bill amount at the billing counter, you realize that your entire bill is nearly 4 times your usual billing amount.
Now, it’s easy for a celebrity to afford all these fancy superfoods but for a normal person, dieting is an expensive affair, dude!!!
Those multiple visits to the nutritionist coupled with incorporating foods like green tea, quinoa or skimmed milk on a daily basis are definitely going to burn a huge hole in your pocket.
Come to think of it, there isn’t any guarantee that all that money will result in weight loss, is there?
And here comes the spoiler – When groundnut oil can provide a similar nutrient profile as olive oil or spinach is as nutritious as kale, there seems no need to opt for such fancy products, right?
9. Dieting steals our attention
Dieting makes us less productive and disconnects us from other important aspects of life. Whether it’s being productive at work or discharging your responsibilities as a parent, you somehow don’t find the energy or enthusiasm for these important duties, since you are so preoccupied with your weighty woes.
Instead of chasing the actually important life goals, dieting makes us strive only for weight loss. Our entire time and all efforts get channelized towards losing weight and all the willpower is spent on making the diet plan work.
Dieting occupies our mind. We mull over our next food intake and keep weighing ourselves every day to check the amount of weight lost since yesterday. Even in your social circles, this obsession with food, calories and weight will eventually make you come across as a boring person.
Hence, quit dieting and start loving yourself instead. You’ll notice that your productivity in other things will increase drastically and you’ll come out as a happy and healthy person.
And in the long run, that’s what matters, not just your weight.
10. It is not personalized
One of my colleagues had enrolled in a weight loss program at a gym and was adhering to the diet plan handed over to her by the nutritionist at the gym. Another friend of hers happened to enroll for the weight loss program and was handed over a similar diet plan. While their goal may have been the same – weight loss, obviously their food preferences, health goals and body composition were different.
A diet plan should be tailor-made for you – your body, your ethnic background, your taste and health goals.
However, while visiting many nutritionists, we are handed a pre-determined diet plan which doesn’t take into consideration our preferences or convenience.
Every individual has different needs and therefore your diet should be personalized and not a standard, preset one!
I am sure you all hate dieting anyway and want to give up on it badly and this blog would have acted as a final nail in the coffin!
So, go on and enjoy food because ‘food is good and life is short’ And with our FREE app, there is absolutely no need for you to give up your favourite foods to lose weight. Yes, you heard it right.
We practice and preach that eating healthy is eating normally and wholeheartedly advocate the idea of relishing every meal.
We don’t give a diet plan. We give a meal plan and it is created by you with a just a few tweaks by us to keep the health factor in check.
Following a good diet is a lot easier than it seems – bon happetee is where a love of food meets the love of math. Yes, you heard that right. We have used math and analytics to help you eat what you love.
Let us show you how … And yes, of course, it is personalized 🙂
From weight loss to lifestyle changes to mindful eating to just enjoying food without guilt. This app has it all.
Get customized daily meal plans and real-time nutrition analytics that tell you how good your meals are and how you can improve them.
Let’s skip the diet and focus on food. Are you in?
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.