So what is a ‘Diet’ anyway…

I suspect that when someone, including me right now, says they are on a diet what they really mean is that they are trying to lose weight. And by weight, they mean fat because let’s face it, most of us, at least in the west, carry far too much of the stuff around with us.

But if a diet was just about weight loss then it’d be a bit of a one weight street, you could go down in weight and lose fat but the only way to gain weight by that premise would be to put it all back on again and obviously that is not what we want. Even though we might reach a target weight, we might still be carrying too much fat and in that situation you would want to replace fat with muscle. Since fat is less dense than muscle you’d actually get smaller if you maintained the same weight.

If you were to talk about the diet of say, livestock, the aim there is to put as much lean muscle mass (that nice big juicy steak you like) as possible in the shortest time so that diet is tailored to gaining muscle mass. In reality it’s a form of biological engineering.By giving the animals a carefully controlled diet we can cause the animal to gain significant amounts of lean muscle.

Now there are two things to note here:

  • We are not all that different in terms of our biology.
  • The key word is ‘control’.

So if you applied the same regime to your own diet, you’d achieve the same results as we would for livestock and that is to gain lean muscle mass and lose fat.

I suspect that what makes it difficult for many people is the sheer availability of ‘convenience’ foods, especially ‘fast foods’ and so called ‘snacks’, none of which should really be a significant part (preferably no part) of a controlled diet in my opinion. A lifetime of lousy eating habits and the availability of food makes for a hard life style to change but if you want results then, as Yoda might say, ‘change you must’!

So here’s my thinking, don’t think of a diet as something to endure and get through in order to lose weight, think of it as you being in control of what you eat. Instead of reaching for that snack or just grabbing food ‘when ever’, plan each day out in terms of what you will eat and when and learn to anticipate and enjoy each meal. Don’t treat each meal as something that is an interruption to the flow of life, think of it as being part of your life.

We all plan out so many aspects of our lives and work and yet we all, for the most part, fail to plan for this one simple thing that we do every day and that is to eat and yet, what we do out here, outside of the gym or any sport you might take part in, has a far bigger impact on your results than all that exercise.



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