"On" a Diet?

I have a pet peeve. It is how we use the word "diet" to only mean a weight-loss program. It drives me bonkers when people say they hate the word "diet". People hate the word "diet" SO much, they resist the whole concept of following any type of program dictated by doctors or assorted health "experts" in order to lose weight. Go "on" a diet? NEVER!

But what is really wrong here?

First of all, are you overweight? Obese? Diabetic? Pre-diabetic? Do you have cancer? Or another of the DIET-related diseases? Like heart disease? Alzheimers? Are you unhappy with your energy level, your waistline, your fitness level, your mental or emotional states? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to consider changing your DIET. What you put into your mouth has an enormous effect on all of the above.

Because no matter what you are putting into your mouth, that constitutes your current DIET. The word "diet" means what you eat. You are already ON a diet! A toad's diet includes crickets and other insects. A dog's diet includes meat and other animal proteins. If you try to feed a toad or a dog corn instead, those poor animals will be unhappy, unhealthy, and will not thrive. Similarly, if your diet consists of mostly refined carbohydrates in the form of breads, pastas, potatoes, pastries, muffins, cookies, cake and candies, you will probably feel like doo-doo. The Standard American Diet is called SAD for a very good reason.

What some people might prefer to call "lifestyle" I prefer to call DIET. Yes, there are other lifestyle factors that make a difference to how you feel and look and whether or not you are likely to come down with certain diseases. Exercise is extremely important. Exercise is obviously the only factor in determining your fitness level. But what you eat is even more basic than that. You eat approximately 3-6 times each and every day. And each time you eat something, you feel the effects for several hours to several days. The foods you choose have an effect on your hormones, your mood, everything. You can lose weight and significantly change your body composition and your health simply by changing your diet. With no exercise whatsoever. It is MUCH more difficult to lose weight, change your body composition, and affect your health with ONLY exercise. Just try to exercise off the pounds while continuing to eat a junk-filled diet. Let me know how that goes. (Just kidding. Please don't.)

Human beings can thrive on many different kinds of diets. If you look at traditional diets of native populations, you will find great variety. People are extremely adaptive. We can thrive on a diet of cow's milk and cow's blood like the Masai. We can thrive on seal meat, blubber, and not much more like the Inuit. We can thrive on a Mediterranean diet. Or a traditional Japanese diet. Atkins works great for tons of people. The Zone is perfect for others. Paleo is another possibility. Any diet that contains a wide variety of meats, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds will offer all the nutrients we need to thrive.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT talking about any type of FAD diet here. You cannot survive long-term on bananas and cabbage soup (without meat in it, that is.) And I include veganism as a fad diet. Human beings cannot survive without any animal products unless missing nutrients are taken as supplements. Vegetarian diets which include eggs and dairy are fine.

So let's ditch the semantics. You are already on a "diet". It is either working well for you, making you look and feel fantastic, filling your body and being with boundless energy and light, or it is not. If it is not, let's fix that!