We are a society obsessed with weight loss, dieting and image. This has a huge detrimental effect on our self-esteem, but sometimes we fail to recognize that it also has terrible consequences for our health.
Don’t be fooled, “diet” is not synonymous with “health.”
For example, we all know that obesity isn’t healthy, but people who are underweight often don’t get enough calories AND nutrients. While you may look thin, your body is suffering on the inside.
One scary example of this is the “low carb” craze. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which is absolutely necessary for your brain, nerve cells and red blood cells. Eating a very low-carb diet forces your body into a state called ketosis, leaving your body basically starving and your muscles diminishing. Then, if prolonged, ketoacidosis can occur and you will experience fatigue, muscle weakness, poor thyroid function, decreased mental capacities, etc. People are fooled by this diet because you do lose weight quickly, but that’s only because you are losing water weight along with your glucose stores. This diet is unsustainable and unhealthy.
That’s not to say we can’t all benefit from cutting back on empty, processed, sugary carbs like donuts or pastries, but we should never replace a delicious, healthy slice of whole grain bread for a fat and cholesterol laden steak just because it doesn’t contain carbohydrates!
The moral of the example above is that we need to stop counting. Counting calories, fat grams, and most importantly, pounds. We need to consider nutrients instead.
Eating in a whole foods plant based way gives us lots of micronutrients and phytochemicals. It also naturally prevents us from overconsuming calories, fat, and cholesterol. Animal products, on the other hand, contain excess amounts of these things and relatively few vitamins and no antioxidants.
Eating plant-based whole foods helps us reach and maintain a healthy weight which for some may be thinner than average or thicker than average and that’s all okay. Let’s stop obsessing over the scale and the measuring tape and put that same amount of energy into choosing delicious healthy foods, not diet foods. Don’t let society tell you the goal is to lose weight. The goal is to treat your body right so that you can live a long, wonderful life!
see: low carb diet, what’s wrong with our healthcare