It seems like this is the common definition of diet in a skinny-is-better world.
However, the real meaning of the term “diet” has been distorted and twisted into quite an unhealthy idea. The simple, easy to understand logic of “eat less, weigh less” may explain why so many people are denying themselves the nutrition their body needs. The fact is, most people are uneducated about proper nutrition. From advertisements for diet pills, to enticing headlines on magazines, we are constantly fed lies about what it means to be healthy.
MYTH 1: There’s an easy, quick fix solution to losing weight.
There is no such thing as a quick fix. Pills and fad diets may work initially, but they don’t last for long. Fad diets have a 95 percent failure rate, according to North Dakota State University nutrition specialist, Julie Garden-Robinson. Making and staying dedicated to a permanent lifestyle change is the only solution.
MYTH 2: If I eat less, I’ll weigh less.
This is one of the most common diet misconceptions. According to an article by the LIVESTRONG foundation, when there aren’t enough calories consumed, the body’s natural response is to enter “starvation mode,” which increases the storage of fat while breaking down muscle tissues for energy. Everyone has a certain calorie intake they need to be fulfilling depending on their weight and activity; generally, nutritionists recommend not dipping below 1200 calories a day.
MYTH 3: Fat is bad.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are a variety of “good” and “bad” fats. Acco0rding to a study by The University of Maryland Medical Center, people who severely limit their fat intake are denying themselves basic nutrients, such as vitamins A and E, folic acid, calcium, iron and zinc. Additionally, those on low-fat diets may be increasing their risk of a stroke due to hemorrhage in the brain.
MYTH 4: Because the label says “low fat,” and “low sugar,” it means it’s healthy.
Sure, looking for foods that read lower in sugar and fat is a good start – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is giving your body what it needs. Those looking to get healthy need to be ultra-observant of what they’re putting into their bodies. According to the fitness and nutrition experts of HybridAthlete, the foods we’ve come to know as American staples are actually poisoning us. Food’s initial nutrition is broken down to become non-perishable, leaving very little nutritional value. Additionally, foods that read non-fat, such as non-fat milk, have been run through heavy chemical processes. Healthy fat is then replaced with harmful chemicals- where’s the logic in that? The lack of nutrients in the mega-refined foods don’t satisfy the body, so you eat more and as a result, store more fat.
ASK A NUTRITIONIST
Emily Dinmann is a blogger with a Bachelor’s of Science and Nutrition from the University of Minnesota
What’s the wrong way to approach a healthy diet?
“The all-or-nothing approach or being 100 percent “perfect” all the time. I’m all about making small changes that you can keep up forever. It truly is a lifestyle. Eat healthy most of the time and save some room for treats and splurges!”
Your definition of “diet”?
“I personally think of the word diet as the food we eat, not something restrictive to help us lose weight!”
Chrissy Shane/Features editor
Chrissy Shane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org