All diet names are just labels!

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

— Socrates

The further we go away from our root eating habits and lifestyle, the lifestyle that defined us as humans over thousands of years, the more health problems and obesity we should expect.

Even if we just go back a couple of generations, and ask our grandparents which diet they followed, I don’t think that many would say they followed a diet at all — they just ate what was available to buy, or what they could grow in the garden.

They didn’t buy “zero percent fat” packaged food. They didn’t buy peanut butter that contains no peanuts, only flavor and chemicals, mixed in such a way as to make you want to buy again.

All the diet names that we hear are really just labels. Mainly, they’re just a sales strategy. Rather than following a diet, we need to learn again about eating whole foods and cooking our meals with single ingredients, rather than buying ready packaged and processed foods from the supermarket.

A correct diet should teach you something about your body, the foods that it needs for nourishment and how you can pass on this knowledge to your family and kids. It’s not about calories, it is about what you are eating. Are you nourishing your body and giving it what it needs in order to feel healthy, energized, and not to be thinking about food all day long?

When I see someone sharing food photos or recipes on social media, then I know that they are probably on a diet. They are focusing so much on calories and macronutrients — how much protein, carbohydrate and fat is in the food — rather than how they feel after eating it and how it affects their health. Our body is just trying to survive and keep itself in homeostasis.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I don’t understand if you’re on a diet. I was a dieter too, I competed in fitness competitions and followed strict diets to reach my target weight and body composition.

But that can change, we can easily be free of counting calories and following diets. Our eating habits should be individualized — not a generic diet plan to fit everyone. Eating just to heal your body and provide it with energy is freedom.

I strongly believe that the path to health is eating organically produced food, free-range meats and wild caught fish, beans, real butter, and nuts and seeds. We should avoid eating processed food.

And rather than focusing on how much protein, carbs, fat or calories we are consuming, we should look at the ingredients — and remember that if you don’t understand the ingredient, or you can’t pronounce the name, then your body probably won’t like it.

If you are not sure then ask your grandparents, or any older people, what they do. Life is not all about how you look in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s… It is important how healthy you live and what you give.

Eat wholesome food! Sadly, most of us are overfed and undernourished.

If you need to lose weight or start a diet then remember that it is for your lifetime, not just a temporary fix or a short-term lifestyle change.

And if you think that healthy foods are expensive, then remember that, once you start eating healthy food, over time your cravings will decrease, your tastebuds will change, you’ll save money on medications or doctor visits and tests, and you’ll have less stress and more energy. You are worth it to eat healthy food!

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Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com, Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

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