Tag Archives: diet

Diet is a Dirty Word

24 Feb diet, lifestyle, illustration, analogy, health, fatal sequence, fs, icons, symbols, aiga

When I say “diet,” I do NOT mean:

“such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight.”

You know the mentality: eat this way for ___ days, lose ___ pounds, then go back to whatever you were doing before.

I DO mean:

“a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease.”

I’m referring to the part of your lifestyle encompassing the food you eat – what you choose to put (or not put) in your body on a daily basis. Your lifestyle refers to “the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.”

This matters because of the principle of homeostasis:

“the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.”

In other words, the body is always trying to achieve balance. As unpleasant as it is to accidentally touch a hot pan on the stove, the reason those nerve endings are there is to tell you to run away, thus preventing further injury. However, external physical pain is (fortunately) not the only way the body communicates with us. High blood pressure, extra weight, even skin problems like eczema are all methods the body uses to declare there’s a problem. A symptom, after all, is just “a sign or indication of something.”

Let’s say you choose to “diet” in the traditional sense of the word, and successfully lose weight and lower your blood pressure. It’s because you corrected something that allowed your body to achieve homeostasis. So if you reach your goal of losing ___ pounds or lowering ___blood pressure, then return to your lifestyle before the diet, you will throw your body back out of balance, effectively halting, if not reversing, any progress that might have been made. Make sense?

Health problems caused by your lifestyle can be corrected by your lifestyle.