The myth of dieting
No one eats healthy. It’s not a cynical opinion of my outlook on life. It’s a fact. Health freaks like to calculate their calorie intake, their daily amount of fibers and proteins and lay off the saturated fats but let’s face it; it’s simply impossible to take care of your diet while being alive at the same time.
Everyone likes to sink their teeth into a deep fried chicken burger every once in a while. Who wouldn’t want to make their day a little better with sugar in their tea or a sip of Coca-Cola with their meal?
Pick up any volume of Reader’s Digest or Men’s Health magazine and you’ll find one or two new innovative dieting techniques and you’ll think to yourself “Wow! That’s brilliant! Maybe I’ll try that today!” And then come the next five minutes when your friend calls you up and invites you for lunch/ dinner and that thought slips out of your mind like jelly off a spoon.
The point I am trying to make is this: why even bother? Sure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and numerous other problems have been linked with unhealthy diets and lifestyles but let’s face it: nothing’s a problem until it makes itself known. You won’t care about living on steaks and potato chips until either a) people call you fat or b) you feel like you need a visit to the doctor.
And on the flip side of the coin, you realize that your father had diabetes and he lived a rich fulfilling life (so what if he’s had to cut down on the laddoo for the past 15 years), your grandfather survived two heart-attacks (hey, everyone gets those) and your grandmother never had any fast-food in her life but she died quicker than all of them. So clearly dieting is pointless – for you, at least. The rest of the world can worry about their strokes and their obesity. You’re just fine.
If you have read through all of the above then you will have realized that this is the thought process that goes on in the back of your mind when toying with the idea of dieting and balancing your nutrition a bit. Our generation has been awarded with the great gift of our time; awareness. But just how effective is it?
Sure, we’ve been told since the fourth grade that balancing our carbohydrates and taking our vitamins is good for us but do we really care? To us, the tales of a healthy diet and exercise are a little more than fables; told to us by someone in our distant memory or read about in a book. The standards that are set seem unimaginably high to the point where we begin to question their reality.
All I can say is this: reality or not, nutrition is something we need to focus on in our time. In a century where we experiment with intake of all sorts of chemicals and unnatural substances (who even knows what milk is made of anymore?), we need to worry about the effects they could have on our bodies.
They could very well be fatal. And no-one deserves to be lying on their death-bed wondering why it came.
About the author: Faraz Mahmood Ayyaz is a medical student at Lahore Medical and Dental College, Pakistan. He is a contributor to JPMS Blogs and likes to write about what he thinks is important.