..Are We Dieting For The Right Reasons?
Well yes obviously we diet to lose weight but what is the result we want to achieve? What is the image we have of ourselves that drives us to crash diet or burn the fat? – is that where crash and burn comes from – slim down or whatever term we choose?
You would like to think that the over-riding image of ourselves at our desired weight is one of a happy sole skipping through a sun drenched, daisy littered meadow, content in the knowledge that as a non-fatty the risk of contracting
- liver disease
- various cancer types
- heart attacks
- gallbladder disease
- sleep apnea
- joint problems
- pregnancy complications
has been greatly reduced due to all the healthy weight loss from the diet(s) that have been undertaken. There is only one condition on that list that you can, one hundred percent avoid, if you’re obese and for that you have to be male.
It would be interesting to poll 100 people who were on a diet, wanting to lose weight and to find out their response to this blog title – why diet? We diet to lose weight but…?
Would the majority answer something like “I’m worried about developing insulin resistance” or “I’m trying to stave off the onset of osteoarthritis”?
Like smoking, being overweight has become unfashionable and not de riguer if you want to be a member of the cool school.
Being a regular smoker, like heavy drinking can mean a 25% increase in the likelihood of having some sort of chronic condition as listed above; being obese would see that figure rise from 25% to a whopping 65% chance of becoming chronically ill.
For some reason these risks we take with our health don’t seem to fill us with a sense of urgency or surprise. It’s as if we think it won’t happen to us and yet we think a large lottery win will.
There was a recent huge US lottery which was won and the chance of winning was 1 in 175 million. The chance of being hit by lightening in the US, for any 12 month period, is 1 in 280,000. Conservatively someone who is overweight has a 1 in 2 chance of becoming chronically ill.
Social attitudes have changed everywhere where there is an over consumption of the modern, media-hyped culture that appears to consider a lean, slim, defined body to be the goal, a prize that everyone wants to win but not necessarily for the right reasons.
There are so many, many individuals who will have their own personal take on what it’s like to be overweight and how eating has become a battle and no longer a way to fuel the body.
It’s as if the drive to diet and become slim has clouded the way we view ourselves. We try to lose weight because we think we need to be slimmer, or rather look slimmer, whether our bodies need to or not. This is pandering to the cultural and not to the physical requirements of the body.
This unnecessary dieting, especially when it begins from an early age, when the social influences are strongest, can put our natural metabolism out of kilter and can kick start a crazy cycle of weight gain, weight loss, fatty, skinny, ups and downs.
Why diet? Why lose weight?
We need to reach an attainable healthy weight to allow us to avoid chronic sickness and enjoy life through all stages of life. Of course there are certain genetic pointers that might be involved to scupper our plans but that’s a topic for a later post.