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Diets and lifestyles and fads, oh my!
From Chapter I
What is a “diet” (1), what is a “lifestyle” (2), and what is a “fad” (3)?
The difference between a diet and a lifestyle is exactly as it seems, where diet is simply what one eats, and a lifestyle is that plus physical activity, stress management, community interaction, and other aspects as a whole—a way of life. A fad is a temporary hype with a specific theme.
The term “diet” has two most used definitions in literature—1) what one eats and drinks regularly, or 2) the eating plans commercially promoted or sold for the purpose of weight loss. A diet, overall, is any individual eating habit, with the most common usage being protocols inclusive of specific restrictive eating habits with the more ineffective and even dangerous types almost always accompanied by calorie restriction—these are fads, and always have an end result contrary to what was intended. Because of the negative connotation of the term “diet”, I will be using the term way of eating (also called WOE) when referring to lifestyle-driven consumption of foods, instead, so as not to confuse the two.
A vast majority fad weight loss diets are plant-based and employ harmful calorie restriction.
These diets are not sustainable and don’t work as far as the goal of health benefits when employed long-term.
The term “lifestyle” denotes a total and full encompassing role of not only eating habits, but also physical activity, use of medicinal or harmful drugs, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, stress management, and even inclusive of practices revolving around spirituality if desired. It is less narrow than thinking of disease as being based on symptoms, such as blaming obesity for diabetes or vice versa when it’s not logical in the least. This method changes the person’s entire life instead of focusing on one goal, such as desiring weight loss and adopting a diet which flows very much like anorexia nervosa, and can, indeed, cause the disorder. More will be explained later.
Brown rice is an example of a fad; the inclusion of the once-discarded hull and germ causes digestive upset and improperly prepped rice or rice in large amounts is inflammatory and promotes artery buildup (atherosclerosis).
This term is irrationally overused by a large amount of people. They use it for everything, including things which are not fads at all, like Low Carb. Low Carb, specifically Ketogenic and fasting, have been documented since 500 BC or earlier to treat diseases (4), and increasing evidence in anthropology will continue to educate us more on what the past was like. Ignorance and refusal to leave behind prior misinformation because of deeply ingrained beliefs, what is called the belief engine (5) , hold progression back and leave people in the same loophole of the current health crisis which began in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, and saw a drastic increase in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the development and introduction of the now discontinued food pyramid. This visual concept of the grain-based diet was a fad. Newer versions are no better.
1. “Diet.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. Accessed 20 June 2018.
2. “Lifestyle.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. Accessed 20 June 2018.
3. “Fad.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. Accessed 20 June 2018.
4. James W. Wheless. History of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia; Volume 49, Issue s8: doi/full/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01821.x [Source]
5. James Alcock. The Belief Engine. Skeptical Inquirer; Volume 19.3, May / June 1995: [csicop.org/SI/show/belief_engine/default.asp] [Source]