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To diet or not to diet

All of a sudden, everybody seems to be following one diet or another but no one seems to be adhering to it. Recently, I came across a person saying that he has followed keto, paleo and fat-free diets, but to no avail. All seem to have a weighing scale at home and weigh themselves three times a day from day one of dieting. How do we expect to lose weight in a day? Did we put on weight in a day?

We have been putting on weight gradually for so many years and suddenly one fine morning, decide to lose weight and start dieting. Many first follow all fad diets, use diet supplements available in the market, and follow all the online channels on diet and after finding out they are not working, come to a qualified nutritionist. By then, the damage has been done already. Like medicine, self-prescription of diet is equally bad. Following various kinds of diet restrictions plays with the metabolism. It takes nearly six weeks to lose the first kilogram of weight. The body fat has to be mobilised to give energy, then only we will start losing weight. Food should be a way of life and not a one-month stint.

There are some diets that restrict or overindulge a particular nutrient for so many numbers of days and in the interim, you can have a “cheat day” or a “treat day.” Who are we cheating? Our body? Our metabolism? No, we are cheating ourselves. Our body has a mechanism of going on a routine or rather a cycle. When we go on a specific diet for a few days and then erratically overeat on a particular day, the body will start reacting badly as the hormones and cells get confused. So, if we plan to follow a diet and we are convinced about it, then we should follow it until our target is achieved. Even after the desired result, we should slowly resume a normal diet which is balanced and that we can follow lifelong.

Lifestyle modification, along with a proper diet pattern, is the only way out for a healthy society. Similar to diet, over-exercising for a few days and then abruptly leaving it can prove to be dangerous. Diet changes or exercise should be practical and easily doable (unless one is following a restricted diet for any disease condition) and should help us in weight loss or gain gradually. Overdoing can lead to severe irreparable health issues.

Please understand the concept of dieting before following a particular diet pattern. Do not hesitate to question, if you have any doubt regarding diet. Do not google your doubts. Google can always give a thousand answers to one question and we might not know the right answer. Don’t prescribe yourself a diet.

mmuralidharan67@gmail.com


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:18:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/to-diet-or-not-to-diet/article36533728.ece

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