Diets, The New Religion?
This is a revised article that originally appeared in November, 2010…
There is one thing that I’ve noticed recently in regards to nutrition, and that is, that people hang on to their nutrition regimes like it’s the ONLY way to live life. However, mostly when it is convenient to do so — gotta love 30 day Paleo challenges at most Crossfit boxes.
People are generally intolerant of other’s beliefs, which is exactly how I see very religious people, treating other religions.
I couldn’t help but notice that ‘diets’ these days resemble that of a religious or cult following, at least for a little while.
Now I’m not saying Religion or Dieting is wrong or bad, though cults probably are, I’m just saying, don’t be an extremist.
Can’t we all just get along?
Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain benefit to belonging a set of principles, values, or beliefs of some kind, especially when it is nutrition or exercise related — the social support of associating with other like-minded individuals for instance — so I will classify myself as belonging to the holistic, quality of life training team.
Being relatively agnostic about religion and skeptic of ‘diets,’ puts me in the most ideal position if you ask me. It means I can pick and choose the best aspects of each diet, and apply specific concepts to particular situations, particular in my work.
For instance, if I had a client with a gluten and yeast intolerance, a Paleo-like diet might be beneficial. If however, they had issues with eating meat, a true paleo diet would be a terrible option, so maybe we take some of the great concepts of paleo eating, but combine it with that of a solid vegetarian eating routine.
Maybe they need to shed some weight fast for a figure competition or a photo shoot, so we experiment with Intermittent Fasting (IF) or something similar to the Warrior Diet fasting approach to lean up a lot leading into competition. These are more advanced styles of eating though.
Maybe it’s someone who has struggled with weight gain, they want to stop being so skinny, so we look at something like the Anabolic Diet, or we just work on eating speed and liquid super shake consumption.
Truth be told, that I feel as though, all of these associations (like religion) have unique and interesting lessons or ideas to utilize when it comes to training or food.
Why not use them all, when the context permits?
This is why I steal the good ideas from bodybuilding, athletic training, crossfit, Yoga, Pilates, physiotherapy, massage therapy and meditate from time to time.
It’s also why I’m open to nutrition ideas from various religious, err, diets, like Paleo, South Beach, Warrior Diet, IF, Anabolic Diet, Metabolic Diet, heck maybe even Atkins has some good points you can take from.
Very often each doctrine gets it completely wrong with the the individualization process. In that, there isn’t one. Let’s face it, if you are doing the ‘Atkin’s Diet’ or the ‘Paleo Diet,’ there is very little room to stray from the concept of the diet without having to call it something else.
The conundrum becomes, whether or not, you can you associate yourself with that tribe and not follow the rules of the diet, or do you pretend to follow the diet and just cheat the rules from time to time. The latter is often the case of the ‘dieter’ who is not seeing the results they want to see.
This is why I hate the term, ‘Dieting.’ It only really means, the foods that an individual consumes on a regular basis.
Just a thought…