Owen Davis | 6 Jul '22
When you hear the word ‘diet’, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Is it cutting down
on portion sizes? Is it letting yourself go hungry for prolonged periods? Is it removing
certain food groups from your diet? Is it something that is part of your social identity? Does it make you feel
like part of a tribe? Or maybe it’s a combination of these?
For many of us, the word diet means eating less - both in portions and in frequency. When we’re in a state
of poor health, many of us presume that this form of ‘dieting’ will help restore our bodies to a state
of health. The problem with this is that as we decrease portion sizes and remove whole food groups - like meat or
dairy, for example - from our diet at the same time, we often deprive the body of the nutrients
What’s more, eating less food is often compounded by eating the wrong food. What do we mean by this? Well, people usually decide to cut down on portion sizes while continuing to eat the same foods. Often, these foods are processed, contain artificial ingredients and are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Sure, eating less chocolate is a good start, but eating less bad food isn’t the answer.
It’s not about how much you’re eating, but what you’re eating that’s important. Said differently, it’s better to consume high quantities of whole foods (like meat and vegetables) than low quantities of processed commercial foods. Losing weight and improving body composition is not about eating less; it is about eating more nutrient-dense foods.
An uptake in nutrients stimulates muscle growth, which allows the body to carry more oxygen which in turn allows the body to burn more fat. More oxygen in the blood ensures the metabolism preserves its aerobic tendency and mitochondrial function, enabling it to break down fats and carbohydrates easier, as opposed to anaerobic metabolism, which can only break down glucose and glycogen.
So this idea that eating less holds the key to health is inherently flawed. A down take in consumption will leave the body depleted and low on energy. When the body is fatigued like this, it will struggle to make repairs and build connective tissue, and you become vulnerable to chronic disease and illness. A down take in consumption will also recalibrate your metabolic rate - meaning that you are at greater risk of putting more weight on despite your intentions to lose weight.
So, if you want to lose weight, eat more. Eat more of the right foods - whole, natural foods that are dense in
nutrients and devoid of sugar, empty carbohydrates, hormones and preservatives.