The Diet Train: Why Jumping on Board is a Problem

Songdove Books - bread bowl

Reading further through The Glycemic Load Diet, its becoming apparent that this doctor had begun living the Paleo Diet before it became a thing a few years after his book was published. If nuts weren’t so expensive here in Canada, it’s not a terrible diet if you have to cut something out. Certainly safer than Keto or the Atkin’s variants out there, not to mention safer than diet pills and so many of the gadgety/proprietary-food-product heavy diets that also exist.

The issue modern first-world people have is moderation. We live in a society that teaches lavish extravagance at whatever income level you are at. Live poor? Such lavishness is trips to the corner store every week. Live middle class? It’s eating out at least once a week and thinking cookies are a grocery item. Live wealthy? It’s trips to the winery and high-end foodie date nights. When this kind of thinking is considered normal, teaching moderation feels like “dieting”. Moderation doesn’t merely impact what you eat and how often or how much you eat of it. It also impacts your finances in ways that most first-world people never consider.

Finances are a huge problem for many in the first world because of inflation not matching income, but also because of desired lifestyles that the income doesn’t quite support. While it isn’t wrong necessarily, to want a better lifestyle than the one you can afford, learning how to live within your means will free up funds for things that can make life more enjoyable. This includes things such as the relief the bills are all up to date, being able to create and maintain a savings account for retirement, trolling thrift stores for really amazing finds that the corner store trips would have thwarted, being able to afford a little more gas in the car or have spare change for that suddenly-necessary emergency bus pass. But if you are eating your money and don’t even know by how much, that’s wasteful. Moderation and self-control (the ability to tell yourself “No!” and obey) help with diet, weight loss, household finances and more.

Peace of mind, or the lack of it, can affect your body’s health. Stress causes some people to gain weight while it causes others to lose it. Learning to manage stress wisely aids in learning how to moderate one’s spending and eating. While eating may or may not be a cause of weight gain, stress definitely can be. Some people cope by nibbling as their knee-jerk stress reaction. Some end up so stressed out they can’t eat and it’s a chore just to get a few bites down. This has caused me personally to lose weight at times. Others manage to eat normally, neither binge-ing nor starving, but their body’s stress reaction is to gain or lose anyway. This is where I am currently at, with my body gaining without any change to my diet, although at times I am forcing myself to eat. I am not eating anywhere near starvation levels, but it is my body’s current stress reaction. Learning to manage stress helps in all these scenarios.

A third group of people exist for whom money isn’t a problem, nor is stress. They can successfully manage both and could teach you how to do it. Unfortunately, their bodies have health problems that have caused weight gain or loss. Address the problems and address the weight issue as a bonus. Many times, health-related issues can be solved with nutrition, treating food as medicine for a certain period of time. Some foods discovered around our area, when treated as medicine, actually have the same warnings and time-frames of usage as conventional medicine. They can even have side effects that must be noted, and could even interfere with other medications! As a result, using food as medicine isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Understanding what existing medications are doing and why the doctor prescribed them is helpful in putting together nutritional regimens that complement the doctor’s efforts, rather than complicate them.

Songdove Books - The Green GateWild food, due to some perceptions out there that because it’s wild it must be healthy, must also be treated with the same caution and moderation as anything you’ll buy in the store. Misconceptions abound around the Internet and it takes some research to uncover discrepancies, reasons for those discrepancies, find the solution, and then assess if that solution really does the job or not. Sometimes I’ve found what seemed like a promising plant, but by the time I completed by research, it was good for nothing more than salad inclusion and recreational tea. Other times, I’ve researched a seemingly boring plant only to discover a myriad of uses from the dinner table to the medicine cabinet even to personal hygiene.

God gave us the plants and animals for our food. I’ve shared verses about that over the past couple months on the publicly viewable side of my Webtalk profile that you can scroll through to read. We simply have to buck the advertising machine, buck the media machine, admit that both we and our resources are limited, and learn to live within those limitations to realize a healthier lifestyle. Some people joke that the Paleo Diet is for hunter/gatherers. You can engage with it in the grocery store, but regardless of where you get your food, it cuts out nutrition that may be necessary for someone out there.

Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all, although many diet pushers try to say that. Diet is only part of the overall health picture. Following something like the Paleo Diet really only helps those for whom the starch group of foods have caused trouble. Not every people group has had the same level of access to starchy foods as they do now. If your ancestral heritage comes from one of those people groups, then you might benefit. If your doctor has said you are suffering gluecose-related problems and to cut out starch from your diet, give it a try. But don’t jump on the bandwagon because it’s the latest fad to shoot across your screen. The gluten-free bandwagon has made that diet far more expensive for those who desparately need it because too many people who don’t need it have driven up the supply and demand curve. I know people personally who struggle to afford what they need to survive, because too many fad adopters got on board when they should have stayed off.

Unfortunately, the doctor who wrote The Glycemic Diet engages in broadstroking as if everyone would benefit from such a diet, not just those battling some form of diabetes. This kind of behaviour encourages bandwagon hoppers because a doctor has done the encouraging. If a doctor promotes it, it must be good right? If a doctor says everyone should do it, then let’s all jump on board! Such thinking couldn’t be more wrong. Almost every diet and diet gadgety-food product out there claims to have one or more doctor endorsements. You can’t be eating every diet out there simply because a doctor said everyone should. That’s foolhardy to put it gently. What your body needs, another may find problematic. The more we realize this for ourselves, the better off many will be.

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