Today I read an article by Lesley Rotchford that really made me shake my head. You can view it here.
Basically, it's a review of how people will take extensive measures to achieve the "ideal" of being thin, no matter what the health costs. Because as long as we're all skinny as rakes, nothing else matters. Choosing between one of those Coca-Cola Zero's or a banana? Well, the Coke is zero calories and the banana's got about 100. Clearly, the correct choice is the Coke! Choosing between munching on carrot sticks or smoking a cigarette to keep your mouth and hands occupied? Another no-brainer; the cigarette has zero calories!
Where has the logic gone? When did everyone start drinking diet soft drinks to curb hunger? When did it become better to choose large quantities of (potentially dangerous) artificial sweeteners rather than small or even moderate amounts of real, natural sugar? And why is it that even though so many people are aware that these choices are the unhealthy and possibly very harmful ones, they remain the option that the majority of people stick with?!
It's a pretty sad society when we have come to this point that we willingly sacrifice nutrients our body needs for weird chemicals, all in the name of vanity and convenience. I don't care how many of the "low calorie" and "reduced fat" frozen dinners you eat, or how many "diet" drinks you consume on a daily basis, or how many "sugar-free" baked goods are on your shopping list, that doesn't make you a healthy eater. It's probably just contributing to a poor, nutrient-deficient diet.
The really ironic thing is that if you choose the real stuff, the fruits and veggies and whole grains and the like, those foods fill you up quicker and give you the nutrients you need. You can keep your weight healthy while also gaining the benefits of healthier skin and improved eyesight and all of the rest of the amazing things that vitamins and minerals will do for your body (which you SERIOUSLY miss out on when you don't eat whole, natural foods). Hey, I'm vain too- I like to look pretty. That's part of the reason why I try to get my reccommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals every day, to keep my skin clear and my hair soft and my nails strong in addition to having all of my organs function to the best of their ability. I'm getting all of these things while choosing real food, not fake man-made "food".
So... let's see, the choice is between a chemical-filled, processed diet with little nutrient value and being skinny as a stick (if it even works, which in most cases I imagine it really backfires), or the route of a natural, yummy diet packed with lots of nutrients to keep your body functioning really well for years to come, being strong and youthful and maintaining a healthy weight.
I think I'll stick with the latter, thanks. As I've stated in previous posts, I'm all about the occasional indulgences and enjoying some deliciously processed foods from time to time (I have a total weakness for pub food, to be honest), but the basis of your diet shouldn't be these processed, unhealthy types of food. Sometimes the stuff that screams "DIET" and declares that it's a healthfood can be the worst stuff for you, if you replace real food with those things. Avoid the junk-food dieting! The idea is to work with your body, not against it.