Thompson: Dieting is not a long-term solution for unhealthy behavior

A cut of corned beef is one example of an entree that adheres to the paleo diet. Broccoli, cauliflower and roasted potatoes are great options for sides. Individuals on a paleo diet may only consume food products that a caveman would have eaten. Photo by Jenna Fischer. Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

No one can escape the constant advertisements that jump from unhealthy fast food slogans to diet plans. However, most of these diets are short-term fixes for a long-term problem.

Dieting is an unsustainable way to maintain your health, something that many members of society fail to realize.

If you truly want to be healthy, it’s a lifetime commitment. It takes the conscious decision to recognize that even though something is edible, and tastes amazing, doesn’t mean you should consider it “food.”

All of the most popular diets — Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig — imply that all things edible are admissible as long as you occasionally restrict yourself from them. Diet companies and diet culture want you to bounce back and forth between lifestyles, which is an unsustainable behavior. Your bi-monthly juice cleanse isn’t going to make a difference if your daily choices over time are unhealthy.

The weight loss industry has permeated popular culture and become a $68.2 billion industry. In fact, the same companies that are pushing unhealthy foods are the ones trying to sell diet plans and weight loss supplements. From 2006 to 2013, Nestle owned Jenny Craig, a popular weight loss program.

Evidently, some foods are better for you than others. Having a donut every once in awhile won’t kill you, but there is a fine line between making a long-term commitment and the quick fix that dieting emphasizes.

It’s all about finding a balance that works for you. Pay attention to your body and how it responds to the food you eat.

The ketogenic diet, also known as keto , is one of the latest trend in diet culture. Unlike most diets, it focuses on fueling your body with fat by putting your body in a state of ketosis, as opposed to adding protein. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream.

It should be noted that ketosis is a mild form of ketoacidosis , which mostly affects people with Type 1 Diabetes. Shockingly, it is the leading cause of death for people with Type 1 Diabetes who are under 24 years old.

Keto encourages cooking with saturated fat like palm oil, lard and butter, and doesn’t typically discriminate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork and bacon. The diet forces the body to burn stored fats instead of carbs, resulting in quick weight loss.

Out of the numerous risks associated with Keto, the high consumption of saturated fats tops the list. The Keto diet is associated with high levels of bad cholesterol. Other noted risks include nutrient deficiency, liver and kidney problems, constipation, fuzzy thinking and mood swings.

Technicalities aside, this diet was never intended for a long-term commitment. In fact, it’s primary function is to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children.

The rise of fad diets like Keto and diet culture are a result of food companies saturating the market with unhealthy choices. There are a lot of temptations on grocery store shelves and even here on campus (looking at you, Cam’s Lobby Shop).

In his book “In Defense of Food,” Michael Pollan, a food journalist and anthropologist, says it best: “Eat real food. Not a lot. Mostly plants.”

It’s true that not everyone has the same privilege to make conscious choices about their food consumption, but if you do, it’s something that needs to be done consistently until it becomes second nature.

Madison Thompson can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online @madisongoeswest.

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