fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

Food Is Good

A New Perspective

By Lindsay Tobias

You’ve seen them before. The ads that scream, “lose twenty pounds in twenty days!” But what happens on day twenty-one after doing Beyoncé’s cayenne water cleanse? Most people gain all their weight back, building up for their next crash diet. As a Functional Nutrition Counselor, I deal with clients who have tried it all: keto, vegan, grapefruit diet, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, pleasure-free, and more. They look back on their fad diets longingly because they “worked so well before” and decide they may need more discipline or willpower. This could not be further from the truth.

The more diets you do, the more you may believe that food is just a way to change your body. It isn’t. Food is information to your body; every bite you take gives your cells instructions. The sweet potato you had for lunch supported your vision and immune system. The blueberries in your morning parfait improved your cognition and lowered your stress levels with antioxidants. Food is medicine. It is also one of the most beautiful ways we can connect with others. The word companion comes from the Latin com and panis, meaning “someone to break bread with.” We are built to think about food as joy, community, and nourishment, not body manipulation. There are reasons diets don’t work long-term—namely, they weren’t designed to! Some diets even have deadlines in the title—21 Day Fix, 75 Hard, Whole 30—reinforcing the idea that sustainability is not the goal here. The billion-dollar diet industry is the only thriving industry that consistently holds a 97-percent failure rate. Yet we still find hope in the next diet. Just. One. More.

Here are three reasons why dieting doesn’t work.

Diet culture gives us this warped definition of wellness as restriction. We have an ever-changing list of what we can’t eat, leaving us confused, aimless, and agitated.

1. Metabolic Adaptation

Weight loss is a stressor to the body. It challenges our body’s homeostasis (stability). When you first start a low-calorie diet, you will lose weight. The caloric demand on your body is much higher than the energy supply, so you are in a calorie deficit. Simple, right? While you may view your diet as positive or safe, your body may view it as a danger or a famine. Therefore, it will metabolically adapt to protect itself. If you stay in a deficit long-term, you will run out of the energy you need to function, so your metabolism will downregulate to suit your new low-calorie norm better. Dieters consider this a “plateau”—when you are doing the same thing as before, but weight loss halts, forcing you to eat less and less.

When we do not give our body consistent, nourishing food, we teach it to store the little food we give it. The instructions we are broadcasting to our cells are simple: “Run on less energy!” When we experience this metabolic adaptation, our warm hands begin to cool, our emotional regulation begins to wane, our energy plummets, and we need constant sugar or caffeine to stay afloat. Libido also goes out the door, and our consistent morning poop goes MIA, keeping our body from being able to detoxify naturally. We struggle to concentrate, our brains feel foggy, the scale fluctuates, and we feel like if we aren’t dieting, we are gaining weight. Because the more extreme the diet, the more the body has to protect itself and adapt.

2. Confusion

Most diets categorize foods as “good” and “bad,” usually marked with appropriate green and red columns. If you have dieted for any period of time, you will learn that these good and bad foods are arbitrary; they are not fixed and change with whatever diet you are currently following. Every diet is a list of rules that tells you to cut out another food group to lower your calories, ties a bow around the top, and sells a new guidebook. After going vegan, you learn to demonize meat; after going paleo, you shun grains; after going low-carb, fruit becomes the enemy; after going lectin-free, you never eat beans; after going Whole 30, you say no to anything with sugar. After your third diet, you will find guilt in any and all varieties of food. Usually, that guilt and shame are followed by a rebellion against the diet or your own body.

Diet culture gives us this warped definition of wellness as restriction. We have an ever-changing list of what we can’t eat, leaving us confused, aimless, and agitated.

Lindsay Tobias

3. Zero Joy Necessary

In Japanese culture, satisfaction is a beautiful component of food and meal times. It helps people listen to their bodies and hara hachi bu, or eat until 80 percent full, allowing everyone to be present and joyful during meal times. In American diet culture, we have exchanged the culture, art, and beauty of food for convenience, rules, and rigidity. Most people think that if they find pleasure in their food, they are probably doing something wrong. There is a reason eating delicious food releases dopamine in the brain or that we have taste buds in the first place—we are built to enjoy and be satisfied by our food. Otherwise, we would not come back to it! The number one sustainability factor is also the most neglected factor in dieting: joy. If you enjoy what you do, you don’t have to be convinced to continue.

Do it differently.

What if you started by adding healing foods for your health rather than obsessively cutting foods out? What if the way you eat doesn’t have to have a name or be a formal diet? What if you could start by making goals of adding some produce (fruits and veggies) to every breakfast, then maybe to lunch and dinner? What if you started by asking yourself what you want to sustain? What kind of healthy lifestyle would make you proud of yourself? What if you took the time to learn more about your food, so you weren’t sucked into marketing ploys by the newest diet plan? What if you demanded satisfaction and enjoyment from your health rather than perfection or stringency?

What kind of healthy lifestyle would make you proud of?

I ask you these questions to broaden your view of health. These are all possible for you; you can be a diet culture dropout like me and the hundreds of clients I have worked with!

— V —


Lindsay Tobias is a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor, Holistic Health Coach, Exercise Physiologist, and the owner of Keep Your Plants On, LLC. She graduated from Liberty University, Precision Nutrition, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and the Functional Nutrition Alliance, where she learned to look at root causes of imbalance rather than symptom suppression. She teaches clients how to use food and movement as medicine and good habits for restoring energy, balancing hormones, banishing bloat, sustaining gut dysbiosis, and clearing skin. Learn more or book your consultation through HowToKeepYourPlantsOn.com.



Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
Summertime!
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail

X

A LIFESTYLE