Essentially, the shift in focus attempts to move people away from a labeled diet, choosing the proper foods/macronutrients to eat or seeing this as a huge lifestyle change.
- I do recommend changes in what one eats, but “diet” and “dieting” mean totally different things, and thus it is a useless term.
- Specific food choices/macronutrients do have an impact but compared to the problem we are trying to solve, as they are very similar in impact.
- Lifestyle change is also too broad of a concept and quickly rejected by people (though admittedly accurate).
The shift is to help folks see that they are treating their body as a trash can that they can fill up with garbage. I’m not repeating the “your body is a temple” platitude. Clearly, for everyone, this isn’t true. Bodies break down and have deficiencies. Even temples will fall down (or burn down) through normal events.
The argument is that people operate with the assumption that every Thursday, a big truck comes by and takes out all the garbage and throws it out and then you get to fill it back up again.
Alternatively, people think of ways that they can occasionally cleanse the trash can and wash it out, and then that will allow them to go back and fill it up with trash again.
But, what if the reality is that the body is not a trash can that will automatically empty every Thursday? Actually, it’s never emptied. What if everything you throw into it actually ends up in it and it just gets more and more full of garbage (think landfill). If this were the case, you’d be a lot more careful and what you threw into the trash can.
So, this isn’t a diet. This is asking everyone to take a careful look at what kind of and how much food and liquid they’re throwing into their personal trash can.
It’s not about food composition or about calories or about following someone’s crazy list of this food is better than that food. It’s much, much simpler. Simply look at what you’re throwing out (in) and decide. Then it all becomes much simpler.
First, let’s start with liquids. Is there really any other liquid you need besides water? And how much water do you need? Well, the thing that will kill you the quickest is going without water. And there appears to be an almost unlimited amount of water that one can drink. (Well, don’t go above 29 liters per day to avoid SIADH). So, you can see pretty quickly that water is an excellent addition to this trash can since all it’s going to do is clean out whatever other stuff you throw into the trash can. Won’t other liquids do the same? Imagine adding lots of sugar to all the other food garbage that you throw into the trash can. That’s not going to have the same impact that pure water is going to have. It’s probably going to attract more bugs and flies. So, as you’re throwing liquids into the trash can, water is the only liquid that you should be throwing in there.
Food and Things Folks Put Into Food
Secondly, think about how much food you’re throwing in there. Focus on how can you stop throwing so much food into the trash can. Food isn’t like water. You can’t get away with uncontrollable amounts of it. Avoid situations where you accumulate more food than you possibly can throw out. The fancy name is portion control and avoiding uncontrollable amounts of food. Buffets or potlucks or other situations where food has no limitations are great opportunities to fill up the trash can quickly with trashy food.
Third, look at the foods. How many ingredients are there? How long ago was this food real? Do you really want to be putting something so fake into the trash can?
Finally, there are chemicals. Why are you putting chemicals in there? Do you really understand what these chemicals are and what they’re going to do with everything else? Just start to read ingredients and reject food items that have chemicals in them, or you don’t understand what they are, or what possible impact they’re going to have. And think about the chemicals beyond those in food, but that touch food and get absorbed into food. If these chemicals were in a pill would you take it?
Emptying The Trash Can
But we know that the trash can does eventually get emptied. Or we can cleanse it, right? Does it get emptied fully and can we really cleanse it?
Sadly, we can’t completely empty it and there isn’t much evidence that cleansing does much. Some chemicals will stick to the can and stay forever. You’re going to be stuck with all those chemicals with no guarantee that they ever make it out. There are many cases of bioaccumulation, where chemicals don’t leave no matter what we do. The list includes heavy metals and fat-soluble poisons, and minerals that get incorporated into bones like radioactive strontium, Teflon [more generally Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)], Bisphenol A, and stuff you breathe (asbestos).
So, be mindful of what you put into your body. It’s the only one you’ll ever get.