One of the most constrictive and restricting dietary ideas out there is the idea that all foods have the same effect on the body regardless of the quantity eaten.
Every single result (both good and bad) in the world of health and fitness is dose dependent.
Do push ups make you strong? Sure!
Okay then if I do 5 push ups a week then I’ll get really strong right?
Can eating candy make you fatter? You bet!
So whatever you do, don’t even have one single M&M because you’ll blow up like a balloon.
Can you sense my sarcasm?
It’s liberating knowing that we can eat anything and suffer no negative effects provided we don’t eat too much.
Of course that’s not what the doomsday marketing strategies from diet books will have you believe.
Most diets are based on fear and marketing hype.
“Did you know that your diet is responsible for 99.99% of your success”?
” Did you know that eating one bite of chocolate cake can take years off of your life”?
“Be sure to eat XYZ foods so that you never get sick, you’ll become sexy and beautiful, people will love you, no one will disagree with you, and you’ll live to be 120.”
The reality is that all things, both good and bad, depend upon the rate of consumption. Sugar and sweets are completely harmless…….provided you don’t eat too many of them.
But that’s not what the diet gurus portray. They sell a doom and gloom story about how nutrient X or food Y is terrible and will cause horrible things to happen if you even so much as look at the forbidden food.
Saying that sugar is fattening is no more true than saying beer makes you black-out drunk. So you had better not have some of that beer-can chicken because it’ll make you drunk. And if you so much as even nurse a pint of Guinness you’re going to be dancing on tables and telling strangers you love them.
Again more sarcasm.
So it all comes down to the rate of consumption. But there is even another side to this coin.
I’ll probably be stoned for saying this but………..
Diet is just a small part of your over all health and success. (*GASP*)
I know, we read about how organic food is best and the sales copy has us believe that our ability to do anything rests on the organic nature of our carrots.
There are many pieces to the health and fitness puzzle.
The’re attitude, training routine, equipment, coaching and teaching, focus, discipline, education, technique, relationships, sleep, R&R, active rest, goal setting, logging and evaluation, balance, progression, planning ahead, and of course the ergonomics of your office chair.
For some goals diet is very important. If you’re being held back because you’re eating too much sugar or not enough vegetables then yes changes in diet will do wonders.
However I don’t care what you eat. Nothing you put in your mouth will improve your push up technique or your lung capacity during your first 5K.
Diet is important but it has limits. The important thing is to know if and when your diet is holding you back.
I’ve changed by diet many ways over the years and I believe it has seldom, if ever, been responsible for the times when I’ve made massive strides forward. It’s always been because I improve my technique or I learn a new exercise.
For me diet has always been about damage control. It’s like a good night’s sleep. If I get everything right then the stage is set for me to be at my best, but I still actually have to be proactive and take action through my training. However if I mess up, then I feel like I’m fighting myself.
So yes, diet is important and you’ll probably know when it’s holding you back. However we can’t get too carried away here. We can’t assign our entire potential for success or failure on lunch. To do so sets us up for false hope as well as senseless fear and restriction.
Food is a tool and nothing more. No self respecting carpenter would expect their hammer to bevel and edge. In the same idea we can’t expect a healthy diet to do more than keep us nourished and satisfied.