What is a “Diet”?
Until 45 years ago, a diet was, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”
. With the publishing of Dr Atkins Diet Revolution in 1972, a diet became, “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight”
. The Atkins diet came at a time when the dangers of excess body fat
were becoming more mainstream, and rightly so. However, it sparked the creation of a whole diet industry which has released products, books, and special foods backed by celebrity endorsements, to a €200 billion industry worldwide. The Diet Industry is in decline
, as consumers grow skeptical of the constant flow of diets and related products, which do little to curb obesity or health problems. As a result, the diet industry has evolved to the “Health, Wellness and Lifestyle
” industry in recent years.
Unfortunately, the sole obsession to lose weight is now viewed as the sole marker of health. This has spawned many methods of weight loss, but most involve the sacrifice of health in the process. The Atkins diet stumbled upon the dietary principle that, coupled with the obsession to quickly lose body-weight, underpins the entire diet industry: Eliminate a macro nutrient from a person’s diet, and generally speaking, they will lose weight in the short term
. Unfortunately, this weight tends to be water weight, as healthy fat loss is a much slower process
. This practice also tends to result in weight gain in the long term, as all 3 macro nutrients are equally important to human health. There are only 3 macro nutrients, and therefore only 3 nutrients to eliminate. Given the inaccurate widespread belief on protein as “the most important nutrient”, it is mainly carbohydrates which get cut in modern day re-branding of the same 3 diets (Animal products package protein & fat together, and therefore make it nearly impossible to eliminate one of these on a non-vegan or plant-based diet). These 3 diets are outlined below, with some examples of the brand names they appear under which you may have encountered: