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Ene Abah: Diet Fads & the Social Pressure of Cutting Out Certain Foods

Ene Abah

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I am not the best person to diet. I probably like food way too much to cut any food group out of my diet, except it causes harm to me. I am an adventurous eater. I will continue to try food every time I can… in different countries and places. People bond very easily over food. Food says a lot about culture and about people.

There seems to be a new trend of people cutting out things from their food for dieting purposes. Some are extreme, some might be for health reasons, but there are other purposes.

I met someone recently who said she does not eat rice…I was curious and asked why, her response implied that she had cut carbs out of her diet. Then, I reminded her that carbohydrates have their function in the body and is one of the food groups which her body needs for a balanced diet. She protested that she could get carbs from beans. I thought that beans was purely protein, but I had to serve my curious mind by researching and discovered that it has carbohydrates.

Another friend cut salt out of her food and has been on a strict diet, of raw food. She refers to herself as a health junkie. Anyway, she was recently told that she had low blood pressure and was placed on a diet where salt is a requirement. She was feeling faint because her blood pressure was low, but says she feels great now with salt in her food. For a moment, I tried to put myself in her shoes to imagine how my food would taste without salt and nahhhhh! I think salt falls under minerals in the food groups. I’m not about to research how it helps in the body, but it gives taste to food and I won’t cook without it!
Obviously it serves other purposes…people with high blood pressure avoid it, and from this friend, I see that it is needed to keep the blood pressure normal. Who knew?

My sister has tried a few slimming pills and recently tried a diet as she was not the biggest fan of exercise. The thing I noticed was that each time she stopped taking the pills, the weight she might have trimmed came right back. So she had to get sensible as this was not for her, and start exercising.

Obviously, hard as she tried, the pills were not working. She is lazy to gather and prepare the food for diets, but has been happier since she started exercising and feels pumped when she does. Now she goes to work out on her own sometimes when I’m not there to nudge her on.

I have absolutely nothing against diets, but when diets start to have adverse effects on the person dieting, I do not think it is worth it.

It must also take a lot of hard work to look at food you might like and decide not to eat it. It would be sheer torture for me!

I have tried before, and I knew I would not succeed in that area. Cutting out certain things left me feeling faint and moody. When I detox sometimes, I get the faint feeling, but I know it’s for a few days so I get by.

I have a sensitive stomach for two reasons – I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and I am lactose intolerant. I have had to keep a food diary sometimes. Whenever my body starts to act up, I go to the diary to try to figure out what might be causing it. I have found a few shocking revelations about my system thanks to this method.

There are things I should not eat, but I eat anyway. Some which cause serious scenes, I avoid; but I eat them, maybe once in a very long time.

I believe more in portion control, detox every now and then, eating at the right time and exercising. At least, that works for me.

If you must diet, understand the way your system works and reacts to food.
When it comes down to it and if need be, seek a medical practitioner’s opinion, because dieting for wrong reasons could sometimes leave a person feeling miserable and insecure without guidance or support.

I would be keen to read what experiences you have had with dieting..if you succeeded at it or are just as bad as I am. Please share 🙂

Ene Abah is an adventure lover, naturalista, food lover, travel lover, writer and is particular about sending positive vibes to others. Some of her interests are in writing, travelling, reading and generally enjoying life. Ene’s writing has been published in Top Chic magazine, Imbue magazine and on Imbue's website. She blogs at http://belletammy.blogspot.com.ng/ Follow her on Twitter @tammyabah and on instagram @belle.tammy

7 Comments

  1. Me me me

    May 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I badly want to lose a little bit of weight but I don’t want to Keto, Atkins and co. I plan on walking more and being just that little more active. Less sedimentary lifestyle. Fingers crossed

    • Akara Pancake

      May 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Try flexible dieting also known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

  2. Nkechi

    May 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Doing all these things without knowing the supernatural God of perfect health will not perfect your health. Genetics and environmental factors also affect your make up. Thank God for doctors. I like them but they are still human beings so they may not see every condition in your body that should be dealt with right now. I like my fruits and vegetable smoothie and don’t juice it. It makes me feel like I am getting all the nutrients available. The oldest woman in the world who died at the age of 117 had icecream and pasta. Members of her family live long. Some families are blessed with long life. Some die early. If you are from such a family, you need more than diet, in fact, we all do, before someone misunderstands me. I am not against diet and bodily exercise which are clearly supported by the Bible. Book of Proverbs 25:16 warns against eating too much and 1 Timothy 4:8 says bodily exercise profiteth little but godliness is profitable unto all things. We therefore need the right balance. Yes, know your own body but also honor the God of your temple.

  3. Ajala & Foodie

    May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Amen!!! People get into this diet fads that are NOT sustainable long term. It is the reason people talk about struggling with their weights I.e Yoyo weight issues. Life style change is impossible with cutting out completely a major class of food your body requires. You can’t cheat nature.

  4. funmilola

    May 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I have never been on a diet, I sometimes think it’s for the rich folks…but I don’t take all those fizzy drinks anymore. I take lots of water and garlic too.

  5. o

    May 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I have never been on any particular diet. However, I cut off rice (started May 1st) and I have noticed some changes. I’m also more active. I plan to reintroduce rice in 2 months time but only twice weekly.

  6. penelopeia

    May 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I can eat everything; dairy and bread makes my stomach feel all sorts so I stopped (it was hard) but I could not continue to live my life like that. Now I do intermittent fasting, i eat everything but within a certain window of the day, i fast 16-18 hours including when i am asleep. The kingdom of God is not about meat and drinks.

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