Lifestyle

An obituary to fad diets and the beach body myth

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For too long the beach body has been mythologised as an aesthetic appearance rather than an overall image of health and positive wellbeing in men and women alike.

In a society that is increasingly wiser to what we eat and where our food comes from, we should extend our awareness to the reality of human nature. This reality is that not everyone has to look the same and the ‘beach body’ is ultimately an umbrella term coined by the bigwigs who profit from our most personal insecurities.

That’s not to mention that for most of us, the current idea of the beach body is an unattainable and unrealistic image. According to numerous sources and a survey conducted by Forza Supplements last year, the average British woman spends 16 years of her life trying out diets that are both physically and mentally taxing, without much reward.

This may seem shocking, but is actually hardly surprising when entering ‘diet’ into Google renders 467,000,000 results in 0.4 seconds.

The truth is, it doesn’t need to be this way anymore! It’s up to us to debunk the myth that the beach body ideal is something to aspire to when we should all concentrate on achieving personal health and happiness.

Rather than starving and bankrupting ourselves for diets that essentially don’t work, we should turn our attention from our obsession with weight loss to achieving individual health and vitality; something which is all too often taken for granted.

The fact of the matter is that today, most of us are completely addicted to sugar. As Sarah Wilson points out in her book I Quit Sugar, we eat way more sugar than we are designed to eat regardless of how healthy our food or drink appears.

Even with the most appealing of fad diets, we don’t realise what we’re putting in our bodies. What’s more, Sarah underlines the astounding facts that even though we are joining more gyms and eating more low fat foods than ever in the hopes of achieving our body goals, societies across the globe are becoming more and more obese and unhealthy.

Iquitsugar

Sarah Wilson’s book, ‘I Quit Sugar’ is a guide to removing sugar from your diet completely

So, could the best lifestyle really be as simple as cutting out or reducing sugar in our diets?

As Robert Lustig famously stated in one of his lectures, sugar is fundamentally a poison; previously to 1975, the Western world was never exposed to the sheer amount of equally harmful high fructose corn syrup and sucrose as we are today.

The implications of the volume of sugar within our society is fatal, with thousands of cases of obesity and other sugar-related illness such as diabetes, heart disease and many more rising each year. NHS guidelines state that men should consume no more than roughly 70g a day, while the figure for women is even less at 50g.

However, this is arguably still too much with The World Health Organisation (WHO) stating in 2014 that our sugar intake should be no more than 5% of our overall daily energy intake. These revised guidelines halve the previous figures of 70g and 50g and are equivalent to 8.75 teaspoons of sugar for men, and 6.25 teaspoons for women.

The simple answer? Eat less sugar.

The assumed reality? A lot harder than it sounds. But it doesn’t have to be!

In a world with an ever-growing multitude of writing, recipe books, apps and blogs dedicated to helping you to obtain a healthy, affordable and full-flavored lifestyle, eating less or no sugar doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to cut out all of your favourites foods: you simply reduce or substitute. Sarah Wilson’s sugar-free nutella, chocolate peanut butter hot cocoa and avocado and chocolate mousse are amongst my personal favourites!

So it’s time to ditch your tea-tox, forget about your juice cleanse, fad diets and this ridiculous notion that a beach body even tangibly exists. The true image of health lies within our lifestyle and this is why we should all start a sugar-free or sugar-reduced lifestyle which is healthier in the long run, whilst also being a considerably more sustainable way of achieving life-long health.

Don’t just take my word for it; below is a selection of the expanding choice of sweet, affordable reads to help you on your way to a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle: 

I Quit Sugar for Life             The Guilt-free Gourmet       The Art of Eating Well

I quit sugar 8 weeks         What Can I Eat On A Sugar Free Diet?

                       Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease

 

Words by Rebecca Jackson

Image taken from Amazon

Aminah Khan is your Editor-in-Chief

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