An effective diet has no end point: Final word for the graduating seniors

By Ari Snaevarsson, Features Editor

As this is the last issue written for the schoolyear, and therefore the last of two articles I write for any of my readers who are graduating, I figured a brief word was warranted. The last thing anyone about to graduate has on their minds right now is eating healthy, I know. Moreover, it seems an odd topic to mention in this context, but hear me out.

When I first got into this lifestyle, it was for the, admittedly delusional, purpose of ballooning up to the size of freakish bodybuilders in Flex magazine like Arnold and Cutler. That was how I viewed my dieting efforts: I would follow [such and such regimen] for [x] amount of weeks until I reached my desired goal. As my interest gradually narrowed down into nutrition, then making an odd turn and narrowing down further into clinical nutrition, of all things, my understanding of proper dieting fundamentally changed.

What I started to realize, and now continue to realize and be humbled by, is that the best diet is the one with no end point. It is not the diet that cuts out all carbs, or has you fast for [x] amount of hours, or sets protein at 1.5g per pound of bodyweight, or gives you a cheat day once a week.

The best diet is the one that leaves some everlasting sentiment in the mind of the dieter. It teaches the dieter that you are not “on” or “off” the diet, you are not screwed if you eat during your fast, and eating like crap for a family vacation, while not a dietary prescription of mine to anyone, is not an unforgiveable sin. It teaches you, after repeated trials, that heavy drinking during the weekends is in fact not conducive with weight loss or muscle gain, skipping out on your fruits and veggies poses some noticeable issues, and that focusing more on your supplement intake than your quantitative calorie or macronutrient intake is much like worrying about what luxury car you want to buy when you have no stable source of income.

I encourage you to take away from any diet effort you undergo a deeper understanding of how to institute lifestyle changes, not short-term sensational fads. This is not a hippy-dippy “love your body” article, nor am I trying to tell you that diets do not work. They do. My goal in writing this is to somewhat change how you view the concept of dieting and how you deduce what works and what is bogus. Cliché as it may be, it is essential to understand that dieting is a marathon and not a sprint.

For anyone who has read my articles and taken something profound away from them, I am extraordinarily honored and even more so glad you are actively taking control of how you treat the only body you have. More importantly, I want to mention the fact that I have been doing nothing more than transmuting my anecdotal diet experiences, of course along with knowledge I have picked up from classes and independent research, into fun, little weekly articles. Hopefully you get out as much from reading them as I do from writing them.

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