How Diets are Like Cults

What Diet Cult Do You Belong To?

I’ve been studying a bit about cults recently. I was reading a few blogs this week and realized that most diet programs, philosophies or whatever you want to call them, require strict adherence to the diet’s philosophy. Though you aren’t punished or expelled from the diet if you break the rules (like cults), you do feel an enormous guilt at having betrayed your diet beliefs.  Here is a perfect example. A friend of mine, a macrobiotic for 20 years or more, starting sneaking in an egg or two. But oh, the guilt. She had to confess it to me. She also started drinking coffee, another no-no on a macrobiotic diet (shame on her – kidding).

Vegans vs Meat Eaters

Not to offend vegans (I am an ex-vegan) but this is probably the strictest diet cult of all. You NEVER eat animal products. Speaking from personal experience, a vegan does feel superior over the “animal eaters.” Another cult trait. I have another friend who has been eating raw for about 15 years now.  Actually, I got her on this raw diet (Aajonus Vanderplanitz), as well as many other people. This diet endorses eating raw animals (chicken, fish, beef) as well as raw dairy and other assorted “items” (a polite term – you don’t want to know what else he recommends eating). Though I gave this diet up after 3 years, my friend has stayed on it, and for the most part flourished. But after her infrequent binges of cooked food, she feels incredibly guility.

Almost Everyone is Confused What to Eat

Over the past 20 years many people have woken up to the fact that their diet is important and have sought information on what they should be eating. This hasn’t been a simple task, however. There are probably as many opinions on diets as there are people looking for them. If you are confused, you are not alone. Every diet “cult” believes it is the answer. If you follow the low carb ideology, all excess weight is from too many carbs. A low carb diet can reverse diabetes and even cure cancer. But wait, doesn’t a raw diet cure cancer too? I lost a lot of weight on various low carb diets several years ago.  And then, almost overnight, without changing my diet, I started packing on the weight again. Low carb isn’t working for me anymore.

You Can Test Yourself on Foods

Now, what I am about to tell you isn’t rocket science. For that matter, it isn’t science at all. If it works for you, great. If not, then don’t do it. Having worked in the holistic area of health for over 20 years, I have come across various methods a person can use to test foods on themselves. We are all different. Raw milk might be great for one person and not for another. The same for a fruit, vegetable or any other item of food. Try this and see if it helps you.  Stand up straight, feet firmly planted on the ground. Take an item of food and hold it to your chest. Keep your mind blank – no thoughts about anything, especially the food you are holding.  If you body likes the food, it will sway forward. If it does not like the food, you will fall slightly backwards.  That’s all there is to it. Even if you do not test your body on various foods, just listen to it. Most of the time it will tell you if the food is good for you or not.  For instance, if you get gas after eating a particular food, it is probably not for you. Tiredness after a meal is another signal the food was not well received. It might take some trial and error, but you will be able to figure it out. I am absolutely convinced there is not one diet for everyone. I wish you well in your journey. As for me, I am free of all diet cults now. Freedom feels good!

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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