Medical Misinformation 3: Diet Plans

Written by Dr. Ankit Sharma

Disclaimer: This series serves to provide you with misinformation ONLY, as a medium of poorly intended irony. The contents are to be read without much application of brains, and preferably with a pinch of salt – exactly how you’d watch a ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.

Episode 3: Which diet plan is the best for you?

Food, cloth and shelter used to be the holy trinity of ‘survival essentials’. Now, even the people who swear by minimalism have expanded their list of absolute essentials to include a smart phone, Aadhar card and  14 different creams and serums for night time skin-care routine. Food is still the most important thing though, because of reasons like being the fuel for sustaining life and an over-exploited source of Instagram likes.

From a society of hunters and gatherers, we’ve evolved to a society of app users and OTP anticipators. This post is not about the ‘how’ of food, but the ‘what’ instead. Some people say you are what you eat, but I find it rude to call all the elderly ‘salty porridge’, and it is also somewhat wrong to address the youth of this country as ‘double masala cheese Maggi at 2AM’. The stereotypes couldn’t be more wrong, and there are multiple diet plans, at a rate of almost 20 diet plans per nutrition expert on social media, so pardon me for the ignorance.

The goal of food is not limited to nutrition and/or aesthetic plating now. Special diets are supposed to help you bulk up/lose weight/become healthier/become more active/become a registered supporter of a particular political party/become averse to the concept of eating as a whole. The concept of “You can eat anything as long as you exercise” is old and wrong. This is like saying you can get any amount of money from the bank if you have a gun. You can only withdraw (legally) what you have, and you can only eat what suits you, or has been advised to you.

When I say “advised to you”, I do not mean a Doctor’s advice during or after an illness. There are two seemingly better ways to get some advise. One is to get yourself a trainer or nutritional expert, but like all things of actual value, it costs money. The other is to follow the influencer who keeps selling Apple Cider Vinegar. They will vouch for it that they have used it for the 2 weeks between signing the contract and release of promotional reel, and lost about 15 kgs. The fact that it made them nauseous and unable to eat is not to be placed under ‘side effect’, but the ‘mechanism of action’. The sexual tension between them and Apple Cider Vinegar is second only to late Raju Shrivastav’s love for ‘Pet Saffa’ granules.

So, instead of that, let’s turn our focus to some other diet plans. You can verify the information with the nutrition experts on Twitter with course certificates from ‘International Institute Of My Gym Trainer Told me’.

1. “Bro why don’t you eat Avocados”?

Avocado is a healthy ‘superfruit’ with vitamins, minerals and a high protein content, but to get your daily protein quota from Avocados, you’d have to eat about 8 quintals daily. Anyway, a fruit which requires salt, pepper and bread alongside to be made palatable is hardly a fruit. Also, it is sold raw, and goes bad very soon after ripening, so the window to eat it is about 3 seconds long. The ‘imported one’ is very expensive, and the Desi one looks like a pear subjected to radioactivity, so I’m not sure about the visual appeal either.

2. Turn vegan: for the animals, the planet and the cult.

Veganism is the ‘in’ thing now. It’s not difficult to find one, as they would tell you about them being vegan within the first 30 seconds of you meeting them. It also makes it easier for you to avoid them for the rest of the evening. Vegans know that people, despite having joined the obnoxious cult, might still want chicken and fish, and have come up with items like ‘vegetarian chicken’ – though it is not to be eaten, but only used to cause serious bodily damage in a food fight. Existence of things like Vegetarian fish and Soy milk tell us that evil and deceit will always exist in this world.

3. Intermittent fasting.

The fact that it took humans thousands of years to popularize ‘not eating anything’ as a means of weight loss is simply amazing. The flipside is that all the Influencers – the new international code for ‘wants to do very little effort for free stuff’ – will not shut up about it now. A few of them still count ‘vomiting it all out’ as a legit form of intermittent fasting. Pro tip: if sticking a finger down your throat doesn’t do it, try to go through Swara Bhaskar’s tweets. If you do not prefer that end, you may google ideas for ‘explosive diarrhea’.

4. Other diet programmes (et al)

Atkin’s diet (originally invented by Edison, but later attributed to Atkin), Paleo diet, protein-only diet, zero-carb diet, I-read-this-in-a-whatsapp-forward diet… Just take your pick. Trial-and-error is the mantra here. Even your gym trainer may ask you to convert your diet to 8 scoops of whey protein per day with a dash of Creatine every two hours and anabolic steroids for dessert, because it has worked on every testosterone-fueled guy so far. But remember, both science and your kidneys are taking a serious hit that day.

The necessity of knowing the latest weight-loss diet and nutrition comes next only to the necessity of knowing what Urfi Javed’s #OutfitOfTheDay is. But I must concede I’m no authority on all this. All my diet schedules have started with a cheat day, and I usually switch regimens every 24 hours. I’m planning to devour an Avocado Pizza today, so let me log on to Twitter first…

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