What Does “Diet” Mean in English?

In nutrition, the diet is basically the amount of food ingested by an animal or human being. The diet of humans varies from time to time depending on their needs and on their activity level. On the whole, a well-balanced diet that supplies all the necessary nutrients and minerals is considered to be the best for good health. However, one should not forget that diet is just a mere guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule to be followed without any exceptions.

The two major types of diet are balanced and strict (sometimes called modified) dieting. In balanced dieting, calories or food consumption are distributed in such a way that they are evenly spread. Thus, the weight gain or loss is not too much nor too little. Fasting is also a form of dieting. Sometimes people refer to it as calorie sparing, but calorie sparingly usually refers to restricting the amount of calories intake, mostly eating only required food group(s) at specified times.

In strict dieting, there is no leeway even if you are just following the prescribed rules or order. You can eat anything that you like, so long as it is not prepackaged. Your dietary allowance is predetermined and you cannot deviate even a single inch. This is often very inconvenient, especially when you want to have a tasty dessert or a large lunch.

Though both types of dieting are pretty restrictive, the former is actually more physically demanding and the latter is mentally far more challenging. Fasting requires discipline, not only to stop eating but also to undergo certain rituals, which includes abstention from regular meals and food. It requires the will power to completely give up eating in spite of your body’s signals that tell you that you should be eating. For this reason, many who practice it swear by it; they say that they would never again suffer from obesity or diet related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

The second form of dieting is in terms of entering into a diet program where the goal of weight loss is achieved at the expense of calories. The calorie equivalent or the amount of calories that is equivalent to a particular serving of food, beverages and snacks is called the “calorie level”. A diet program aims to bring this level down or to at least stabilize it at a given level, depending on the type of diet that you are entering into. For example, if you choose a diet soft drink for your daily intake of calories, you should make sure that you take in only about two hundred milligrams or one gram of the beverage per kilogram of your body weight every day.

In the first sense of the definition of diet, we consider the noun diet, as something that you should do to shed off pounds. But in the second sense of the definition, we consider the verb diet, as something that you should do to enter a diet program. So, if you want to lose weight, you should be entering into a diet program that allows you to reduce or even completely eliminate your consumption of calories, especially if you are still gaining weight or not losing weight. And you should avoid using the word diet in the context of dieting, unless you are entering into a program that allows you to consume more calories than you normally do.