Recently, I learned about one of the most complex, yet simple, English concepts: Reader Response Theory. The idea behind this theory is that everyone has their own interpretations of what the text is. Seems simple enough right? I mean, we’ve been doing this sort of analysis in our English classrooms for years now. Reader response theory, however takes these interpretations a step further, proposing that each interpretation is considered “right”. Thus, according to this theory a text is a paradox. It always says the same thing, but it can also mean anything. As I was mulling over this concept, I realized that this phrasing could also be used to describe dieting.
Nowadays, there are so many diets that seem to be popular. Paleo, Ketogenic, low carb, fasting, or eating multiple meals a day are just some of they many examples. However, look past all the specific nuances of each diet, and you’ll see that all diets follow the same general guidelines. The first, and usually the most obvious, is to avoid processed foods and increase intake of fruits and vegetable because they are calorie dense, making you feel fuller a lot sooner. The first part of that rule should be self explanatory; chips, instant noodles, and the like are called junk foods, and rightly so, and they should be avoided at all costs. The second rule is to not to overeat. All of these diets have specific ideas, but at the end, they reduce the amount of calories a person will consume. Paleo does this by taking out high calorie processed carbohydrates, fasting does this by reducing the amount of meals eaten a day. Finally, the last rule of all these diets is that they require strict adherence to succeed. If you don’t follow the guidelines and cheat, then all the rules will be for naught. At the end of the day, these shouldn’t even be considered rules, but rather a healthy approach to eating.
All diets are the same. The users of the diet all say swear by the diet, saying that there is scientific research to back each statement, and that the methods are tried and true, and, they are all right. The template for a diet will always be the same, but the methods of application will be different.