Please stop treating yourself like a concentration camp prisoner.
This week I’ve been reading Julia Ross’s book The Diet Cure. PLEASE go check out this book if you haven’t yet. One of the most mind blowing statements she’s made is this “If you have been a serious dieter, your average caloric intake has frequently dropped below the amount provided at the Nazi concentration camp at Treblinka: 900 per day.” Say what?? That was quite the statement so I decided to do some fact checking. The Holocaust Research Project says the following about the food available at Auschwitz – one of the most infamously cruel concentration camps.
“Prisoners in the camp received three meals daily – in the morning, at midday and in the evening.
In the morning the prisoners received only a half litre of black coffee or of a herbal brew known as tea. These liquids were generally unsweetened.
The midday meal consisted of one portion of soup measuring about three quarters of a litre, with a value of 350 –400 calories. The soup was foul tasting and watery, with ‘meat’ four times a week and the rest with vegetables.
For supper the prisoners were given about 300 grams of bread and something extra in the shape of about 25 grams of sausage or margarine, or a spoonful of jam or cheese. The food value of supper came to about 900 – 1000 calories.
Given such hunger rations most prisoners after a few weeks in the camp began to develop symptoms of exhaustion, which led in consequence to people being reduced to the state of ‘Moslems’.
Thousands of starved prisoners in the last stages of emaciation strove at every opportunity to get something to eat, unable to restrain themselves from rummaging in the refuse bins outside the kitchens.
The eating of raw peelings and rotting cabbage, turnip or potatoes instead of appeasing hunger pangs, brought on hunger-induced dysentery.”
If we add up the three meals, the estimated amount of calories is 1250-1400 calories per day. Many dieters would see this as astronomical. On those rations it only took a few WEEKS for prisoners to start developing symptoms of starvation and could not keep themselves from eating garbage. No wonder modern diets can’t stop themselves from binging on junk food after trying to diet.
NOW there are a few other things to take into account.
We know that food QUALITY is far more important than just how many calories we’re eating. The research project stated that prisoners would eat get soup with either “meat” or vegetables including turnips, cabbage, and potatoes. How many people in America have ever tried a turnip or can even remember the last time they ate a vegetable? In the evolution of modern food, fake processed, plastic foods didn’t come about until AFTER World War II. In fact the advancements made during WWII was the starting point of many of the the processed foods common today. We know that processed foods have the least amount of nutrients per calorie. That means, the only things available to prisoners were a lot more nutrient dense than what is available today. Concentration camps didn’t have the luxury of being able to hand out bags of Doritos and Smucker’s Uncrustables PB&J Sandwiches. The typical lunch that is served in our school cafeterias may taste better, but I would be willing to bet much less nutrient dense than what was served at a concentration camp.
A typical day for a prisoner included 11 hours of intense physical labor. “from six in the morning until five in the evening, with half an hour break for lunch..” There’s no way to really compare the amount of emotional, physical and mental abuse that a concentration camp prisoner went through, and I definitely want to respect that. BUT how many dieters force themselves to go to a gym 2-3 hours per day or at least a few times a week? We hardly eat anything, and then force ourselves to run miles upon miles, lift weights, participate in cross fit, etc. etc. No wonder dieting has made us sicker and fatter than ever.
The lifestyle of a modern dieter has WAY too many similarities to that of a concentration camp prisoner. Our only consolation is that we can escape. We try dieting for a few months, and then crash – taking full advantage of our modern, plushy lives by gorging ourselves on junk food and sitting in front of a TV. A little while down the road, we always end up feeling guilty, and fall back into the crazed calorie restriction, gym rat lifestyle. Moral of the story: EAT MORE FOOD. Fuel your wonderful, beautiful body it with the nutrients it needs. #realfoodforreallife #lovethewayyoueat