26

I would like to know if there is a single word to describe the opposite of a diet.

If you are overweight you may say "I will go on a diet".
If you are underweight you could say "I need to go on a ..."

A single word is preferable rather than a phrase

  • 46
    I think you misunderstand the word. A Diet is not something that makes you lose weight or stay healthy; it is a term that simple describes what you're eating. We just got a bit used to most 'diets' are designed for weight loss. – Aganju Mar 26 at 23:24
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    @Aganju indeed a diet is often one that is for losing weight but you could also be on a diet to gain weight. Or to stay the same weight. Or on a diet unrelated to weight - e.g., a vegetarian diet because you don't like meat. Or maybe you cannot eat meat for health concerns. Or a no salt diet. Or a no-sugar diet. Or a diet without olives because you simply hate them. There are a variety of diets because all a "diet" is is a "a food regime". – VLAZ Mar 27 at 8:00
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    @VLAZ You're just telling Aganju what they said already. – Mitch Mar 27 at 13:56
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    I agree with @Aganju on the base definition of the word, but a word's meaning is also based on how the majority of society perceives it. Unless you expound on the type of diet, people are going to assume you mean to lose weight. Just like if someone asks what vegetables you want in your salad, a person will say cucumber and tomato, even though they are actually defined as fruits. So I don't think diet would be the best word to use in this case. – Sensoray Mar 27 at 19:22
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    @Sensoray, people will generally assume this when they hear the word diet within the phrase to go on a diet (without further specification as to what the diet is), but they won't assume it when they hear the word in other constructions (e.g. 'the diet of the people in this region consists mostly of . . . '). – jsw29 Mar 27 at 22:58

12 Answers 12

39

binge [binj] noun

1) a period or bout, usually brief, of excessive indulgence, as in eating, drinking alcoholic beverages, etc.; spree.

Source: Dictionary.com

*Personal note: Binge eating can be a difficult habit for many people, myself included in the past. If you struggle, please feel welcome to look for support. There are a lot of people with similar struggles working together to help one another. Link

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Mar 28 at 21:28
71

It’s still a diet, but for clarity you should call it a weight gain diet:

A weight gain diet is very similar to a healthy weight loss diet. In both cases, you will eat foods that are rich in nutrients and not eliminate major food groups. You will avoid "empty calorie" foods (junk foods that contain sugar, salt, and fat, but few other nutrients)

What Is a Weight Gaining Diet?

What's good about "weight gain diet" is that it works no matter who's doing it or why (even if that someone is an animal). It's also neutral and works no matter the level of formality.

23

In the fitness/bodybuilding context, the word bulk is used (the opposite process is a cut).

According to the OLE,

to bulk something out/up: to make something bigger, thicker or heavier

PS: I'm not sure this can be used in the requested form "I will go on a bulk", although an example can be found here.

Bulking - What is Bulking *This is provided only to show a primary source as to the commonality and usage of the term.

3

Well, it is also called Ectomorph diet. Diet for a skinny person to become strong. Ectomorph means a person with a slim physique. So, ectomorph diet is the diet for slim person to gain weight.

Citation 1: Men's Body Sculpting By Nick Evans

An ectomorph's diet should contain a surplus of calories from complex carbohydrate foods to encourage anabolic weight gain.

Reference 1: Ectomorph Diet Plan Principles

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    Please note Google links are frowned on. Present relevant research in your answer. – Andrew Leach Mar 27 at 9:36
3

Well, binging would be bad. Stuffing one's face would be bad. Even if one is underweight.

So, better is: I will increase my caloric intake.

Everyday speech: I will eat more (food).

There is no "going on an x" for eating more food.

This answer is for spoken English register.

  • Oh boy, I guess naysayer is not aware of registers. – Lambie Mar 26 at 19:30
  • Do you mean 'bad' as in 'not healthy' or as in 'not an appropriate word'. If the latter then I disagree. – Mitch Mar 26 at 19:42
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    @Mitch It is both unhealthy and not a word a person looking to gain weight would use to "explain their thing". Bad as a poor expression of the idea, like stuffing, gluttony or any of the other nonsense sprouting up here. Laurel's by the way is fine. Just a different register. [gosh, for some reason my program won't give me bolding or italics on ELU, only on ELL]. – Lambie Mar 26 at 19:52
3

Just for the heck of it, I'll answer the title of the question as asked instead of what the asker intended.

The opposite of "a diet" (choosing specific foods for your diet) is to not diet or to have "No Preferred diet".

2

So assuming diet is used to mean a program of constrained eating, the opposite would be unrestrained eating. Here are some possibilities:

indulge, over-indulge, over-eat, feast, gorge, binge, stuff, chow down, go to town

Some words that are near opposites, but of a different tense:

gluttony, voraciousness, gourmand

If none of those work you could take a word from Georgian. Shemomechama, literally “I accidentally ate the whole thing,” describing the incapacity to let the delicious food go to waste.

https://www.ozy.com/acumen/theres-a-word-for-your-thanksgiving-gluttony/74075

2

Actually, the most basic meaning of the word "diet" doesn't have an opposite... Proposed words like "gluttony", "overeat", "binge" are all very unhealthy concepts, and are not the kind of word you are looking for. In my opinion the best thing you could say if you are underweight is: "I need to change my diet and eat more calorie-dense foods because I need to gain weight..." Or "I need to change my diet in order to gain weight." Or more simply "I need to eat more calorie-dense foods in order to gain weight". You could also say "I need to go on a (special) diet to increase to gain weight".

Diet (noun): the food and drink usually eaten or drunk by a person or group (Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/diet)

If you say "I will go on a diet", people will assume you will eat less, because of the second meaning of the word (an eating plan in which someone eats less food, or only particular types of food, because they want to become thinner or for medical reasons - same source as above).

0

beef up

phrasal verb

informal : to add weight, strength, or power to (something)

Source: Merriam Webster online

-1

Here I am considering the definition of diet as: eating systematically in a controlled and restricted manner.

I would recommend, overeat.

However a quick search on google give me this results,

  • binge
  • indulgence

So the whole sentence with the three provided words would go like this

"I need to go on a binge (diet)."

"I need to go on an indulgence (diet)."

"I need to go on an overeating (diet)."

-1
  • If you are overweight you may say "I will go on a diet".
  • If you are underweight you could say "I need to go on a ..."

diet. When i was a little kid i didn't know much about a diet. But nowadays i use two and i exercise a lot. Im always on a diet, when i'm overweight on early spring to late summer. I like to cut down my caloric intake. My second diet is from fall to late winter when i eat a lot and it makes me happy. Diet (healthy or not) is always here and i cant find the opposite.

-2

In fact, there are some synonyms of "anti-diet".

I would recommend

gluttony

NOUN

mass noun

Habitual greed or excess in eating.

‘she said plumpness was a sign of gluttony in most cases’

(https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gluttony)

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    ""I need to go on a ..."//on a gluttony diet? Gobsmacking really... – Lambie Mar 26 at 19:32
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    To @Lambie's point, this seems related but not the right part of speech at all. 'gluttonous diet' maybe. – Mitch Mar 26 at 19:49
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    @Mitch How far are you really willing to stretch that acceptability rope? :) – Lambie Mar 26 at 19:57
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    I don't know that any of the suggestions so far are perfect; the OP did not specify register. 'Diet' is ambiguous - it could mean the informal 'not eating as much as I'm used to' or it could mean more formally 'a deliberate change in food habits for medical purposes'. The latter, while a bit rarer, is more inclusive of eating differently. – Mitch Mar 26 at 20:01
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    @Mitch He did specify spoken register in the sense that he said: I need to go on [diet]". Isn't that enough register? So that eliminates most answers except Laurel's and mine. – Lambie Mar 26 at 22:22

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