As used in the passage, the phrase “the sum of the things” means:
The next time someone asks you if you are “on a diet,” your correct answer should be, “Yes.” Actually everyone is “on a diet,” because “diet” simply means “all the things you eat and drink.” Your diet may or may not be a healthy one, but the sum of the things you put into your body is your “diet.”
all of the things you put in your body
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