Diet the dreaded D word

Diet, the dreaded D word (well one of them at least).  I have to say I do think the connotation that comes with it was a small part of why I never tried to loose weight until I was in my 30’s.  I just am not a fan of the word or what it has come to represent.  I have my reasons why I don’t like it and I would like to share that with you.

  • When I hear that word I think, restrictions on what I can and cannot eat.  There are things in this world that I probably shouldn’t eat.  For instance we have a place named after a heart attack out here, many things on their menu should probably not be eaten, unless you want to risk having what the name implies.  A little of something can be okay or good, a lot not so much (sorry bacon I still love you!).  But lay on me a NEVER EAT and it will flip me the heck out!  It makes me feel like I am loosing out on something instead of gaining something like better health.
  • A diet sounds short term and a change in eating habits to be healthier should be a lifestyle not a temporary thing to loose weight.  I can weigh and measure my food and loose weight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I am healthier, it just means I am doing better with portions.  Smaller portions are good for mac and cheese, but eating mac and cheese regularly is not necessarily healthy.  What I want for myself is quality calories with nutrients that I need to sustain daily functioning as well as my workouts.  I can meet a daily caloric intake goal with ice cream, candies, or fried foods, but I wouldn’t be fueling my body very well would I?
  • This last one ties back into the other two a bit.  Diets are a trend, they are a style of eating that gains popularity, but not every diet is good for your particular body.  I have no issues with gluten so why would I go gluten free?  I enjoy red meat on occasion and am not the biggest fan of beans, soy, etc. so why would I go vegetarian or vegan?  Paleo may be good or okay for you, but again it may cut out things that I enjoy that I don’t have to cut out.  So for me I don’t want to follow a prescribed “diet” that labels me, I want to eat clean (processed as little as possible) most meals and enjoy the occasional splurge.  I find that as I give my body quality stuff it craves that anyway without me having to label myself.

This is of course my opinion and a huge reflection on where I am at in my health journey.  In the beginning I was all about measuring and weighing things and general calorie restrictions, now I have settled down on that.  I am not always the perfect eater (post run BK onion rings are the bomb) or drinker (I admit to the occasional diet coke still even though I get a headache everytime), but in general I use my decision making skills and think about how my choices will affect my body.  I often tell my patients who are trying to stop smoking that in all the things in the world I can or cannot control I CAN control what I put in my body.  So use your mind, think of your goals, think of and observe how your body feels when you fuel it with various things and use that to influence your eating habits so you can make a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet.

What about you, what do you think of the term diet?  How has it influenced you over the years?  Or where are you at in your journey to health when it comes to food/nutrition?

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Toni @ Running, Loving, Living
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 01:43:08

    I HATE the term diet. Personally I feel so restricted I go crazy. I think your approach is good. I feel that you should just focus on whole fresh foods and indulgence thrown in moderately. Listening to your body is good!!!! Dieting, not so much.

    Reply

  2. Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 15:26:20

    I love your approach. I dislike the word diet for the same reasons: it suggests deprivation and a short-term approach.Instead I prefer to use the term "food plan." "Diet" makes me think of hunger . . . "food plan" is all about eating!

    Reply

  3. Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 15:36:12

    Hey there! Very true, diet is an extremely loaded word. It's unfortunate because "diet" also simply means what a person eats regularly. So as a trainer I find it tough to not use the word… I think we need a new word!

    Reply

  4. Shira
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 21:57:19

    I've always hated the word diet – drop the "t" and you really get to the negative essence of what it connotes. Having rules & restrictions on a short-term basis, especially fads, just made me rebel on diets in the past until I carved my own path and focused on feeling good, not just losing pounds. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Jenn Speer
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 03:52:56

    Exactly!

    Reply

  6. Jenn Speer
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 03:53:32

    Love it and much more approachable!

    Reply

  7. Jenn Speer
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 03:54:10

    If you come up with a new word I am all ears!

    Reply

  8. Jenn Speer
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 04:02:21

    Yes, I hate seeing people go towards fads I know that they might do short term, but it turns into yo yo dieting which is horrible for your metabolism. Long term lifestyle change is the answer not diets.

    Reply

  9. Pamela
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 10:59:46

    If anyone ever told me I couldn't have cheesecake again I would tell them they are nuts. Its all about balance.

    Reply

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