I Stopped using The Word Diet. You Should Too. Here’s Why
The word “diet” means the food you eat regularly. But what do you actually think of when you hear that word? Restriction and elimination. The low-carb diet, low-fat diet, Atkin’s diet, South Beach diet, counting calories, measuring cups, scales, and points? The word diet can do more harm than good. It’s time to ditch diets and here’s 3 reasons why.
Diets are confusing
Diets are confusing. Every year, new types of diets spring up from celebrities and celebrity doctors alike. How do you know which one to follow? Which one is better than the rest? Some diets are parts of brands with products to buy while others cut out certain food groups or have you eating the same foods over and over again. Some diets have you eating a precarious balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
The truth is that no one diet is better than the rest in terms of weight loss! Studies show that whether you follow a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet, the amount of weight loss is the same in the end, as long as you stick to it! The important thing is not what you eat but how you eat and how long you stick to it. Ditch the focus on “diets” and which “diet” you need to follow. Focus instead on incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into all of your meals and snacks.
Diets focus on restriction and cutting things out
Diets focus on restriction and cutting things out, which causes stress and guilt. What do most diets have in common? They focus on foods that you need to eliminate. Eating paleo? You’re no longer allowed to eat beans, a nutritious source of fiber, protein, and slow-digesting carbohydrates. Eating low carb? Say goodbye to potatoes and rice, a cheap and perfectly healthy source of calories. When you focus on restricting foods, these foods suddenly become “good” or “bad.”
When a food, like a cookie or a piece of cake, is labeled as “bad” it becomes more desirable; when you indulge in it, it creates a cycle of guilt that may cause you to give up on the diet altogether. Have you ever started a diet, but on day two you had something you knew you shouldn’t have had? Did you continue sticking to your diet or did you throw in the towel and decide to start over again another day? No one food is inherently good or bad, it is the overall picture of your daily eating habits that determine healthy eating. This is the difference in thinking that may allow you to continue to choose healthier foods throughout the day instead of giving up.
Diets Don’t Last
Diets are temporary. How many times have you said, “I need to go on a diet?” The facade and allure of a diet is that you can follow it temporarily, say for 3 weeks or 3 months, in order to achieve the body you want for a special occasion, and then go back to your regular way of eating. But no true long-term weight loss is achieved. In fact, you might even gain extra weight after you’ve already put back on your previous weight. If you want to keep that weight change and continue to feel good, stop “going on a diet” and instead focus on improving your entire lifestyle permanently.
Fixation on diets is temporary and causes guilt, stress, and confusion. Long term weight-loss and health only come from a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, one that includes indulgences once in awhile but is overwhelmingly filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts, and made from scratch food. Ditch “going on diets” and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle that you stick to, year after year.