Why I Eliminated "Dieting" from my Vocabulary
Many of us have been there. Through those days of intense dieting, all of the fad diets that have trended and all of those that keep appearing. I feel like a majority of us have at least tried one of those diets. As for myself, I have pretty much tried all of them while I was growing up: the Military Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Rice Diet, the Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, diets given to me from personal trainers, doctors and from nutritionists…. Yep I have pretty much tried them all! And what I realized throughout my health and wellness journey is that none of these truly helped me reach my goals. Maybe they helped me temporarily to feel good, or maybe they taught me how to lose many pounds in a few days (which is so unhealthy). However, none of these taught me how to eat and listen to my body nor did these help me achieve my long -term wellness goals. That is when I decided to erase the term “diet” from my life and listen to my own body, which began my process of eating mindfully.
Many of us also have those moments when maybe we have gained a couple of pounds after a nice and well-deserved vacation or a weekend of fun. After these kinds of moments, which are OK and necessary every once in a while, we need to take a step back and not jump into a crazy “detox”, instead we need to eat more wholesome, clean and nourishing foods and get organized to get one back to their healthy routine. But if you ask me, I have never been one to promote the term “dieting.” In fact, I have pretty much eliminated it from my vocabulary and instead I like to call it a healthy lifestyle.
When people come to me for help or tips, I do promote meal planning and prepping, but you will never hear me calling it a diet. Instead, I like to help people discover new foods that they genuinely enjoy, by helping them to incorporate more vegetables, fruits and unprocessed foods, and by crowding out the junk. I also teach them to listen to their bodies when they are full, satisfied, or hungry, and make them realize when they are eating because of their emotions, eating out of boredom, or even not eating at all because of stress, to name a few. When people are looking for long-term weight-loss as one of their main goals, I promote incorporating nutrient-rich foods that are delicious, satisfying, healthy, tasty and well-balanced rather than following a low-calorie plan to lose weight. This leaves one feeling light, feeling good, and always feeling satisfied instead of feeling like something is missing from their day.
The main reason I personally disagree with dieting is because at least in my experience, counting calories or following certain restrictions gave me anxiety in the sense that I would think about food the entire day and if I exceeded the number of calories in that meal or day or if I made a “bad food choice” I would get extremely upset and mad at myself, which turned into a negative cycle. Instead, when one attempts to be mindful and focuses on nourishing oneself rather than focusing on deprivation, one ends up having a more positive relationship with food and with one’s body.
And really, this is all what I am about and what I preach on a daily basis. Finding a balance, having a positive relationship with one’s body and with others, looking good but more importantly feeling good, and truly nourishing oneself to be the best version one can be. My number one rule: Love your body and love yourself because there is only ONE of you!