If I never have to hear another person mumble they can't eat something because they are “on a diet” or are following a certain “lifestyle” eating choice that would be my definition of success. I hate dieting and it's the type of mentality I strive to break every day with my clients. Diets are so 1990's. We know too much about food to have to succumb to our old dieting ways. Creating a healthy lifestyle does not come from restrictions. It makes me so sad that we as a society are still depriving ourselves from the nutrition our body needs in the name of dieting and diet foods. We shy away from real wholesome, healthy foods, in the name of a diet. Butter, grains, and dairy are not necessarily your enemy.
Dieting mentalities soon become lifestyles of deprivation. I get it if you are choosing a lifestyle because eating a certain way actually makes you feel better. But those of us (and there are so many) are simply eating vegan, paleo, or gluten free (to just name a few) because someone told us too, or it was the newest trend posted on the internet. A fitness model talked about their paleo diet and now you believe it's the only way to achieve your goals so you adopt the diet lifestyle. But you are struggling through the day, you don't feel your best and you find yourself constantly “cheating” or falling off that “diet” then that is a sign that this is not the lifestyle you were meant to adopt!
All of the “lifestyles” I just described above can be just as restrictive as our low fat dieting and restrictive obsession mindsets. I'm a strong believer of all things in moderation and I practice the 80/20 rule with most parts of life (except for coffee and dog snuggles which I absolutely won't allow myself to go a day without). Diets are always all or nothing. It's black and white and no gray area to dance in. If you eat that piece of cake, you fail. Let me ask you, if you stopped trying the first time you fell off your bike, do you think you ever would have learned how to ride? But that's how we treat our eating habits. We think we have to be perfect 100% of the time or it's a lost cause and maybe we'll try again next month. Remember, imperfections and learning is what makes life fun and interesting.
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So what do I have against labeling your eating habits as “paleo” or “gluten free” or “vegan”. Absolutely nothing if you feel great eating this way or you have a sensitivity to a food or food group. If you are thriving, have all the energy in the world, and discover that you are less bloated, inflamed, and wake up excited about eating foods and aren't missing any “off limit” foods or food group, YAY for you! But if you can't say you are thriving, I question why you would commit to a lifestyle that isn't doing anything for you. Again it all falls into an obsession of restricting and depriving our bodies of nourishment that it needs.
I teach my nutrition clients to eat foods they love. To try new recipes and only add the recipes they love into their weekly meal plan rotation. If I feel there is a food allergy, we remove the food for a short time and go from there. I teach that there is an optimal time to eat certain foods, but nothing is ever “off limits'. I am teaching them how to eat for long term success not short term weight loss. I will admit learning how to add veggies into your breakfast (or dessert WHAT!?!?) may seem kind of crazy at first. It may even be a bit uncomfortable if you've never done it before. We are creatures of routine, and if mom and grandma didn't do it why should I!. But usually it's within the first week or two that they start reporting back how amazing they feel and how they are finally breaking through plateaus. With this discovery, they're on board for the long haul. Who doesn't want to lose fat while eating more and eating delicious food? I'm pretty sure that's everyone's dream, right?
Creating long term habits based on small goals for success is something you can thrive on, instead of struggling through. Does anyone get to their ultimate goal overnight? Heck no! This is a process baby! Which is another reason I don't love “dieting” there is no process and it's setup for short term success from deprivation, not long term success of nourishment.
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What about you?
- How do you feel about “fad” diets?
- Do you feel like you are thriving?
- Do you have constant cravings for a specific food group (especially if you are dieting)?