Can I get an AMEN!? I want to start up a conversation with you on this. As many of you have noticed and personally lived through the decades of our society telling us that we need to DIET. But why?
Diet (noun) 1) the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
2) a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
(verb) 1) restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight
As you can see, there are many definitions of what a diet it. When I was in university studying for the degree that I have, DIET was and still is the 1st definition that you see, “what you habitually eat”, but is can also be a verb, as in to diet. This is where it can get confusing. And eating, for many people, is confusing. But why all the confusion? Is it because society is telling you what to eat? Your co-worker is telling you what to eat? Social media is telling you what to eat? Why not learn to trust what your body is telling you what to eat? Our bodies are WAY smarter than we give them credit for.
As I mentioned in the last post, in order to overcome this need to diet (restrict ourselves) and try to lose weight in most likely an unhealthy way, why not understand our habits and make sustainable and realistic changes to the what/the way/the how/the where/the why we eat? Did you every think that it could be that complicated? We need to start asking ourselves at least these 5 questions (the what/the way/the how/the where and the why) in order to really understand what is going on and make a change in our eating habits that has a greater chance of lasting. Otherwise, the alternative is to try and follow a piece of paper telling you what to eat and when and not getting the chance to understand why you eat at night when you’re not hungry. Or why you sneak food and eat it while feeling guilt or shame?
Diets (restrictions) can work, for a limited few people…maybe at first. But the thing with diets (restrictions) is that it is very unlikely that you can maintain 1) any weight loss that occurred and 2) maintaining the new way of eating that you started. As I mentioned, there are some people that can, but from my experience the number is few and far between. So if they have such a high failure rate, why bother? Why bother putting yourself through that struggle and most likely having the sense of failure at the end? Have you ever noticed that when you end up dieting/restricting you end up having more and stronger cravings and end up bingeing/overeating even more? Again why bother?? Changing and understanding your reasons for eating the way you do may be more complicated that you might realize and may end up taking more time that you thought, but seeking out help in order to do so will definitely help! You can learn to start in trusting your body, your needs and wants but without the negative emotions like guilt/shame. Doesn’t that sound so much better? There are many ways you can seek some help in getting there. This could be through a support group, a counselor/therapist and of course a registered dietitian. We can be there to ask those tough questions, get to the root cause of your current habits and help you to succeed to become a healthier you! Let’s start focusing on health instead of weight!
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.