The word “die” is in it. I mean, really.

Honestly, the word “diet” should be removed from all health/weight loss lingo. It has such a negative connotation. No one has ever uttered the phrase, “I’m on a diet!!!!” with any enthusiasm. Because who seriously wants to be on a diet? Used as a verb, a diet is defined as “to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” How horrible (yet accurate) does that sound? When you hear the word diet, the words “restriction” and “deprivation” aren’t far behind.

The best advice I could give to anyone trying to lose weight: the word diet doesn’t exist in your vocabulary. The last thing you need when you’re starting to eat healthier is the words restriction and deprivation bouncing around in your head. Whenever you start working towards being healthier it’s really important to stay realistic and stay positive. Thinking about keeping to your new diet is the ultimate downer.

Don’t misunderstand me: you still need to watch what you eat. I’m not a magician over here, but when you start making food choices based on your “diet,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. The main problem with a diet is that it’s temporary. If weight loss is your goal—no matter how much you have to lose—the way you eat, what you eat, and the amount you eat are all lifestyle changes that you have to commit to. When you starting thinking in diet terms, it makes it seem like you only have to abstain from eating fast food and desserts every day for a month, as opposed to habitually eating your favorite, delicious artery-clogging foods in moderation.

The issue of moderation is another problem with the diet philosophy. Diets make it seem like you only need to eat healthy for X amount of days until you lose that ten pounds. …But once you lose it and you fall back into your pre-diet habits, that weight will be back in no time, maybe even with extra pounds. Keep in mind that following a very strict diet may last for a week or a month, but the simple reality is it’s very hard to keep to a stringent diet long-term.

The final and most trying problem with being on a diet is the reaction you get from those around you. In a perfect world, when you start to work on losing weight or eating right everyone else around you would do the same… dare to dream. Since that isn’t the case, you’ll have to weather eating among your friends and family around all that food you’re trying to eat in moderation. When you say to someone “No thanks, I’m on a diet,” they actually hear, “I’ve decided to never eat again.” The comments that follow are always like, “You can’t deprive yourself!” “Just a little bite!” “You’re making me look fat!”

Do yourself a favor. For your own mental outlook, and to get those people around you to shut up and mind their own business, start thinking and saying this: I’m being healthier. Unless you’ve surrounded yourself with some serious jerks, no one’s going to argue with your choice to be healthy. Being healthy sounds like and is much more of a commitment than just your latest dieting whim. Not only will you take your own goals more seriously, but those around you will follow suit (sooner or later).

Don’t feel guilty about ditching your diet—you’re better off without it.

5 thoughts on “Diet? Doesn’t exist.

  1. Yes, yes, yes! So many things in this writing that are spot ON! My coworker is constantly trying to undo my progress, it is very frustrating. My family is doing great…except for holidays. I just have to bring enough healthy food that I am not tempted to pick at food elsewhere.

    1. Coworkers can be killer. I have a coworker that actually went to Walgreens and bought some snacks because “she wants to see me munching on something.” Sheesh. I had no idea my snacking on fruit, nutri-grain bars, yogurt, etc. didn’t constitute munching.

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

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