There always seems to be a new diet in the news. A new promise that’ll be a game changer in a shorter amount of time, or will let you eat all of your favourite foods. Soon afterward you’ll likely hear people complaining that it doesn’t work, or that they’re miserable following such a tight regime. That’s because we don’t really understand diets.
Huffington Post recently published an article, Don’t Confuse Diet With Nutrition, and while we may not agree with everything in the article, some good points are brought forward. Take a look:
Most often people use the word diet when they attempt weight loss. Because of this, the word diet has come to be defined as a denial of favorite foods. People hear the word diet, and they cringe at the thought of limiting food choices, feeling hungry, avoiding social occasions, and unhappiness. It also conjures memories of past attempts at weight loss, commercial diet programs that they have tried time and time again, or self-defeating thoughts that roll around in their minds. Because of these previously formed beliefs, often times you’ll hear people declare “Diets don’t work!”
I challenge these opinions. Diets do work!!! They work when people can begin to understand that diet only defines the way one eats. People choose all sorts of diets: vegetarian, vegan, low carbohydrate, high protein, etc…
We fall into a false belief when we buy into the notion that diet means depriving ourselves of something, or of everything, we enjoy. We can easily combine nutrition with diet because nutrition is eating as it relates to our dietary needs. Those needs change over a lifetime. Children and teenagers have different dietary needs than someone in their seventies or eighties. Pregnant or lactating woman differ in dietary needs than their male partners, and overweight individuals must adjust their dietary needs if it’s their desire to lose excess body weight.
In order to stop gaining weight and start losing it, one’s diet must change from the current diet to one that produces weight loss. We cannot argue that point! The question remains how can one lose weight without feeling deprived? How do we change eating patterns to ensure all necessary nutrients are consumed?
There are two great points you can take from this. Firstly, there is no one diet that is right for everyone. You have to look at your current state of health, your goals, and what nutrients you need to get there. Working with a dietician or health expert can be a great way to set goals and figure out a plan that works for you.
The second takeaway is not to get in your head about the word “diet.” Don’t look at like a punishment or a long list of things you can’t enjoy. Find the foods you love that fit into your diet plan and savour them. Look at it as an opportunity to try new things and discover new favourites. A good attitude and outlook will go a long way to improving your health, and making life more enjoyable.