Never Diet Again
If there’s one thing I learned in my twenties as I transitioned from a college student to an adult, it is that I hate dieting. I hate it! There, I said it. Now that that’s off my chest, let me share with you the many reasons why dieting is so crappy and unsuccessful. And I think you can agree with me that there are many reasons. In the post I’m going to share with you how to find success through a sustainable nutrition program.
The word “diet” is construed as negative
When you hear the word “diet” do you think of butterflies and roses? Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Highly doubtful. Instead, I assume you feel something along the lines of cold and prickly, lizards and thorns, and possibly even a tad bit of sadness. Does that sound about right?
The word “diet” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means: a food or drink regularly provided or consumed; habitual nourishment. It means food or a selection of food.
If I ask you again, how does the word “diet” make you feel, does your interpretation change? You see, when we remind ourselves what “diet” really means, we are reassured that it is simply the foods we choose to eat, regardless of how nutritious they are.
Dieting is not fun
Yet society has clung to the second definition of “diet”. Most people think a “diet” is negative, restrictive, miserable, and down-right no fun. It has been engrained in our heads that “dieting” means giving things up or eating sparingly. People believe that if you restrict any food in any way, you’re dieting. But the truth is, diet can have either definition or meaning.
It’s the descriptor word that comes before “diet” that depicts what kind of diet it really is: positive or negative.
Pay attention to the adjective in front of the word “diet”:
- Low-carb diet. (ie, Atkins diet)
- Ketogenic diet. (low carb and high fat)
- Low-fat diet.
- Intermittent fasting diet.
- Weight Watchers diet.
- Paleo diet.
What do all of the above have in common? It’s the word in front of “diet” that negatively impacts poor old “diet”. Why are they picking on him so much?
The common theme is they are all restrictive or negative. Cut out carbs, cut out fats, cut out eating as many meals per day, cut out processed foods….blah blah blah. [See Related: Don't Hate the Carbs, Hate the Calorie Game]
All of those diets are the same
Every single diet listed above has an end result of decreasing the amount of calories consumed.
Myolean Fitness put it best in this chart below:
Folks, what it comes down to is that no matter which eating habit you practice, if you put yourself in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight.
Every diet is the same except “flexible dieting”
What sets “flexible” apart from “low-carb”, “low-fat”, and “fasting”? It is POSITIVE!! For once, we have a positive adjective in front of the word “diet”. This is fantastic! A diet that doesn’t sound like a cold piece of chicken with a side of asparagus.
Flexible Dieting is not:
Restricting a major food group (all of which are essential to our health)
Enforcing binge eating (due to the restrictions and limitations placed)
Making you cheat or feel guilty (if you eat something delicious)
Causing you to feel tired (because the last time you ate was 12 hours ago)
Telling you when you must eat each meal, what foods you must eat, and how much of each to eat
Yet to the public, they may simply see the word “diet” and run away.
That is why I prefer to call Flexible Dieting- Flexible Eating. It’s a nutritional lifestyle that has NO FOODS OFF LIMITS. Does food quality matter? Yes. That is why there should be an emphasis (80%) on more natural/wholesome/nutrient dense foods over less nutritious foods. But for fat loss to occur, it’s the caloric deficit that matters most. With Flexible Dieting/Eating you will never feel like you are dieting again- it's a lifestyle. Here is our guide to flexible dieting: Flexible Dieting University. It is great for everyone, even bikini competition prep.
If you calculate that you maintain weight eating 2000 calories, then that means, eating less than 2000 calories will result in weight loss. Which route do you want to take? Do you want to consume those calories off your list of allowed foods? Do you want to starve all day because you are only allowed to eat at certain times? Or would you prefer to eat whatever food you want, thanks to flexible dieting?
It’s up to you which diet or nutrition program you follow. If you believe any of those listed previously are best for your body, fit your schedule/lifestyle, and are sustainable for the long-term, then go for it. Whatever works best for your body and can become a sustainable habit for you.
But I can tell you 100% what I would choose every single time: Flexible Dieting. It is nutritional freedom at its finest. When the stats show that the average woman diets 3x/year with an average duration of only 5 weeks, that’s a big red flag. A diet you can’t stick to long-term is garbage.
Sustainable = Successful
I challenge you to do two things:
#1 Free the word “diet”! When I tell someone “My diet consists of…” I am truly describing the foods I eat, not what food group I am restricting or what is off limits.
#2 Eliminate the word “cheat” meal or day. Why would you want to be a part of any program that makes you feel like you have to cheat to find success? With flexible dieting, cheating does not exist because you can eat any food you want, whenever you want (as long as it fits your macros).
Let’s End with the BEST News
As mentioned previously, 80% of your daily food intake should be nutritious. That means 20% of your food each day can be the treats you enjoy. Keep your cravings at bay by enjoying what you eat. I usually utilize this to get my Oreo fix each night. Maybe you enjoy pizza so you save enough macros to fit in a slice at night. The best part is, there is zero guilt. There is no need to “cheat” when the food you enjoy is already allowed.
To conclude, join me in making smarter nutritional choices to help you reach your goals of living a healthier lifestyle. Instead of crash “yo-yo” dieting that may work temporarily, reward yourself with nutritional freedom that allows results to last and makes eating fun again. Flexible eating is an evidence-based nutrition method for achieving sustainable results.