When I mention the word “diet”, what thoughts, feelings, emotions come to mind? I would imagine you just groaned, sighed, grunted or some negative thought came to the forefront of your mind. Usually, when we hear the word “diet”, we think of a long list of foods that we can’t have. That’s because that’s how most “diets” work.
According to the dictionary, there are two definitions for the term diet:
- The kinds of foods a person, animal or community habitually eats (e.g., real foods, vegetarian, vegan, paleo)
- A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons
Restrictive strategies set us up for failure! Have you ever felt that the more you tell you tell yourself that you can’t have it, the more you want it? Trust me when I say you aren’t alone. I have found myself in that same situation. I work with my clients educating them that food is good and they don’t have to fear it or be deprived of it in order to reach their goals.
One diet doesn’t work for everyone. We are all unique! Some individuals can’t physically tolerate dairy, gluten or meats and others have food allergies or sensitivities. Consider keeping a food journal and track what you eat and how those foods make you FEEL! Pay close attention to the foods that make you feel good and those that leave you feeing sluggish, bloated, gassy, or with a headache or brain fog after a short time. Try to identify those foods that give you energy versus those that cause various symptoms that leave you feeling less than your best. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy for YOU and by understanding that, it will help you discover the foods that are best for you.
Don’t focus on calories! When your focus is on calories, it’s on a number rather than the value of nutrition. The quality of food versus the number of calories is most important. For example, if you had an apple versus a 100-calorie snack pack they each have the same number of calories but are completely different in nutrition. Focusing solely on the number of calories can also cause a sense of guilt and frustration when you exceed your “ideal calories”. This leads to additional stress that can hinder weight loss.
As your health coach, I’m here to guide and support you. Let me know how I can help you!