Now, I know when people refer to what they eat they say "diet." This is of course not what I am talking about, and it's why you will hear me refer to your diet as an "eating plan" instead (sorry it doesn't sound as hip as this website is).
Diet, ugh. Nothing has caused more personal and emotional anxiety in my family and close friend's lives as the word "diet."
Not only do we, Americans, live in a culture that makes us vulnerable to overweight status, we worship the thin idea of beauty. This is what leads people to adopt this horrible word in their everyday vocabulary:
Tell me, have you ever been happy to be on a diet? Maybe you've lost some excess weight and feel great, but then what happens about a month into it?
Have you started to miss the food you used to regularly eat back before this terrible word entered your life?
You're not alone!
What do diets actually limit?
Enjoyment of Food
Frankly, diets have made people stop looking at food as a source of nutritional wealth and as a source of disease, overweight status, and all around bad for you.
Food is good for you!
When we incorporate more healthful foods in our eating plan, well it just leaves less room for the calorie-dense foods.
So please, don't diet or restrict yourself unless you have special dietary needs, and have sought a professional's opinion (hey like me!)
So what can you do? Try this on for size:
6 Steps to Get Started on Your Food Changes
1. Identify something you'd like to change.
For instance, do you feel like you don't eat enough fruit?
2. Make a baby-step plan to change this!
Okay, so you feel that you don't eat enough fruit. So, maybe what you can decide to do is buy 3 different types of fruit with each visit to the store with the plan of eating them all before your next visit. Or maybe just adding a handful of blueberries to your cereal in the morning. Whatever small step works for you, set it in stone, and move to the next step.
3. Stick to it for 3 weeks.
See why I told you to pick something small? You're going to have to do this every day for the next 3 weeks! Don't pick something dramatic.
4. Reward yourself!
What is your reward for following through with your task? Will you give yourself a new shirt if you stick with it for the 3 weeks? It's your reward! You pick it.
5. Slip up?
Don't beat yourself up. So you indulged in some pizza and beer this Sunday, and didn't eat a single piece of fruit. That doesn't mean you failed! That means you did a great job 6 out of 7 days. Guilt is not a good motivator. Accept that you had a slip up, and move forward!
6. Did you succeed in your change?
Are you eating more fruit now than you were 3 weeks ago? Fantastic! Keep it up, and when you're ready start up a new goal!