Diet…What a Riot!

I went to a conference on healthy eating and they emphasized the fact that the first three letters in diet, are d-i-e. Die.  No wonder we hate the idea. So, first I would consider losing that word altogether. Deprivation isn’t something that has much appeal and the word diet implies deprivation in most of our minds.

People always want the easy answer, the quick fix. In our modern age, patience for achievement is not something we have mastered. They want me to stick a needle in a certain place and have all the weight disappear. Believe me, I get it, I want all my problems solved instantaneously as well, but very often that isn’t how it works.

When asked what the right foods are to eat and how much someone needs to exercise my reply is something along the lines of “Exercise often, eat as many vegetables as possible and avoid fried and processed foods.”  Usually I just get stared at in return. They already knew that…Of course you already knew that!!! But why haven’t you implemented it in your life?

When people come to me with a desire to loose weight or go on a diet I always ask them why. If this is a goal of yours you must first understand the real reasons for the desire. I think this is true of any desire. If you truly know why you want to fulfill that desire you will be more likely to do the things you need to in order to achieve it.  People already have the knowledge that healthy eating habits and a healthy weight lead to more energy, less illness, disease prevention and a better quality of life but this isn’t necessarily their true motivation. Knowing the why will help you to implement your how. What do you want for yourself in terms of health? What is it worth to you? Are you still interested in achieving your goal after you know the real reasons behind it? These are essential things to ask yourself before implementing any change.

The massive amounts of information surrounding food and what we should and should not ingest is overwhelming. Macrobiotics, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Ayurvedic, Blood type… there are a million different strategies that have worked for certain individuals and they swear by them. However, diet cannot be based solely on theory. An individual’s constitutional, environmental, regional and other unique factors must be taken into account. In order to know what is good for you, you must first know yourself. Guidelines are useful, theory can be helpful. Keeping a food journal recording what, when, how much and how the foods you ingest make you feel is a practical tool. If you need help, you should always ask. Nutritionists, therapists, health and lifestyle coaches act as great guides. But in the end, the best person to plan and figure out the foods you should eat, to plan your “diet,” well, its you.

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