1/ The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. ‘a vegetarian diet’
1.1 / The activities, pastimes, etc. in which a person or group habitually engages. ‘screen violence is becoming the staple diet of the video generation’
2/ A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. ‘I'm going on a diet’
2.1/ as modifier (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content. ‘diet soft drinks’
How many of you when you think of the word diet think of meaning number 2 ?! The word diet has so many negative connotations and is the source of a lot of poor relationships with food and our bodies. Going on a diet is something as a society we do too much of, there is no consistency with it , so many times I will hear people saying they are going back on diet or they fell off the wagon or had a really bad day after being so good. There is this massive need to restrict ourselves in order to loose weight and look better in our opinion HOWEVER diets don't work when you approach it like this.
I personally hate the diet culture and mentality we currently have and the way it is portrayed all over the media. There an array of fads and BS out there being promoted by 'influncers' and 'celebrities' that have no qualifications or understanding about it. Very rarely there is scientific evidence to back it up with most people just wanting a quick fix and will happily pay for it. I am by no means an expert when it comes to nutrition, I have a basic knowledge from my PT qualification and any other research I have done but I am not an nutritionist or dietitian and will never claim to be. This is why I don't give my clients meal plans as well as the fact I don't believe in them, it takes away your choice and flexibility.
I look at the word diet as the meaning number one and will never use it as the number 2 meaning, looking at what we eat as a whole and focusing on what we put into our bodies not what we take away. And with that in mind these are the main things I tend to look at with my own diet and that of clients.
Nutrients: Focusing on having a well balanced intake of nutrients rather than numbers making sure that you are getting in your carbohydrates, protein, fats and vitamins and minerals. The saying Eat the Rainbow isn't too far off because the more variety you have in your diet the more likely you are to be getting a load of different nutrients.
Nourish: Ultimately we eat to stay alive and healthy and we also want it to satisfy our taste buds so look for the foods you like the taste of that also nourish your health. Don't just eat a health food for the sake of it if you don't like it because believe me it then makes it a chore. Add into that foods that nourish your soul and you really enjoy that potentially might not be the most nutritionally beneficial.
Portion Control: As I have said I don't believe in 'diets' however there is such thing as over eating and every food as a calorific value - whether it's deemed healthy or not. So rather than making calorie counting I thing I simply ask clients to be aware of how much they are eating if they are on a weight loss goal. Nothing is restricted in terms of cutting it out instead it is about being aware of your portion sizes.
Moderation: Nothing is good or bad, there are just some foods that have more nutritional benefits than others so rather than deprive yourself of something just moderate it. And on that note actually think about it because sometimes that thing that we are craving isn't actually as delicious as we thought, its just because we normally say no.
Time out: I have clients (and myself at times) that end up snacking for no reason other than we are bored. So in these situations it is good to take some time to do something else such as read a book, go for a walk, paint your nails, have a bath etc where your mind is elsewhere. Chances are you won't want the snack because you weren't really hungry and if you still do then chances are you're hungry so that's ok.
Lifestyle: That is what you are working on not a quick fix meaning you want to make it work for you. I suggest that by making small changes here and there they will come habits that follow you forever. Such as aiming to drink 2L water, swapping certain snack choices for others, sitting down to eat rather than eating on the go.
A diet like most things are individual to the person because one thing might not work for someone that works for you, however when you take away the negative connotations of restriction, good and bad foods and failure then it becomes a lot easier to see it as a whole. Find the way that works for you so that you have a positive relationship with eating and are aware of what foods are going in your body. I will always say to clients take away any guilt from eating there doesn't need to be. Embrace and enjoy all the decisions you make and just be aware of it all. We are more than the food we eat but we should also enjoy the food we eat and nourish ourselves with it.
Love Vicki xxx