Stop Dieting, Start Eating.

Most people are surprised to hear that I am very careful about using the word “diet.” There is a time and place for the term and we must be mindful of that.

“I am on a diet” truly encompasses the negative context that surrounds the D word.

If your goal is to lose weight or adapt healthier eating habits, you need to understand food, not fear it. Fear leads to restriction, negativity and a poor response. Understanding leads to healthy behaviors, positive results and a healthy relationship with food. 

I often speak about the importance of perspective; I firmly believe it makes a difference.

“ I can’t eat that; I am on a diet” or “No thank you; I am satisfied.”

Think about the impact of each statement. The difference is powerful. When you understand your relationship with food, you hold the power.

There is an unfortunate stigma that the only way to achieve our health goals is to follow a strict “diet” or plan that just tells us what to do everyday. That may be effective for the short term but what do you do when life happens and that plan is no longer sustainable?

There is not a one-size-fits-all, easy, miracle solution. Everyone has different needs; a standardized plan cannot possibly work for everyone. You start by getting the right education, finding support, and embracing change. This is when guidance from the professionals (registered dietitians) can help you unleash your full potential.

When you commit to a lifestyle change the only way it will last a lifetime is if you start with education, then seek guidance to apply the education, and learn about yourself along the way. Education gives you the tools to incorporate healthy foods and healthy habits into your daily routine. Self-awareness opens the gate for behavior change. It takes time and effort; I am not implying that it is easy. A lifestyle change involves taking the time to learn, learning about food, learning about you.

I am so moved when working with someone and we reach the point when they realize that they are capable of applying these principles and are empowered by their new outlook on health. They leave my office and no longer feel like they are victims of diet culture because they are now holding themselves accountable. That is when they realize they can stop dieting and start eating. That is when the real journey begins and it is a beautiful moment.