To Diet or Not To Diet That is the Question
Today is International No Diet Day, which leads me to the question: Should we diet or not?
The Answer: It depends.
“Diet Culture” has become so prevalent in our society. We have all heard of the various diets that claim, “lose the weight and keep it off” and the fitness trainers saying that they know the “tricks” to get you to where you want to be. Then came along the Body Positivity Movement that encourages us to love and accept ourselves as ourselves.
I am not anti-diet and I am not anti-Body Positivity. I am concerned that all of these movements either teach us to diet until we look perfect or just say, “fuhget-a-bout-it” to justify not taking care of yourself. Body Positivity is fantastic. We should love ourselves and we just accept ourselves as we are. If we can accept where we are in the moment then how are we able to move forward? However, that doesn’t mean we have to accept the fact that where we are is where we will stay. We can be equally accepting of ourselves and desire to reach for more.
I believe that the food you eat should bless your body and your soul. This does not mean you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. We have the opportunity to change our mindset about food at any time. When you choose foods that will bless your body you will feel better and more energized.
It’s also okay to go out for queso, chips and a margarita with your friends. Food is to be enjoyed and when you’re in good company you feel fulfilled and blessed. Yes, queso did bless your body! Eating with intention is a great way to change your mind-set about food. What do you want that food to do during that time? How do you want your body blessed during that moment?
Listening to your body and allowing your body to determine what is best for you during that moment is a great way to allow balance and sustainability in your everyday food choices.
The Case for Dieting:
There are many diets that are used as tools for healing such as the Keto Diet, Paleo Diet, FODMAPS diets, Intermittent Fasting, etc. They all serve a purpose to help people heal their gut, heal an autoimmune disease, to discover a food sensitivity, or to regulate blood glucose levels.
There are plenty of people who are going to need a diet to heal from disease. I encourage you to seek out a professional to guide you through the process if you need to diet for healing purposes. No diet is one-size-fits-all. A professional can help you figure out what your body needs to get the best results and for you to feel your absolute best. We all have different activity levels, body compositions, different metabolisms, different lifestyles, and jobs, which are a factor when deciding how you should approach dieting.
The Case Against Dieting:
I am not a fan of “Diet Culture” because there is so much information most people do not fully understand. Every January people want to start a diet and they do not succeed because the diet is not sustainable. Or they do get the results they want and quickly go back to eating the way they did before the diet and the weight comes right back on; and then the person gets frustrated and starts the diet all over again.
Women have the tendency to fall into the calorie restriction downfall. The unfortunate thing is that just restricting calories may help reduce weight, but it can also cause stress on the body. I fell into this. I was told by a doctor to limit my calories to 1200 per day and do 2 hours of vigorous exercise per day while dealing with Hashimoto’s and PCOS. I ended up gaining weight, becoming exhausted, and depressed. Your body needs fuel to function and if you’re not giving it that fuel or even the right kind for your body, then you will not feel your best and you will not be able to reach your goals.
If you do want to lose weight; It is Okay to want that and to work towards achieving your goal! Also, have gratitude for what you have now, where you have been, and bless yourself with nourishing foods that will make you feel your best. Please find a Dietician or Nutritionist in the holistic/functional medicine realm or a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner to help guide you through the diet so that you get the best results that will be sustainable and lasting.