If we're honest, words have a lot of power. They evoke plenty of feelings and emotions and some sayings and words, in particular, are not always the best to say. It’s impossible to avoid all diet words (even the word “diet” can come across negative), but it’s still something to keep in mind. If there are ways to think of a healthy lifestyle change in a better light, then that’s a good thing! We also discuss how to stay positive while implementing healthy habits in the Body Reboot book. Below are some words and phrases that aren’t always helpful. Be creative and think of other ways to rephrase things so that making a healthy lifestyle change is easier!
I’ve Got a Problem
Extreme Health Radio says to stay away from the phrase “I’ve got a problem,” because it’s not a problem, it’s an obstacle. Everyone goes through challenging times — it’s how we proceed from the difficulties is what matters. Don’t allow the “problem” to get the best of you. Work through it and see it as an opportunity to grow and implement a healthy way of living.
We don’t have problems we have challenges and we have obstacles. Sometimes I’ll change problem into “situation”. As people who take ultimate responsibility for everything we do in life, we don’t have “problems” we just have challenges that must be overcome.
I highly encourage you to rid your vocabulary of this word. There are no problems. A problem is simply our interpretation of a neutral event. It’s a story we tell ourselves and we live out. We create problems in our minds. Actual problems don’t exist.
When you see that you have a challenge you must overcome, instead of a problem that can be permanent, you realize that these are just temporary obstacles designed to get you where you need to be.
Having willpower is essential, but Well Seek mentions that you should question the meaning of willpower. They have a point when they say the body responds to needs, such as being hungry. But it’s not always about “willpower,” it’s the ability to recognize what a body needs and responding appropriately.
Some people often cite a lack of willpower as to why they chose to eat something. However, the will to eat is one of the most powerful responses in the human body — and rightly so, as we must eat to live.
If your willpower is draining, it may be time to check in with yourself rather than berating yourself. Ask yourself: Are you hungry? Tired? Bored? Stressed? What do you really need in that moment? Taking that time to be curious without judgement is a way to practice self-compassion.
Sometimes you’ve worked hard on your diet and would like to “cheat.” When you “cheat” you feel like you’re doing something wrong, but Well Seek says it’s okay to treat yourself occasionally. If you do it in moderation, there’s no reason to feel guilty. Stick to your newfound habits and the occasional tasty meal should be fine.
If you feel like you need a cheat day or a cheat meal, then that might mean your dietary pattern the rest of the time is too restrictive. Only allowing yourself to eat certain foods on a specific day may set you up for feeling guilty or ashamed if you eat them at other points throughout the week. It may also cause you to feel out of control around those foods.
Give yourself permission to eat what you’re craving throughout the week, and they won’t seem as highly desirable.
Her Campus reiterates what Well Seeks mentions by mentioning it’s a treat — not a cheat!
Everybody has cravings for those not-so-healthy snacks or meals. Whether you crave pizza, ice cream (my personal fave), chicken wings, whatever it is, just eat it. It's okay to eat things that aren't “clean” or aren't necessarily good for you. As long as you don't make a habit of eating things like this it is completely fine to indulge yourself. You're not on a diet (or at least you shouldn't be!), so what are you “cheating” on? It's a treat, not a cheat. Everything in moderation!
I Have To
Extreme Health Radio says it well by arguing that saying something like “I have to go workout” has a negative connotation. Consider changing your phrasing to “I look forward to working out,” or “I’m going to work out.” It’ll make you feel in charge and proud of yourself for following through with healthy habits.
This is a phrase I’ve removed from my vocabulary almost completely. Being aware of what I’m saying and how I’m thinking is definitely helping me with this. I usually replace the phrase “I have to” with, “I get to” or “I’m going to”. Working out is a perfect example. I don’t like working out that much, even though I do it 3 times a week. If Kate asks what I’m doing on a workout day, I say, “later I’m gonna go work out” instead of saying “I have to go work out”.
Have to implies you don’t have control over your schedule and you’re a victim to whatever restriction has been placed on your time schedule for that day.
It’s Okay; We’ll Start Again Tomorrow
This is a classic example of an excuse, which is why Self says to stay away from the mentality that you have to burn off what you eat. Your body needs nutrition, and your body needs exercise. The two are not mutually exclusive.
“This idea falsely implies that weight and shape result from calories in versus calories out, when in fact it’s much more complex than that,” Linda Bacon, Ph.D., author of Health at Every Size, which like the movement of the same name is meant to challenge our assumptions about weight, tells SELF. She’s right: Weight hinges on many factors, like stress, sleep, and hormones. Food and exercise are just two parts of the equation.
Plus, Bacon adds, this phrase positions going to the gym as penance. The notion that exercise is a way to earn our calories or punish ourselves for overindulgence defeats the true reason why human bodies are wired to engage in physical activity: to improve our strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. I enjoy the yoga classes that I take now in recovery far more than I enjoyed the gym during my eating disorder. Now exercise is about finding joy in movement, not obsessing over calorie calculations.
You can push back on this kind of commentary by countering with “I think it’s OK even if we don’t go to the gym tomorrow.” You can also ask the other person how her relationship with exercise is positive for her, outside of its connection to calories, or suggest going for a hike to enjoy the fresh air and be good to your bodies—not to “work off” a meal from the night before.
Her Campus says that mindful eating is important, but there are times you need to snack. A great way to snack is to grab something healthy like some berries or almonds. Keep in mind that raw veggies are okay, but if you’re a low carb diet you might want to stay away from hummus (which Her Campus discusses below).
This is one of the most difficult things to conquer, and something that I struggle with myself (my sweet tooth is insatiable!). Everyone loves to mindlessly munch on a salty snack while watching TV or writing something boring for school. Food is something people look to for entertainment when they're bored. Every once in a while it's totally fine to snack! However, you should try to only eat when you feel hungry, which should be about every 3-5 hours.
If you find that you are hungry often, have healthy snacks between your meals: some almonds, a piece of fruit with peanut butter, raw veggies with hummus, etc. Remember that everyone is different, so do what works best for you.
Of course, the dreaded word “diet.” Of course, it’s next to impossible to avoid this word, but Huffington Post says that this word needs a makeover and we agree. Choose to make healthy changes and pursue a healthy lifestyle. It’s not a diet; it’s a new way of living!
For many of us who choose to diet for a *insert name of event here*, it carries deep-rooted associations of unpleasantness and, ultimately, inevitable failure.
Dietitian Priya Tew agrees: “The word diet has so many negative connotations that I think it would be better to move to a different word altogether. I definitely agree with encouraging people to eat healthily and to avoid restrictive and dangerous diets.”
So we'd like to champion a new makeover for the word diet. To us, this comes down to a very simple principle: eating healthily and continuing to make healthy food choices for life, not just for an occasion.
But why has the word diet developed such an unsavoury association?
Celeb diets aren't without blame, but it's the responsibility of magazines in how they disseminate the information. Celebs aren't like us – they occupy a very specific body image-led job, in a small bubble of society. Yet we are told about celebs who eat baby food to lose weight, as if that would be a perfectly normal undertaking for a HR manager from Scunthorpe.
While fitness author and expert Sam Feltham doesn't feel the word needs a rebrand, he says: “You can think of the word diet as being positive or negative one depending on your way of thinking but also on your experiences.
My advice would be if you have had negative experiences with diets, try a scientifically sound diet. Then your experience will be a positive one and your own personal definition of diet will change into a more positive outlook.”
Sam may be right in that for clinically obese people wanting to lose weight, the word diet is a very real, reassuring term. When we spoke to Cacia Griggs who went from size 24 to size 10 on the Cambridge Diet, a meal replacement plan was her last hope because she'd tried and failed at so many others.
However, for those of us in the middle who do want a healthier approach to eating without resorting to such extremes, it is high time we take a look at what this word actually means. And it's nothing to be scared of.
Words are more than just words; they affect how you feel and think about life changes. Pursue healthy living, stick to positive phrases and words that build you up and now down. Read how a low carb, high fat diet can help you reach your goals! Help us cover the cost of shipping and get the Body Reboot book at no cost to you. Visit this page today and see if there are any copies left.
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