“You are what you eat” – we hear this phrase all the time. 80% of your physical results come from your nutrition, while only 20% of your physical results come from exercise. That being said, if you want to see results, your nutrition is super important. For many people, the nutrition part means going on a diet, restricting calories, having limits, and being miserable. But really, it means having a diet you can live with and enjoy. It’s time to redefine the term “diet,” learn the difference between being “on a diet” versus “having a diet,” and make a transition between the two.
Restrictive Diets Work… But Only Temporarily
The truth is, diets sell – people always seem to be looking for the next big dieting trend that will bring them the results they’re looking for. First, carbs are the enemy, then, they’re eating nothing but grapefruits, and then it’s a liquid diet. Diets are big sellers because generally, people want the work done for them. They want to be told what to eat, when, and how much; they want rules, restrictions and limitations. They think of dieting in terms of having a finish line and go from one extreme to the other: either they’re on a diet that’s restrictive or eating everything in their path.
Yes, these restrictive diets work… but only temporarily. You can’t live on grapefruits, and life will always present you with situations where you need to make healthy choices on your own. Not to mention, going to these extremes is horrible for your metabolism.
This is not a one-time deal, and there is no one-size-fits-all eating plan. We all have different tastes. What works for one person might not work for another. This is why it’s so important to find a diet that works for you – one you can maintain, enjoy, and live with – so you have a diet instead of being on a diet.
Are you “ON a Diet” or do you “HAVE a Diet”?
So, would you rather be a chronic dieter or someone that manages a healthy weight and has a healthy relationship with food? Let’s compare characteristics of being on a diet versus having a diet.
ON a Diet
HAVE a Diet
|Dieters have strict rules, beliefs, and self-imposed deprivation…and that deprivation fuels an intense desire to overeat and indulge in “forbidden foods.”||Having a diet means being a habitually healthy, clean, and careful eater. Eating healthy is a habit, not an obsession.|
|Foods are labeled as “good” or “bad,” and the bad foods are forbidden. Pleasure and food do not coexist.||Careful eaters look forward to their meals and habitually enjoy foods that provide nutritional value. While some foods are a rare treat, nothing is all out banned.|
|People on a diet second-guess themselves wondering if they ate the right foods or ate too much.||Careful eaters know when they’ve had enough and when they can afford to have a little extra.|
|Dieters focus on what they cannot eat and plan their day around foods they must avoid.||Careful eaters have control and know their numbers. They have a general idea of where they’re at with their calorie intake throughout the day and how much they can afford to eat.|
Making the Transition from Chronic Dieter to Careful Eater
Now that we’ve compared these two different relationships with food, let’s discuss how you make the transition from being a chronic dieter to someone that is a careful eater. There are 3 basic steps to help you make this transition.
3 Steps to Transition from “Being on a Diet” and “Having a Diet”:
1.) Educate yourself about nutrition – The more you learn about the nutritional value of food and the benefits it has for your body, the more inclined you will be to make healthier choices. Making healthy choices gives you confidence and motivates you to make even more healthy choices. You just have to get the ball rolling. My podcast is a great resource for nutrition! I interview top experts in the field. Check out The Chalene Show.
2.) Establish your goals and priorities – Often times, your relationship with food is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. To change your feelings about food, you need to change the way you feel about you. Spend some time establishing your goals and priorities and discovering what it is you really want out of life to improve this relationship. If you need help establishing your goals and priorities, my 30 Day Push program was created to teach you just that! This free program gives you the tools and resources you need to figure out your priorities and how to live your life by them.
3.) Confront your issues – Random eating and severely restricting food is often used as a distraction from other issues or thoughts. However, these thoughts are what really need to be addressed. Seeking professional help to deal with emotional needs and past traumas is a big step in having a healthier relationship with food.
Making this transition from being on a diet to having a diet and a healthy relationship with food is totally possible. It’s just a matter of educating yourself and deciding to form better habits. Start today!
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