Today I wanted to chat with you about why I’m not a fan of diets…but I am a fan of healthy lifestyle changes!
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or both, one of the things I hear most from people is that they don’t want to go on a diet. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to…in fact, I recommend NOT dieting!
Let me break down some significant differences between diets and lifestyle changes:
Diets focus on the do’s and don’ts; cans and can’ts. If you decide to go ahead and try a “no sugar” diet, you’re only going to be thinking about sugar, simply because you can’t have it. A healthier option would be to take a look at the amount of sugar you eat throughout the week, and identify where you can make better choices–maybe a lower calorie Starbucks order, or a banana instead of a candy bar. Restrictive diets are just that, restrictive, and they don’t really encourage you to get creative with your food.
Along with that, diets place so many unnecessary “rules” on your eating behavior, such as when or even how you can eat. If you start a new diet and accidentally break one of its “rules”, it only makes you feel as though you’ve failed. Not only can this be dangerous in some situations, it’s also extremely uncomfortable and bad for your mental health. A diet that only “lets you” have three large meals a day would tell you that you failed if you had a snack. But a healthy lifestyle change would mean letting yourself snack on fruits and vegetables–you still get to have the snack that you’re used to, but you’re eating something healthier instead.
Not to mention, diets don’t teach us the why behind changes in food and eating behavior. Sure, you may be able to follow a diet’s rules and stay away from all the things it says you can’t have – but do you understand why you’re doing it? Does it equip you with the knowledge to better your eating habits down the road, or boost your confidence when browsing the grocery store? Lifestyle changes encourage you to learn about what foods are better than others; like why complex carbohydrates are good or what the differences are between good fats and bad fats. That way, you can make lasting changes in your life that won’t be as easy to drift away from, like a diet.
Dieting is also a crazy large industry that hopes you fail, not to mention scares you away from the things you love. I’m not telling you that you can’t have the donut, the pizza slice or cocktails with friends. But by making the decision to enjoy them in moderation, you’re not only creating a healthier life for yourself, but you’re helping yourself identify those foods for special occasions, which lets you enjoy them that much more!
Remember, as humans we are creatures of habit. So to be healthier, we need to start into healthier habits! It may not be perfect in the beginning, but don’t be hard on yourself. You’ll find your groove and it will get easier and easier!
I focus heavily on healthy lifestyle changes and controlling nutrition intake in my 8-week REBUILD program! Let’s get you signed up and joined into the #CassArmy!