I’m not a doctor. I’m not a dietitian. I’m not licensed in anything. But I don’t think you should be on a diet.
You should not be on a diet, but the reason is not because diets aren’t effective in helping you lose weight. The reason is because of the mindset that you are put in when being ON a diet.
Being ON a diet automatically implies that there will be an end. Diet plans, by nature, are unsustainable. Are you really going to eat half of the calories your body needs for the rest of your life? Are you going to track your Weight Watchers points for the rest of your life?
I’m not necessarily coming down on any particular diet. Diets are designed to help you lose weight. You set a goal weight or determine a certain amount of time to be on the diet. Once the weight is attained or the time is up, you’re done and you’re left with, “What’s next?”.
Very few, if any, diet plans set you up for what’s next. Weight Watchers probably does the best at this, but everything they do seems to be centered around using and paying for their system, eating some of their prepackaged foods and snacks, etc…
At this point, you might be asking, “If I’m not supposed to be on a diet, what am I supposed to do?”. You’re going to think my answer is just semantics, but the answer is, instead of being on a diet, you should HAVE a diet.
A diet is very much a mindset issue. Being ON a diet implies an end. HAVING a diet implies it is never going away. You live with it daily, no matter what. When you understand that you have a diet, the fact that it is either good or bad, healthy or unhealthy really starts to hit home. Understand that you cannot quit your diet. It is always there, 24/7, for the rest of your life.
There is another problem with being ON a diet. A lot of diet plans are focused on losing weight as opposed to focusing on being healthy. I get it. Losing weight is a big deal. If nothing else, it’s a great way to measure results. While there is nothing wrong with losing weight, it should not be your only goal.
There are countless ways to lose weight that are unhealthy for you. For one, you can just simply stop eating. Don’t eat for a week. I guarantee that you will lose weight, but you’ll also lose a lot of your health too! Losing weight is a great thing as long as it’s a side effect and not the only goal. The goal of a diet should be to be healthy. The pounds will come off as a side effect.
Having a diet (as opposed to being on a diet) eliminates all of the other options. We can no longer hop from one diet to the next looking for the one that helps us lose the most weight. No matter what diet plan we are on, we are still on the only diet we have.
Having a diet gives you only one option. You have only one diet. What you put into your body IS your diet. Having a diet turns the focus from losing weight to being healthy. Losing weight is a side effect of being healthy. Being healthy is the goal.
If you want to go ON a diet to help jump start you or to help you reset, go right ahead. That’s a fine idea. I encourage you to do that. You can read about Taryn doing that very thing here. Just understand that the diet will end, and ask yourself, what will be next? Use the diet plan to get you headed in the right direction while you’re planning for what’s next.
Taryn and I did the juice cleanse because our diets were getting off track. We were starting to eat more and more unhealthy things and less and less healthy things. We did the juice cleanse to reset our bodies. The juice cleanse isn’t an intestinal cleanse. It’s a palate cleanse.
We knew from the previous time that we did the juice cleanse that after the cleanse our taste buds would be completely different and that our cravings would be completely different. No longer would we be craving greasy, salty foods. We would be craving simple, whole foods.
It worked. When we finished the cleanse, all we wanted was a big salad or a big plate of vegetables. The thought of a pizza actually made us nauseous.
The entire time we were on the cleanse, we were planning for what’s next. We were finding recipes and making meal plans for the following weeks. We knew we weren’t going to solely juice for the rest of our lives, so we were planning for what’s next.
For your “what’s next”, I encourage to start thinking about every item that you put into your body. Before the item goes in, ask yourself, by eating this, am I helping or hurting my health? While you’re on a diet, ask that same question to help you get in the habit.
The next time you pick up a Coke (or Diet Coke), ask yourself that question, and do yourself a favor. When the answer is “hurting my health”, throw that item away and go grab something that will “help your health” (in this example: water).
I also encourage you to be patient. It didn’t take you 1 week to gain the weight. It may take you a long time to lose it. You’ll want to measure your results by the scale. That’s fine. Just remember, losing weight is not the goal. Being healthy is the goal. The nice thing is you immediately get the benefits of eating healthy.
One final thing I encourage you to do is research the topic for yourself. Instead of relying on the “experts” that are probably more interested in their bottom line than your individual health, make yourself an expert. Instead of accepting the target numbers for cholesterol, triglycerides,etc.. that your doctor gives you, do some research for yourself to find out what those numbers mean, where they came from, and if they make sense for you.
Seek out what’s healthy and what’s not. You might be surprised by what you find – no, you WILL be surprised by what you will find. We talk about some things here, but there is no way we will be able to cover all of the things you can find by doing a little bit of work on your own.
If you need a prompt to get you started, google “whole food diet”. Don’t believe everything you read (either extreme). Take everything with a grain of salt (just not on your food). You’re smart enough to reason out what makes sense and what doesn’t.
Find the healthy foods, try new foods, try foods that you used to dislike. Start incorporating them into your diet, and continually work on your diet. Afterall, your diet is the only one you have.
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