Is Your Healthy Lifestyle Actually a Restrictive Diet?
OMG I’m getting sick of hearing about people defending their restrictive eating habits and calling them a ‘lifestyle’ yeah, sure you’re not eating gluten or dairy, and you’ve been doing it for 3 weeks, it’s your lifestyle, and you’re being told it’s healthy. ha! sorry to burst your bubble, but that clearly fits within the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of ‘diet’-
Diet: a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
Please, for all things holy and good, keep an eye out for these 5 red flags of a diet that’s parading as a lifestyle
- Your lifestyle means that you cut out certain foods…. that you like (not because you’ve been diagnosed with an allergy or intolerance), but because they’re ‘bad’ or ‘toxic’ or make you unhealthy.
- your lifestyle means that you cut out whole food groups. Since when does a protein in wheat (ahem GLUTEN!!!) make you fat? I mean really!
- you’re feeling hungry, and that’s considered virtuous in your lifestyle
- Your lifestyle means that you drink a shake for meals…. and it’s not because you just had oral surgery or can’t sit down to eat anything
- Your lifestyle means that you buy proprietary weird foods like bee pollan or dietary supplements.
Why am I so anti-diet?
- Dieting (in a restrictive way) leads to binging.
- Dieting doesn’t lead to long term weight loss, or positive health outcomes-long term.
- Dieting isn’t empowering, this whole concept of willpower is complete BS. Willpower = restriction, restriction leads to binging and feeling badly about yourself. Feeling badly about yourself does nothing to encourage healthy habits. It’s not motivating in the long run.
- Long term calorie restriction –> slowed metabolism. Most people want to be able to eat more, not less.
Please note that certain medical conditions, food allergies, and diagnosed intolerances warrant a particular diet to manage these conditions and that’s beneficial. Also, certain individual religious beliefs, personal ethics and environmental concerns also would warrant people to follow a particular diet. But what I’m getting at with these red flags is to identify any diet that requires followers to cut out foods they like or foods without any medical necessity. We, as humans like (and sometimes need) to have the autonomy to make our own decisions. Having someone else (a diet) tell us what we need to do to be happy & healthy, while bringing into question our own willpower, or self love, or our health is an issue particularly when those decisions don’t align with what we enjoy. These factors don’t lead to pleasure in any lifestyle activities and therefore long term maintenance becomes really hard or impossible. Willpower in terms of making food choice is BS. Having the willpower to overcome your cravings and food preferences is often miserable, and how on earth does living a miserable life (because let’s face it we need to eat multiple times/day and that = life) make us healthy or happy?
With all that said, is there a new healthy lifestyle that you’re looking into, or have followed that seemed healthy?
Instead of reaching out to a restrictive diet to get healthy, or like yourself, instead, work to feel comfortable in your skin. Here’s a link to my free workbook to help you feel comfortable in your skin.
What do you think about these tips? I’d love to hear which you’ve seen, and which you think are great, and maybe which wouldn’t helpful for you.