I know what you’re thinking: “Trudi, I wasn’t thinking doughnuts.” Well guess what? Now you are – and you’re welcome!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the real “Big D” – diet. A diet is defined as a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats to reduce weight. (Please note that this is just one of many definitions) Keywords include limitations and reducing. Diets can be extremely helpful by assisting an individual in limiting the number of calories they usually consume, or a diet could be used as a tool in helping someone change their eating habits for medical reasons. Diets are not all bad. In fact, I find that diets are helpful for anyone in the beginning stages of their weight loss, health or fitness journey.
I myself have had my fair share of diets. Who remembers SlimFast? Or the wonder pills that promised to melt away your fat – and fast. Not to mention the more extreme diets like the grapefruit diet; you know the one where you literally only eat grapefruit. Remind me again why that was a good idea? Although these diets are somewhat a thing of the past, the idea of being on a diet, restricting oneself from certain food groups or only drinking or eating a certain food can have adverse effects if not done correctly.
In the past, I thought the only way I could lose weight was to diet. I was always looking for the fast and easy route to skinny. If there was a bus to skinny town, I wanted to be on it. My goals in the past were 100% based on how I looked and how I thought I should look, so when I heard that drinking this concoction that tastes awful but after one week will help me lose ten pounds, well, it was a no brainer for me – I will take a week’s supply, please. Wanting fast and easy results is common, especially in relation to our bodies and weight management.
It took me some time to understand that I myself am not the dieting type; I never have been and I never will be. My current “life-saving journey” has taken me to an unfamiliar yet familiar place. I am not on any specific diet; in fact, I DO NOT DIET. I had to put that in caps so you read it with passion. I have done so many diets in the past that involved me cutting entire food groups, drinking horrible-tasting things, taking diet pills daily, only to not see results after months of restriction, and when it’s all said and done, I would go right back to my old terrible eating habits, because a girl just can’t anymore.
This time around I have taken the time to listen to my body. I can tell you exactly how a certain food will and can affect my stomach, my mood and essentially my health. Due to my prediabetes and high cholesterol diagnosis, I do limit my sugar, salt, trans and saturated fat intake. I pay close attention to what my body needs but I focus on having three balanced meals a day, including healthy fats, lots of protein and some carbs, depending on the meal. I stay away from what I like to call “the white stuff” such as white rice, white bread, etc. How I feel when I eat them is enough of a deterrence.
If diets have worked for you, I encourage it. If you feel you need to diet first to get you started, I encourage it. I encourage anything that you want to do for yourself that is healthy and good for you. But if you aren’t a person that diets or likes the idea of dieting, I encourage you to take the time to begin to listen to your body. When you eat, analyze how your body, mind and mood respond to the food that you are putting in. With that information, begin to build your own eating style. As my friend Hippocrates once said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”