This week we saw dieting giant Weight Watchers rebrand because the word “diet” has become toxic. But that doesn’t mean that diets have gone away. They’ve only gone underground through clever marketing and sleights of hand. Increasingly the same old diets are cleverly disguised as healthy eating, cleanses, lifestyles, or wellness.
Unfortunately, a diet by any other name is still a diet.
Luckily there are easy ways to spot a diet when you see one.
Look at the rules and what it measures. If there are rules about what you can or can’t eat, when you’re allowed to eat, or how much you can eat, then it’s a diet. If it features measurements, whether it’s points or grams of carbs, it’s a diet. If it eliminates foods or entire food groups that you would otherwise eat it’s a diet.
Even sneakier is when non-diet guidelines are turned into rules. This is how positive initiatives such as being mindful of your appetite can become “the hunger and fullness diet.” Rather than making your own choice about how much you will eat, you are advised when you “should” stop. This only backfires due to the anxiety and guilt it causes.
Anything that comes from a place other than your own inner wisdom is indicative of a diet. Normal eating isn’t rigid. When you are eating consciously and intuitively you may eat more some days than others, you may make food choices at times that aren’t objectively the “healthiest,” and you may sometimes choose to eat past fullness or for emotional reasons. This balance is healthier in the long run than swinging from the extremes of over control to out of control in the dieting cycle.
The bottom line is are you listening to your body or are you listening to outside advice?
If beans don’t agree with you then by all means choose not to eat them. But don’t stop eating beans because the Whole30 diet says not to. Be mindful of your appetite but don’t feel guilty if you sometimes overeat. Or add more green juice into your day because you like it and it’s a great way to get concentrated nutrition in an enjoyable form, but not as something you “have to” drink.
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This week I’m reading:
The Omega Principle – Seafood and the Quest for a Long Life and a Healthy Planet by Paul Greenberg. This book is a fascinating exploration of where your omega 3 capsule comes from and its impact on your health and the health of the planet. It has me questioning the value of this supplement.
His earlier book Four Fishes – The Future of the Last Wild Food is also an informative book for anyone interested in the well-being of our oceans.
For more resources, check out our Resources page.
We’ve got much more coming, so stay tuned!
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