Diet vs Lifestyle
This has been on my mind for a while now, I’ve been chatting to loads of people some who swear by a diet, who’ve lost kilos and kilos by following a particular diet, and have managed to keep it off too. Then others who don’t “diet”, who swear by a lifestyle… but did you know that in fact everybody is on a diet of some kind. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
“A diet is the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”.
So whether you’re on Slimming World, IIFYM, Paleo, Vegetarian, 5:2, Atkins, High Fat Low Carb or simply just eating whatever you want… it’s a DIET!
A lot of people when thinking about the word “diet” associate it to restriction and starvation for the short term in order to reach a goal. A lot of people associate diets with preparing to get into that wedding/christmas dress, losing baby weight or getting that beach body… All of this makes me anxious! (And then I wonder if I should be on a particular plan that my friends have had success on!?)
Even me, a qualified PT, who’s done nutrition seminars gets overwhelmed at all the information out there. I’ve considered going back onto Slimming World, I’ve considered trying 5:2 again and I’ve considered Intermittent Fasting (then I read it wasn’t good for female hormones, so back to square one!). Sometimes I feel like all the information out there really isn’t helping anyone at all, it’s a minefield!
TBH I’ve been feeling pants for a while, training my butt off, increasing my calories, decreasing my calories, looking at my macros, ignoring my macros, eating clean or not… but the fat doesn’t seem to shift (yes I said fat not weight – I’ll be totally honest, even this is making me anxious, I still can’t help look at the scales, even thought I’m getting some decent NSV’s). I feel stuck.
I don’t want to be on a plan, I don’t want to be on a diet (in the learned sense of the word – yes we learnt this from media), that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m aiming for a sustainable lifestyle that I can stick to and will continue to be on for the rest of my time on this earth, I want to eat in a way I’d be happy having my children eat… but finding the one “diet” that works for me is proving difficult.
But listen… the word diet should not in anyway be associated with starvation. If a diet is as above a “kind of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. Then it’s a lifestyle already right!? (rhetorical question… but actually, think about it and let me know what you think in the comments below).
So, what do I want my diet to do for me:
- I want it to give me energy
- I want it to be nutritious and fill me up (yes I want a happy tummy)
- I want it to work with my body’s demands of training
- I want to enjoy it and not crave anything
- I’d like to lose some fat on it (sticking with fat not weight here!)
Basically I want to eat, drink and not get fat and unhealthy, oh and reach my desired body shape (isn’t that every girls dream!). Anyway… So right now I’m trying a lifestyle diet, ‘what’s that’ you ask? It’s basically “everything in moderation”.
But again moderation can be different for everyone, it has to be something that works for you (and you only) and it has to satisfy you, whether you’re losing, maintaining or gaining… For me this means getting in my nutrients every single day, sticking to a calorie intake that my body requires to survive and train… So, eating a filling protein rich breakfast in the mornings, getting a good mid-morning snack in (a tasty one – right now I’m choosing BB Shakeology shakes, omg my digestion is on point!), a fulfilling and tasty lunch, (which I think I should start prepping, as working in town makes it so easy to head to a bar or restaurant rather than the supermarket! But prepping when you live with family isn’t easy!) Some good carbs for glucose replenishment after a workout, a mid afternoon snack (yes I’m a snacker… what can I do!), right now it’s a half or whole Chocolate Grenade Bar – but sometimes I get this snack oh so wrong and head for a biscuit tin – the whole tin or cake or real chocolate, with a cuppa tea!… Then dinner.
My dinners of late have been a curry of some sort – currys’ get a bad rep… No we don’t all cook in butter or ghee. If made right a curry is not unhealthy… but it’s the roti, naan, rice, raita etc that adds too many carbs and thats where the calories increase… So I’m (attempting to) swap rice for cauliflower/broccoli rice or zero carb rice as we speak!
This seems to suits my current lifestyle and I hope it’ll help me reach my goal of a size 10/12… I’ve been this way for a while now, it’s starting to shift oh so slowly (which means it should stay off) but I’ve treated my body so badly in the past that sometimes I think this is karma and she’s paying me back for the years of eating abuse! But I will stick with and see how it goes… there is always room for adjustment later down the line. And so I believe I’ve found a lifestyle choice I can 1) stick with and 2) live with. (there is definitely room for a glass of wine or an afternoon tea once in a while, by once in a while I don’t mean every week!)
So basically I think we’ve come to the conclusion that; a diet is a lifestyle, there isn’t a difference, it’s not one vs the other, one is in fact the other. If you’re “going on a diet” then that is different, that is short term, it is restriction and some form of starvation on the body, this is something I personally don’t agree with. It can make one angry, unhappy, your hormones will be irregular, you’ll lack energy, you may stop pooping, you’ll lose muscle mass and you may hurt your heart because your body is not being fed correctly… But you’ll get that body you want so badly for that 10 day holiday in Dubai!!! (Please don’t hate me as this is simply MY OPINION, that’s the point of a blog right… to verbal diarrhoea all over that shizzle!)
Whatever you have have chosen to live by, whatever rules you place upon yourself about your diet of choice, just remember that it is your choice but also think… “is it something you can live with for the rest of time”, or is it a short term drastic measure to get you to a goal you have your heart set on!? If it’s short term, is it even worth the effort, because you know you’ll yo-yo… the weight loss industry bets on you to yo-yo so they can feed you a new “diet” next week and make another buck off you!
Don’t do it… screw it, do whatever you want and I’ll do me, and if this time next year you’ve lost weight and put it back on from following a diet, come back and hear me again. I may only lose 1lbs in that time but I’ll lose it forever and my body composition would have changed. It’s a lifestyle choice.
Chose health, wealth and happiness.
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