What do you think of when you hear the word “diet”? Do you think of a weight loss plan? A short term eating pattern? Depriving yourself of foods that you love?
There are a couple of definitions for the word “diet”. According to Webster, a diet is:
- food and drink regularly provided or consumed (a diet of fruits and vegetables, a vegetarian diet)
- habitual nourishment
- the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason (a low-sodium diet)
- a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight (going on a diet).
The way in which the word “diet” resonates with you can be very telling of your relationship with food. When thinking of diets, many people think of the fourth definition listed above, and relate diets to torturous eating patterns. This is the most dangerous way to think of diets, and often the reason that these types of diets fail.
My favorite definition of the word “diet”, is the second definition listed above: habitual nourishment. This definition contextualizes diets as habits, which are crucial in sustainable eating patterns.
Dieting for weeks or months at a time with hopes of an end goal (such as weight loss) is ineffective because it does little to instill habits. We go on the diet, we reach our goals, and then we go right back to eating the way we were eating before. When diets become habitual nourishment, we consistently evaluate the healthfulness of our foods.
Cutting out all carbs, drinking juice for weeks at a time, and eating only certain foods for a period may seem beneficial while doing so and once you get your desired results; however, the best diets are the ones that you can stick to for life. Think about it: if your habitual nourishment is healthy and fulfilling for you, you’ll never need a temporary plan to improve your health or weight.
Have you ever heard the phrase “everything in moderation”? Well, it’s not a great phrase because moderation is so subjective. Moderation may mean once per week to me while meaning once per month to you. Those differences can play a role in the healthfulness of the diet.
So, what’s the key to a successful diet? The answer is sustainability. This does not mean that you will never eat a cookie or ice cream again, but it does mean that you eat cookies and ice cream on rare occasions or in very small portions. A successful diet doesn’t have an end date; it’s more of a commitment to feed your body healthful foods more often than not.
This is the part where research becomes important. Question the foods that you consistently feed yourself. If you can honestly tell yourself that you are happy with the effects of high sodium, high sugar, high fat foods (such as cakes, fried foods, dairy, cookies, chips, fast food, candy, sodas), on your health and weight, then good for you! However, most people know that these foods don’t make them feel their best and they could stand to make a change.
The best diet to make your body feel lovely is one that contains an abundance of plant based foods with all of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, other essential nutrients for your body to efficiently and effectively do it’s job of regenerating cells, eliminating toxins, and providing energy for you to live your best life.
Open your mind about plant based foods! Aside from fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of nuts, grains, and legumes for you to incorporate into your diet as well. In today’s world, people with plant based diets enjoy burgers, pizza, ice cream, cookies, and many more treats.
You may not know exactly how to navigate all of the health information telling you what you should and should not eat, but your body will tell you if you just listen to it! Essentially, the loveliest diet is the one that makes your body feel the best the most consistently.
Wishing You Much Love and Veggieness,