There are a few terms I hear popping up a lot when we talk about nutrition…that I feel like we don’t fully understand or that we either glorify or demonize unnecessarily.
And I wanted to discuss these terms and what they should REALLY mean to us if we want to get results.
Term #1: Diet
People will hate on you for calling something a diet.
The term “diet” has come to mean something where you starve yourself to lose weight and deprive yourself of all of the foods you love.
Dieting means deprivation.
We often almost treat dieting as punishing our bodies.
But the term DIET actually just means…
“the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”
Yes with the rise of the “dieting industry” and fad diets, it has taken on these other meanings.
But I mention this because I feel like we need to stop the association between diet and restriction.
We need to recognize we can enjoy foods and achieve results.
We also need to admit to ourselves that we DON’T just treat food as fuel and that eating can also be social and fun and enjoyable.
So instead of seeing a “diet” as something negative, see it as a chance to dial in the foods you habitually eat toward a specific goal – whether that goal is weight loss, fueling better, performing better, gaining muscle or whatever!
Term #2: Sustainable
Sustainable doesn’t mean easy, especially to start.
It doesn’t mean doing whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it.
Often anything new does NOT feel sustainable.
But once we give the new habits a try?
We realize that we CAN create a new routine around them.
But change is hard. And often takes us outside our comfort zone.
What is familiar and easy? That feels sustainable.
But often what has been sustainable has NOT led to the results we want, which is why we are now looking for a change.
So as you search for something sustainable, realize it may be uncomfortable to start.
Recognize it also has more to do with the lifestyle you ultimately want to lead and knowing yourself.
And also realize that if a goal is important to you?
What you will sustain long term may not be anywhere near what you’re doing now.
Sustainable does NOT mean it will be comfortable to start.
And it does not mean there won’t be sacrifices.
It just means you’re considering what you truly want out of life and what, given the chance to create the new habits, will actually be something you can do long term.
And I don’t even mean directly those habits but the underlying systems.
There will always be ups and downs. Creating a new routine that is sustainable means we know what we can always return to!
Term #3: Lifestyle
I find myself now almost shuddering when someone says it has to be a “lifestyle.”
This new emphasis on creating a lifestyle, almost makes us believe that we are going to do one thing for the rest of our lives.
But nothing stays the same.
So why would our diet?
Everything has ebbs and flows and variations.
So should our diet.
Your goals change. Needs change. Routines change.
So your diet will change as well.
The key is learning what YOU need to do to fuel.
It’s honestly why I harp on macros so much.
Because when you understand macros? You can create the lifestyle you need AT THAT TIME.
But we have to remember we never do one thing forever. Everything in our life is constantly evolving and so will our diet!
With our nutrition, it can be hard to make changes. For some reasons, any time we seek to make a change, we see any sort of tracking or logging as restrictive.
But no matter our goals – from performance to aesthetics to health – understanding our diet better is key. And having data to make tweaks? Only makes it easier.
We are the ones judging ourselves, not the tracking.
And we have to remember, everything in our lifestyle is constantly evolving. What is easy at one point, may not feel sustainable at another. That’s why it is key we take time to really LEARN about our personal needs. So we can constantly be evolving our nutrition to match our ever changing needs and goals!