Defining Diet

Diet is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things to different people. It is a buzz word that shows up thousands of times in social medial and health industry marketing. The common vernacular use of the word diet means to restrict your eating and usually comes with a negative connotation. Even healthy people scoff at “dieting” because of these negative associations. Often times the word “diet” is associated with negative behaviors as well as negative feelings. When people, women in particular, say that they are going on a “diet”, it is safe to assume that they will be calorie restricting for the purpose of losing weight. While this is the most effective way to lose weight and a vary valuable piece of some healthy lifestyles, it can be dangerous and detrimental if taken to an extreme.

I want to take this time to clarify the use of the word “diet” here. It is much more simple than the aforementioned trends and fads associated with the word.

Diet simply means food intake. Your Diet is what you eat:  good, bad or indifferent, period. 

It does not impose any restriction or judgement, it is just the observance of consumption. There are different types of diets based on the trend of consumption:

diets that are nutrient-dense and lower in calories can be considered good diets,

where low nutrient, calorie-dense diets can be considered poor diets.

The timing, quantity and quality of food consumption all define what type of diet you are currently using. The point is, “diet” only refers to the act of consuming food items, it’s the associated behaviors that make it good or bad.

Start a new eating behavior, not a new diet!

When evaluating your eating habits, chose just a few things that you are able to realistically improve on. Change takes time and is best done in small realistic pieces. In order to create lasting and sustainable results, commit to one goal at a time. Once you master that, move to another. Build your positive eating behaviors one at a time until you are your new nutrition regimen as a lifestyle.