There are diets to prevent disease, diets for healthy skin, diets for pregnancy, diets for muscle building, diets for performance – and the list goes on. We even refer to unhealthy eating habits as an unhealthy diet. So why is the word “DIET” such a hated word? Because we have a hangup on the actual word and not what it really means.
Webster’s definition of diet:
b : habitual nourishment
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight
Out of all those definitions, only one speaks about diet as most of the world views diet. To me, being on a diet simply means eating with purpose in order to reach a goal. Sometimes my diet is based on 1200 calories. Sometimes my diet is centered on getting enough protein. Sometimes it is avoiding certain foods to cleanse my body of toxins. But, one thing that my diets always requires is discipline and accountability – and, one thing that is expected is results.
I’m currently dieting to lose fat for an upcoming job so I am restricting calories. Once I reach that goal, I will not go off my “diet”, I will just change it. I will increase my calories from 1200 calories to probably around 1800 calories, keeping my focus on getting the nutrients I need to gain muscle, and to manage energy and fat stores. I would call this my “maintenance diet”. It will be easy, something I can do long term and it will allow me plenty of freedom to “have fun” with food and friends.
When I am “dieting”, I refuse to be bummed that I can’t eat cake for a short period of time while I work toward a goal. No way! It’s just for a season and it reaps a huge reward. I focus on what I’m gaining, not what I’m giving up. I love how the discipline makes me feel and look much more than any piece of cake. Plus, staying on some kind of eating regiment keeps me accountable so I don’t abuse my body and overindulge (which I’m prone to do if I loosen the reins too much and give myself too much freedom).
I treat my body like my bank account, checking my body’s balance and only spending what I can afford. If I am training a lot and at a weight where I’m comfortable, I can eat plenty and have awesome cheat meals. However, if I’m eating more than I’m spending in the gym, then I treat my eating no different than my spending when there’s no more money in the account. I crack back down until I catch back up.
I encourage you to have a new outlook on dieting. Whether you call it eating clean or whatever lingo you seem to like more, it really is all the same. It’s eating with purpose – and it’s smart, responsible, honorable and admired. So what’s wrong with being smart, responsible, honorable and admired? Absoflippinlutely nothing! You are an inspiration to everyone around you who resists discipline! Discipline is healthy!
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness (lots of goodness) and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11