Diets don't work - or do they?
in the world arouses more false hope than the first four hours of a diet.
We're often told that diets don't work, and while I don't disagree, I think the statement is WAY too general and broad to be held as gospel. In fact, with a shift in mindset, the right diet CAN, in fact, work - because a diet, is merely the food you choose to consume.
Sadly, the word diet has nowadays been hijacked from it's original and beautiful etymology into something that is based mostly on shame, fear and unworthiness. The word diet comes from the Greek word; Diaita - which means, Way of Life and let's face it, 30 days of only Lemon water and cayenne pepper or a lifetime of little to no carbohydrates - is NO WAY TO LIVE.
I like to think of all the things that happen to our body as information. How much sleep we get, how much exercise we do and what we choose to eat is all processed by the body as data telling it what to do.
Get little to no sleep; your body releases certain chemicals to keep you awake the following day. Do an intense workout, and your body will respond with inflammation to support recovery. Eat junk food, and your body reacts in a number of different ways but let's just say it's not going to support optimal function.
Rather than thinking of your 'healthy diet' as the thing that's going to get you looking a certain way in a bikini, try to shift your mentality to something far more critical, and less reliant upon the upkeep of a fluctuating beauty standard;
Optimal Function - This is how athletes stick to their 'diets' because they know that if they eat a shitty meal, that it will affect their output on the field/track/floor etc. Therefore it's much easier to see the benefit of fueling their body correctly. Does it mean they never indulge their senses in the culinary art that is a Cadburys cream egg - hell no! But they most certainly don't rely on Cadburys to provide them with their nutritional needs. And neither should you.
Just because you're not an athlete does not mean that you don't need to Function at an Optimal level. The body is the vehicle that you use to achieve all that it is you want to achieve. Be it a badass career, marriage, travel, kids, it all happens IN YOUR BODY, so I urge you to take care of it - not for that two weeks spent on a beach in Santorini, but for LIFE and all the life goals you want to accomplish.
Whenever my clients have struggled with healthy choices in the past I ask them to pass their food choices through a filter of 'Self-Care', and it works every time***.
If you can distinguish the differences between choices that come from a place of hate or self-loathing, and the choices that come from a place of self-respect and love; you will make the right decision. And guess what? Sometimes that does look like the office biscuit tin - but more often than not, it looks like a phat load of vegetables, grains and some protein to get you through your busy day, alert, energised and ready to execute your badassery.
I know that it's not that easy, but it's essential to develop that kind of self-awareness if we want to banish the repetitive pattern of yo-yo dieting. Which we know only wreaks havoc on the body and leaves us feeling empty, frustrated and hopeless.
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to food and fuel start with my book the Vertue Method - the food plan was approved by a dietician to ensure that we hit not just all the Macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) but the vitamins and minerals, for optimal function. My book will help you to better understand what your body needs so YOU CAN MAKE EMPOWERED AND EDUCATION CHOICES from a place of love, not hate.
So, what's for Lunch?
***I say every time with a pinch of salt. It's common to struggle with the idea of self-care because it's a very subjective and somewhat abstract concept. If you have spent years of your life rejecting yourself, it can also be challenging to conceptualise 'Care' at all. Our food choices are so closely linked in with our psychology, and if you've been struggling with food choices for a long time, I highly recommend speaking with a psychologist or dietician that specialises in the psychology of eating.