What is Diet Mentality?

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  • n. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats;  

  • Latin from Greek diaita ‘a way of life’. (1)

But now use the word diet now as:

  • v: A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. (1)

For many people ‘way of life’ with food has become on and off the wagon of restricting food to lose weight.  Basically stuck in what we call diet mentality.

Diet mentality is when you are frequently trying the next best, crossing fingers, plan that will finally be the quick and magical solution to wanting to lose weight.  These plans include counting calories, macros, or points, managing the glycemic index of foods, eliminating whole food groups to eat more of another food group, and so on.  And there are the more extreme products for the gotta-get-it-off-super-fast diet mentality which consists of food-like items of shakes, bars, and juices.

Even if you don’t do any of the above counting or consuming food-like substances you are still stuck in diet mentality when you are constantly thinking in terms of I ate bad or I ate good.  “I was good today, I was bad today” are frequent parts of your thoughts or speech about food and yourself.

Diet mentality hasn’t gotten you or anyone else long term success and it never will; it’s a thought error loop that is so ingrained in our society that is very hard to realize you’ve been in that hamster wheel for so long and the toll it has taken on your mental and physical health.  It’s exhausting wasting all that mental energy on so many food decisions, whims, urges, and backlash of emotional beating-up if we’ve been “bad” counter-balanced by all the effort of willpower and counting this and that in an attempt to be “good.”

Imagine what you could accomplish if you stopped spending so much time thinking about your current diet and what you make that diet mean about yourself?

What would that emotional freedom be like if you read the headlines of the hot new diet and you just skipped it because you no longer have to see if that one is finally going to solve all your problems?

Let’s get back to the original meaning behind the word diet, ‘a way of life’, eating what nourishes without punishment, judgment, or labels.  It’s truly a freeing experience that opens up so much possibility for so much more in your life. Trust me, the other side is so much better.

(1)Source: Oxford Dictionary, online edition:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com. Accessed 2019, May

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