The Language of Diets

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t, I’m on a diet.”?

This usually happens as someone is either refusing dessert or turning down one of those ultra-sweet umbrella drinks at a swanky bar. For so few words, it carries so much weight (literally!).

For instance, when I hear someone say, “I can’t, I’m on a diet”, I sometimes translate it to mean:

* “…but I will again eventually when my “diet” is over.”

* “…sorry, I can’t enjoy a piece of your wedding cake because I’m too busy punishing myself for a jiggly butt..”

* “…I’m actually in a self-imposed form of A.A. and just calling it a “diet”..”

What it has said to me over the years is that “diet” equals punishment. Deprivation. Missed opportunities to commune with people, enjoy events, etc.

I know that it has become rather vogue to instead say, “I’m making a lifestyle change” rather than “I’m on a diet” but unless you plan to never eat cake again (or Cheetos for you whole fooders , or pasta for you Atkins dieters) it really isn’t a lifestyle change.  And we all know that it simply  isn’t realistic to completely cut out entire groups of food unless you plan to go Vegetarian (and in that case, I salute you!) so why not find a way to enjoy a tiny piece of cake every now and then without the shame associated with “dieting”?

One of the things that has worked for me is taking mental note of what I have already eaten that week. For example, when I went to a Chinese restaurant the other night to enjoy some good beef and broccoli I chose to forego the hand-dipped ice cream dessert because only 2 nights prior to that I had eaten a heaping scoop of Ben and Jerry’s.

I’m not saying that we only get to have dessert once a week, just that it helps tremendously to be reasonable with ourselves about how much dessert we really need to be consuming. This can also be said for carbs, red meat, alcohol, and anything else we may enjoy to excess.

Hope this helps!

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