Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Defining the word "diet"

After re-reading my last post, it strikes me that it's important--even essential--to define the term "diet."

In the chapter, the authors tell story after story of people who consumed nothing but fruit juice for a whole week or cabbage soup. People who thought that eating more than 1,000 calories a day was outrageous. People who tried (and sometimes succeeded) in losing 10 pounds in 7 days. Extreme diets, to say the least.

I, even during the height of my diet insanity, have never gone down that path. Even in my worst days in high school, I never fasted on grape juice.

For me, a "diet" means something a lot more reasonable. Roughly 1400-1500 calories a day (when I'm following the program correctly). Lots of fruits and vegetables. Whole grains. Healthy fats. And consistent exercise.

Is there anything so heinous about that?

I'm not sure. I think that restricting , whether its a radical diet or a more reasonable-health based plan might cause problems too. Perhaps it has to do with the motivation behind the diet? Maybe it has to do with a lifestyle change versus a quick fix to lose 20 pounds?

I'm going to re-read the chapter tonight and ponder this topic some more. Please weigh in with your feedback. I'm curious to know what you think.


  1. I am really excited to follow along as you dive into this journey of intuitive eating. Just so I am clear - intuitive eating means giving up all dieting mentality, including weight watchers, and instead focusing on hunger cues as a way to keep your weight in check and make peace with food?

  2. Beth, thanks for the support! Yup, that's essentially what Intuitive Eating is--giving up all diets (including WW), giving up the scale, and trying to listen to internal hunger cues to regulate your eating. I'll definitely keep you updated of my progress/ what I think of the plan.

  3. I am loving all of this information! As for your question (and sorry to chime in again since I just threw in my two cents yesterday!) I think a healthy diet in theory is far from heinous - but you hit the nail on the head when you said "motivation behind the diet" and referenced lifestyle changes. In my experience (I feel I should underline that), diets make me resentful. 1.) I don't want to be overweight. I don't want to admit that I need to change because I am overweight. My pants being too tight usually overshadows the fact that I could *ahem* actually get healthier during this process too. So my motivation behind the diet absolutely sucks because basically it is me admitting I am chunky. 2.) Lifestyle changes mean giving up all that I've known for comfort in the food world. Who wants 2 ounces of wine when you're used to half a bottle? Who wants a sandwich without a bun?! So I try to remind myself of the motivation behind the diet, and then negativity ensues. For the people who can see the more positive picture - getting healthy, getting fit, and don't mind making the changes, diets are wonderful. For me personally, it's a big ball of resentment towards my good friend, food. (when in actuality, it's my own bad habits that got me where I am) I look forward to reading more, thanks for sharing this with us!

  4. Jessie, thanks again for the input. I agree, the problem seems to stem from the motivation that compels us to diet. It comes from the self hate when I look at the rolls in my stomach and the shame I feel when I step on the scale and see a "bad" number. Anyway, I think it would be really interesting to hear other perspectives on this. I know this is out of the blue, but how would you feel about writing a guest post? Email me at kmphot@gmail.com if you're interested.