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That nasty 4 letter word..."diet"

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default That nasty 4 letter word..."diet"

Am I the only one who hates that word?
I'm not on a "diet". I can't "diet" and lose weight and then get off the "diet" and keep the weight off.
This is a weight loss mission, a lifestyle change, a forever change that I have to make to keep this weight off.
That's why I get so frustrated, I think.
I have to learn self control, portion control, etc.
There is a saying "It takes XX days to create a bad habit and a lifetime to unlearn it".
Scientifically I think it takes 21 days to create a good habit...so that is what I think I will focus on.
One small step at a time.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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I've really gotten over that word. And now that I'm studying nutrition it's not used as a weight loss word. A diet is what somebody, whether trying to gain, lose, or maintain, eats.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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I hear it all the time and I want to shake people who say it in the wrong context.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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i never use the word "diet" to explain that i'm losing weight or restricting calories.

like you've said, i'm changing my lifestyle, and my diet consists of healthy foods.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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A diet is the food we eat. My diet consists of healthy foods in moderate portions.

Don't let simple words scare you.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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This really is a very individual thing. My husband used to believe that he could control his weight with exercise (because in his teens and twenties he could) but since he hit his 30's, the more he exercises, the more he eats.

And I am talking about "ruthless" exercise by most people's standards. When we first were married, we'd go to the gym. I'd only go 3-4 times a week, and he'd usually go at least one day without me (he averaged 5 - 6 days and would have gone 7 if our gym hadn't been closed on Sunday afternoons. He often worked night shift so getting to the gym before noon on Sundays was difficult). My husband's workouts were always at least 3 hours long. An hour of walking (we couldn't walk together, because he'd walk two laps for every one of mine). Then he'd spend an hour on weight machines and free weights, and then another 45 minutes to an hour swimming (and in addition to the gym workouts, he worked an extremely strenuous job in which he was constantly on his feet and walking, up and down stairs, lifting, carrying extremely heavy objects and often working double shifts).

When we went to the gym together, I had to take reading material with me, because there was no way I could keep up with him.

Unfortunately, the more he exercised, the hungrier he would be, and the more he would eat.


Now my father is more like you. Because of his active job (delivering bread to grocery stores. The bread trays are heavy and so the job requires a lot of moving and lifting, he was effortlessly thin (despite eating an incredibly amountof food - I have never seen anyone fat or thin eat as much as my father). Then at retirement he suddenly gained weight (all in his stomach, he began to look about 8 months pregnant).

He's been able to get his weight under control, although he did so with diet and exercise. Whether he could have done it with exercise alone, I'm not sure. I know he doesn't think so, but he also didn't want to work as hard as he had for the previous 40 years.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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So funny that in my introduction I said I am in a lifestyle change because I don't do "diets." I have found that when I have restricted what I eat I feel guilty if I crave (and eat) the "no-no" foods, and I usually gain back what I have lost when I go off the diet. Changing habits (eating and exercising) is life long to maintain a healthy weight. Or at least that is what I feel.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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I'm on the same page as everyone. When I started on this journey, I wanted to forget "diets" and find a sustainable lifelong way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Whenever I see on social media, someone talking about being on a "diet" and how restrictive it is. I wish I could say something but I normally bite my tongue
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:17 PM   #9
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I went through a "D-word" hating phase, but it passed rather quickly. Now I realize that when it comes to the use of the "D-word" and the "L- word" actions speak louder than the actual word choice. A person can use either word and really mean the other. One person can say "dieting" and yet fully understand and mean permanent and sustainable lifestyle change, and another person can say "lifestyle change" and (whether they realize it or not) mean "temporary, unsustainable, and even fool-hardy or dangerous weight loss method."


I do agree that it is very important to make permanent, healthy, sustainable changes with long-term goals in mind, but I also am often annoyed by the self-appointed "lifestyle police" who feel the need to "correct" or jump down the throat of anyone who uses the "D-word," (regardless of the context in which it was intended).

Like the folks who tell you that you're doomed to fail (while they're guaranteed to succeed) simply because you may have occasionally used the evil "D-word" while they only ever use the virtuous "L-word."

I have a friend (really more of an acquaintence since she annoys me so much), who has been on countless "lifestyle changes" (and I'm sorry, but calling an 800 calorie diet, a "lifestyle change" doesn't make it so. Call it what you want, it's a crash diet even if you label it with the "L-word").

I tweak my lifestyle more than most, so it isn't her number of changes she makes that bothers me. What bothers me is her assumption that she is morallly superior and is destined for more success that I, simply because of her word choice.

To look at our results, one would argue that despite my occasional use of the "D-word," I've been more successful than she has, as I've lost more weight, have made longer-lasting changes and have kept the weight off longer thus far (and have every intention of doing so forever). So which of us really has grasped and run with the idea of making this our "lifestyle?"

I of course believe "me," but I keep that opinion to myself, because I truly believe in the motto "fake it 'til you make it," and that believing something can help make it true. Even though I would call what she is doing more like temporary dieting than permanent lifestyle changes, I'm hoping that her actions will eventually reflect her belief that changes need to be made for the long-haul. Maybe it will take her a while for her actions to match her words.

I just (internally) roll my eyes when she feels the need to "correct" me in a self-righteous tone when I "slip" and use the "D-word," (and try to ignore her when she implies that my "freudian slip" dooms me to failure while she is destined for success Hey if it gets her through the day, more power to her - at least I TRY to think that).

Words matter, and they can make a difference, but there's also a point at which the concept means a lot more than the actual word choice, and I think this is one of them. The word used isn't nearly as important as the concept behind the word.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:57 PM   #10
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LOL, I really despise both the word "diet" (used as a verb) as well as the phrase "lifestyle change". "Dieting" carries negative connotations for me - I always equated it with deprivation and misery, and I still shudder when someone tells me they are "on a diet". I'm not quite sure why "lifestyle change" bothers me so much, but I think it's the holier-than-thou attitude that sometimes seems to accompany it (as kaplods pointed out in the case of her friend).

Right now I am losing weight. The massive shift in my lifestyle came naturally as a result of my efforts to achieve weight loss - but it wasn't the initial goal, the weight loss was. Someday (hopefully soon) I will be working to maintain my lower weight for the long-term. For me, that's all it is. I don't care to label it further.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:40 AM   #11
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I am pretty sure that this is very individual, as it was mentioned here. When your body isn't able to burn fat as a energy source you will simply not lose a substantial amount of weight and you will be only driven to eat more.

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #12
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I prefer the words diet and maintenance phase over "lifestyle change" I guess because when I think of diet of an animal, i think of what they eat and I prefer using diet in that sense, so my diet can make me overweight, or not. In terms of a verb, yes I diet to lose weight and then I may have to change my diet to maintain weight. I like to think in terms of dieting, exercising/being active and maintaining. It works for me personally more, because I am focusing on what I eat and how active I am. I like my things in categories I guess.
Lifestyle change seems to abstract for me personally, but it works for a lot of people, so whatever word works for anyone.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #13
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I don't think of myself as on a diet. The past few years I have gone on and off diets. That's the difference. A diet is something that has a finite amount of time to it (in terms of how the word is commonly used for weight loss). When you have reached your goal or you are satisfied with the amount you have lost, you stop it. Then the weight comes thundering back. Now I know (and it bites!) that I can never stop my program/lifestyle change/"insert label here" or the weight will pile back on. What I am doing has to be a forever change and not a temporary diet. Diets are temporary and nutritional life changes are forever. I'm not gonna lie, I wish that what I need to do to lose weight could finish when I hit my goal and then I could go back to pigging out on whatever I wanted! It would be nice if I were on a short-term diet and could look forward to carbs and sweets and fats in my future - without regaining. Not gonna happen. So no, I am not on a diet.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #14
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It can be one of those "charged" words... but it doesn't have to be a big deal.

Try not to stress about it too much. In the end it isn't how you feel about a word that gets the work done, right?

Just do what you say you gotta do for yourself -- learn portion sizes, self control, etc.

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