Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ditching the "D" word


What does that word even really mean?

Well if you ask a medical professional, they will tell you the noun definition of the word. They will tell you a diet is a way that a person habitually eats or that it is a way of eating that is prescribed for optimal health. It usually has a ‘should’ attached to it.

“Your diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables.”

If you ask a person considering bariatric surgery what the word means, they will tell use the word in its verb definition. It is spoken of as if it was a light switch that can be turned on and then off.

“I’ve been dieting since I was in high school but I just can’t stick with it.”

To a person who has struggled with their weight for years, dieting is seen as a negative thing; a thing that restricted them from eating their favorite foods and something that they have failed at again and again.

Whether you are a medical professional or someone who is working toward reaching your weight & health goals – its due time to ditch the word “diet” altogether!

When describing a way that a person eats or a prescriptive way of eating, the phrase meal plan does the job very well without all the emotional baggage tied to it.

“Following this meal plan will support your health.”

Challenge yourself to see the beauty of your food,
seek out colors & variety, and identify the reasons
why you choose to eat healthy.
When describing our own ways of eating, it may be more helpful to describe your choice in the process of deciding what foods you eat and ditch the language of restriction and deprivation.

“I’m choosing to eat more vegetables and lean proteins for my health.”

Language describes the way we see the world and can impact our psychological wellbeing. Rather than using words that carry emotional baggage, change your language to positive or neutral terms that can motivate you to pick to your health goals rather than get in your way.

Wishing you a nutritious day!

Anna Macnak, RDN, LD
Bariatric Program Nutritionist