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  • Dr. Sweeney

Why I hate the word "Diet"

So much of the outcomes we have in life are due to our own mindset.

What does that have to do with how I feel about the work "Diet"? So many of us associate the word "diet" with deprivation. We think it will be unenjoyable and hard. How many times have you sat down to have dinner with someone and they look at the menu and say "I can't have that, I'm on a diet?" Do they ever have a smile on their face? No, they always have a forlorn look of sadness. You are setting yourself up for failure with this kind of mindset. If you think you are always just depriving yourself of something, you are going to have a negative mindset towards it and you are unlikely to be successful because that is not sustainable over time.


The other problem with "diets" are that people think of them as temporary. "I'll just go on a diet." Then what? Inevitably, when they come off of that diet, what happens to the majority of people? They gain all their weight back and then some. I hear this story over and over again. People will tell me that they lost 50 lbs but then something happened, maybe it was an emotional or life event, maybe that diet plan was only for a certain time period. Regardless, something made them stop that diet and then they put the weight back on.


What if you shift your mindset? What if you didn't think of it as a diet, but instead a LIFESTYLE? What if you thought of all the good that you are doing for your body instead of everything you are depriving it of? What if you approached it like a Vegan approaches their diet? They don't eat certain things, end of story. They don't all of a sudden eat animal products because its a holiday or because they had a bad day. It's just their way of eating and it doesn't vary. Do you think you might be more likely to stick to that "diet"? I think the answer is absolutely yes.


What if you choose not to eat highly-processed, refined, manufactured foods because they don't help you get to your goals and they make you gain weight and feel like crap? Let's take a ketogenic lifestyle for example. When people say "I eat keto" versus when they say "I am keto" there is a shift in the mindset. There is a psychological component that gives you power and pride in the second statement. That is much more sustainable and likely to lead to success. When these people go out to dinner and someone offers then bread, they say "no thanks, I'm keto," they don't sadly say "no, I'm not allowed to eat that. Think about the power and sustainability the first response has over the second. Shifting your mindset is where you will find success.


Be well,

Dr. Sweeney


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