Saturday, March 8, 2014

No! I'm Not On A Diet!

I had a couple conversations this week that has inspired this blog post. I've talked before about the word "diet". When the word diet is mentioned, the majority of people automatically make the assumption you are trying to lose weight. But, over the last three years, my opinion of the word diet has changed drastically, and that's what I want to share in this post. In my opinion, no one is ON a diet, but we all HAVE a diet. Your "diet" is what and how you eat. The other common assumption about a diet is once you lose the weight, you don't need to be on a "diet" anymore; and most people revert back to old eating habits and typically gain all and plus some of their weight back.

I'll use myself as an example. I became drastically overweight and very unhealthy because I had a crappy diet. Before starting Fitness Together, my diet consisted of a lot of unhealthy and even fast food that supplied very little or no nutritional value; and it didn't help I had zero activity in my life. I definitely wasn't eating for the right reasons. Obviously I ate when I was hungry, and then also when I was depressed and even bored. But, now my diet consist of healthy and nutritional foods. I time my snacks and meals around my work and workout schedule to ensure my body is fueled with healthy foods at the proper times to get me through the day.

As I mentioned, a couple conversations triggered these thoughts and this post. Earlier this week I had various conversations with different people, but they all were very similar. They are frustrated because they aren't losing weight or getting the results they want. They workout (very hard), but when asked about their meals it's anything but healthy and nutritional. There's a quote, "You can't out train a bad diet." A typical week for me consists of six days of training, and five of those days I'm at the Fitness Center two or three times a day. All this training will not get me any closer to my goals if outside of the fitness center my diet is crappy. Now, I do allow myself one reward meal a week, and there's nothing wrong with splurging on one meal from time to time like that. Where this becomes a problem, is when people allow these type of "reward meals" to become a daily part of their diet.

The second conversation I had was with a lady from work. She has only been with the company for a couple months and she isn't aware of everything I've accomplished over the last three years. This is how our conversation went in the break room as I was heating up my baked chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • HER: Are you on a diet?
  • ME: No, I'm not on a diet.
  • HER: Well, it looks like you've lost weight.
  • ME: I have. My trainer modified my meal plan and I've lost almost 10 pounds in the last month.
  • HER (with confused look): Oh...but you're not on a diet?
  • ME (getting a little irritated she keeps asking if I'm ON a diet): No, I'm not on a diet. These are foods I eat regularly and the carb cycling meal plan I'm on allows me to eat my protein and healthy carbs at the right time to ensure my body is properly fueled.
I then went on to explain my thoughts on the word "diet". I also explained, even though I still have some weight to lose, that once I do hit a healthy goal weight I'm not changing my diet. I'll continue to eat the same foods, but with Michael's help, we will modify my meal plan to ensure I maintain that healthy weight. And because I know how these conversations go, I didn't give her the opportunity to ask if I'll continue working with a trainer once I get to my goal weight. I just said, "And no, I will not stop working with my trainer once I get to where I want to maintain." I'll not only need, but will always want his guidance and support so I know I'll never revert back to my old habits. Then I proceeded to tell her I've lost almost 130 pounds total in the last three years. I think at this point she didn't know what else to say, so she said, "Wow, great job!". And then she walked out of the break room.

And let me point out, I talk about my meal plans. And that's because I continue to eat the same healthy foods, but one of the most effective things someone can do to be successful with their health and fitness goals is to plan their meals ahead and stick with the plan. So, next time you think to yourself, I need to lose weight; don't ask yourself what kind of "diet" should I go on, but ask yourself what is my current diet like and how can I change it to ensure I'm eating healthier and getting the results I want.