It’s Monday morning and you hear your cellphone alarm going off, and your new low carb, no starch, don’t even smell the ice cream diet has officially started. You have the best intentions in the world with your strict grocery lists, and meals planned for the next several weeks. The first day goes great, the next day a little worse, and then by Friday you’re day dreaming of ice cream. The weekend comes and goes, and you end up eating everything you were not “supposed” to. Monday morning rolls around, and the “diet” starts again. If you have ever found yourself in this situation then you have become a victim of “yo-yo dieting.” Is this created because of deprivation, or is it simply because we label it as a “diet?”

Removing the word “diet” from your vocabulary is something that can positively change your life, and here is why:

It leads to Yo-Yo Dieting:

Yo-yo dieting starts when someone restricts calories one-way or another. This includes restricting carbohydrates, fat, bread, gluten, or meat, and the result is usually a few pounds or more lost. Then, because of the extreme calorie restriction, they eventually indulge in whatever it was that was missing from their life, and eat more than they would on a usual day; for example the minute that you finish an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. This binge typically leads to unnecessary guilt.

It Decreases your Mental Health:

The guilt from an unsuccessful diet puts an emotional drain on a person and decreases self-esteem. Then, because of the weight gain, they will put themselves back on a “diet”.  The process is up and down with not only weight but also emotions. People have found more success with weight loss by avoiding “dieting”. Instead, create a lifestyle plan with a weight loss goal, and more importantly, a goal for a healthier lifestyle that promotes longevity and disease prevention.  It also helps increase mental health by decreasing the emotional drain caused by being “on a diet”.

Stop saying you’re on a diet:

The real solution here is to stop saying that you’re on a “diet” and just choose to live a healthier lifestyle. A great philosophy to follow is the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the time you eat healthy, exercise, and make choices that better your health. This includes a nutrient dense diet, any exercise that gets your heart rate up, and any activity that promotes a happy healthy mental state. The other 20% of the time is for the get togethers, the happy hours, the vacations, or the day that you just need to take a break and do nothing. Letting loose once in a while is so important and helps us stay on track which in turn will lead to healthy results short term and long term.