Actually, come to think of it, there is more than one problem with the word DIET!
Regardless, it continues to come to my attention that we have hang ups on this word.
When I talk with people about plant based eating, about eating for wellness, about losing weight, about eating for more energy and better mood... the conversation always naturally comes back to the word DIET.
BUT the problem is, we have soooooooo many issues with it!!
What are the images or stigmas that pop into your mind when you think of the word DIET?
The most prominent response from everyone I talk with is the idea that:
Diets are restrictive.
We believe that in order to achieve the wellness state, the goal weight or to fit into society's ideal of beauty (gosh a whole day could be spent talking about that...), we must be restrictive with what we put in our mouths; and then on the counterpart, work excessively hard in Pump class or on the treadmill to burn off all the excess "fat", "weight" or "burden" that we are carrying.
We must count calories, weigh out our foods and put them into little portioned containers - dieticians even recommend this to my clients!
I have been a victim of this mindset for so many years. I had dieted in the past with all the usual regimes - Atkins, HCG, fasting, binge eating, not eating.... I would yoyo with my weight and emotions alike. It all left me feeling hungry, feeling deprived, feeling angry at myself when I would break the rules and eat more...
But then, I was introduced to plant based eating and my life changed, furthermore my beliefs about eating changed.
When I eat a high Whole Food Plant Based diet (but lets change the meaning of the word now!) I can eat bucketloads. And I seriously mean, bucketloads.
Suddenly, the concept of restriction wasn't a factor any more. Even not eating meat doesn't feel like a restriction, it feels like a lighter choice. Because after a while of following this way of eating, I noticed something happened when I ate meat (usually once or twice per month) - I would get really really sleepy. It was like my body went into shutdown mode. "Cant talk, think or function............digesting".
When you don't include meat, or have minimal meat, as your preference may be, you can include very large amounts of plants on your plate.
The nutrient density is super high and the calorie levels are super low, so you CAN eat more.
This is the biggest mind shift I noticed when changing to plant based eating, and the biggest that my clients share with me. Its the disbelief at actually how much food they can enjoy eating, because there really isn't a restriction when it comes to plants.
The pattern is that they usually start making their salads the size of a sandwich plate, or half a dinner plate, as this is what we usually do when we are making salad alongside an animal source.... but soon they realise they can have a massively stacked dinner plate of salad.
It should scare you a little, that means its probably big enough ;)
So restriction is NOT a word that needs to be a part of the Whole Food Plant Based diet.
You CAN eat a heap of food AND still achieve a wellness state, still lose weight (guarantee on that one) and you will start to notice your skin clearing, your face glowing, your eyes sparkling, your mood lifting and your digestion being ace.
All without restriction.
So my challenge to you...
Can you change your perception of diet? Can you reverse and shed the stigma of restriction?
Can you make at least 85% of your eating habits from plant sources? Can you make a huge ass salad once or twice per day?
Peace & Love