Health & Wellbeing

Why aren’t I allowed to say the word DIET?

This has been a grievance of mine for a long time. Why can’t we use the word diet ? or say I’m on a diet?

So often I see people saying ” oh I hate the word diet ” or “you should never go on diet” or even one person tell another “you don’t need to diet to lose weight”.

I sort of get the objective. Positive thinking and not labelling, and all that. sometimes, however, I think a label can increase understanding.

If you were to go to the GP for certain health issues that can be affected by what you consume they may ask you ” how is your diet?” or ” what’s your diet like”,” do you include X, Y, or Z in your diet”. Thus The word DIET is just another word for food or what we eat.

Just call me a food nerd!

I am no nutritionist. I am just a girl who has always struggled with food in one way or another. Over time I have done a lot ( A LOT) of research and a few mini-courses for personal use. A food nerd, you might say!

I’ve been through anorexia due to anxiety as a teenager. Then later on due to Depression, I developed a binge eating disorder take a look at My weight gain epiphany. My weight gain/loss and eating problems have rarely been due to wanting to be thin or have the perfect body. Many times I have had to lose weight because another hurdle has caused me to increase to an unhealthy weight.

Your DIET is simply what you eat.

To lose weight you need to be in an energy deficit. Which means you need to burn more calories than you consume. It’s as simple as that. The important thing is doing this without compromising your health. Making it more difficult to do this mentally and physically.

I believe before saying you don’t need to count calories or get on the scales it’s important to be educated. It is important to have an understanding of what you should be eating or how you should be eating.

You should not be ashamed to diet

What worries me is the stigma that can build up around the need to lose weight.

Admitting that you need to make changes to your lifestyle and diet should never engender any shame.

No one should be made to feel ashamed if they say they are trying to lose weight. The word ‘diet’ does not always mean Fad!

I’ve felt this way in the past. A friend rolled her eyes and said something along the lines of this. It made me feel embarrassed and the small comment stuck with me. – Hense the blog!

Everything in moderation??

The expression ‘everything in moderation’ is thrown around so loosely.

What does that even mean? It took me a long time to truly understand what this means. Even now I still struggle to achieve it.

If you find it easy to eat in moderation it’s sort of common sense. Eat when you are hungry. Don’t eat when your not. Don’t eat past when you are full and watch your portion sizes – Simple, right?

I had no idea what it meant growing up! How much is moderation?

I don’t get full up! So for a long time ‘moderation’ didn’t exist. Often when I start I can’t stop. I’d eat one or two massive meals and not much more. I can eat until there is no food left and still want more. I never truly feel full therefore moderation is not easy to gauge without measurements and portion sizes.

If like a lot of us you get food cravings, it can be difficult to judge without any size measurements.

Your cravings can override your sense of what is portion control.

Weight loss plans like Weight Watchers and the Slimming World are really good places to begin to learn about portion control. They have good methods of showing you what your plate should look like. How to make healthy choices.

I always think of them as a weight-loss course.

For example, Most people will make a bowl of cereal check how many calories are in! bowl and never actually measure it out. If you fill your bowl to the brim you may be having around 3 or 4 portions in one sitting

The depression step?

Jo Wicks is an advocate for the lean in 15 methods. He declares publically that “he hates diets” and weighing scales are “The depression step”

Surely the scales are only ‘depressing’ if you are not losing weight. I apreciate that if your working out the weight will come off slower due to an increase in muscle therefore you may be losing inches instead of weght.

If you need to lose a considerable amount of weight, at some point you will need to get on the scales. When used correctly taking all factors into consideration they can be a good tool to make improvements to your plan.

To be clear, I think Jo Wicks is a brilliant advocate for health, I follow his Instagram, I cook his recipes, subscribe to his YouTube my kids do his PE every day.


However, when he cooked a beautiful healthy and delicious bolognese on one of his youtube videos. He serves up a plate full to the brim for his lunch. I know for sure, if I ate a plate of food that size every mealtime, even though full of nutrition and goodness, I’d struggle to maintain my weight.

I am always fascinated by other people’s relationships with food.

There is a catastrophic different between a fad diet and a healthy diet.

You NEVER need to do a ‘Fad diet’ like cabbage diet, Atkins diet or juice. You may, however, need to go on a diet. This is achieved by making healthy choices cutting the crap and increasing your fruits and veg. Therefore most will call it a change of diet!

There are hundreds of pointless FAD diets. Most of which are designed to get you to read someone’s content or sign up to a paid subscription. Not because it works.
It may well work in the short term. It will certainly leave you with little energy and possibly nutrient deficient. This can cause some serious health issues. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, feeling tired, craving sugar, or just putting it all back on again as soon as you go back to normal. Whatever that is for you. It is never worth it.

Getting on the scales to see you didn’t lose weight can be heartbreaking and demotivating. You need to go at it sensibly. Then once you have established what works best. That’s when you can ditch them.

Some tips for ‘scale overs-users’ If you are prone to jumping on the scales twice day and obsessing over the numbers. We’ve all been there!

Using weighing scales can be controlled with some tips and frankly, commonsense.
Did you drink a litre of water before you got on the scales? (Roughly 2.5lbs)
Is it morning or evening? Which was it last time you weighed?
Did you eat loads the night before?
Are you on your period?
Have you been working out? Muscle is denser than fat, therefore, your size will decrease even if your weight stays the same.

If you usually weight yourself naked as soon as you get up after you have a wee. Then weight after the Gym on a different set of scales after a workout where you drank a litre of water. you could have a difference of around 5-7 lbs

These are the things that will turn your useful tool into ‘The depression step’.

Of course, there are a good many who can effectively lose weight without stepping on the scales.

These are not the people I am talking about. The whole point is that everyone is different. What works for one may not work for another. I know there have been many many times I have thought I’ve been doing really well and I’m not. Therefore, sabotaging my own weight loss. All because I didn’t check. It can be really easy to think your doing well and not be if you are eating the wrong thing.

Even when using a limitless food list it’s important to practice portion control.

For example, Chucking the whole avocado on your salad at lunch every day because it is healthy. Eating 5 tubs of diet yoghurt a day because slimming world put them on their ‘eat as much as you like the list’. You could be sabotaging your efforts.

Hopping on the scales from time to time can reevaluate your food plan. Make changes where you think you need them if you use them wisely as a tool.

The aim of a ‘diet’ should always be to get into a new rhythm. One that is going to sustain you. Let you reach that healthy goal but not end up causing additional deficiencies like a fad diet could.

This may take a bit of work and trial and error.

Going on a diet should only ever mean that you have recognised you need to make some healthy changes. A diet is working towards achieving a healthy weight and size for your own body.

There should be no shame in admitting to being on a diet!

No judgement. No people rolling their eyes as soon as you say you’re on a diet.

I have seen this so many times before. Usually from people who manage to maintain their weight effortlessly. Often by those who have no idea how you plan to go about that diet or what it entails.

Frankly, it isn’t any of their business whether you need to diet and what the hell do they know anyway?

The problem is around the phrasing and understanding.

So- going on a diet is changing your diet. Everyone who is trying to lose, gain or become more healthy needs to Change their diet. Not ‘go on a diet’. Realistically, whatever way you say it the fundamentals are the same. Keep your calories under control while maintaining energy and nutrition levels.

This also very much depends on your weight goal and the reason for it.
If like me, you have been living an unhealthy lifestyle for a long period of time and need to lose a considerable amount of weight, you need to CHANGE your diet. Not ‘go on one’.

Saying that you are going on a diet simply implies it’s temporary.

Any time you use diet to lose weight you need to acknowledge how you will eat once you have reached your goal. Especially if you’re used to eating junk. Continuing to do so after losing weight, of course, it will result in the weight returning. Usually quicker than you lost it.

You will put on weight quicker than you lost it.

If you normally maintain a healthy weight. You are perfectly happy with your health level but you went on holiday and gained a few lbs or over carb’d at Christmas. You may just want to get back on track. Do a little detox to boost health levels and get back to ‘normal’. Or just want to get rid of those gained lbs then surely going ‘on a diet’ is absolutely fine.

You don’t need to change your entire lifestyle. You can simply use a temporary diet (still not a fad) to rid the weight and get your self back to normal. Your usual lifestyle will maintain your weight

I also feel the focussing on the words used can take away the importance of the end goal. Confusion about what you need to do to achieve their goal can make losing weight seem easy. When for some it can be a real challenge.

The problem is that there’s a lot of negative stigma around diets that are unhealthy, misunderstood, too extreme. However the word Diet its self is merely a component.