So the other day my mom and I were taking a leisurely walk around the West Vancouver sea wall (Man, I LOVE living here!) and we were discussing diet, more particularly my boxing diet. Now, I know a lot about diet, how to eat well and when to eat what. I’ve got making weight down to the T.

Literally I can predict what I’m going to weigh on what day when I’m preparing for competition. However there is a lot of sacrificing and a lot of discipline involved. I’m not saying I don’t eat. I firmly believe that you need to eat, 5 – 6 meals a day even when you’re making weight, but I do feel limited and deprived to a lot of food when I’m trying to make weight. This, in turn has a very negative effect because once I’m done a competition I’ll binge! I will eat almost everything in sight even if I don’t really like it, because I’ve been on such a limited diet the three weeks prior. So then I’ll gain 10lbs and I’ll have to go on limiting myself when the next competition comes around. It’s a vicious circle.

Like I said, I do know a lot about diet, and how to eat for a healthy lifestyle, but because I’m in this cycle it make it very difficult to apply it.  Every time I’m done a competition I promise myself that I’m not going to go crazy.  I’m going to go back to a healthy, clean diet where I can eat healthy fats, about 1800 – 2000 cal (this is good for someone with my height 5’7 and smaller frame) and enjoy all kinds of fruits and veggies as well as starchy carbs.  On top of that I can have one cheat meal a week…  Sounds simple enough, but it’s not.  Why?

Well one of the reasons is habit.  It takes only a few days to make a habit (cheating to often) and several weeks to break it.  You have to be pretty strict and have a good strong plan in place with others to be accountable to break this cycle, and that is what I’m starting to do in order to get out of this deprivation / indulge diet.

The other reason, the one that this blog post is essentially about, is that word like “diet” and “eating healthy” have a very negative effect on people.  When people think of these words they think limitation and restriction, which I think is a contributing factor as to why so few will stick with a “healthy diet”.  So I decided to reinvent my way of thinking of these terms.  Instead of calling my healthy diet a “diet” or even referring to it as “eating clean” I’ve started to think of it as Eating for an Energized Lifestyle or Energy Eating (Double E, my mom has named it – sound’s like a great drug).  When you’re eating well (you can see some of my Energy Eating plans here) you have better energy you feel good and you want to continue to eat well.  I also allow myself one comfort meal – because “cheat meal” is also very negative word and implies that you’re doing something bad, which in turn will make you feel guilty, and you’ll indulge more – once a week.  Not a comfort day, a comfort MEAL.

The reason it’s so important to stick to a meal is because often when you over indulge in fating food the receptors to your brain that tell you you’re full are blocked and you continue to crave fattening food.  Hummmm, make sense as to why when I go on a bender it’s hard to get out of it…

So try reinventing the way you think about diet.  Make it a positive thing associated with positive words and see if it makes a difference.

3 comments on “How to get around the negativity of “diet”

  • Great post Jaime,

    Another interesting discovery is that we actually have neurons in our body. This includes our stomach. Our stomach “knows” when we are eating foods with fat and high caloric content and we are programmed to like that for our survival. It is suggested this is why we keep eating fatty foods even though we are full.

    My experience regarding diets is like your’s. I actually know all kinds of effective ways to lose weight and have done so many times. Unfortunately I am even more effective at gaining it back.

    I am considering a whole new approach to weight optimization. I thought of this a month ago and am now inspired by your blog to take it on. My strategy is to gradually introduce new habits that I know are effective such as drinking more water, having my last me of the day 4 hours before bed, eating wheat free for 1 day a week. My plan is to implement these gradually and painlessly so I can develop reliable habits that will ultimately replace my less desirable ones.

    • Drinking more water is probably the #1 best habit you can start with. You will notice a huge difference in the amount you eat and your weight just by making this one small change. I have a 1L water bottle and I am always sure to drink at least 4 through the day. I also practice habits like drinking a full glass of water before I have a meal, weather I’m at home or out at a restaurant. It works well and I find I’m more full then if I didn’t gulp water.

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