12 reasons why you shouldn't diet

Have you found yourself (for non clinical reasons) recently eliminating food sources or food groups titled dairy, sugar, grains, gluten, refined foods, carbs or un-natural in an effort to eat more “clean” or because those foods are bad?
It’s ok to have good intentions with diet changes as you want to better understand what foods work best for your body in motion but extreme dietary shifts in eating patterns are one of the most common red flag signs that you may be developing (or furthering) your unhealthy relationship with food and your body.

Sure, improvements in any area of life require attention and perhaps some degree of obsession but when your eating/food thoughts and habits are all-consuming and have taken over your life, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship with food.

If you are a performance-driven athlete, keep in mind that rule-based eating does not take into account your personal needs, your performance goals, your periodized training plan, your lifestyle and your health goals. 

In other words, diets don't work. 

As an athlete, it’s very easy to critique your body and blame food, especially when you feel vulnerable or emotional or have a bad day or workout.
Fat, ugly, heavy, disgusting, off limit, bad, guilty, remorse, hate. 

Consider all the many thoughts that go through your head in regard to food and your body and now consider how much of your day you are spending thinking about food and your body?  

If you have an unhealthy relationship with food and your body, a diet won't solve underlying issues. Believe it or not, but improving your relationship with food and the body can actually help you improve your health, improve performance and help you reach body composition goals!

When you do not perform well, compare yourself to others, are unable to meet your prescribed pace expectations or feel overwhelmed with the training/life balance, you may find yourself taking out your frustrations on your body and seeking a dietary quick-fix to make the situation better.

It seems crazy, right? 
Focusing all your attention on what not to eat? Living life thinking about what you can't eat, what you shouldn't eat, what you regret eating.....I hope you agree with me that that is absolutely no way to live!

It is completely normal to want a healthier lifestyle, improved performance (speaking to the athletes) and a body composition that makes you feel great but you must also be realistic with the goals that you have and most of all, how you go about achieving them. 

Do I really need to explain why diets don't work?
Well, to make sure that you do not consider a diet plan come the New Year (or within the next 13 days), I want you to stop the diet mentality.
Here are 12 very good reasons why a diet is not the route you want to take when learning how to have a healthier relationship with food and the body. 

12 reasons why you shouldn't diet! 

1. Your body deserves food. A varied diet provides your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
2. Food is not bad. It is not out to harm you. Your food choices should make you feel good while you eat and even better after you eat. 
3. Being hungry is no fun. Your day should not revolve around when you get to eat and how much you are allowed to eat. Honor your biological hunger and fuel for performance. See food for nutritional value. 
4. Not being able to enjoy eating around others is no fun. Eating around others is special and an opportunity to connect. 
5. If the methods you have to take to lose weight are extreme, there is another way to be healthier/change body composition but it probably won't be as quick and you need to be ok with that. 
6. Your body doesn't suck. It is actually quite awesome. Just look at how old you are and how much you have accomplished in life. 
7. You can not count calories and measure food for the rest of your life. You must learn how to eat so that you can be anywhere in the world, at any age and in any situation and still feel great about the food you put into your body. 
8. Special occasions will always have food and you deserve to enjoy those foods on special occasions. Would you rather eat birthday cake on a Friday because it was on sale at the grocery store or enjoy a slice of cake when celebrating another year of life.  
9. You need to be a good role model for your kids or friends. A healthy relationship with food is just as contagious as an unhealthy relationship with food. 
10. Food is your medicine. Make time for healthy eating because a healthy body can do amazing things in this world. Food should enhance your life and fuel your lifestyle. 

Got a nutrition question?
Mark your calendars for tomorrow, Friday December 19th when I will be hosting a LIVE Q&A on the 
Girls Gone Strong Facebook page from 11:30-12:30EST to answer any questions you might have regarding fueling the plant strong athlete (omnivores are welcome too!!)