Why I Hate the Word Diet

Let’s face it, only quitters go on diets. They do it to drop a few quick pounds and then return to a “normal” way of eating.

There are two definitions to the word diet:

  1. a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
  2. the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

Whenever someone hears the word diet, they immediately think of the first definition, a reason to lose weight. A reason to complain and act angry at someone enjoying a fat juicy burger and fries while they’re stuck with their low fat, low carb almond milk kale shake. A diet is a choice.

Few people rarely think for a second that it’s for health reasons. It’s only when the person reveals their health issue that people feel compelled to not complain. In most cases health reasons fall under the second definition as they typically take on a Vegan, Paleo, or AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) diet. As far as I’m concerned, these are not ever to be considered a diet. This is a lifestyle. When someone takes on a habitual eating style it becomes part of their life and identity. They may eat differently from time to time but this is how they live their life. Nothing about a diet is considered a full lifestyle change unless you decide to stick it out long term and not look back.

I’ve had to explain my food choices since I was 16 due to food sensitivities. It was easier to use the word diet then. You get odd looks when you’re 16 and explaining that you can’t eat dairy or sugar or soy or corn. Even into adulthood I would use the word diet to explain eating well for health reasons. Of course I knew better, but it’s hard for some to comprehend when they don’t have health issues. And still I was told, “You eat so healthy,” like it was criticism that I didn’t need to be eating well because I wasn’t overweight.

Once and for all let’s get one thing straight world, stop misconstruing the meaning of diet and let people put whatever they want in their mouths. Seriously.

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