The Number One Reason Not To Diet

There are many reasons not to diet. This post discusses what I think is the number one reason not to diet, the most heartbreaking consequence. 


Happy Wellness Wednesday! It’s an official holiday at this point, right? ;)

Writing this post from the Desert Botanical Garden in Scottsdale. Scott had a phone meeting for work in the middle of the day, so we decided to find a nice secluded spot in the cactus garden and get a little work done.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you know we visited Phoenix for the national championship game to cheer on our Clemson Tigers. This trip has been such a whirlwind, and honestly, one of the most fun weeks of my life. As we explored the Grand Canyon, freshly covered in snow, hiked to the top of the red rocks of Sedona, and sang the alma mater with thousands of our Clemson family fresh off a heartbreaking loss, I kept thinking to myself ‘I can’t believe we almost didn’t come.’ With all our recent trips, the travel fund is sadly depleted. Plus I’m crazy behind with work and really didn’t think I could take more time off. But then we recognized what a once in a lifetime experience it would be, so we made it happen, and what a once in a lifetime experience we got.

You only live once has been my motto lately. Maybe it's me getting older, but I find myself thinking more and more about how to make the most of each day and the things that distract me from doing just that.

It's a motto that also comes up quite frequently in my nutrition counseling sessions, especially when we talk about dieting. It's no secret I'm not a fan of dieting. I mean, does anyone actually like diets other than the people making money off selling them? There are many things that break my heart when I hear the stories of my clients who have struggled with yo-yo dieting - the feelings of inadequacy, the physical and emotional hunger, the scary negative health side effects, the fact that they simply don't work for long term weight control. But if there is one thing that breaks my heart more than anything else, it's the fact that dieting keeps you from being able to live each day to it's fullest. Knowing how many days, weeks, and years of living life have been lost to diets isn't something I can stand by and passively watch.

If I was dieting, I wouldn't have been able to linger over tapas, wine and a gorgeous Sedona view with friends without worrying about how many calories I was consuming. If I was dieting and depriving myself of much needed calories (aka energy), I wouldn't have been able to make it to the top of Bell Rock and soak up that incredible view. If I was dieting, the stress of knowing there wasn't any healthy tailgate food available would have detracted from the time I was spending with family and friends. If I was dieting, I wouldn't have been able to soak up every perfect bite of the worlds best English muffin because I would have been too busy thinking about processed carbs.

Let's stop dieting and start thinking about living. When the focus is on how to soak up every last drop of the day, you'll start making choices that nourish your body and make you feel great while leaving flexibility to savor special treats and eat stress free in social situations. Healthy isn't perfect. Healthy is flexible. What you eat should add to your quality of life, not detract. Dieting, is simply no way to live.