I do and don’t hate this word.
Through my journey from weight loss and competing to coaching and thinking like an athlete – this word has evolved for me.
I believe that evolution is appropriate.
When I say it’s a lifestyle now, I mean that I enjoy eating a variety foods that help me feel good. Sometimes that’s roasted veggies and somethings that a good slice of cake at the restaurant downtown. That may be the feeling I get from my favorite bourbon or my protein shake after a workout that kicked my ass.
I’ve personally tried a lot of eating styles and, yeah, let’s call them what they can be – diets.
There are two definitions of diet though: one is your daily eating pattern (however that looks) and the other is something specific for a specific result (weightloss, building muscle, etc).
As a coach, I encourage clients to eat in a way that supports them and their goals where they are. For some that could look like macro counting or at least tracking protein. For others that may be aiming for less sugar in their diet overall. I have clients with chronic illnesses and they recognize that eating with a more whole foods approach helps them feel better, decreases pain and flares and manages those illnesses.
There isn’t one perfect approach to creating a plan that works for you, but there are so many ideas out there that you can experiment with.
This doesn’t mean I advocate for undereating or restricting yourself – a helpful diet overall is one that is sustainable for life and helps you live to be the best you that you can be. It’s also ok if this changes as you go through life.
Mindset can matter here.
I’ve had a tough time thinking like an athlete and fueling myself while also having fun and enjoying everything that socializing and food offer. But allowing your mindset to grow with you as your goals do will allow you to be flexible and create acceptance for changing habits and a changing body.
This section is for those interested in learning about macronutrients, flexible dieting (there’s this post here from a few years ago), meal planning and grocery shopping strategies.
To learn more about macronutrients, you can learn about them below:
- Fat and the Ketogenic Diet
- What are carbohydrates part 1
- What are carbohydrates part 2
- Protein and Amino Acids
To learn more about how I approach meal planning, shopping and meal prep (when it happens), check out these posts:
- Grocery shopping, foods staples and meal planning hacks
- 7 meal ideas for breakfast and cooking hacks
Check out the Budget Eats Series for ways to approach your meal planning without breaking the bank.
To see how I start off many clients (not all) before we change or adjust their nutritional approach, download this quick Initial Meal Tracking form. This isn’t meant to diagnose, but it can help provide you with a visual of what kinds of foods you’re eating often, which may help you think of why you are and how you can make changes.
Nutritional Guides for a few places that we go far too often
Don’t forget, many chain restaurants do have nutritional information on their web sites for you to check out if you feel you want or need to.
If you do have an eating disorder, working with a specialist with specific training may be a helpful option. There are six specific diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and two “umbrella” diagnoses categorized as Other Specified Feeding Eating Disorder and Unspecified Feeding Eating Disorder. Many ED and FED co-occur with other mental health disorder-s, please seek appropriate help if you feel that you need to. NEDA Helpline 1-800-931-2237.