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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

It’s All in a Word | Dieting vs. Meal Planning

Why diet when you can plan your meals? Changing your mindset can make a difference in your approach to how and what you eat, and perhaps a successful weight-loss regimen

I read an article the other day about a company’s rebranding strategy. The company's main focus and key word was "diet/ing."

Each time I see "that word," or any form of it, I think of people who may be, being set-up for failure, or quit before they even start (if their goal is to lose weight).

So, in reference to the words “diet” and “diet culture," I think those words and terms are misnomers. I say this because I was a "victim." I became confused, frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed, never lost any weight, and just quit trying to lose weight.

It became a tug-of-war between "eat this, not that;" a constant struggle, with unanswered questions of "how" and "why."

“Meal plan/ning” would be a better, more-comprehensive term, as in taking a wholistic approach and a healthier connotation for the masses, as opposed to the word “diet/ing,” which can become an unhealthy behavior or mindset, as well as being unhealthy for the body, and for the most part, can be just as restrictive as it sounds.

In meal-planning, or planning a meal, much thought should go into it. Instead of being restrictive eating (dieting), how about planning meals by exchanging unhealthy foods within a “meal” (not a diet) with healthy replacements, instead of eliminating specific foods? How about reducing portion sizes, at least for starters?

Some individuals go on a “diet” to lose weight, which can be misleading. I’ve seen it all too often in my family of females whom, over the years went from skinny-thin to frumpy-overweight. Then in their later years they wanted to lose weight, and joined weight-loss clinics, or picked-up the latest fads in eating. But, guess what? They all failed and gained even more weight (while trying to lose weight without exercise, and "spot-reducing." REALLY?

After watching my family go on just about every trending weight-loss rollercoaster ride, struggling to lose weight, I learned from their failures, in addition to following my doctor’s orders (cardiologist, registered dietitian, and primary care physician) to plan my meals with healthy choices of fresh produce (your local farmers market is the best option), exercise portion control, all things in moderation, and start moving.

Also, I had the opportunity to get the inside scoop on one of the weight-loss clinics---I worked at one of them!

As an employee/consultant, the company encouraged their consultants to eat the food as a testament to their clients, and for marketing purposes when they made their sales pitches to prospects to garner more memberships.

Upon eating the weight-loss clinic's meals, that's when I realized how much I was salt-sensitive, and how unhealthy the meals were for me.

I became bloated (my body retained water in my ankles; I was beginning to have cankles [fat, stout calves and ankles merged together]). I had headaches (my blood pressure increased). My skin darkened (dry skin).

I finally quit, the weight-loss clinic once I realized what was happening to my body. The pre-packaged meals, although frozen, were packed with preservatives (lots of sodium), which is how foods are given a shelf life, or even an extended one.

I must say, again--this is my personal experience. Anyone reading this article must decide for themselves what works best for them.

Exercise is ideal. However, just keeping the body active, along with healthy meal- planning, which includes portion control, and being consistent by staying the course are best practices for beginning your weight-loss journey.

Following these tips will yield weight-loss as a bonus—a side effect. And if you'll notice: there’s nothing in the above paragraph that mentions “diet.”

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