• Cariss Cole

What is a Non-Diet Anyway?

If we really stop to think about the phrase non diet, it's kind of a contradiction in itself isn't it? Dissecting the word diet helps us understand that a diet in all actuality is the habit of what we eat. It's the types of foods we eat on a regular basis. Diets can be based on our personal preferences, whether emotional, physical or spiritual. Sometimes our health needs cause us to dig deeper into more restrictive patterns of what we consume, when we consume it and why. So what is a non diet anyway? Ultimately by definition it would be no diet at all.


Should I go on a Diet or a Non-Diet?



If you are reading this you probably already recognize the fact that something regarding your health, your weight, or maybe even your appearance is calling to you for attention. You have come to recognize that something isn't quite right. Maybe you are ready to tackle it for the first or even the fifth time. Perhaps you are noticing and experiencing new things physically which are leading to a feeling of uncertainty or doubt in your current #diet (dare I say the word), energy or activity level.


This new idea of a #nondiet sounds trendy and innovative doesn't it? A whole new approach to how we look at food. The non-diet approach is simply tapping into what is already built inside of you. Sometimes we stop paying attention to the indicators that our bodies and our minds are giving us because of poor consumption habits and lack of effort. The bad habits we form lower our ability to recognize our body and mind's natural response system and limit our reaction to them as a result. These patterns heighten our belief in false ideas of what we are benefiting from by doing them.


A "non diet" is aimed to raise our awareness of what our bodies and minds need. It highlights our need to listen to these indicators and make healthy decisions as a result. It's a way to have a healthy diet by learning when you are actually hungry and when you are full. It eliminates restriction of any sort in effort to remove the negative mental attachments we tend to have approaching our diets. These connections are usually based on years of comparing ourselves to what we hold as ideals. In reality the lack of sustainability in our attempts to maintain a #healthylifestyle keep us actively seeking new methods.


The approach to intuitive eating that the "no-diet" diet (see how contradictory this phrase is?) promotes is definitely a healthier approach to our habits regarding our food. Continuing to model our eating habits on a fast paced lifestyle while maintaining a #traditionalamericandiet will continue to increase health issues in the future. The effects of overindulging and under nourishing our bodies and our minds will seriously limit our ability to sustain a healthy lifestyle long term.


Life is short, but it's even shorter if you don't take care of yourself.

Did you know it's ok to take care of yourself too?


Instead of labeling your diet as one type or another, it's important to note that the need for a variety of diets during your life can be necessary based on health needs and new discoveries as well as what we desire. For instance, having an increased amount of pain, swelling or bloating in your body is an excellent indicator that something is awry. Blood sugar levels are another sign that dietary changes are needed. Excess weight gain is one more warning in a long list of red flags telling your state of health. Learn the intuitive signals that your body and mind are sending and you can avoid negative manifestations of what happens by ignoring them.


Diet is Personal


No secret formula exists. Just like life, your diet is a series of trials and errors until you understand what works best for you personally. Just like your life's decisions can affect others around you, your dietary choices do the same.


How could your diet possibly affect others, you ask? Why should you care if it does, when you are the one that has to live with the consequences? The truth is nothing in life doesn't affect other things. Your diet is one of them. Your diet even affects your #emotionalhealth by impacting your moods. How are you treating those around you? How do you view their treatment of you?


Often times your blood sugar crashes because you have decided to put your basic needs aside and neglect to take the time to eat properly or maybe you even skip eating all together resulting in #hangryproblems like feeding your inner #sudaraddict or your #carbaddiction. Your body NEEDS both sugars and carbs, but not the kinds found by quickly grabbing anything in sight when you are famished.


Being "hangry" affects everything you do when in this state, as well as, how you treat others in the process. If you have known blood sugar issues, it is necessary to restrict excess sugar. Anyone who has ever tried can attest to the fact that eliminating foods tends to be a shorter term fix than learning how and what to restrict. This learning process teaches us how to maintain health long term.


Restriction in life is actually necessary at times. If you have an issue when eating and you don't know what specific things are affecting it, then doing an elimination diet to determine what is aggravating your body is a must. Things like dairy, gluten, seafood or nuts can cause more issues that you realize if your body reacts poorly. Those of us with #autoimmune issues often have to learn to restrict specific foods to avoid further intensifying our symptoms. Learning how to fix the inflammation in the gut will ultimately help ease the issues with the food sensitivities you are experiencing.


Digestion and bowel issues tend to require restrictions as well. Sometimes this is restricting the types of foods eaten, other times it may mean learning how to restrict and eliminate things like stress. Increasing physical activity can actually aid our digestive system and kick it into a higher gear. Often times with these problems indicate that there may be concerns with your #guthealth.


Intermittent fasting can work wonders for helping to repair the gut for people with a weakened immune system or the urge to overeat, but can be harmful to people with blood sugar issues, people with eating disorders and other conditions. It's important to research what works right for you.

“Your gut is linked to nearly every facet of your health, from your immune system to your mood.” - Dr Amy Carmichael

We are unique, not all things work for all people. Not all changes will affect you the same as your sister or friend. There are commonalities between us, however. We all have 6 essential nutrients that our bodies need for optimal health. We cannot produce them on our own, but they are essential to our lives. Without them #healthyliving is diminished.


To Non-Diet, Diet or Not?



It’s often once we put our limits to the test that we find out what we are made of. During this process we also have those limits spelled out more clearly and personally. It can be tough to keep up with the pace of our own obligations, but once we add others' expectations in and do a little comparing, that pace can become unbearable.


It almost seems like there must be something ingrained in us, that causes us to remain in this constant battle. At some point it becomes obvious that we are emotionally, physically, spiritually or relationally unhealthy. Sometimes it can a be combination of these areas that needs our attention.


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Having lived through chronic anxiety, worry and insomnia for years and overcoming them, I can testify that these things and more are all symptoms of something much deeper. Emotional and spiritual struggles become physical if they aren’t dealt with.


Likewise physical struggles can lead to emotional and spiritual ones. I have pushed many limits, some of which pushed back hard. I was always strong and energetic, until I wasn’t.

Becoming unhealthy is a process. Self examination is a process. Diagnosis and mis-diagnosis' are a process. Healing is a process. Diet is a process. In short, life is a process. What works now for you might not work in another year or five or ten.


Don't worry! There is a life beyond diets and non-diets alike. Chronic symptoms, thoughts and mood as well as diagnosis' can be used to guide your health journey. Learning to look after your energy levels and discovering habits of joy are vital to your overall well-being.


Life may not look exactly like what your ideal image of it may be, but you are the only one that can decide what you are going to put into it and what you are willing to accept as a result of it. Learning more about yourself and how to better care for your body and your mind isn't easy, but it is so worthwhile in the end. ⁣


Although your decision to diet or non-diet is yours and the effects of those choices will ultimately affect you the deepest, help is out there. You don't have to make rash decisions out of desperation. The resources you need to make educated choices regarding your health and diet are available. Dietitians, #wellnesscoaches, like me, and doctors are available. The path you choose is personal, but that doesn't mean you have to navigate it alone.


Connect for more information or guidance on learning to be #healthyfromtheinsideout . A simple #detoxplan may help you jump start your bodies natural drives. We were designed with the perfect eco-system to manage and maintain our health, but our system can become weakened with harmful toxins and allergens as well as stress and overuse. Your gut was designed to work endlessly like your heart, but also like your heart can still be vulnerable to attacks. Healthy living happens on purpose.


All diets or non-diets still need to be developed to suit your specific needs and goals. In order to be healed, you must discover what is making you sick or not serving your well and develop a plan of action of some sort to change it, no matter what you want to label it.


Keep Smiling Always


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