Okay, I know this is a huge debate. Mostly because of the whole “form of the word” problem. Diet is both seen as a temporary thing and as a description of the stuff a person eats as a whole. No matter how you want to use the word, there is no way to determine how the word will be heard.
I changed how I eat a long time ago. I’ve made tweaks and changes along the way based on preference, results, and how I feel after I eat things. When I found the terms Paleo and Primal I knew I was on to something because there were other people out there who have bodies that respond to food in a similar way as my body. Yea for community!
The problem is, when I talk about being Primal (or Paleo-ish, or Atkins with a whole bunch of veggies) people will say, “I would like to do that, but when I start eating carbs again I’ll just gain it all back.” I’ve heard at LEAST ten people say this exact sentence.
Because they see diet as temporary.
Here’s the secret I have found as true for my family…We can’t eat carbs in excess anymore. Last night I was sick, tired, and dealing with a sick kid. I was wiped out. I called my husband and told him to just pick up chinese food on the way home. He was excited because we haven’t eaten out in a long time and we haven’t had chinese food – which he loves – in a long time.
We all ate totally moderate amounts of food.
Then we all promptly felt gross and bloated and our tummies bothered us.
Because when we stopped eating processed food entirely and ate only real food for months, our bodies were happy. They didn’t like when we switched back to fast food. Our bodies told us we were done eating out except when we could do so and still get real, healthy food.
There is no going back to eating carbs, because carbs cause us all to feel gross. Why would anyone eat something that makes them feel gross? That’s right, they wouldn’t!
This is what makes a diet. For the same reason someone who hates veggies will never become a vegetarian, a person who eats clean will – after a certain amount of time which I’m sure varies wildly for every person – not be able to go back without really forcing themselves to go through some serious gastronomic gyrations.
It isn’t about going on a diet and then shutting off a switch. It’s about giving your body fuel. Nurturing your body with nutrients and making the body happy. Once our bodies got used to that, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to want to go back.
Whatever you are doing with your food personally is not my business. I do not think everyone will benefit from MY lifestyle change. Far from it! Every body is different, every family is different. I think it is worth it to find what works best for me and my family and if that is different from what you do for your family … it’s not my place to judge.
I said to my husband last night, “I am actually amazed. I might be the most Free to Be You and Me person I know.” He nodded.
My call to action will never be, “Do what I do!” It will always be, “Do what is best for you!” I only provide information on what is working for me in case you might be in my shoes or in case someone is telling you a diet will work perfectly for you but it conflicts with your basic beliefs about food. The part of being Primal that makes me happiest? I don’t have to eat breakfast. When I saw that it was just fine to only eat when you were hungry, I knew I was on to something.
Because eating when I am not hungry is something I will never, ever participate in. It’s just too counterintuitive to the tips of my toes. It works for some people, yes, but it did not work for me. So I don’t do it and I found something that works around my needs.
Plus, if you’ve never had homemade mayonnaise you are seriously missing out on something quite divine. I use the recipe from Everyday Paleo. Google it. It’s SO good.
So that’s my opinion on diet vs lifestyle. Lifestyle is a b.s. word that has come to just be another word for diet. It’s been ruined. I don’t use either. When people ask why I look so good these days, I just tell them I ditched the processed foods.
It can be just that simple, sometimes.
Have you ever discovered foods that make your body happy or sad that were a surprise to you?