Did you think by “diet” I meant weight loss? Good, then I’ve roped you in! I have news for you though…your diet is not something you do Monday to Wednesday until you get derailed by after work drinks, binge on pizza and chips for the rest of the week, and start fresh on Monday. Your diet shouldn’t be some bad boyfriend you keep going back to. Your diet refers to what you eat All.The.Time. It’s what you eat when you’re happy, sad, frustrated, lonely, or bored.
I hear these phrases so often in my practice (and in life) that I’ve decided to put a stop to them! I task clients with noticing when they say these harmful words and to find an alternative. Here are four phrases that are leading to guilt and shame in your life and hunny you are a shining star; you don’t need that kind of negativity.
Banish: I’m eating clean
What is the opposite of clean? Dirty? And unless you literally haven’t washed your food, your diet is not “dirty”. When I worked in mental health we avoided using the term “clean needles”, as it implied that the opposite would be a dirty needle, and then that person is therefore dirty for using it. I translated this over to nutrition and have since banned this from my vocab. Also clean eating is super vague, does that mean you just eat kale? Cuz boorrrrring!
Try instead: Different foods serve different needs, I’m giving my body what it needs in this moment.
Banish: I was good today
I’ve probably said this 100 times, eating a cookie or cupcake or chips does not make you a bad person. By contrast, eating a certain way does not automatically make you a good person. Your dietary choices do not define your worth, you can eat salad and still be an a$$hole.
Try instead: I’m really enjoying what I’m eating.
Banish: It’s cheat day
You wouldn’t do this in a relationship (I think?), so why employ this strategy when it comes to your diet. Each time you eat is a chance to nourish your body in some form; it’s crazy to think that certain meals don’t count, there is no hall pass, so you better enjoy every bite!
Try instead: this cookie is hella good.
Banish: I’m doing a cleanse
Do you have a liver? Awesome! And kidneys? Sweet me too! And skin? I hope so! Then you have everything you need to rid your body of toxins. Juice cleanses or laxatives are not effective ways to rid your body of pollutants, you have all the required machinery to make this happen. Certain foods such as cruciferous vegetables can help ramp up this process naturally. Side note, consuming too many leafy greens in juice form can lead to an excess of oxalates, compounds that can damage the kidneys.
Try instead: cleanses are for wieners, I’m going to eat real, whole foods!
No guilt or shame needed when these phrases slip their way in to your vocabulary, just try and catch yourself, find and alternative, and move on!