I don’t like the word diet. While your diet should simply refer to the food and drink you habitually consume, it no longer means that. A diet is now known as “a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.” A diet is also perceived as a short term approach to a specific end goal. We’ve never used the quick fix approach to nutrition because it doesn’t work and it’s not healthy.
We have been running lifestyle challenges since 2011 as a method of educating people about good nutrition. Challenges have helped people lose body fat, build muscle, improve health and fitness, and adopt healthier lifestyle habits. That’s how nutrition should be approached – making sustainable changes to enable you to lead a healthy, fit life by enjoying your food. And that’s why the challenge is not a diet.
Diets are focused on short term results
Whether it’s losing weight, “detoxing,” or increasing weight, diets are designed to be temporary changes for short term results. Whereas the challenge is designed with the big picture in mind. The big picture being lifelong health and fitness. The focus of the challenge is therefore healthier eating and living in general. Side effects might be weight loss and less illness, but the goal is to instil a healthier lifestyle.
Diets pinpoint one food group as the problem
Low carb, fat free, gluten free, no fruit, no red meat. To name but a few of the crazes. Such diets create the belief that eliminating a particular food or food group for the period of the diet will get you those short term results you seek. It may well work for that period because it’s such a drastic change, but what happens after the diet? And what if it doesn’t work?
See, no one food is the problem, nor is any one food the solution. While the challenges do have a list of yes and no foods, the “foods” on the no list are typically the processed sort that you should be avoiding most of the time, and you are taught about having a balance of all macronutrients at each meal and snack. By implementing the no foods list we’re teaching you about which foods to avoid most of the time, “most” being the operative word. After the challenge and in general, have the processed take-aways and desserts and baked goodies sometimes – about 20% of the time. They’re there to be enjoyed, but you need to be eating wholesome food most of the time.
Diets are sales pitches for supplements
Don’t eat those carbs, but drink this for energy. No animal fats but eat this for satiety. Diet advocates are typically trying to sell you something. Sure, we educate you about supplements on the challenge, but whether on the challenge or not, we believe that you don’t deserve supplements unless your nutrition is dialled in.
There’s no quick fix to health and fitness and nutrition is an ongoing practise. There are no diets, just healthy living.