The words diet, healthy, and “balance all have what I call a 'health halo' on them.
Health Halos are every where, it’s how food is marketed to the public…yes, you heard me correctly…MARKETED - to you…the consumer. So let’s back up and really learn what these words mean. Let’s take away the intimidation factors these words can carry.
Diet - Ugh what a gross word! When you hear the word diet, you think restriction. You think Weight Watchers, Whole 30, Paleo, etc etc etc, because let’s face it those are “diets” that one can follow. However, in my nutrition coaching practices, I use the word diet as the food you eat on a daily basis. I’ll ask new clients to “tell me about your diet”. Meaning, share what habits you have now; what foods do you like, how are you cooking for you and your family?The list will go on. But once we break down the word diet. It really just means how do YOU eat.
Healthy - My next favorite word. I can talk about this word for the next 3 hours, but I’ll spare you. When I ask a client to share their goals with me I often hear, “I just want to be healthy”. But what the heck does that even mean?! Usually people associate health with “skinniness”, which is most definitely not accurate. Another very common way I hear this term used is to describe food, mostly after someone has had a treat of some kind, saying “It wasn’t a healthy choice.” I say let’s go DEEPER than that! “Healthy” will depend on the person and their specific goals. I really enjoy how the World Health Organization, WHO, defines the word health, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” We’ve been trained to think certain behaviors are healthy and not healthy, when in reality, it can be the best choice for that person to be making, that allows them to reach overall well-being.
Balance - Last, but not least. Currently, it very common to hear about the “80/20” Rule, which means your diet habits need to be on track for 80% of the time and you can enjoy your favorite treats the other 20%. It’s also very normal to hear its 80% diet and 20% exercise, when it comes to reaching goals. Personally, I say it is 100% of both. You’re only able to get so far with one and not the other. This is where balance comes into play. It’s going to take a few tries to learn how to balance both and what it looks like for you, but don’t try to force yourself into a rule of percentages because forcing yourself is definitely the opposite of what balance looks like.
The take away from all of this? Remember, words contain the power that you choose to give them. Don’t let Health Halos or scary intimidating words make you feel like you aren’t on the right track to achieving your goals.