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How to Continue A Smart Nutrition Strategy in 2010 - "What Exactly Does 'Diet' Mean, Anyway?"



Almost every time I meet someone for the first time they ask “How do I get rid of this extra 5lbs?” While asking this they are grabbing some area of their body that they think is not up to par. The worst confrontations occur at gatherings (holiday, birthday, etc.) where there is always someone wanting to know the “secret” to losing those pesky pounds.

If the party is boring I will humor the individual and ask questions about their habits -- Do you exercise? How long have you had these extra pounds? What foods are you eating?

After finding out a little more detail about the person I always end up correcting the way people use the word “diet.” People always tell me they are on a “diet.” You know they have done all those fad diets: Atkins, South Beach, the Zone, the Grapefruit Diet, etc. (Is there even such thing as a grapefruit diet?)

 All these are programs, not “diets.” These programs tend to include both a gimmick which separates them from all the others, along with a timeline. The word “diet” has become misunderstood. The truth is, everyone is on a diet. You either have a GOOD diet or a BAD diet. A diet is not a mend-all trick to get slim. A diet is what you eat.


Let Us Clearly Define The Word 'Diet':

Diet- (noun) A course of living or nourishment; what is eaten and drunk habitually; food; victuals; fare ~Merriam/Webster dictionary

I know I am being particular when it comes to the word diet but I find it is very important to understand the difference between a diet and a program. When people can understand the need to change their lifestyles (which means changing their diets) they tend to stick to it longer than when they try a program. Programs tend to have start and stop dates, or people just ended up starting and stopping them on their own. I want people to change for good, not just for a season. Once someone can grasp the fact that their diet is either good or bad, then they can really make some life altering changes.


What you put in your body is the most important part of losing weight. Without ever picking up a dumbbell or running on a treadmill, you can change your appearance by altering your nutrition. Now, do not get me wrong, exercise is important, and it is definitely a vital part of the equation. Lifting weights and doing cardio helps you burn calories, but if you never address “the calories” you are putting in your body you will not achieve the results that can be attained through exercise and a change of diet.


Understand that you control what you eat, and you have the power to change. Now you just need to figure out if your diet is a good one or a bad one, and make the changes necessary to live your life to the fullest.

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