The word diet has a negative connotation attached to it.
The definition of a diet is basically what your daily food consumption is like.
Everyday we are bombarded with the media; magazines, tv, websites, social media showing us celebrities athletes and models all following a specific diet or new fad in order to ‘lose 10lbs quick.’
Many fitness professionals; coaches and competitors will encourage the fact that sustained weight loss is a slow process and that yo-yo dieting and fad diets will not cause long term health.
The irony is, when you are competing or prepping for a show, the weight loss (or fat loss shall we say) is actually very rapid too and often can be drastic.. especially for bodybuilders! Competitors are required to be at a very low level of body fat percentage on stage, usually slightly dehydrated (again, especially bodybuilders, not always bikini competitors etc.. there is room for discussion / argument here) which is not maintainable all year round.
So although we may be able to lose a lot of weight in a short about of time (for example 12 weeks in a show prep period) we are putting our bodies under a lot of stress and often why you see competitors have ‘off seasons’; where they take serious time off to relax, and make improvements and growth.
Now the similarity between competitors and those who embark on fitness lifestyle improvement is that both want the change more than they want the short term satisfaction of maybe giving into cravings/ skipping workouts and giving up.
Competing is like this. You have to want to stick to your diet plan more than you want to cheat on it with some cake or crisps etc. Yes this is discipline.
People who do ‘well’ at sticking to a specific diet plan is because they are changing their eating habits with an intent.
Those who are ‘on a diet’ have a negative mindset about their food and see it as ‘restriction.’
The success of a competitor, an athlete, a fitness enthusiast or just your healthy average joe, is that they don’t have a negative mindset related to food. Food is fuel, to be utilized for energy, but also a level of enjoyment.
It is important to understand that dieting does not necessarily mean restriction. It does not mean boring plain foods. It means altering the way you currently eat, improving on it in order to fit your goals.
Take away the negative connotation associated with dieting.
Eat better because you want to change for the better.