Changing our perspective from ‘dieting’ to ‘nutrition’ can make a huge difference to how we approach food.
Dieting often leads to restriction, overeating, and a never-ending cycle of weight gain and loss. It creates a mindset of scarcity and can push us towards fad diets that aren’t sustainable.
On the other hand, when we focus on nutrition, we see eating healthily as a long-term commitment to supporting our lifestyle. It’s about making choices that nourish our bodies with good stuff.
By taking a mindful and balanced approach, we can build healthy habits that last and make us feel strong and energetic. It’s all about abundance and satisfaction, rather than deprivation.
Here are Foundry Coaches Tom and Quinny chatting through their take on diet vs nutrition:
A successful diet, or rather a successful approach to nutrition, is down to the following things.
We need to start by changing the way we think about food. Hankering after the cookies in the cupboard or fancy a pizza with friends? Instead of thinking, “I can’t eat that,” reframe your perspective to “If I eat this, I’ll have to make healthy choices tomorrow to hit my weekly calorie target.”
Diet isn’t a short-term fix; it’s a way to nourish your body and achieve your health and fitness goals. Focus on long-term lifestyle changes rather than short-term fixes.
When it comes to any nutrition-related goals, consistency is key. Choose an approach that suits your preferences, lifestyle, and goals, and commit to it. It’s much less about the details of your macros, meal frequency, fasting, etc., than it is about your ability to choose an approach and stick to it.
Most of us know that cream cakes have more calories than carrots, so getting too deep into the science of things and overcomplicating it can make life harder than it needs to be.
The most meticulously designed food plan is useless if we can’t actually be consistent in carrying it through to our day-to-day lives.
The Foundry Food Pyramid shows that adherence is at the foundation of any success in diet. You have to choose a plan you can stick to before you can build the rest of your nutrition on top.
Emphasise a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole foods. Prioritise nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Pay attention to portion sizes and hunger cues, and be mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth. But don’t make any food ‘forbidden’ – you’ll just want it more!
Everyone’s different, so there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to diet and nutrition. Your body type, activity level, and dietary restrictions all play – but convenience and preference are the two biggest factors here. Don’t plan to eat chicken and broccoli every day for a month if you know you don’t like it – and don’t buy a multipack of crisps for the kids if you know you won’t be able to stop yourself chowing down at them at 11pm.
Set yourself up for success with food that you love eating, that makes you feel good, that leaves you feeling satiated and energetic – and that’s easy for you to prepare and eat.
Got a holiday next month and want to feel great in a swimsuit? It can be tempting to go all-out and cut down to 1200 calories a day. This won’t work for most of us, as we’ll be hungry (and far more likely to ‘fall off the wagon’ and get into the chocolate after a glass of wine).
A healthy approach to diet is a marathon, not a sprint. Accept that you’ll be carrying a bit more weight than you want to on the beach next month – and make peace with that. Then make small, manageable changes to your eating habits that you can actually stick to, and set a target for 6 months’ time to get to your ideal weight or physique. Rather than relying on short-term crash diets or extreme measures, focus on building sustainable habits that you can maintain in the long run.
Successful nutrition is a journey: make manageable changes, cut yourself some slack, and stick with it for the long-term, and you’ll see results.
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