As someone who is always on some type of "diet" or structured nutrition plan, more often than not I hear all types of snarky remarks and unprovoked comments about my food choices. While I am not someone who takes much offense or is easily swayed by comments or suggestions, I know that there are others who fall into cravings and lose their control once you push their low-carb buttons enough. With the holidays approaching, that also means the start of diet season is right around the corner. So rather than making a few enemies this year, here are a few things you should probably avoid or stop saying to people who are on a diet.
1. "One bite won't hurt."
Sure, one bite is not going to add 10 pounds to your thighs, but for some people, one bit leads to another, and more cravings and total loss of control, which eventually... can equal 10 pounds. Many people who are on a diet simply avoid trigger foods like sweets or sodas because they know they will spiral out of control. So if someone says "no thanks," try not to peer pressure them into that bite of cake.
2. "That looks disgusting."
Since when did it become okay to comment on the looks of other people's food in a negative way? Okay, so maybe the tilapia and broccoli that someone is eating is not your first choice, but that does not mean that you are being forced to eat it and it also does not give you reason to voice your opinion on it. I don't need to feel self-conscious about my food. Just as someone who is on a diet does not comment on the looks and smells from your pizza and double-bacon burrito diet, you should probably not comment on theirs.
3. "You don't even have to lose weight, why are you on a diet?"
Many people only associate being on a diet with a goal for weight loss, but that is not always the case. Some people also start diets when they are trying to become healthier or change their body composition either by gaining weight, adding muscle or dropping off body fat. Rather than eating anything and everything in sight to pack on the extra pounds, some people are meticulous about their approach to changing body composition and have a structure diet or nutrition plan that they follow.
4. "When will you eat normal again?"
For some people, when they are starting some type of diet, it is also accompanied by a lifestyle change that is long-term. Sure there are those who diet for specific events (weddings, photo shoots, summer time, vacations, competitions, etc.), but many find that they actually feel better and more energized from a healthier diet. Sure, they may become more relaxed in their diet over time, but for many they will continue to incorporate the healthy habits they learned from being on a diet (food portions, calorie intake, healthy substitutions etc.) into their new "normal" routine.
5. "I can't believe you are going to eat that. Aren't you on a diet?"
Just because someone is on a diet does not mean that they cannot give in to some indulgences. Doing so actually helps dieters adhere to their overall diet plan long-term. Most dieters will plan a night out or have a meal that they can enjoy without worrying about calories, fat or sugar. In a dieters mind, having the planned reward or cheat meal for sticking to their plan all week will allow them to get a taste of what they have been craving without going into an all-out binge which will throw everything off in the long run. So don't rain on a dieter's parade by making them feel guilty for trying to enjoy a little planned treat.
With these five "what not to say" tips, you are more likely to keep your dieting friends happy all diet season long. Sure. Sometimes the comments are not meant to be hurtful or to criticize, but we all can blow things out of proportion a bit, especially you low-carb folks! If you are or have ever been on some type of diet or meal plan, please share the comments and questions you tend to receive from your experience below.