03/29/2015 12:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Many Diets Are There?


While I was presenting a program on sugar and artificial sweeteners and offering suggestions to change to healthier options, an overweight participant said, "But Margaret, everything we eat has artificial sweeteners." I asked her what diet plans she has used throughout the years. She mentioned tens of different ones, and I replied, "No, everything you eat has artificial sweeteners." She was not eating natural food that promotes lasting health. She had become dependent on diet food.

Usually by the time someone calls upon me to help them with their weight loss, they have already been to every diet center and tried every fad that money can buy. Their focus is always the quickest route to weight loss. After years of trying all these diets, they are heavier and very often suffering health consequences associated with being overweight. Many have Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure, or joint pain, and very often low self-esteem or poor body image. The ironic part is this could have been avoided if they had learned how to eat and care for their well-being instead of continually buying into the $60 billion dollar diet industry.

People look for the quick fix, to produce the weight loss for them. There isn't one. There is no timeline on a successful weight loss. Consider weight loss the byproduct of a lifestyle that includes eating food that nourishes you, and being active. Concentrate on your actions and not on the scale. Focusing only on the scale is a short-lived weight loss.

Stop listening to other people's opinions or statements. Others will make comments from their own insecurities. If you allow these comments to derail your efforts, how committed are you?

Dieting is not a bad thing. A healthy lifestyle is never about perfection, it's always about practice. Repeating healthy habits in all settings is the practice needed.

Diet only means the way you eat. If you eat healthy you have a healthy diet; if you are sick or preparing for a medical test and must only have fluids, then you have a liquid diet; and if you eat poorly, you have a poor diet. Your diet is your choice, but diet has come to be known as a deprivation. Diet and deprivation are not the same! Change the meaning of diet in your vocabulary. My definition of diet is:

D - Decide (How)
I - I'll
E- Eat

Diet = Decide How I'll Eat Today.

You decide how to eat each day. You make the choices from what you know and what you make available. If it's not working, seek advice from a reputable coach or counselor. See the fads, gimmicks, half naked before and after pictures, and celebrities paid to tout a diet program for the marketing tactics that they are. Read everything you can that will give you the necessary information and use your own logic to decipher what works best for you. Focus on your actions and believe in yourself.

When you eat well, you live well.
When you eat healthy, you are healthy.
When you nourish your body, you nourish your mind.