In our current culture, the term diet is often attached to methods that promote restriction, deprivation and sometimes even punishment. Many of the fad diets marketed to the general public today use at least one of these as a baseline for building a plan and strategy that solely focuses on weight loss and physical appearance. There are significant problems with this approach.
For one, it sets up a negative context in which an individual associates food and body image. Instead of seeing food for what it is, a means of nourishment that is meant to be enjoyed, it becomes the enemy. When the ultimate goal is to attain a particular physical physique, people are likely to use comparison of themselves to others as a measurement of success in reaching their health goals. These two factors combined make it difficult for the “diet” experience to be seen as positive change instead of a necessary punishment.
Two, the diets themselves are generally non-sustainable, at least on a long-term basis. They tend to be restrictive in nature, sometimes requiring very specific ingredients and methods of food preparation. While short term gains such as weight loss, increased energy levels and mood enhancement are likely to be experienced, for many, the diet can become daunting over time leading to abandonment of the plan and health goals all together.
The methodology that is used by many holistic practitioners is based in an entirely different philosophy and takes a contrasting approach to change. Instead of promoting the concept of “dieting”, overall lifestyle modifications and improvements are encouraged. A plan is devised between practitioner and client to allow for the slow and gradual development of a healthier relationship to food, self-care and exercise that promote overall well-being. Practical ways of sustaining these changes are implemented to allow sound adjustments that can be maintained on an long-term basis. With time, commitment and diligence, transformation begins that will lead to better health in all areas of life.