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Is Your ‘Healthy Change’ Really a Diet?

Say you set a goal this year to get healthy — for all the right reasons. You are determined to do it for you, out of nothing but self-love.

Because you know all about diet culture. And restriction. And the all-or-nothing trap.

Yes! This time it’s going to be different!

And, we — as advocates of an anti-diet life — are proud of you. SO, so, proud. We are cheering you on, like whoa.

However, we gotta give you the heads up that this isn’t always a clear path — it can be messy and complicated. And, it can be super easy to slip back into old familiar patterns. Patterns that feel warm and cozy (and are very culturally accepted), but don’t actually serve you.

Yep, we’re talking about sneaky hidden dieting patterns and thoughts. So, to help you make sure that your new “healthy change” or “healthy lifestyle” is truly that and not actually a diet (gasp!), we’ve got five questions for you to ask yourself.

1. Can you go “off” of it?

There’s no going “off” or “on” with a truly anti-diet life. You just live your life. You can’t do it wrong or get off the path — you’re always right where you are. So, if you feel the need to do better or recommit or have any of that kind of language going through your head, it can be a sign that you’re actually trying to make a diet your lifestyle. Tricky, huh?

2. Do you feel like you can do it forever?

Is this way of life something you can do forever and it feels good and freeing to do so, even if it is a bit scary because it’s so out of your norm? If so, you’re on the right track.

3. Is anything off limits?

Food allergies aside, is anything off limits when it comes to food? Are workouts nonnegotiable? Those are signs of restrictions, which, yep, are also signs of a diet.

4. Are you secretly wishing for weight loss?

Are you still stepping on the scale? Or, is there a part of you that is still hoping this healthy change will lead to weight-loss? Be honest — weight-loss based motivations make it more likely that you’ve slipped back into a dieting mindset.

5. Do you honor your hunger or cravings, regardless of time of day or what they are?

Or, are you pushing them aside, ignoring them, or simply wishing they were different? Again, all signs that dieting is creeping back in.

The Antidote to Dieting

And look, if you ask yourself these questions and realize that you’ve still got some dieting habits or thought patterns to break, that’s okay! It’s a process, and the fact that you’re even here is GREAT. If you’re not sure quite how to break that mindset, this post is a great place to start.

As always, the answer to truly being healthy starts with an awareness of where you are, lots of self-compassion, and then unconditional self-love as you blaze a new self-guided path that rejects dieting norms. It’s not always an easy journey, but it’s one that’s worth it — because YOU are worth it.

Anything new pop up for you? Do tell! –Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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6 Comments
  1. Floranet says:

    Great Post!! Absolutely amazing.

  2. Thanks for this reminder, Jenn. I confess to #4. I haven’t stepped on a scale in a long time, and I am happier for it…but on occasion, I catch myself wondering if I’ve gained weight. I’m still wearing the same clothes, so intellectually I know it’s not a big problem, but II look for the muffin top or the tightness across my thighs. Overall, I am much more relaxed and enjoy food more. I can’t imagine going back to restriction, but I haven’t yet mastered the confidence to stop as soon as I am satisfied. I still want that one more bite…or two.

    1. Jenn says:

      It sounds like you’re making REALLY good progress on breaking free, Christie! So proud of you! 🙂

      –Jenn

  3. ahmed says:

    your article is really amazing. keep writing

  4. amazing article. I got a lot of help from this article. I watch a video that is voiceless but amazing tips are explained.

  5. Amanda M. says:

    I didn’t expect that some of my health routines are caused by thoughts for diet and not for the healthy reason. I appreciate the help and tips. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.