Lifestyle vs. Diet

Hey ladies! We are back and we are better as we deal with a topic today that is so necessary; lifestyle vs. diet. I don’t even have to do some long drawn out introduction because we all know the struggles of both. C’mon girls, you know what I’m talking about! Typically we are emotional eaters. We all got that sweet tooth and love salty things. We gain 10 pounds and get mad at ourselves for gaining it. We go on a diet, lose the weight, then gain it back again. This is something I have struggled with my entire life. I know for a fact that I am not alone, so let's talk about it!


Recently, my family and I have decided to go on a weight loss journey together. It's mainly my aunts and some of my female cousins who are participating. We all are trying diligently to work hard at this. However, for some, it's harder than for others. I believe that for a lot of women, the word ”diet” is a curse word. Especially, because we associate it with losing weight. So when your mind thinks of your weight loss journey as just a “diet” you begin to get frustrated. Why? Because diet is a verb. It literally means to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. When you feel “restricted” from something it makes you want it more. You begin to crave what you once used to be able to have. Your hunger for it grows. This is why it becomes so easy to “cheat” on a diet. You know you can’t and shouldn’t have it but you give in and go for it anyway. It’s a very easy thing to do. It starts with one potato chip and next thing you know you’re eating the whole bag. I say all that to say this: let’s go back to the whole diet is a verb concept. 


A verb is a form of action. It’s something that you do. You can go on a diet, but typically we don’t stay on a diet. That’s why you can cheat on a diet because it’s not a covenant or promise you choose to stay on for the rest of your life. We as humans do not live in a constant state of dieting. Imagine how unhealthy and cranky we would be if we did. However, there is a remedy to all of our dieting dilemmas and that is Lifestyle. Lifestyle is not a verb, but it is a noun. It is constant, it is a state of being. When we change our lifestyle, we change our life. This my friends is the approach I have been taking when it comes to our family weight loss journey. This is not something I am just doing for the moment to lose weight. But it is something I will continue to do to stay fit and healthy. The beauty of switching to a healthier lifestyle is that you tend to maintain everything that you have accomplished along the way. As opposed to going on a diet, restricting yourself from certain foods, getting off the diet, eating those foods again, and gaining it back. Practicing a healthy lifestyle is not about restrictions. There are none! You can not “cheat” on a lifestyle, there is no need to. Because it is something that you are constantly living in.


A lifestyle is about add ons. Finding out what works and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t work for you to not have a bag of chips for a whole week that's okay! But maybe one of those days instead of grabbing chips you make it your business to grab a smoothie instead. You gradually change your habits by pursuing a healthy lifestyle. You don’t just quit everything cold turkey and leave your cravings out to dry.  Studies actually show that it is harder for people to just quit habitual things (or anything for this matter) cold turkey. A diet says “I can’t have chips”. A lifestyle says “If I have chips I will balance it out with a bowl of fruit”. What we fail to realize is that when we give in to our cravings it’s not the end of the world. Dieting can make you feel that way. It’s not only about what we eat, but it is about the portion size of what we are eating. It’s okay to have your chocolate bar, just don’t have 5 in one day! Lol. 


When you practice a healthy lifestyle as opposed to simply dieting you free yourself. There is so much freedom in releasing yourself from restrictions. There are no chains holding you hostage in having a lifestyle. I guarantee you, when you stop approaching weight loss through the “dieting perspective” not only will you lose weight, but you will keep it off. Why? Because you decided to make healthier choices that better yourself daily. Remember, dieting = restrictions while lifestyle = choices. The choice to choose and apply, the choice to workout daily, the choice to have a cookie. It’s what works best for you and your life. Don’t restrict yourself when you have options. So, which point of view will you take your weight loss stance from? Choose to become a better and healthier version of you. Not just for a moment, but for a lifetime!


Stay fierce baby girl, 

Jerica Henderson 

IG: @iflyinjuly/@_fierceandfavored_ 



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