November 30, 2021

How I Ditched “Diet & Exercise”—& Achieved Lasting Wellness without Feeling Restricted or Deprived.

The One Mindset Change for Better Long-Term Health.

How many times have you said, “Diet starts Monday” or “I’m focused on my diet?”

What do those statements mean to you? How do you feel when you make those statements?

For every time that I’ve made these statements over the years, “diet” has always made me feel restricted. Same for you?

For so many, it means that come Monday, they will no longer be able to eat “all the things.”

It may mean cutting out carbs, sweets, meat, beans, eggs, coffee, or something else. You might feel like all you can do is drink water and eat vicariously through others to adhere to your diet. How silly.

I don’t know about you, but the moment I’m told I can’t have something, I want it even more.

Same for you? Of course! It’s human nature.

Now, how about “exercise?” What comes to mind?

For me, it was synonymous with “hitting the gym” to get on a hamster wheel (aka treadmill) or pump some iron. Physical exertion that I wouldn’t normally do unless I “had to exercise.”

Not exactly my idea of a good time.

For so many, exercise means sacrificing time and exerting energy that we would have spent doing something way more fun. Something like going to happy hour, out to dinner with friends, or “Netflix and Chill.”

It’s no wonder that people aren’t excited about diet and exercise.

It makes you feel like you can’t eat the food that you want to eat, and that you have to sacrifice your fun time.

What a Terrible Combination for Lifelong Health

Here’s another major problem: “diet” and “exercise,” as so many of us understand them, are a terrible combination for long-term success. Think about it. If diet means restriction and exercise means physical exertion, then essentially, you are pushing your body to do more with less fuel.

Let me ask you: how far do you expect your car to run if you put less gas in it? I can guarantee that you’ll get less mileage with less gas.

Your body works in a similar way.

Your body will run on the fuel you give it; then when that’s spent, you’ll be running on fumes. And you’ll be even more hungry because your body needs more fuel.

I know, I know. All the experts say that lasting wellness is all about a healthy diet and regular exercise. But clearly, that’s not working for many Americans.

“From 1999–2000 through 2017–2018, the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4%, and the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.” (www.cdc.gov)

So what can you do?!

The one mindset shift that I’m about to drop on you is going to seem ridiculously easy and can be the difference between failure and success.

Have You Considered Trying “Nutrition and Movement” Instead?

It seems like such a minor thing, the labels that we give these things. But they make a huge difference to your mindset, which can set you up for success or failure.

How do you feel saying, “Nutrition starts Monday” or “I’m focusing on my nutrition.” Totally different, right?!

Nutrition brings to mind nourishment. It’s about making sure you’re consuming enough of the foods your body truly needs to be vibrant.

With nutrition, you get to focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds because that’s what your body needs.

If you want to have some ice cream, have it! But you’ll find that when you’re stocking up on nutritious foods, you might not even have room in your tank for less nutritious foods.

How glorious is that?! You’re not restricted from eating entire food groups and you get to focus on making sure you are eating enough? Umm…yes!

Now, how about “movement?” What comes to mind? Feeling good?

Our bodies were made to move! We are built to walk, run, dance, swim, climb, jump…and the list goes on and on. Movement is more about physical expression, not purely exertion for the sake of burning calories.

Maybe you love to dance or run outside.

Perhaps your jam is gardening or playing ping-pong.

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Whatever movement makes you happy, that is what you should be doing! When you are moving in ways that make you feel your best, you no longer feel like you are sacrificing time and energy just to burn calories.

The joy that you feel from movement is worth way more than 100 calories burnt on a boring treadmill (unless your jam is running on a treadmill!).


Nutrition and Movement: The Power Couple of Wellness

With “nutrition and movement,” the focus is on eating enough of the right foods to fuel your body to move in ways that support your health and wellness.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?! But it doesn’t stop there.

Just think, when you move in ways that make you feel vibrant, it’s likely that you will want to move even more. With all that extra movement, you’re sure to work up an appetite.

No problem!

In comes the support of nutrition. If you’re hungry, the nutrition mindset prompts you to eat more of the foods that your body needs to do all that extra movement.

So then you fuel your body with the right foods and are able to do even more movement. Simply amazing how that works.

Nutrition and movement are the dynamic duo that sets you up for long-term health success.

This significant label and mindset change is how I ditched “diet and exercise” and achieved lasting wellness without feeling restricted or deprived.

So go ahead and say, “Nutrition starts Monday” and start making some moves!


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