The huge difference between a diet and dieting

Understanding The HUGE Difference Between Your Diet And Dieting Will Change Your Life

Everyone has a diet, but nobody has to "go on one."

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Whenever I speak publicly about Health at Every Size™ and the dangers of dieting and fatphobia, it's inevitable that I hear at least one comment trying to catch me in some sort of mistake or call me out. "If people can eat whatever they want, what about people with peanut allergies! Can they eat peanuts?!" "I have diabetes, are you trying to kill me by telling me to eat cake?!?"

My answer? Well, no, of course not. To understand this, we have to understand the difference between our diets and dieting, or as I like to say, between dieting and nutrition. At its root, a diet is the type of food a person, animal or community habitually eats. However, diet culture has given diets a whole new definition. Now, a diet is about restrictive eating—cutting out certain types of foods, eating at specific times, or minimizing intake in order to control one's shape or weight—which we often use with the verb "dieting."

Dieting, or restrictive eating, is harmful and not healthy. It is the most common predictor of an eating disorder and is also associated with a myriad of other mental and physical health issues such as depression, heart problems, and low metabolism. However, our diets, or nutrition, are neutral. They are simply what we feed our bodies, and food has no moral value.

Obviously, though, there are certain limitations to intuitive eating and for many eating whatever we want isn't possible. There are people who are gluten-free, have certain allergies or insensitivities, live with diabetes or deal with other limitations to what is available. The answer to this, though, is not "going on a diet," it is making certain changes to our nutrition. Refraining from eating peanuts because you're allergic is not a diet, substituting pasta for a gluten-free kind is not a diet, and drinking dairy-free milk because you're lactose intolerant is not a diet. The only reason we call certain changes in nutrition for people with diabetes "diets" is due to medical fatphobia.

Following the Health at Every Size™ teachings and research, fat people are not inherently unhealthy and it is possible to be healthy and fat. However, because of statistics showing that most people with Type Two Diabetes are in higher weight bodies, many believe that their weight, rather than imbalances in insulin levels, is the cause of Diabetes-related health issues. In reality, with the help of a nutritionist and/or doctor, a person could make changes to their nutrition to regulate their insulin levels and restore their health and remain the same weight or even gain weight.

Dieting is not a necessary part of life. Not for fat people, not for skinny people, not for people with celiac disease, allergies or even diabetes. Yes, sometimes changes in our nutrition are necessary to maintain health. But the facets of diet culture which involve striving for weight loss by restricting intake should be avoided by everyone at all costs.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Save Some Calories And Order These Drinks At Starbucks

A few simple modifications to make your favorite drink healthier!

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Everybody knows that a delicious morning coffee is a must, at least once in a while, right? Personally, I have a latte Friday tradition going for myself. I wake up every Friday, squeeze in my morning workout, grab breakfast, and hit the nearest coffee shop on the way to wherever I'm headed that particular day for a little end of the week treat. There is nothing wrong with treating ourselves once in a while, but most of us are also aware (especially now that calorie counts are posted on menu boards) that even a simple morning latte can rack up more calories than your breakfast itself.

The first problem with this is, unlike a hearty breakfast, your coffee calories are mostly sugar and therefore they are absolutely useless for anything except for guaranteeing a sugar crash later on in the day. Second of all, the extra calories are completely unnecessary as there are dozens and dozens of simple swaps that will transform your cup of sugar into a (still delicious) somewhat reasonably healthy, morning pick me up. So why wouldn't you make the change?

Here, I'll get you started.

All caloric values listed are estimates that may vary slightly based on flavor and chosen modifications. Calories listed are those of the most modified form described.

For The Latte Drinker:

Lattes are a fairly easy fix. First and foremost, switch your milk base. Lattes come with 2% milk when ordered regularly. To cut down on calories ask for a lighter milk like skim. If you are a non-dairy drinker, skip the soy milk and ask for almond or coconut milk which are the lightest two of your non-dairy options. A second easy fix is asking for sugar-free syrup which will majorly reduce your carb intake as well as overall calories. If you are against calorie-free sweeteners or just want a more mild drink, try asking for half the amount of syrup.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 250 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 80-120 k cal

For The Cappuccino Drinker:

Easy, easy fix here. Cappuccinos, like lattes, come with 2% milk. Save some calories by switching to skim, or if you're dairy free, ask for almond milk (opposed to soy) to cut calories down to the minimum. If you get flavors in your cappuccino try asking for sugar-free syrup, or simply asking for half the amount of sweetness.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 120 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 80-100 k cal

For The Macchiato Drinker:

So a macchiato, essentially, is similar to a latte (milk base with espresso and flavoring), only heavier due to the added heavy cream, dry milk, drizzle syrup, and butter. And yes, I did say butter. There is butter in your morning coffee if you are drinking a macchiato from Starbucks. As far as making healthy adjustments, I would suggest opting for a lighter milk base like skim or almond milk. I would also ask for sugar-free syrup rather than regular, and even ask for it half sweet as I will continue to suggest with multiple drinks. You may also opt to pass on the drizzle syrup over the top.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 250 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 120 k cal

For The Mocha Drinker:

I'm not going to lie, mocha's hurt me a little bit. These are tricky drinks as, although I'm sure they're delicious, they are essentially sugar bombs. Racking up a whopping 430 calories, a cafe mocha is made up of 2% milk, "mocha sauce", espresso, sugar syrup, and to top it off, a big blob of whipped cream. I'm not here to pass any judgments, but if you're drinking these things on a regular basis, I am glad you're reading this article. Not because you don't deserve it, but because I care about your health. So let's get started. First off, skip the whipped cream. Just skip it. Try skim or almond milk instead of 2%. Ask for a sugar-free vanilla syrup in place of the regular. You can also ask for it half sweet. As far as the "mocha sauce" I suppose this is what gives you the taste you love. Try asking for half of the amount of sauce. If you hate it you can always switch back, but give it a shot.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 430 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 200 – 230 k cal

For The Frappuccino Drinker:

Depending on the flavor, a small Frappuccino can rack up to 500 calories into your system. Not healthy ones either. Guys, like I mentioned with the mocha drinks, I hope these aren't something you're drinking on the regular. Everything in moderation, but I care about your health and well being too much to not warn you against these frozen cups of cholesterol. That was harsh, but its the truth. With too many syrups and various sauces blended into ice and whipped cream to count, it's easier to just switch out your Frappuccino entirely for a blended iced coffee. Order a "Light Frappuccino Blended Coffee" to curb your frozen beverage craving for about 1/4 of the calories and sugar.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 500 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 110 k cal

For The Shaken Tea Drinkers:

Obviously, there are dozens of varieties of tea drinks at Starbucks, whether it be shaken, infused, sweetened, etc. The healthiest way to order Starbucks iced teas is plain and unsweetened. If you need a little more sweet to be satisfied, try asking for their calorie-free sweetener (they use stevia) and or just having them add half of the amount of regular syrup as usual. Try to avoid the lemonade teas, as the lemonade added is just cane sugar, flavoring, and citric acid.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 70 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 0 k cal

Completely Calorie Free Options:

  1. Iced or regular Americano with sugar-free syrup, no cream.
  2. Shaken tea with stevia sweetener.
  3. Black cold brew or black iced coffee.

My Go-To Drink:

My personal go-to drink is an Americano (iced or hot depending on the weather and time of year) with a splash of coconut milk. If I am having a sweet craving, I'll add two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.

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