There are several definitions of the word “diet”.  Here are a select few (Source:  Merriam-Webster)

Noun:  Food and drink regularly provided and consumed

Verb:  To cause to take food

Verb:  To cause to eat and drink sparingly, or according to prescribed rules

I’m a fan of those first two definitions, however it’s that last one with which most Americans associate.  Funny too, because that last one is the most recently added.  With the new year about to begin, I’m sure there are many people out there who will resolve to lose weight. It was once reported by the Boston Medical Center that about 45 million Americans diet each year.In addition, TIME.com reported that the resolution to “Eat healthier and diet” is a top ten commonly broken new year’s resolution.  That’s not hard to believe.  After all, most Americans focus way too much on the number on the scale.  When they don’t see what they want, they give up.

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That’s not to mention the fact that most Americans set unrealistic goals, and follow diet plans that are way too restrictive.  The best “diet”, in my opinion, is one that involves intuitive eating.  The Chicago Tribune posted a wonderful article about intuitive eating, titled  “EatingWell: The No-Diet Diet”(This is the “Diet” I am on.  It’s basically all about channeling your inner child.  Remember when you were little and you only ate when you were hungry, and you didn’t eat when you weren’t?!  As we age we tend to lose that ability.  But, you can get it back!)

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I also think it’s important to remember that you really can’t lose (and especially maintain) weight without also incorporating exercise.  I’ve counseled countless people on the importance of eating healthy, and many of them start to realize just how important exercise is as they get closer to their goal weight.  You can certainly lose weight by eating a balanced diet, but to keep it off for good (and to keep your body healthy) exercise is key.

Here are some more resources for you to read as you try to decide the path to take on your journey to weight loss and/or weight management;

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Consumer Diet and Lifestyle Book Reviews

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Should We Eat Like Our Caveman Ancestors? 

(This is an unbiased review of the Paleo diet.  Personally, I’m not completely against this concept, but I do believe it’s somewhat unrealistic to follow 100%, for a long time.  The truth is, I follow a somewhat modified Paleo diet/lifestyle myself, without even trying!  Read more about my “Paleo-like Diet” here).

US News Health: Diet Reviews

(This is an unbiased review of 25 of the most popular diets, reviewed by 22 diet and nutrition experts.  Check it and out see how your favorite diet ranks!  Also, use this site to determine which plan might be best for you as you embark on your weight loss/maintenance journey)

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What’s the best “diet snack”?  In my opinion it’s stove top popcorn with a bit of oil and a dash of salt or nutritional yeast!

Stay tuned for my next two FAQ posts; “What are your thoughts on the Wheat Belly book?” and “What’s the best weight loss/management app?”  Meanwhile, feel free to leave a question for me below.