Diet: What Does It Really Mean?

Diet: What Does It Really Mean?

Diet: What Does It Really Mean?

Diet. A word we’ve all heard a million times, but  what does it really mean?

Growing up my definition of diet came to mean ‘Do I eat today’?

Negative impressions


It has been said that just thinking about going on a diet for some people can elevate stress hormones and immediately make you think about the foods you can’t have. With the average diet only lasting around 19 days, is it possible that people’s definition of the word diet can be impacting their ability to change for good.

To me, going on a diet simply meant eating as little as I could – AKA starving myself. This diet definition ruled my life for years. Despite the act of eating as little as I could never lasting, I would perpetually begin a ‘new diet’ seemingly every month. This mindset around dieting stuck with me for years.

What does the word diet mean to people? 

I was interested to hear what other people thought. So I asked my friends and clients and they came up with some very apt and humorous definitions such as:

– Did I Eat That?

– Do It Expecting Tears.

– Diva In Extreme Trauma through denial of food.

Aside from the humorous definitions, there was a variety of perceptions of the word diet, what exactly do people think that the word diet really mean? Here are some of their definitions of the word diet:

1. Diet means the personal equivalent of “climate”: it can be prefaced with lots of adjectives such as good, bad, beneficial, harsh, ruinous, healthy etc and you can take control to manage your own personal “climate” for example.

2. It is always something with temporary connotations. Where you will end it at some point. Lifestyle change is what really gets the results.

3. Eating the same but a little less everyday.

4. Eating the right way to fuel the body and mind.

Diet: What Does It Really Mean?

If you look the word up in the Oxford dictionary you will find these definitions of the word diet:

1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

2. The activities, pastimes, etc. in which a person or group habitually engages.

3. A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

4. Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

5. The word diet is derived from the Greek language as ‘way of life’.

In summary

It appears that people will define the word diet differently depending on their perception and learned experiences around diets and dieting. Some people will view it in a positive way and others will immediately see it in a negative way.

Over the years I have shifted my mindset to view the word diet in a positive way with a focus on the abundance of food I can have and exercise I love to do rather than immediately thinking of all the things I can’t have and all the things I must do.

Thinking about my diet today fills me with passion and excitement. What do you think of the word diet and what’s your definition? 

Big love, small tummies!

Connect with WatchFit Expert Jill Gardner