Diets, Schmiets – Why You Should Stop Using The Word Diet

Why You Should Stop Using The Word Diet - The Gut Clinic Sara Knight Naturopath Newcastle Herbalist

I cringe when I hear the word “diet”.

I roll my eyes when I read the word “diet”.

Why you may ask? Because I believe the word diet has become an excuse, a short term way to think of eating that does more harm than good.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, diet is defined as:

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


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

I propose a third option:

A short term approach to eating that is characterised by alternating periods of guilt, hunger and confusion all with the primary goal of cheating on or ending the newly adopted approach to eating.

Do you think I should submit this Oxford Dictionary? 

A poorly planned short term diet can leave you cranky with hunger, loathing yourself due to failure and usually no closer to health and vitality.

Let’s look at this another way. Think about anyone you know who suffers from a food intolerance or an allergy. Do you hear them saying “I am on an amine free diet” Probably not.

Do they say “I am on a gluten free diet“? Doubt it, instead they say “I am gluten free.”

These people make position statements that define their eating habits, for today and tomorrow. They make declarations about how they eat with no excuses, no caveats, no conditions and no defined time periods. These statements are empowering within the context of health and vitality.

So what is my eating declaration?

I eat to nourish my body and mind.

This statement is broad enough to grow with me as my nutritive needs change yet narrow enough to provide clear parameters on what I eat. More importantly this statement says why I eat the foods I do.

Does this mean I eat chocolate and drink wine? You betcha because both these, in moderation, nourish my mind and body. Do I avoid trans fats? Yes I do because they don’t nourish, instead they poison my body.

My challenge to you is twofold:

  1. Stop using the word diet
  2. Evaluate your position on food and make your declaration.

Feel free to share as I would love to hear yours!

If you feel you need support or want to learn more, please contact me to arrange a consultation. We can evaluate your nutritional needs and (re)create your approach to food with the intent of creating long lasting health and vitality. My clinic is located in Newcastle, Australia at New Lambton.