4 ways to tell a diet from a lifestyle change

Have you ever committed to making a lifestyle change but you ended up on a diet...disguised as a lifestyle change?

If so, you're not alone. Last week, my neighbor told me she was on Day 10 of the Whole30, which she started because it would help her make the lifestyle change desperately needed.

Full disclosure: I've never done Whole30 and don't know much about it, but from what she told me, it sounded a lot like a diet.

She said she misses sugar and bread so bad she's been dreaming about it. But she was absolutely going to "stick it out" until Day 30 because if she slips up, she'd have to start all over again.


Here's the problem: rules around food are so rampant today that it's become the norm to eliminate food groups in an attempt to lose weight or get healthy.

It may be normal, but for most people, it's not that healthy...at least not mentally or emotionally.

So, if you've undertaken a lifestyle change that doesn't fit into your life, you may be on a diet. I've listed some signs to help you out:

1. Restrictive eating: A lifestyle change is all-inclusive; there are no forbidden foods. Unless you're deathly allergic to something or you hate it, there's no reason why you can't eat it.  

2. There's a wagon involved:  With a lifestyle change, you don't slip up or fall off the wagon...you just take it day by day. Guilt, shame, and feeling like a failure are not a daily occurrence.

3. You don't eat intuitively: When you're fully immersed in a lifestyle change, you eat according to the signals your body sends you. You actually TRUST yourself.

4. There's an expiration date: A lifestyle change lasts for the duration of your life, not 30, 60, or 90 days.


I realize there are people who aren't ready to give up dieting now or EVER. And that's ok.

Also, I'd be a lying jerk if I told you that all of this was easy and could happen overnight. It's not and it won't.

It could take years to get to this place. I know that sounds like a long time, but just think about how many years you've invested in dieting...you owe yourself the time to discover a different way, right?

It all starts with you making a decision.

Did I forget anything? If you can think of other ways to tell a diet from a lifestyle change, just tell me in the comments below.