Instead of “diet,” I use the word “healthstyle” to refer to the actions, dietary or otherwise, that impact your health and body weight. Your healthstyle is a reflection of your cumulative habits, from the food you eat, to how often you exercise, to where you live and the company you keep. Unlike a trendy weight-loss diet, your healthstyle is not temporary. It is neither a momentary state of being nor a vague end point, but a permanent, inescapable part of your existence. Another advantage over the word “diet” is that the term “healthstyle” acknowledges that your health is inextricably tied to your style and personality and that people can achieve good health in many different ways.
An ideal healthstyle won’t look the same for everyone. Some people adore spending time in the kitchen and can craft habits around this skill. I am not one of those people, but I’ve found a balance of grocery shopping, making food at home, and eating out that works for me and my family. Other people hate the gym, but love swimming and spending time outdoors. No matter what your preferences, working to gradually nudge your healthstyle in a positive direction is the secret to lasting success.
Healthstyle is about the big picture, not sweating the small stuff, and having the flexibility to make changes when life throws you curve balls. The challenge is maintaining enough structure in your routines to keep you on the right path, while still giving yourself some wiggle room around the edges. What gives your healthstyle that structure is healthy habits. Because habits are consistent behaviors and not single actions, they are the only truly reliable way to make lasting improvements in your health and physique.
Don’t let your healthstyle fall by the wayside this summer. Remember to keep the big picture in mind as you go about your summer fun and fall back on your healthy habits for structure.
Learn more about using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting in Foodist by Darya Pino Rose.