When I coach, clients are often quick to defend their eating history saying that they don’t diet. Diet has become a four letter word in some ways. People are embarrassed to say that they’re on a diet… because dieting is getting a bad rap.

But, in reality, a lot of the eating programs, protocols and plans that we do are still a form of dieting. As a result, there is value in broadening our definition of what a diet is. I like to define a diet as anything that teaches you to look to external sources to choose when, what and how much you eat.

If you’re not sure, ask yourself the question, “When I’m hungry, what source do I look to when deciding if/what to eat?”

If you are counting macros, ask yourself, “When I’m hungry and out of macros for the day, what do I do?”

If you are practicing intermittent fasting, ask yourself “When I’m hungry and it is outside of the eating window, what do I do?”

If you are tracking your food in any way, ask yourself, “When I’m hungry, how do I decide what and how much to eat? Do I look at my tracker to see what I have left?”

If you are trying to stick to a low/lower carb diet, ask yourself, “When I’m hungry and carbohydrates sound good, how do I decide what to eat?”

I am being honest with you, dear reader, because I have done all of these in my journey of diet culture. I have counted, tracked, measured and fasted. Every time I did it, I never considered it a diet. I was just trying to make healthier choices.

Does this ring true to you?

A few other examples might be:

  • Replacing a meal with a shake of some kind
  • Participating in a detox or cleanse
  • Having cheat meals or cheat days
  • Moralizing food, calling food “good” or “bad”

Once you are aware of your dieting, in whatever form, you can begin to let go of diet culture and diet mentality. It is a process to untangle your life. I know…I’ve been doing the work for years. Let me help you! Click here to set up your Free mini-session today!


Brooke Spendlove

I’m a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and the owner and creator of Spendlove Coaching.

My own wellness journey led me to getting my Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness Coaching from Creighton University – Go Blujays!

I help my clients discover that they are the experts of themselves. Using the tools learned inside my program and during coaching sessions, clients learn how to shift their mindset, taking back the power they have lost to dieting and diet culture