For the love of all things food, let’s stop lying to ourselves and saying that diets start on Mondays. Let’s work together to stop sabotaging ourselves, our relationships and our food habits.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo. I had a low key day with friends and even got to enjoy one Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita (my friends drank the rest). It was brought to my attention that yesterday was International No Diet Day. This day conveniently falls on the day after Cinco de Mayo, which I think is pretty fitting. Why? Because more often then not people feel that they have to “clean up” their diet after a holiday or special occasion on which they binged. It makes me cringe, hence why I wanted to talk today about why diets don’t (or shouldn’t) start on Mondays.
International No Diet Day is meant to enforce body positivity and allow people to forget their “diets’ and release any obsessive behavior as it surrounds food, body image and diets. I love the idea, but wish it was more than ust one day. We need a lifetime of No Diet Days, not just one day.
Another Manic Monday
I get it, Mondays are the start of a new week. They are a signal that we are getting back to the daily grind (for those that work a 9-5 job) and that we have an alarm clock waiting for us and a to-do list a mile long. It does make sense that we would start something new on a Monday, BUT and this is a big BUT, we put far too much pressure on Mondays.
That’s right I said it. We put too much pressure on Mondays. So much so that we may even experience what many refer to as the “Sunday Scaries”. Believe me, I’ve been there. When I worked at the hospital I would be sitting in tears on my couch wishing that Monday would not come. That is no way to live your life. Which is one of the many reasons I left that job. I’m not saying Mondays should be easy but they definitely should not have so many expectations attached to them. It is just another day for us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves and get done what we get done. That’s it.
What is a Diet?
Let me backtrack for a minute. What is a “diet” anyway? If i’m going to tell you Monday is not when we should start diets then I should probably tell you what I mean when I say diet. And no, in my mind it does not mean restriction, self-loathe or sadness. Instead, let’s let the dictionary tell us what it means in an un-biased format.
Per Merriam-Webster, a diet is defined as
It pains me that there is so much negativity around the word “diet”. We have created this culture of challenges, diets, and extremes. It saddens me that people think in order to be healthy they must restrict, punish and deprive. I am a DIETitian and my goal is to teach people how to healthfully nourish themselves in a manner that becomes habitual and sustainable. No negativity there. So if you would, stop equating diets and dietitians which such negative connotation, ok great thanks let’s move on.
Why Diets Don’t (or Shouldn’t) Start on Mondays
So why am I even talking about this today? I hear all the time that people are staring a diet on Monday, the first of the month, the first monday of the month, the first of the year, etc. It seems that we are unable to eat healthy unless there is a start and stop date/time/minute/second. Your diet is fluid and should not be something you have to be extreme about. So let’s stop starting diets on Mondays, heres why:
- Your diet should not start or stop.
It seems like we want diets to be on or off. Here’s the thing, if you want your relationship with food to be easy and healthy, it needs to be an ongoing thing. That means your diet, or way of eating, should always be happening. It’s the extremems that can cause issues with health, body image and our relationship with food.
- Mondays are stressful enough, leave them alone.
I mean honestly. You already have to worry about SO much on Mondays. Stop putting extra pressure on Monday to now be when you also have to eat perfectly. Instead instill small changes over time that make them easier to chew and happen over the ENTIRE week, not just on Mondays.
- Weekends are not meant for self-sabotage.
If diets start on Mondays, it then means that on Sundays you will “binge”, “cheat” or find other ways to self-sabotage, and I’m not all about that life. It never feels good to do any of the above, so why do we feel the need to over do it on weekends? It never makes Mondays easier.
- If you “fail” on Monday you have to wait another week to start again.
If you limit your diet to only start on Mondays, that means you if you slip up or mess up, you have to wait a whole extra week to get back on track. Why not just learn from the slip up and start again at your next meal, it’s that simple.
Okay, now that I got that off my chest we can go back to enjoying Monday. I shared this on Instagram this morning, but I think it’s appropriate to share again here:
This applies to your diet and lifestyle. So believe you can, and you will any day that ends in Y!
What do you think about diets starting on Mondays?! Let’s hear your comments below!