Is The Word “Diet” Making you Fat?

Would you fly that airline?

If there was an airline named “Diet Airlines” with the motto, “We only crash and fail 95% of the time…”

Would you fly that airline? Would you let your family fly?

Words have meaning

We have all said it: “I am going on a diet,” or, “I am on a diet.” 

Why is it that diets have such a high failure rate? And yet we keep going back to the concept of diet as if it worked.

Well, here is what I think

If you get on a bus, at some point you are going to get off the bus. 

If you “get on a diet,” at some point you will “get off the diet.”

Let’s say you start the “beef jerky diet.”  

You say, is there a beef jerky diet?   Hum...let me look that up.   Let me Google that. Yes, there is.  

If you do a Google search for beef jerky diets, you will get 540,000 results!   

Here are two examples on the first page of the Google search.

First, you will be told the virtues of beef jerky and that you can eat as much of it as you want.  

If you stay on the “beef jerky diet” you will lose weight.  

The only rule is, you must only eat beef jerky.

And as long as you only eat beef jerky, you will lose weight.

Does it work? Yes, for a short time. All diets that restrict calories will work.

But what happens when:

  • You get tired of beef jerky;
  • It becomes expensive to buy only beef jerky;
  • You become bored of a limited diet and of eating only beef jerky;
  • You go on vacation and want to celebrate by eating something besides beef jerky;
  • Work gets stressful and you get sick of beef jerky;
  • You get invited to eat dinner at a friend’s house for dinner and they are vegetarians;
  • You start dreaming of beef jerky;
  • You're sick of beef jerky;
  • Your kids-wife-husband say they are sick of beef jerky;
  • The very last thing you want to eat in the world now is...beef jerky!

Like I said...words have meaning

Take the word diet. Look at it. Take the letter “t” off. What do you have? Die. Maybe that is the reason the failure rate for diets is so high!

 Who wants to die?  

We all want to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there!

If not diet...then what word to use?

So what word should you use instead of diet?


I like the word habit.   Remember, words have meaning.

What if some of these habits listed below were part of your daily life? 

Do you think you would be 40 pounds overweight if you had some of these daily habits?

  • Daily walk or run
  • Daily push ups
  • Exercise  
  • Eating in moderation
  • Daily green smoothie
  • Eating healthy food
  • Enjoying food for the taste
  • Eating food that doesn't have manmade packaging
  • Eating food that is not delivered through a drive-up window
  • Weighing yourself daily
  • Self-control with sweets
  • Hydration. Drinking lots of water

Habits over "diets"

Here is my story of how I changed my focus from “diet” to “habit.”

One day I was on the treadmill and I was not happy with myself.  The day before I had fallen off the “diet wagon” and overate a bunch of junk food. I was mad and displeased.

Then I said to myself, If I only I would develop the habit of eating healthy, I wouldn't have to be on “this diet!”

And then it hit me...I am chasing the wrong goal.  

From that day on I never thought of myself as on a “diet.” Now I think of myself as developing new habits.

I never think of myself as on a diet. And I never will again. It makes all the difference in the world.  

The word "diet" makes me think of what I cannot have. The word "habit" makes me think about what I can do that is good for me.

Remember, words have meaning.

Doesn’t it sound more noble and purposeful to be developing a new habit instead of trying to stay on a “diet”?

What new habit do you want to start today?