Does the word “Diet” confuse you? If you are a company, do you feel like you are crossing the line if you refer to your employee’s diet? Here is my take…………

Does the word “Diet” confuse you?  If you are a company, do you feel like you are crossing the line if you refer to your employee’s diet? Here is my take…………

I personally get frustrated when I hear the word “diet”, but I must remind myself that the word diet means both: “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats” and “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”.  I prefer the first definition because a diet is the kinds of foods one chooses according to his or her lifestyle.  Lifestyle is not easily changed, yet it is the one thing that must change to lose body fat, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, or reverse or prevent diabetes.  Lifestyle is not only diet, it also includes stress, sleep, social activities, and exercise which all play a role in how healthy or unhealthy we are.  It is easy to forget that stress is one of the biggest reasons that people are overweight, and that lack of sleep contributes to poor food choices.  The combination of habits is important, and our diet is just a piece of it.

This New Year is already bombarding us with people and media discussing “What diet will help us drop those pounds?”  Then they list the top diets this year.  No wonder we all gets confused on what is right verses wrong with diets year after year.  I struggle with the fact that now the word “diet” is primarily used as a short-term fix to drop those pounds.  These short-term fixes or fad diets rarely work in the long run with most gaining weight back or even adding weight when they stop Diet X.  I also find it a miss that very few media pieces are mentioning that in addition to food, you need to address other important factors such as: reducing stress, quality and quantity of sleep, moving your body and preventive care.  Once again, confusion and setting people up with an incomplete plan.

But wait, that is why we have corporate wellness programs.  I think it’s time that employers stand up and say, “We care for our employees and their health and THAT is why we offer wellness”.   Your company’s program can guide your employees with the right information about changing lifestyle and help combat all the hype around fads.  Organizations can help promote overall well-being by providing health coaching, interactive web resources, stretch breaks and ergonomics, onsite or virtual fitness classes, cooking demos, health education seminars, preventive care, challenges, events, and so much more.  You can design the programs to make sure it fits with who you are as a company and what your employees need.  I help companies everyday look at ways to engage their employees and ways to make it relevant to each individual culture.  We help take on that leg work and the hours needed to ensure that the program you are trying to bring to your employees is designed with them in mind.  Spire Wellness is a full-service wellness company that can help you with some of the pieces you need or help create and implement it all.

Help your team cut the confusion.

Jaime Bowling

Spire Wellness