‘Healthy Eating’ VS ‘Dieting’
In this post I will be discussing why the term ‘healthy eating’ is currently being used more than ‘diet’ or ‘dieting’. It seems to be a fashion to be ‘eat healthy’ and it certainly isn’t a bad one! It is an interesting concept but it is something that needs to be recognised for anybody wanting to either lose weight or simply live a healthy lifestyle.
When I first started to lose weight I constantly referred to myself as ‘dieting’, I still do now! But the reality is, I’m not trying to diet, I’m trying to eat healthily.
Here are 5 reasons why you should aim to eat healthy rather than go on a strict diet:
1. DIETS ARE STRICT
Usually with dieting people go overboard – they remove any type of unhealthy food from their diet. Why is this a bad thing? Because by refusing that cheeky chocolate bar, you end up craving it even more – it’s human nature! But with healthy eating, you can have that chocolate bar, or that pizza on a Saturday night, if you know that it was simply just a treat, to satisfy your cravings and you can return to eating clean for the next meal. I’m not saying you can have chocolate every day, but you can allow yourself to have it in moderation, instead of gorging on it all in one go when you finally give up on a diet.
2. DIETS ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE
Diets are known to be short-term; they might help you lose those few pounds you want rid of, but likeliness is you will put that weight back on once you stop dieting. Healthy eating, however, is a lifestyle choice – that’s not to say I don’t eat junk food anymore (I had a Domino’s pizza last weekend!) but the way you live your life is as healthy as it can possibly be. That Dominos I had was a treat for me, as I had been eating healthily all week.
Surely you want to lose weight and then keep it off, right? Well if dieting is a quick fix before a holiday or a party, that weight is not going to stay off. As soon as you go back to your original eating habits, that weight will creep back on you! With healthy eating, it is so much more sustainable; because you can allow yourself your favourite food in moderation, you won’t find yourself craving it as often – in fact you might start craving a salad instead!
3. DIETS DENY FOOD
The other common thing with dieting is denying yourself the right food – people go on a ‘no carb’ diet, or ‘low fat’ diet or even worse, ‘liquid only’ diet. These can make it worse for yourself as you are denying yourself the nutrients your body needs. There are such things as good carbs – I substituted normal rice with brown rice and I love it! White bread to wholemeal – love it! And the fats you need can easily be found in avocados, nuts, olives, olive oil – it really isn’t difficult! In fact, you need carbs and fat to create a healthy balanced diet but switching to healthier options means you still get the nutrients you need, without eating unnecessary calories!
4. GUILT VS PLEASURE
When you’re dieting, people tend to feel guilty after they’ve eating something they shouldn’t have. Someone persuaded you to have that last piece of cake? You will start to regret that for the rest of the day. This negativity plays havoc with your mind, causing you to feel miserable; you will start to feel like a failure and then you might end up indulging on more later on in the day because ‘the day has already been ruined’. BUT, with a simple healthy diet, you can allow yourself that piece of cake, and not feel guilty about it! That’s because you know you enjoyed it, it was a treat and chances are you won’t want any more anyway! Feeling positive about your food choices are KEY because you can focus on your goal better and not just give up on that day because ‘you already ruined it’.
5. HEALTHY EATING IS A HABIT
And it’s true! By deciding to make healthy eating your lifestyle, you can make it a habit. This means you are much less likely to return to your old ways, and you can carry on with this sustainable diet. ‘Dieting’, as I said before is usually short-term and a quick–fix. It is said that it takes 21 days to make something a habit – so make this your goal!
SO THAT’S 5 THINGS I have learnt over the past year about ‘dieting’ and ‘healthy eating’ and I know it has helped me! I still go off track, especially over Christmas! But now I look forward to getting back on track – I even get excited about using scales again (OCD moment!).
I’ve tried dieting, and being on a low-calorie diet and honestly? It doesn’t work, not for me anyway! Now I aim to eat between 1400-1600 calories a day, depending on if I’m doing exercise (I eat more if I am). It is still below the recommended which means I should lose some weight with it, but I’m not depriving my body of the energy and nutrients it needs.
Here are a few links that may help you:
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*I do not claim that these facts are correct, every person is completely different and should find something that works for them. These are suggestions that I’ve found work for myself*