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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes: Understanding the Difference

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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes: Understanding the Difference

Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes: Understanding the Difference 

When it comes to weight loss, the fastest route is the one people are drawn to. That’s  what makes crash diets and weight loss programs that “promise you’ll lose 20lbs in 2 weeks” so enticing. The hard reality is that nothing good comes easy, and that includes weight loss. Weight Loss is a journey that is meant to take time. The good news is, we’re here to offer tips that have helped our members.

 

Our previous blog Detox Diets Debunked went into the dangers of fad diets. This article will go into the key differences between dieting and lifestyle changes and why implementing lifestyle changes  are more helpful and sustainable in the long run.

Dieting

When it comes to dieting, it can depend heavily on restricting yourself from having certain food groups, like carbs. The problem is that carbs make up the body's energy source. So if you restrict too much, it can negatively affect the way your body functions. Another hurdle is that many find themselves in the ‘never ending cycle’ of starting a diet, and eating “healthy” but after a week or two they resort back to old habits. Pushing them back to where they started, or eating more than they were before. It’s important when it comes to dieting, to 1. Understand what your specific goals are, and 2. Know what actions to take to meet your goals and 3. Have a healthy relationship with food.  

Lifestyle Changes

Many nutritionists suggest that making changes to your lifestyle is healthier and more sustainable that dieting for a set amount of time. And these changes can be in regards to anything. How often you exercise, even how you manage stress to even what/how much you eat. Since dieting is temporary, lifestyle changes are better suited to be long term solutions because it creates a habit that limits temptation. It’s all about coming up with a system that works for you.

Try some of these lifestyle change tips:

  • Mindful Eating: Mindful eating is all about savoring and enjoying. Eating slower will also make it easier for your body to recognize when it’s getting full. This as well as using a smaller plate can limit overeating.
  • Understanding when you’re hungry: For some, food may serve as a coping mechanism for stress. Before you open the fridge, ask yourself “Am I really hungry?” Instead of turning to food, try opting for a nature walk, or yoga, or reading a book.
  • Choose your fuel with purpose: When shopping for groceries, try choosing items that serve a dual purpose of nourishing the body and satisfying cravings. Try shopping for in season fruit for a healthy & sweet treat. Incorporate more produce and protein into your diet to help wean off of processed foods. 
  • Water: Water is a great way to kickstart your weight loss. Nearly 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. Try to shoot for ½ for every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 127lbs, you should be getting 64oz of water per day. Staying hydrated will boost your metabolism and help you burn more fat.

So what have we learned? 

When you establish your weight loss goals, the next step is knowing which actions to take. Eating healthy is key, dieting might not be. Diets can work for the short term, lifestyle changes are what will help you lose fat and keep it off long term.

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