Dieting versus Lifestyle Changes
Everyone desires to live a happy and healthy life. A healthy weight is very important to maintain good health.
Obesity is known to cause diseases that are temporary as well as chronic long term.
Both lifestyle change and dieting have become popular among people trying to lose weight.
This is because people have become conscious about their health and diseases due to obesity. Due to this concern, they switch to dieting or consider changes in lifestyle.
Some can get confused between dieting and lifestyle changes.
If you are also confused between the two and looking for some answers you have come to the right place.
We will show you here more in detail between the two issues.
Dieting! What is dieting?
Dieting is related to how and what you eat. It is a highly controlled and restricted form of eating for a short period.
You may learn about portion size, balanced diet but other than that it only gives you short-term benefits.
There are many types of diets such as a keto diet, a low-fat diet, or a vegan diet.
There is no doubt that some diets are nutritious and healthy and play a very helpful role to maintain the health of a person.
Dieting aims are to decrease, increase, and maintain weight or to prevent certain diseases such as diabetes.
After dieting time is over, the dieter returns to a previous eating routine. The results of dieting are not sustainable.
Following a diet and restricting yourself from eating is a very difficult task.
Statistics show that in 2012, 100 million Americans were on some type of diet. Research indicates that 65% of individuals end up gaining back the weight after completing a diet.
Per year an American adult tries to diet four times and 25% ends up failing within the first two weeks of dieting.
Each year almost $33 billion is spent by Americans on products to lose weight.
And still, almost two-thirds of Americans are always struggling to maintain the weight. So, this indicates that there is something fundamentally wrong with dieting.
Disadvantages of Dieting
Let’s take a look at the cons of dieting.
More weight gain
Studies show that dieting leads to more weight gain.
Due to long term food restriction, you become more inclined to binge eating and you may completely ignore the body’s indications of hunger and fullness that result in more weight gain and eating disorders like Bulimia nervosa or Bulimia anorexia.
Another problem with dieting is that people keep on blaming and shaming themselves for not being able to restrict their cravings.
This leads a person to depression and anxiety disorders. Not only that, but restrictive dieting can also lead to malnutrition.
That results in lasting effects on the overall health of the person.
Not a good feeling
Most dieters call dieting a punishment that is very uncomfortable and unpleasant. When a person’s mind is not at ease you can never get your desired results by only restraining yourself.
So, dieting is a temporary way to lose weight, for a long term success it is not very helpful as compared to a lifestyle change.
Lifestyle Change, What is that?
A Lifestyle change has become a buzzword among people trying to lose weight. Lifestyle changes are concerned with questions like how you are living your life.
What are you doing? What are you eating? Lifestyle changes are linked to the everyday choices that you make.
These choices determine how much healthy weight your body has. It is the process of adopting healthy living habits to improve health and help weight control.
Unlike dieting, it is a very multidimensional approach to control weight.
What Does the Research Say?
Research indicates that incorporating small changes are better than big jumps. You should take baby steps to improve your health.
Start by small changes in your routine but make sure that you get consistent and never abandon them.
A review in 2005, shows that 20% of dieters were able to maintain a very healthy weight for a long time. When their data was analyzed, it showed that actually lifestyle changes made it possible to keep the weight at bay.
For example, 1-hour exercise/day, regularly eating breakfast, etc.
Researchers are of the view that people looking for a long term weight loss solution should set some realistic, small, easy to accomplish goals and try to achieve them every day.
Lifestyle Changes You Must Adopt
Mentioned below are a few lifestyle changes that can be very effective in managing your weight.
Healthy eating is not about restricting yourself from eating food or suppressing your desire to eat. It is all about eating mindfully and moderately.
Eat nutritious and healthy food in moderation and avoid anything that puts a strain on the body like oily, junk, processed food.
Healthy food choices can lead to long term success in the management of weight and prevention of diseases like diabetes.
Say no to stress
Stress is the biggest culprit that leads to binge eating, unhealthy eating pattern, and eventually to weight gain.
It is inevitable to avoid stress. There are a lot of situations when you get very anxious and stressed out but make an effort to keep yourself calm and composed during a stressful event.
You can try meditation and yoga to relax your mind from the harmful effects of stress.
No to A Sedentary Lifestyle
A lot of diseases and obesity occur due to the sedentary lifestyle. A person must move around more. Do this by taking small steps each day.
Start by going for 15-minute jogs or walks in the park or take your dog for a walk outside or a dog Park. If you have a habit of using the elevator, stop using it and instead of that use stairs.
Like to Play Video Games play the Wii and play the games that require you to move a lot during the game.
There are a lot of great ideas out there to help you get moving. If you suffer from some sort of long term illness or disease do small safe exercises to build up strength.
I personally go to Physically Therapy and use what I learn there to help me move more.
Yes to good quality sleep
How Sleep and weight gain are very closely linked. Studies show that a sleep-deprived person’s craving for junk food and binge eating are greater compared to normal sleepers.
Another disadvantage of poor sleep is that the amount of hormone leptin decreases in the body. The function of leptin is to encourage the body to use energy stored in the body and suppress appetite.
So, when a person remains sleep-deprived, he can gain more weight. You should try to get enough sleep. Not just sleep but peaceful good quality sleep.
Enjoy the changes
This is the most important factor. Implement the changes that you like and love to do so that you can keep them implementing in the long run.
Don’t consider it a burden and try to keep it as pleasant and happy as you can. Initially, even small steps would seem very difficult but once you have built new habits it would become normal.
In a nutshell, it is all up to you what do you want and what works best for you. We cannot say if dieting is good or bad.
Whatever diet you decide to follow you must first consult your doctor. Discuss your situation and then start it.
As for lifestyle changes, if you can implement them it’s alright to take small steps at a time. It is not going to be easy but once the changes become your habits you can reap the long term benefits. Listen to your body and be kind to it. Stay happy and healthy.