Dieting is one thing and living a healthy lifestyle is another. Though the two things may seem similar, but they are often surprisingly different. Dieting is usually NOT about being healthy, but achieving a goal of weight loss. Living healthy can actually help you achieve this goal as well, even though it is not the main focus. Let’s look at both concepts a little more in depth.

Let’s Talk About Dieting

Traditionally, a diet is when someone restricts certain foods along with restricting calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and/or other items that may potentially put them at risk for weight gain. Most people diet while also incorporating exercise in an effort to lose weight. Some people diet to lose weight for a certain event, like an upcoming wedding or get together.

Though dieting to lose weight is not necessarily a bad thing, it is an awful way to sustain long term weight loss as research has shown us the 98% of diets ultimately fail! It is really only just a temporary solution to a larger issue. To keep weight off or to achieve longer-term health goals, it makes sense to incorporate healthy living as a permanent solution.

Let’s Look at Healthy Living

Healthy living differs from dieting in that it is really focused on improvement of overall health and wellness, with weight loss often being a nice side effect. Though some people still limit sugars, and/or processed foods as part of their healthy living lifestyle, adjustments can be made through healthy living to match your own nutritional needs and lifestyle choices so that you may achieve your goals and maintain them.

Healthy living means you will be making better, more balanced choices when it comes to food, exercise, and how you care for your own health. Those who focus on healthy living make a true lifestyle change instead of following the latest fad. The focus is more on being healthy, and taking care of your body with the goal of overall wellness and generally just feeling good!

The Impact on Food Choices

Many people who diet may actually end up restricting lots of foods that have great health benefits such olive oil and avocado. However, those who follow healthy living guidelines may still include such foods in their diets so that they may reap the nutritional benefits. So, by focusing on healthy living you can incorporate all sorts of real foods into your diet without hyperfocusing on calories or fat content.

It is also not uncommon to find dieters choosing foods that are low in calories and highly processed, such as protein bars and frozen dinners. Though these foods may include some nutrients, they are still very refined and processed and often packed with sodium. It is always a better choice to choose fresh, whole foods that your body processed well- a common option for those embracing heathy living.

The Impact on Exercise

Dieters may choose to focus only on their food restrictions and not on exercise. Others put a lot of focus on exercise with little regard for their food choices. Anyone who is trying to move away from the diet mindset to choose healthy living will be able to find the just the right balance between food intake and exercising. In the dieting work, exercise can often be seen as a chore or even punitive- as a punishment for overeating. In the healthy living world, exercise is all about strength and fitness and taking care of your body, while appreciating all that it is capable of!

Start Transitioning!

Committing to healthy living and ditching diets means that your perspective on food will probably have to change. Instead of weighing your food and counting your calories, consider whole foods that are both healthy and nutrient dense. Eat more of the good stuff and continue to check in with yourself by asking yourself how those foods make you feel. Easy, quick changes include adding more fruits and vegetables and making sure you know all the ingredients on an ingredient panel. Choose olive oil and vinegar over commercial salad dressing. Skip the sugary or artificially-sweetened beverages and choose lemon water instead. Batch cook and freeze a lot of your food to create your own, healthier frozen meals. Small steps matter, and they will do wonders for your health over the long run.

Start embracing the healthy living lifestyle and see how good you will feel!