Most people have heard of some type of dieting. A lot of people have probably done some form of dieting in the past or currently. A lot of people go through dieting and will reach there goals, but then end up back where they started at some point. It’s like a constant up and down roller coaster of dieting and not dieting. Maybe you have experienced this yourself. You may also know someone who seems to be always trying the latest fad diet. Do you know the difference between dieting vs a healthy lifestyle? I think it’s important for individuals to recognize that there is a difference between dieting vs a healthy lifestyle. It might seem that these two things are relatively the same and go together. They are actually quite different though. Let’s take a look at the differences with dieting vs a healthy lifestyle.
Things that are typically included in dieting:
- Restrictions – It is common to have restrictions on what you can eat, how much you eat, how much you exercise and more.
- Exhausting – There might be feelings of exhaustion over having to limit what you eat and do. It can seem tiring to constantly have to watch everything you are doing.
- Negative – People tend to have negative feelings and emotions towards dieting. The restrictions and strict guidelines associated with dieting tend to make people feel negative towards the topic. You have probably heard someone respond with “no I’m on a diet” or “ugh this new diet has me eating .
- Short term – The restrictions associated with dieting often lead to short term results rather than results that last a lifetime. Dieting also tends to focus on short term goals. It might be a “quick fix” to the challenges you are facing, but it may not help overcome these challenges for good.
- Viewing foods as “good” vs. “bad” – People tend to view food as either good or bad when they are on a diet. They also may associate “bad” foods as having a “cheat day”. These terms can tend to have a sense of guilt that people associate with eating these “bad” foods. This can result in them feeling like they have to workout for hours to “make up for it”. It’s almost like a “punishment” for eating food.
Things that are typically included in a Healthy Lifestyle:
- Happiness – You will likely feel happy as a result of your body feeling great from being taken care of. You’ll be happy to be able to live a healthy life while also enjoying the balance of celebrating all the joys life has to offer.
- Balance – There’s a sense of balance between living life and enjoying the moments without restricting yourself on having to eat certain things or workout for a specific length of time. You start to find a balance between managing work, family life, hobbies, physical activity, and all the life things.
- Increased Energy – Learning to live a healthy lifestyle that involves a good balance of sleep, stress management, nutrition, physical activity and hydration is going to make your body feel amazing. It’ll likely give you a boost of energy along with many other positive effects.
- Long term – You learn long term sustainable lifestyle changes to be able to live this way for a lifetime. You learn to be able to continue to be successful with your goals, set higher goals as other ones are accomplished, and learn to live a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime.
- Viewing food as fuel for your body – Food is viewed as being nourishment and fuel for your body not as “good food” and “bad food”. Our bodies need food and nutrient to serve. Just like cars our bodies cannot go without fuel. There’s a sense of learning that occurs that’ll likely lead to actually being excited to eat and viewing food as a healthy consumption for our bodies instead of punishment for consuming certain things.
What are some examples of areas to make healthy lifestyle changes?
- Physical Activity
So, how do you start making healthy lifestyle changes?
I’m sure the healthy lifestyle sounds great, but you’re probably thinking that sounds nice but how do I do that. It might seem extremely difficult and confusing on where to even begin. The biggest factor to recognize is the most important thing is to simply start. Just simply start trying to make improvements towards a healthy lifestyle. Remember that people aren’t perfect and that everyone has room for improvement. There will always be ways to improve living a healthy lifestyle. The most important factor though is committing to starting and from there there may be ups and downs, but the possibilities are endless. Let’s dive into some ways to start making healthy lifestyle changes:
- Goals – Set realistic goals. When setting goals it is best to be as specific as possible. This will help you to really focus on being able to actually achieve your goals. When you set a goal make sure you make it measurable and put a time frame to it. For example instead of saying I want to lose 20lbs. create goals such as I will lose 5 lbs. in 2 months. This way you are able to stay focused on the goal and are trying to reach it by a specific timeline.
- Knowledge – Increase your knowledge on living a healthy lifestyle. There can be a lot to learn from nutrition to physical exercise to stress management. A great way to gain knowledge in these areas is by working with professionals in these areas. Some great examples are registered dieticians, doctors, personal trainers, and many others.
- Accountability – Having ways to stay accountable can be critical to achieving your goals. Some great ways to stay accountable are by following an accountability tracker, working with a personal trainer, or having a friend join you on making healthy lifestyle changes.
- Create a Plan – Having a specific plan in place for achieving your goals can help keep you on track towards success. It can be helpful to create a meal plan or meal prep for the week to help you stay focused on your planned nutrition goals. You may also find it helpful to have a plan in place for physical activity. Having these things in place can really bring a sense of ease into living a healthy lifestyle and help you to achieve your goals.
- Reflection – It is important to reflect on your progress throughout your journey of living a healthy lifestyle. You may find yourself reflecting on the specific goals your striving for or just your life in general. Either way reflected on these is a great way to see how you are doing with your goals and finding areas of improvement.