Why eating well forever, is better than 'dieting'
Often when it feels like it it 'too late' and we want instant results, we turn to the concept of "dieting". Synonymous with temporary measures and short-lived transformations, dieting is not that easy to do, more importantly, not easy to sustain.
Genuinely, the key lies not in strict diets but in cultivating a sustainable and nourishing approach to eating. Create 'good habits' and rid yourself of the bad ones. This means a mindset shift yes, but if you get it right, which you can, it will pay off big time!
Let's look at why a lifetime of good eating habits is far more impactful than chasing after fads or diet trends.
- Long-Term Health Benefits
Diets often focus on rapid weight loss, promising immediate results that may not be sustainable in the long run and can come at a bit of a cost to health or mental wellbeing. On the flip side of this, eating well is a holistic approach that considers overall health and mental wellbeing. A balanced and nutrient-rich diet supports the body's functions, boosts immunity, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, to name a few. By nourishing your body consistently, you are investing in a healthier future and will find it easier to manage in the long run.
- Sustainable Lifestyle Change
Diets are notorious for being short-term solutions. It's not easy to stick to a restrictive eating plan and will often lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting. Instead of viewing eating as a temporary restriction, adopting a lifelong commitment to nourishing your body allows for a sustainable lifestyle change. As mentioed earlier, it's about creating habits that integrate more seamlessly with your daily life, making wellness an easy part of your routines.
- Emphasis on Nutrient Density
Calorie counting and restriction is a big part of dieting, which can sometimes result in nutrient deficiencies. Eating well, on the other hand, emphasises the importance of nutrient-dense foods. By choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, you provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for optimal functioning. Approaching this way, ensures that you not only maintain a healthy weight but also support your body's overall well-being. Please bear in mind that your weight isn't the most important number, there are a number of other factors and metrics to focus on. You can be technically 'overweight' and still be healthy and essentially, in good shape.
- Positive Relationship with Food
An unhealthy relationship with food can easily be developed when 'dieting' or looking for a 'quick fix'. This can lead to feelings of guilt or failure when deviating from strict plans. Eating well encourages a positive and mindful relationship with food. It's really important to enjoy the process, not just eating but gathering the quality ingredients, preparing and cooking. This mindset shift promotes a healthier mental and emotional connection to eating, reducing stress and anxiety associated with restrictive diets.
- Adaptability to Changing Needs
Life is dynamic, and so are our nutritional needs. Eating well allows for flexibility and adaptation to different life stages, activity levels, and health conditions. Unlike rigid diets that may not accommodate changes in circumstances, a focus on nourishment enables you to make informed choices that align with your evolving needs, ensuring sustained well-being over the years.
In rare instances, temporary diets can be necessary, however, just planning properly, developing a love of and a better connection to food, is more important in terms of success. Weight loss may well occur from a quick, temporary diet and it can help kickstart good habits, but as the saying goes, you are just kicking the can down the road. You will more than likely put that weight back on. So, in summary, create a long term habit and eat well forever!