Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dieting Vs Healthy Eating

The other day I was talking to my sister, we were talking about fitness and she mentioned she was trying to lose a few pounds. She is not really overweight but she wants to tone up, we were just brainstorming thinking about what she can do. She is one of those who loves to dance, she does kick boxing so she is good when it comes to being active but she also loves food. Her eyes actually light up when she talks about food, so when our talk shifted to food this is how it went
Sis: I don’t want to DIET, I don’t want to live without eating
Me: Who said you have to live without eating? Who does that?
Sis: Everybody who wants to lose weight first goes on a DIET...
That’s what got me thinking, it’s true when you first think about weight loss DIET is a word that just tags along. There are so many diets with promises and great reviews, which is very confusing especially for people like my sister and me. For us the word DIET means starving and going hungry, so it scares us or sometime we try it and give up very soon...
In this post I wanted to share why I don’t believe in DIET instead everyday Healthy Choices makes more sense to me.
What is healthy eating? How do I decide if an option is correct for me? I just ask the following questions

Is it long term?
Whenever I see any article related to weight loss first thing I note is if it is something I can manage lifelong. If I try the cabbage soup diet will I really be able to keep up? 7 days of cabbage soup will make me go crazy and what happens after the 7 days? I’m sure if I go back to my usual eating I’m going to go back to my usual weight. If I’m asked to supplement a meal with some shake will I really be satisfied??
If it is not long term, if I can't do something life long (because continuing it will harm my health) I personally will not even try it.

Do I have to starve?
Usually when we speak about dieting the first thing that comes to mind is ‘I have to start eating less’ this is true you might have to start eating less but the key here is deciding how less?? If I eat only 500-800 calories a day I will not be able to function, how will I manage to put in energy for my workout? How will I concentrate at work? Our bodies need energy (not too much energy) but we need energy to go about our daily life.
If you are starving yourself you doing it wrong. Either ask a nutritionist or use one of the online applications to decide what the correct calorie count is for you.

Do I have to give up on food I love?
Dieting scared me because I thought I will have to give up cookies or Indian sweets. If I force myself to look away each time there is a cookie around I know I would feel deprived, frustrated and irritated. How can I be the only one celebrating my birthday without a cake?? Or how can I always eat carrots when I want to try the new ice cream flavour?
You don’t have to give up anything completely but you should not get carried away either. It’s all about balance. I still have a cookie once in a while, but I make sure my other meals are healthy or maybe I exercise more to balance it out. I try new desserts but I share them. Basically I have not forced myself to give up anything completely but over time I have learned to include it in your healthy lifestyle.

Do I have to only eat tiny bites and tiny portions?
If I eat only tiny portions I’m going to be hungry all the time, instead I decide my portions based on how healthy my options are. So if we order a pizza instead of having 2 slices, I have ½ a slice and I have a nice portion of homemade salad. So I’m not left feeling hungry just because we ordered pizza and I’m not miserable either because I did not exceed my calorie count.

Is Counting Calories and Measuring lot of hard work?
When I first heard about counting calories and measuring food I thought it would take too much time but now I do it all the time even when I’m outside I count my calories (it’s really not that much trouble). Initially you might find it difficult to keep counting your calories or measuring your portions.
I think it is a very good habit and the best thing about measuring food and counting calories is after sometime you get an idea so you don’t have to always look for a scale before taking a bite because you begin to get an approximate idea

What do you think? Is healthy eating a better option than dieting? Or do you still prefer a quick fix?

Keep Reading I will Keep Writing 


  1. Tanvee, don't ever go below 1200 calories a day. Anything lower sends your body into starvation mode. You will also find that if you stop eating sweets, your body truly does stop craving them. Whether you choose to use 'portion control' for occasional events like birthday cakes, or swear them off entirely, usually ends up being whether you can handle those types of items/events in moderation, or if even a tiny bit can't be stopped at a tiny bit, in which case then abstinence would be better. Only you can decide, and it might be trial and error to find out what you can do or not do.

    But a quick fix diet is only that. You truly do have to make it a life style change, IF you are going to keep the lost weight off. Otherwise, if you go back to your old habits, the old weight will be gained back again, and then the yo-yo dieting begins. :)

    1. Hi Gwen, I make it a point to stick to my calorie count and not enter starvation mode, I noticed that over time I stopped liking burgers and junk food, I still eat a bit of sweets but I usually manage well with portion control..I hate yo-yo dieting its the most frustrating thing, trying to make every change long term is so much better and manageable. I think when I first started I believed in quick diets..but I learned very soon the truth and now I'm managing well just because I can stick to all my diet changes without really feeling frustrated.

  2. It's definitely about balance and figuring out what works for you. I've also found having the right attitude helps. If you start eating in a way that irritates you or makes you feel like you're restricting yourself (in essence setting yourself up for failure) it will be a lot tougher. However, taking it in stride and embracing, even enjoying, the changes can help it be a lot more effective.

    1. hi, quick diets are the worst. When I started my weight loss I tried a few of them and I could never manage sticking to them plus I would be irritated most of the times...over time I realised the importance of making a diet plan that I could manage to stick to for my life and like you pointed without right attitude I would still be stuck in my yo-yo diets :)

  3. I completely agree with you. I read a book on the above concept. I m trying to follow it. Nice blog.