Why Eating Healthy Is Better Than Dieting

Being On A Diet Doesn’t Mean You’re Eating Healthy

Let's make one distinction very clear before we start, eating healthy and dieting are not the same thing.

The two phrases are used interchangeably these days and at a glance they may seem synonymous but in reality they’re poles apart.

The definition of diet can mean either “the kinds of foods that a person habitually eats” or "a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons".

And it’s the presence of the “word” restriction in the second definition that is at the crux of the whole healthy eating/dieting debate.

Consider the difference between having to weigh and measure your food or eliminate whole foods when on a restrictive diet as compared with healthy eating which is more about finding a balance (unless you have to eliminate certain foods for medical reasons).

Short Term Solutions vs Long Term Sustainability

Today you won’t find the word “diet” on it’s own, it’ll be wrapped up in a miracle package that promises you everything.

They’re generally short term in nature and impractical to be following in the long run.

If you’re looking to improve your eating then creating sustainable long term habits will be crucial.  Any diet needs to be flexible to your lifestyle not the other way around. It should add to your life not take away from it.

A good diet will offer long term solutions, empower you with knowledge and help you to find ways to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle.

Reframing

As soon as you start a diet you have to commit to a rigid set of rules around food groups, meal times or portion sizes.  Healthy eating is about being more mindful about choosing the best foods for you each day and sometimes that means having some biscuits.

If you feel you need a biscuit, then have it and enjoy it, but in the context of healthy eating also being able to connect with why you felt you wanted the biscuit.

A healthy approach to eating focuses on adding good foods rather than the battle between what you can or can’t have.

You want to create a mindset that looks at food as a delicious and wonderful experience for yourself and your body and not the typical diet approach which will label foods as high fat, high salt and relegated to the banned list.

Don’t limit your food choices with sets of arbitrary food rules that don’t add anything except taking away the joy of eating.

Will I Feel Better Eating Gluten Free?

Will I Feel Better Eating Gluten Free?

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Throughout the years certain foods and ingredients have been targeted as the cause of various health conditions.

The latest recipient of this wrath is Gluten with many believing that it will solve a myriad of health problems when it’s eliminated from their diet.

We’ll discuss whether going gluten free is going to make you feel better and whether it is necessary for a healthy diet.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

The Number 1 Reason To Avoid Gluten

If you have Coeliac disease then a gluten free diet is the only long term treatment. Drinking or eating anything containing gluten will cause an immune reaction. Common symptoms are inflammation and damage to the intestinal tract.

Another condition similar in symptoms but without the intestinal damage is gluten sensitivity or non Coeliac gluten sensitivity.

What Going Gluten Free Really Means

Eliminating gluten means more than just giving up breads, cereals, pizza, and beer. It is also present in foods like frozen vegetables in sauces, soy sauce, some foods made with natural flavourings, vitamin and mineral supplements, some medications and surprisingly toothpaste.

The one detail that you need to be aware of when getting rid of gluten is that you can set yourself up for nutritional deficiencies.

Whole grain breads and cereals are good sources of vitamin B. Avoiding gluten may mean you need to supplement with a multivitamin.

Whole grain wheat is a major source of fibre which is crucial to keep the bowels working properly. Most people’s diets are chronically low in fibre so taking away whole wheat can make it worse.

There are other sources of fibre like brown rice and quinoa, fruits and vegetables, and beans but you’ll need to be proactive to make sure you’re getting enough.

At The End Of The Day…

Choosing to go gluten free is going to be expensive, quite challenging and outside of needing to do it for medical reasons there is no health benefit that’ll be gained from it.

If you feel that you might have a health issue with gluten then your first step should be consulting your GP so that it can be assessed properly.