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.

How Can I Make Better Eating Choices?

How Can I Make Better Eating Choices?

It all starts at the supermarket. What you buy here creates your food environment at home.

To eliminate any confusion there are some pretty simple things you can do to make better eating choices.

Make A List And Stick To It

It takes a little time and some effort, but it will help you eat healthier and save money.

-Healthier eating will generally mean you’ll have to cook some of your meals at home. Having a few simple recipes that you can make regularly will help.

-Plan your meals a week ahead of time.

-Make a shopping list of ingredients for your weekly meals and any other basics like fruit that you’ll need for the week.

Buy Fruits and Vegetables In Season

In season items are less expensive and taste much better.

-Your local supermarket will sell in season fruit and vegetables.

-Try a local farmer’s market to get fresh in season produce.

-Canned or frozen foods are another option as they’re packaged or frozen at the peak of ripeness.

Spend Most Of Your Shopping Time In The Outer Aisles Of The Supermarket

The fringes of the supermarket is where you’ll find all the whole, minimally processed foods. All of the healthier food options like fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products and whole grains are found here.

-The closer you get to the centre of the aisles is where you’ll find the more highly processed products that are less healthy.

Keep It Simple

Having a plan and being a little more organised when you shop for food will make your choices much healthier. You can buy delicious food that is in season and fresh and importantly less expensive.

You won’t have the stress of trying to decide what to buy or wondering if you got everything or the right stuff.

You can be a little more adventurous and try some things you might have never eaten.




How Can I Start Eating Better?

A simple question that can leave you scratching your head because you don’t know where to go next.

The amount of information available can make it seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be.

I’m going to help you find your starting point so you can get moving without all the confusion or the need to overhaul your life.

Start Here

To begin with you’re going to look at what’s missing from your current diet.

As much as you’d like to ignore the fact, there will be nutritional deficiencies.

The solution is not to take extreme measures, like going on a diet or ditching carbs.

A simpler approach is to assess what you’re lacking.

What’s Missing?

The most common nutritional deficiencies are:

  1. Water (low level dehydration)

  2. Vitamins and minerals

  3. Protein

  4. Healthy Fats

We’re not talking a complete dietary overhaul but a focus on simple strategies that balance out your diet so that you get:

-A little more protein

-Sufficient vitamins and minerals

-The right amount of healthy fats

-More water

Embrace The Process

This is a step by step process to build your optimal eating habits.

Your starting point will be the area that is the most challenging for you right now.  Take a look at the list above and highlight what you feel is your biggest roadblock.

Adding a little more protein could be as simple as adding some yoghurt as a snack, or an egg to breakfast.

Having an extra vegetable with dinner is an easy way to get some more vitamins and minerals.

Healthy fats are found in foods like avocado, olive oil and nuts. A small handful of nuts or a spoonful of avocado can be just the boost you need.

This is not about being slow it's about being systematic and addressing the things that are holding you back right now.

The awesome thing is, once they're eliminated you're progress accelerates quickly.