People are constantly talking about diets. There are so many different types of diets, and different ways to diet. We've already talked about how fad or crash diets are bad and dangerous with Dr. Snellgrove from Eastern Shore Weight Loss, but this time we're talking about "diet vs. lifestyle change."
Below is a look at some of the questions and answers discussed on Studio10 with Dr. Snellgrove
What is it about the word “diet” that is so bad?
When most people talk about a “diet,” they are talking about a temporary change in what they eat for the purpose of losing weight. Really, your diet is what you eat every day. But, the idea of a diet to lose weight can be flat out dangerous. They may not be healthy—like when we talked about fad and crash diets. But, even diets that focus on completely eliminating a single food group aren’t a good idea. They may work to lose weight, but they aren’t all around healthy. Furthermore, when you add that food group back, you will often see the pounds come back as well.
With a diet, you know you won’t be doing this forever. So, even if it is healthy, and even if it does have success, at some point, you intend to stop dieting. You intend to go back to eating in a similar way to what you used to eat. Again, when you do this, you’ll get those old results back. The idea of a “diet” is simply not a helpful idea.
What do you mean by a “lifestyle change?”
A lifestyle change says “I’m going to do this forever.” You’re not planning on giving up one food group, or only eating one food group. You’re not making a short term change. You throw out all the old food and old ways, and you start a new plan for how you eat and your activity level.
When a person starts a lifestyle change, the changes in their weight, for instance, may actually be slower than what they ultimately thought they wanted. But, the changes are better and are focused on the long term. Since you’re not simply withholding for a few weeks or months, but actually planning on eating and living healthy for the rest of your life, it’s more important to set habits that will stick, than to simply lose weight.
Ultimately, what does a “lifestyle change” consist of?
Again, the first thing people are going to think of is what they eat. And don’t misunderstand, this is very important. You want to eat healthy. You want to eat balanced. You want to begin to avoid bad foods and focus on healthy foods. You want to begin to eat appropriate portions and not overeating all the time. Another important thing, though, is exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and getting bulky and making yourself sick on the treadmill. It can be going for a brisk walk with your spouse. It can be playing competitive basketball with friends. But, creating a habit of exercise is vital. Something people often forget about disconnecting and relaxing. We have so much technology today keeping us busy—smartphones, tablet, laptops—that we never unplug. A healthy lifestyle should include some time to disconnect and enjoy something non-technological. Go outside and soak in a little sun, get some fresh air. This is a tremendous help to you mentally, and even physically. Lastly, you need a sense of community. Quality time with family and friends will help you psychologically, but it’s been shown to even help people live longer. It can put life in perspective, and take you out of a self-centered world, and help you focus on others. If you have trouble finding this, look to a church, or senior center, and get involved in community activities. Again, this is what we focus on at Eastern Shore Weight Loss. We can help guide with some of these problems, so you can develop a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle.
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Fairhope, AL 36532
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