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Diet vs. Lifestyle Change

Diet vs. Lifestyle Change

Sara Kuhns, CPT

How many times have you or someone you know said they were going to go on a diet? How well did it go and how long did it last? Chances are if you have tried dieting before in your lifetime it only lasted for a couple days or weeks and was not something you were able to stick to. The Washington Post reported that 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, yet 70% of adults in the U.S. are still overweight or obese (as few as 5% of dieters keep the weight off long-term). So what's the problem here? 

The term "diet" usually refers to a short-term, highly restrictive program of eating in order to lose weight. You've probably heard of various fad diets before such as the South Beach diet, Atkins diet, Keto diet, cabbage soup diet, etc. What do all of these have in common? They all have rigid rules you must follow to lose weight, they exclude or restrict food groups or nutrients (such as carbohydrates), they promise a quick fix, and most make claims based on a single study or testimonials only. 

Because diets often restrict certain foods, many health problems can arise in lieu of this. Dehydration, weakness and fatigue, nausea and headaches, constipation, and inadequate vitamin and mineral intake are just some of the different symptoms you can experience. There's a better and more sustainable way to lose weight, and the answer is having a balanced meal plan.

Carbs, fats, and proteins are the three big macronutrients your body needs to survive. Carbs are your body's fuel, protein helps your body build new cells and repair muscle, and fat helps your body absorb nutrients, all of which come from a healthy, balanced diet! Combining exercise with a balanced diet is the most sustainable and successful way to lose weight and turn it into a lifestyle. Once you turn it into a habit, you'll be set to live your happiest and healthiest life!

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