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A Healthier You: Diet vs. Lifestyle Change

In today’s day of age, there’s an abundance of weight loss tips, diets, and supplements. With this abundance also brings endless information about why these things might not work. The internet is our best friend when it comes to educating ourselves about fad diets, fake supplements, and unhealthy ways of losing weight. It’s important to understand the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change in regard to their benefits and success.

Dieting

A diet is typically a temporary change in your eating habits. Diets also tend to strictly focus on food consumption and intake. If you didn’t already know, diets have been heavily researched, and it’s been said that diets don’t hold up for long-term weight management. This is mainly because it’s a “band-aid” solution for weight loss, and doesn’t look at other factors that influence overall health.

Lifestyle Change

A lifestyle change is adopting new (hopefully healthier) habits. Lifestyle changes don’t necessarily focus on strictly food intake, but also look at other factors that can affect your health. Other factors could be exercise, time management, or external support. As opposed to dieting, fully adopting a healthy lifestyle change can promote weight management in the long-term.

Diet vs. Lifestyle Change

Overall, lifestyle changes tend to be more successful. However, they can be more difficult to commit to as well as maintain. In order to be successful while changing your lifestyle, first look at these things:

  1. Figure out why you want to change. If you don’t want to change for personal reasons, you most likely won’t stick with it in the long-run.
  2. Set realistic and attainable goals. You know yourself best. You know what you’re capable of, so setting goals that match your capabilities will better your chances of successfully changing your lifestyle.
  3. Reward yourself. Celebrating small wins, like sticking to your goals for a week, will help reinforce these new behaviors that you’re trying to instill. This is a good way to make things more fun and encouraging.
  4. Be patient. Changing your lifestyle doesn’t come easy and doesn’t come quickly. It takes planning, patience, and persistence.

Whatever your lifestyle change goal may be, do it for you and make it fun!

Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.healthyeating.com and www.cdc.gov

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