Health · Tips

Healthy Eating vs. Dieting

I’ve never liked the word diet. I don’t like the negative connotations that come along with it. I don’t like the anxiety one little word can cause. The dictionary definition of the word diet (v) is:  to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. See, the definition even sucks. The word restrict is harsh, especially attached to losing weight. That kind of diet sounds painful.

I’d like to express the difference in eating healthy versus dieting. Eating healthy is not accompanied with losing weight.  There are no underlying rules involved with healthy eating. Dieting for example, is a restriction. A check list you have to keep with you at all times. You’re always asking yourself if you can eat this, if you can’t eat that, or will this ruin my whole diet? That is stressful. And frankly, pretty scary. Dieting to me, sounds like a contract, one that you must sign and follow rules A through Z. While one’s intentions may be good when signing up for such contract, they can quickly turn obsessive.

Look at this way, if you’re dieting because you dislike the way you look, then it’s clear you don’t have the best self-esteem. You already dislike your body enough that you’re going to restrict oneself to smaller amounts of food, in order to lose weight. Right now you’re probably thinking, okay Heidi it’s not that bad to want to lose weight. No, it isn’t. You’re absolutely right. It isn’t bad to want to feel more confident about yourself, after all I did mention in my Self-love post that you should in fact do something if you’re not happy with how you look. What I didn’t mention and I do actually regret not putting this in there. Is that beauty is skin deep. We’ve all heard that. To change the way you feel about yourself, starts on the inside. Yes, you can diet and lose weight and I’m sure it will definitely improve how you view yourself, but it is not a cure all, end all, solution. You must look within yourself. Love what you see. Then, and only then can you find peace with you and your body.

It isn’t about losing weight. It should be about physically feeling good. If you have shortness of breath because of the added weight, then start making decisions that will help you feel better. Don’t say I need to restrict myself of food to lose weight. It’s about putting stuff into your body that makes you feel good. See, once you start putting good stuff into your body, you’ll start to notice a difference. You’ll have more energy and you’ll notice that feeling. Now, eating healthy won’t make you lose weight, because again that isn’t what this is about. You have to put effort into losing weight, meaning exercising. But, changing your eating habits, into healthy habits, will start you on that path.

The point is to take care of your body and to not let food rule you. Dieting gives food a power over you. It tells you what you can and can’t eat. Eating healthy however, enables you to look at food in a new light. You can make healthy food fun. You can make it yummy and cater it to how you like it. I was just reading an article in a magazine the other day and it said something like eat one cookie with three apple slices. That way you’re filling your unhealthy craving, while also getting your healthy fix. I also read that if you feel like you are craving the unhealthy food, to start eating healthy food when you’re starving. Your body grows to start craving the food that you eat when you’re starving. You’re training your body what to crave. It’s really effective and easier to manage those pesky cravings. As I said earlier, food shouldn’t have power over you. Look at food as it is, something that we need, something that sustains us. Don’t give it any more power. Don’t let food be your comfort after a breakup. Don’t let food be what you turn to for stress. Do let food do its job though. Let food give you energy and nutrients. Don’t let food control you.

I need to stress that eating healthy and this post isn’t meant to badger you or to guilt you into eating healthier. I’m only trying to show the negative effects a diet can have on you. I want you all to see yourself for what you really are: beautiful individuals with only one body. A body that God intended us to take care of. He tells us that our body is temple and to nurture and care for it. That is how I personally look at myself. God wanted me to eat good, so I can feel good. We do only get one body, so take of it. But, keep in mind that it is okay to not eat healthy food every now and then. Eating healthy isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. So, there are no rules that prevent you from treating yourself.

We live in very superficial, weight obsessed society. Society dictates what you should or shouldn’t look like. Having all of the propaganda shoved down your throat can make the appeals of dieting look that much better. Try your hardest to let your opinion of yourself be the only one that matters. Eat healthy for yourself, because you love yourself. Take care of yourself, because you love yourself. Eat a chocolate chip cookie, because you love yourself. Eat an apple, because you love yourself. It’s all about you and only you. Love the you that you are today, whether you have a pear shaped body, an hour glass, or a stick straight body, love it all. Love your stretch marks, love you dark skin, love your light skin, love your tanned skin, love your pale skin. Love your sense of humor. Love your sarcasm. Love the companionship you provide. Love your differences. Love your outspoken voice. Love every single aspect of yourself. Love yourself because the creator of the universe loves you. Love yourself because you are loved.

Side note: there are many benefits to eating healthier than I mentioned obviously. Changing your diet (n) can cure anything from acne to autism. So many “sicknesses” or health issues can be fixed by just changing what you eat. Here are few websites that can show you the benefits:

There are so much more, you just have to do your research!

Check out my Ways To Eat Healthy in College post for healthy snacks!


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