Healthy Lifestyle vs. “Dieting”

Diet differs from “Dieting”.
Your diet is different than going on a “diet”. The two words are homographs, meaning they have the same spelling but different meanings.

Everyone has a diet.
Your diet is your typical meal pattern, what you eat every day. However, we often think of a “diet” as a restrictive meal plan associated with weight loss.

“Dieting” can be unhealthy.
Many of the popular diets eliminate entire foods or food groups from your eating plan which can deprive you of essential nutrients your body needs for energy and health. Diets are not designed to be a lifelong way of eating.

Establish a healthy lifestyle.

Developing a healthy lifestyle is an approach that we recommend versus “dieting.” A healthy lifestyle is positive relationship with food and physical activity that leads to long-term changes.

Challenge Yourself
Start Tracking: Try for one week to record everything you eat and the total minutes of activity you do each day. Use a notepad or an app such as on your computer or phone. This will help you see where you can improve.

Food for Thought
Americans spend billions annually on diet programs and gimmicks that fail. Additionally, diets where you drastically reduce calories can slow your metabolism. This can continue after the “diet” has ended and result in weight gain.

University of Idaho Extension
Jackie Amende MS, RDN, LD
Canyon County Extension Educator

Bridget Morrisroe-Aman LMSW
Ada County Extension Educator