Dieting the Healthy Way

Healthy Eating and Dieting are often confused as the same thing. They are not. Personally I am not in favor of so-called diets – I believe that following healthy eating guidelines allows your body to adjust to the best weight for you. However it is an undeniable fact that diets are a part of many people’s day-to-day life. Regrettably some diets can be most unhealthy if you make poor choices simply in order to lose weight. It is essential that you learn the guidelines that mean your diet is healthy and good for you rather than unhealthy and unbalanced, and consequently not good for you. We are what we eat so the foods you choose should nourish your body and keep it healthy.

The first thing you need to know is what your body needs in order to function well, rather than what it craves – particularly if you have built up some bad eating habits. You need to have adequate amounts of all the food groups to maintain your health. Is the reason for your diet to lose weight or gain muscle? Do you want to change your body shape rather than your weight? These are all factors that you must bear in mind when choosing a diet regime.

Diets that limit you to a single food are quite simply not healthy. No individual food item can provide all of the nourishment our body needs. Diets that require you to remove a whole food group are also not healthy. It is perfectly acceptable to cut back on carbohydrates for example, but some are good for your body and you need them to stay healthy. Good diets will provide you with food choices from all the main groups so that your body continues to function properly. You need proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and even fats in moderation if you are to stay well.

An important ingredient of a healthy diet is your fluid intake. Any regime should include a minimum of 8 glasses of fluid every day whether it be water, juice or any other drink of your choice. Energy drinks and Smoothies can work well in a diet but they should not be your sole intake. It is all about balance and drinks will not contain all the food groups. In summer when it is hot you will need to drink more water and don’t forget that Coffee and alcohol have a dehydrating effect so you must compensate for that as well.

Following healthy eating guidelines when dieting is all very well but you must have healthy amounts of exercise as well. Any diet that says you can lose weight without appropriate exercise should be regarded with suspicion. Even with a suitable physical regime, it is unhealthy to lose weight too quickly. Exercise should be a supplement and compliment to your diet. You should be eating enough calories to sustain the amount of exercise you are doing. High levels of exercise will require you to eat more food, and to eat more regularly than you might otherwise think. People often hit a ‘wall’ when dieting and find it difficult to shed the last few pounds, almost invariably this is because they are not eating enough rather than eating too much. Consequently their metabolic rate slows and they do not burn even the few calories that they take on board.

Following healthy eating guidelines, being moderate in the amount that you eat, drinking plenty and taking adequate exercise is the best diet regime you can follow. You may not lose massive amounts of weight overnight but your body will adjust gradually until it reaches the best weight, size and shape for you without putting your health at risk. Do remember at all times that if you are making major lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise you should consult your medical practitioner first.

Annie Horthorne grew up in the catering business and has always been an enthusiastic and highly regarded cook. She has a special interest in healthy eating and how to make it tasty and fun. Annie’s delicious healthy eating recipes can be found at The Healthy Eating Guide

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