Dieting to lose weight, or not-dieting?

by Ali on January 14, 2009

I’m delighted to announce that The Office Diet has been included in a list of 100 top weight-loss blogs – you can find all the others at http://www.uspharmd.com/blog/2008/top-100-weight-loss-blogs/

The word “diet” has a lot of negative connotations, and some healthy eating/fitness/weight loss bloggers and writers prefer to avoid it altogether. I can see the advantages of promoting a “not-diet”: a holistic, balanced way of eating that avoids any connection with the idea of deprivation, restriction or faddy eating. (This is the philosophy espoused by the Ditch Diets, Live Light site, for example.)

However … I don’t think that “dieting” needs to be seen in too negative a light. For me, dieting to lose weight simply means tweaking eating habits a bit in order to make healthier choices. I’m a big fan of being mindful of calories, since it’s the only way I’ve ever succeeded in my (repeated) attempts at dieting. To lose weight, you need to use more energy than you take in – and few of us can manage that by exercise or positive thinking alone.

Good ways of dieting to lose weight:

  • Keeping track of what you eat in a food diary (even if you don’t count calories, this is likely to make you much more aware of what you’re putting into your body).
  • Recognising that if you’re overweight, it’s (at least partially) due to over-eating. You will need to change your eating habits in order to lose weight.
  • Learning about healthy eating and nutrition – don’t just think about calorie content, but consider whether the foods you’re eating are good for you in other ways.

Bad ways of dieting to lose weight:

  • Eating too little: if you’re female, you shouldn’t drop below 1,000 calories a day, and if you’re male, you should be getting at least 1,500.
  • Getting obsessive about calories. It’s a good idea to keep track, but if you have the occasional day when you can’t – don’t panic!
  • Engaging in dangerous behaviours such as binge-eating, purging (vomiting or taking laxatives after a meal) or exercising excessively after eating something you feel you shouldn’t have had. All of these are bad for your body and your mental wellbeing.

Other ways to talk about dieting to lose weight

If the word “diet” has too many negative connotations for you, don’t think of yourself as being on a diet – call it:
“Eating healthily to lose weight…”
“Making some changes to my eating habits to be healthier…”
“Enjoying my food more by choosing things that make me feel good after I’ve eaten…”

Good luck with your diet (or not-diet)! And if you need a bit of extra help, why not buy my Dieting Basics ebook? I’ve dropped the price to a credit-crunch-beating $4 for the whole of January, and it’s packed with 88 pages of advice, tips and help. Just click here to find out more details.

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