Dieting Versus Lifestyle Changes: Making a Long-Term Impact

Many people want to lose weight or improve their health in other ways. When this happens, they often turn to diets, exercise programs, or similar areas to help them achieve their goals. It’s often a disappointment to find that while they had drive and motivation, they ended up in the same place they were before.

This has led many people to look for another option. Lifestyle change is a popular phrase that’s being used in magazines, television, and other areas. The reason for this is that multiple studies have shown that long-term weight loss is the result of healthy lifestyle changes.

What is a Lifestyle Change?

Studies that have looked at long-term success with weight loss found that people who maintained their weight have made true lifestyle changes. This is the key to success, rather than sticking with the latest fad diet. What makes this different from a diet though? There are a few key characteristics

  • Lifestyle changes aren’t temporary. If you follow a specific dietary plan for a month and then go back to your old eating habits, then you’re really not making any lifestyle changes. Instead of a short-term plan, lifestyle changes involve making healthy habits a normal part of your lifestyle.
  • Lifestyle changes are about balance. Any area of self-improvement notes that discovering balance in your life is the key to making long-term changes work for you. Without having this balance, you can end up feeling deprived and overwhelmed. This means that while you’re focused on making healthy choices the majority of the time, you also have the space for some indulgence in your life. This is in contrast to diets which can be restrictive with minimal “cheats.”
  • Lifestyle changes will become a part of your routine. In the beginning, you’ll probably have to put some effort into changing the way that you live, exercise, or eat. However, as you focus on ways to incorporate these habits into your schedule, you’ll find that they do become habits over time. For example, if you make walking every morning a habit, soon you’ll find that you end up missing that when you’re not able to do it daily.
  • Lifestyle changes must be things that you can do on your own. Diets are all about following a plan that’s already been set for you. This is only a temporary fix and following that for a long time would be difficult due to a loss of personal preferences and choices. Figuring out how to incorporate healthy habits into your own schedule is the more realistic option.

The Problem with Diets

What often makes people confused when distinguishing between these two areas is that they seem to have the same goal. They often do but diets have been shown to be temporary and usually don’t lead to long-term success. Consider some of the popular diets that are encouraged today such as the ketogenic diet. People will find that they lose weight in the short-term which is encouraging to them. However, this diet was extremely hard to follow over time, which led to people going back to their original dietary habits. This often then leads to their regaining all the weight that they originally lost and sometimes even more.

Making Lifestyle Changes

Keep in mind that you don’t have to ignore all of the diet-related advice provided. Some diets emphasize including more plant-based foods into your diet and others have good advice as well. The key to making these changes work is that you have to believe that you can incorporate the changes into your own schedule and follow those changes in the long-term.

Finally, lifestyle changes usually are more of a gradual process than a rapid one. It’s a good idea to start by making one or two changes at a time and then focusing on those for a month until they become a habit. Making these slow but effective changes over time will lead to long-term success. If you’re tired of trying to work on self-improvement and failing every time, then it’s time to start focusing on lifestyle changes rather than the latest diet plan. This overview provides a great reason why diets are probably not the best option for you and providing one that will be.

Why Fitness and Health are essential to you.

There are various of reasons why health and fitness should be one of your top priorities. By not taking good care of your health, you could constantly be getting sick and paying unnecessary doctor consultations because of your reduced immune system. Fitness doesn’t just have to do with how you look and achieving your body goal, but it’s so much more than that. Fitness and health are connected and by taking good care of yourself, you could potentially live a long and healthy life. In this article, we’ll be discussing exactly why you should take care of your health and overall well-being.

1. You live a happier life

Fitness and health are both connected so when you’re physically fit, it’s only natural that your health is being taken care of. When you take good care of yourself, this ensures that you live a happier life. Regular exercise is proven to give off endorphins in your body, which is responsible for making you feel good. When you take good care of your health with regular exercise and a healthy diet, this improves your mood and reduces your chances of having stress, depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses. Fitness is how you take good care of your body, and it isn’t just reaching your body goal. Fitness, unlike the misconception, isn’t focused on muscle growth or weight loss. These aspects may be a part of it, but the end goal is your health and your strength. When you’re fit, it’s only natural that you become strong enough to resist certain sicknesses and diseases.

2. Your heart becomes healthy

Asides from your mood, fitness is also proven to do wonders for your heart. No matter what exercise you do, whether it’s strength or cardio, both of these are advantageous to your heart. By refusing to exercise, your heart is in danger and is more at risk to cardiovascular diseases. Not only does being fit keeps your blood pressure stable, but it reduces your chances of heart strokes and other diseases. As you’re aging, you will be prone to getting sick if you don’t take good care of your body.

3. You don’t become overweight

When you live a fit and healthy life, you won’t have to worry about being overweight and the risk it includes. When you’re overweight, you’re prone to various diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease and even cancer. Being overweight means you don’t regularly exercise and take good care of your diet and your health. In return, you open yourself to many health-related risks, and this affects even your physical appearance. When you’re overweight, you might get insecure about yourself and have a lower self-esteem.

4. Stronger bones and muscles

With a fit and healthy lifestyle, you have stronger bones and you’re less prone to arthritis, back pain and any muscle injury. Exercise makes your endurance stronger so that it isn’t as fragile compared to when you don’t exercise regularly. If you have particularly stiff muscles, a fitness-focused lifestyle helps your body with endurance and strength. In addition, you wouldn’t feel as tired when walking- or running- for a long period of time. As exercise strengthens your bones and muscles, you realize that you feel stronger and much healthier prior to a life without physical activity.

5. You have a healthier skin
Since you’re taking extra good care of both your health and your diet, it’s only natural that this will reflect in your skin. When you’re taking proper care of your health and you ensure that your diet comprises of a healthy balance of all the food groups, your skin will naturally glow and radiate from inside out, compared to when you didn’t care on what you eat as long as it tastes good to you.

In conclusion, these are 5 ways on how living a life full of fitness and health will change your life for the better. You may think that fitness is all about physical appearance, but it’s really not. Fitness has more to do with your health- physical, mental and emotional. When you’re healthy, you don’t just avoid getting sick, but you maintain a good mental health which is important for having a happy and fulfilling life.