Many of us refer to eating healthy and dieting for weight loss in an interchangeable way. That said, the reality is that healthy dieting and weight loss dieting don’t necessarily imply the same thing. They can both be applied to the same eating strategy, but just because a way of eating can be described as one, it doesn’t mean that it is also the other.
Where is the Confusion Between Eating Healthy and Dieting?
It’s common for the root of the confusion between eating healthy and dieting to stem from the definition of the word “diet”. When many of us use it, it’s in reference to a weight loss diet. That said, it can also simply refer to the foods we eat on the average day, or to a special way of eating for a reason other than for weight loss, such as to avoid an allergy, to control insulin – as is the case for people with diabetes – or for another condition.
The obesity epidemic has exploded across the United States and much of the world. As a result, the use of the word diet is used in conjunction with dealing with weight more than any other condition. It means that when people talking about being on a diet, the assumption is typically that they are restricting the way they’re eating in order to reduce their body mass.
How It’s Different from Healthy Eating
While many of us assume that if someone is dieting to lose weight, they are also focused on healthy eating, this is not always the case. While it is possible to use healthy eating as a part of a weight loss diet – and is what is recommended by doctors – it is not always what dieters do. Many weight loss diets are at the opposite end of the spectrum from being nutritious.
They are focused more on reducing calories, fats, carbohydrates or making other restrictions than on ensuring the dieter receives complete balanced nutrition.
Healthy Eating and Weight Loss
Of course, it is possible to make a weight loss diet out of healthy eating. It involves learning about nutrition and paying attention to what you eat. This means that you will make sure your meals and snacks provide you with a variety of whole foods and, therefore, a range of vitamins and minerals.
When you are healthy eating for weight loss, you’ll likely also pay attention to your macronutrient ratios and to your calorie intake. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating an extremely low calorie diet. In fact, eating healthfully means that you won’t eat too many calories, but it also requires you not to eat too few.