When we hear the word dieting, we immediately think of losing weight, counting calories, avoiding fast food and other stereotype characteristics. But dieting is a word that enfolds a larger group of people, than only the ones that want to lose weight. The definition says a diet is a special course of food to which a person is restricted, either for weight control or for medical reasons. For whatever reason a diet is followed, when can we conclude it is or isn’t recommended to follow a diet? Only a small group of people are restricted to following a diet.

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It’s not the people we think of first, the ones who need to lose weight, but it’s the ones who need it for medical reasons or elite sports incentives. For all rest, people like you and me, it is rather a question if we really need a diet with restrictive prescriptions. Why not just learn how to maintain healthy habits and live by them like a so called easy lifetime diet? Dieting requires behavioral changes that are not easy to adopt or maintain in the long run. A dieting plan with a balanced intake of foods may reduce your risks for chronic diseases.

On the other hand, if you do not plan carefully, dieting may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. It is recommended to consult your doctor before embarking upon any diet plan. When a diet is for medical reasons, the medical benefits are determinative for executing the diet. But what about personal reasons? The biggest benefit of dieting is that you can lose weight, especially when you also engage in physical activity. There’s a large amount of possible diet programs on the market.

These diet plans may be effective in helping you lose weight in the short-term and lose even more weight in the long-term when you increase your adherence to the diet. But why engage in a prescriptive way of eating, if you can do it easily with just eating healthy and make that your way of living without over-thinking what and when you should eat? Having healthy food habits without being in some calorie-counting diet, can improve your physical health, particularly when you consume a balanced diet of foods, allowing you to obtain adequate amounts of essential nutrients.

A healthy diet plan emphasizes whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry and lean meat; it also minimizes sodium, added sugars, cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats. Weight loss from maintaining healthy eat habits is associated with reduced risks of chronic conditions and diseases that include obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and cancer. It may also enhance your mental health and improve your self-esteem. And it works in the long term as it becomes your daily routine and at some point, you don’t even think about it anymore.

The hard part about whether a diet or just eating healthy, is changing your eating behavior. At first, you may feel excited about the prospect of looking thinner and may adhere to the plan wholeheartedly. Over time, though, you may be tempted to eat the high-calorie foods you were used to eating before the diet. You may simply find the diet plan too restrictive to adhere to every day. Low rates of weight loss success are due to inability to adhere to dieting strategies in the long-term and that sustained adherence to reducing calories and increasing exercise is effective for establishing self-set dieting goals.

That’s why a diet should be avoided. You might not have spectacular results in the short run, but in the long run you don’t find yourself struggling with just living the healthy life. Not only the fact you have to live by prescriptions, dieting may also cause medical problems. It can increase your risk of gallstones as rapid weight loss can result in a high probability of gallstone formation; they can occur even when prevention strategies are implemented. So called crash diets, is when energy intake is restricted by very low intake of energy, mostly by cutting down carbohydrates and fats, to lose weight quickly.

The weight loss will occur, but other causes are the jojo effect (these diets can’t be maintained for a large period and as the body went into sleep mode with mostly loss of water, it tends to put on more weight after the diet), shortening in required nutrients, lack of energy and sleeping disorders. Automatically less bodily activity is done, what causes the breakdown of muscle tissue. In the long term, these diets only work against the goal of losing weight. Diets with smaller or no energy intake restriction and only a restriction of carbohydrates, cause a great weight loss as well but aren’t without danger either.

Examples are the Atkins and South Beach diet. These diets contain a lot of saturated fat, what can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Because of the longer term, shortening of certain essential nutrients can occur. Dieting requires behavioral changes that are not easy to adopt or maintain in the long run. A dieting plan with a balanced intake of foods may reduce your risks for chronic diseases. On the other hand, if you do not plan carefully, dieting may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. It is recommended to consult your doctor before embarking upon any diet plan. As it might feel like a diet at start, weight control and other physical appearance incentives come automatically by just eating healthy, having enough sleep and performing regularly in physical activity. It is about changing behavior and approach your goal judiciously – not jumping into some diet that offers you a quick solution for your primary goal, along with secondary consequences that may harm you more in the long run.

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