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When we talk about diet and dieting, many people think this just refers to eating in a way that helps to lose weight. Whilst changes in eating habits may be required if we want to shed a few pounds, the term diet, generally refers to the food we consume on a daily basis.
Food provides the body with the nourishment it needs to function properly and to stay healthy. Our individual choice of food, therefore, can have a major impact on whether we are as healthy as we could be.
Diet can be influenced by many things – where we live in the world, our culture, and our financial circumstances, for example, but our ability to stay healthy and to enjoy a sense of well-being is largely influenced by our own dietary preferences.
There is a saying that ‘we are what we eat’. The rising levels of obesity in the US and much of the western world today suggest that burgers, fries and sodas are not the way to go, and that we should give more consideration to eating a healthier range of foods.
Why is a Healthy Diet Important?
A healthy diet provides the body with more of the vital nutrients it needs to ensure it can repair and renew itself naturally and quickly, every single day. Some of these nutrients cannot be produced by the body itself, and need to be supplied in the food we eat.
Healthy eating and diet are also important for weight management. By eating the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats we provide the body with the nourishment it needs, more efficiently, without putting on excess weight.
When most people talk of losing weight, what they really want is to lose body fat and inches so they look better. We all like to look good, and excessive body fat can look unsightly. It can also pose a serious threat to your health – respiratory and heart problems to name a few.
Unfortunately, many slimmers want or expect to be able to lose a lot of weight quickly, but losing weight or excess body fat, is not something that can happen that rapidly.
It takes time to lose weight, a gradual process of changing habits until you are exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
Ask yourself. Over what period of time has my body weight increased to the point where it has become unacceptable to me? Months? Years?
You didn’t put it on overnight and it’s not going to go away overnight.
Reasons to lose weight
Probably the two main motivations for seriously losing weight are for medical or cosmetic reasons. Either your health could be adversely affected by carrying too much weight – consider the rise in obesity amongst adults and children – or you want to feel a bit better about yourself and shed a few pounds in order to look better and drop a jeans size or two.
Whatever your reason, you must first understand why you are putting on weight, then make gradual changes to your lifestyle, and stick to them. It is one thing to lose weight, but quite another to keep it off.