Fitness and Nutrition — By Ben on 26 February 2008
To diet or not to diet, that is the question

I love food. I love to shop for it, prepare it, take pictures of it, write about it and, over all, eat it. That’s why there is a word that really scares me every time I hear it. Diet. Maybe you have faced that concept before. In our modern and hectic lives sometimes the last thing we worry about is our health and as a result we end up with another even uglier word and concept. Overweight.

I used to be a little scrawny boy. But around the age of 12 I became a chubby little boy. I didn’t eat junk food or a lot of sweets or fast food (my parents never fed us that kind of food) but I ate a lot for a boy that age. I ate a lot of fruit, vegetables, grains, chicken and just about anything they put in front of me. And as a result I ended up being a chubby kid. Fortunately for me, my teen years hit and I grew tall and my belly went away.

Since then I haven’t suffered from a serious overweight problem. My worst problem was being 10 pounds over my ideal weight, but now that my third decade has almost come to an end I know I have to be a lot more careful with what I eat. That’s why I have lately been thinking about that ugly word.

Is dieting the key to lose weight? I believe that the answer is yes and no. Let my try to explain myself.

Yes because a balanced diet helps not only to lose weight, it is also the foundation of a healthy life. The math to lose weight is very simple. You need to burn more calories than what you eat during the day. That means that if you eat 2,000 calories a day and burn 2,100 then you are in the right track. This leads to the other part of my answer.

Dieting is not the key to lose weight. Not the dieting most people associate with losing weight, anyway. When they think about going on a diet, most people think about starving themselves and avoid eating certain food groups. But a healthy, balance and well-thought diet doesn’t have to be that way.

The key for me (and this is what this section of the blog is about, trying to find what works for me on my road to a healthier life and share that knowledge) is balance. I could never restrain myself from eating certain foods, unless they could kill me. So what I try to do is eat more of the foods that are good for my body and less of the foods that are not so good, no matter how yummy and delicious they look and taste. As I get older, I am also reducing the amount of other foods that my body doesn’t need as much now. I already stopped growing so I don’t need to drink as much milk or eat as much meat as before.

food_guide_pyramid_usda.jpg

One of the greatest guides one can find out there for a healthy diet is the food pyramid. It’s really easy to follow, eat lots of the food at the bottom and just very little of the food on top with varying amounts of everything in between. Also drink lots of water, 8 glasses a day, and exercise routinely.

Planning balanced meals and daily exercise might seem time-consuming and difficult for such modern and busy creatures like ourselves. I stopped looking at it as a pain in the butt long ago because when you really think about it, isn’t it worth it dedicating a couple of hours to our bodies so they can perform even better in the modern and hectic lives we lead? It is to me. We always have options and I have chosen health.

Useful resources related to this post:

Helpguide.org
Healthyeating.net
The World’s Healthiest foods
Healthy eating overview
Diet and dieting problems

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(8) Readers Comments

  1. And moving. A lot. Exercise is such a key component of living a healthy life. And getting enough sleep. They’re all important in the balance of things.

  2. It gets harder and harder,and the blogging doesnt help. I try to walk a lot as I dont belong to a gym any longer.

  3. I definitely carry an extra 15-20 pounds on me. I’ve been “voluptuous” since puberty. As I too, am nearing 40, I do worry about the health complications that my excess baggage can provide (my grandmother is diabetic). I find that I lose weight most easily when I concentrate on only eathing whole foods. If I do my best to eliminate sugar, white flour, chemicals, HFCS, and any other overly-refined foods, I seem to naturally eat fewer calories and lose weight. Of course it’s really hard to always be clean, so I aim for 100% clean 90% of the time. It works for me.

  4. well i carry an extra HUNDRED lbs on ME, and i can tell you if it was calories in calories out, i wouldn’t have a problem would i? all the stupid times i have tried to lose weight and succeeded would have been the end of the story, but your body has a mind of it’s own, and it WILL go back up to your previous weight PLUS MORE for good measure. even people that get all their intestines cut out with weight loss surgery gain the weight back, defying all logic… don’t even SAY the word diet to me, i can’t afford to get any fatter

  5. I wanted to comment and thank the author, good stuff

  6. I will take your rss feed, it’s surely great sites for noob like me,thx

  7. Keep working, great job so far :)

  8. Thank you! I liked it a lot.

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