Dieting VS Lifestyle Changes: What Works Best

There’s always a new fad diet making its way around with success cases and horror stories. We’ve seen Atkins, Keto, and South Beach diets, to name a few of the popular ones, that hit the scene and then eventually simmered out. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds for an event, then a diet might work for you, but if you’re looking to lose some weight and keep it off, then a lifestyle change is your calling.

Before changing how you eat, consult with a nutritionist or doctor to make sure that your diet changes are more helpful than harmful. The last thing you want is to hurt any of your organs or bodily functions because you want to look better in a swimsuit. If you get the green light from a professional that you can move forward on your weight-loss journey, then you have some deciding to do on how you plan on losing some pounds.

The Main Differences

You’ll come across some people who swear by diets and others who swear against them. While some diets may work well, others tend to fail. Even if one works really well for your friend, it might not always work well for you because of different body compositions. Unfortunately, diets are really a game of trial and error, seeing what your body takes to best and which ones that may make you feel your worst.

According to the American Council of Exercise, only 5% of dieters keep their weight off. “Usually one-third of weight lost is regained within one year and almost lifestyle changesall is regained within three to five years.”

Diets are designed to be a quick fix to your health. They don’t have your long-term wellness in mind, instead, it’s about getting skinnier faster. Some promise the loss of 10 lbs in 5 days, while others may ensure inches off your waist in the matter of a month. Some diets can be healthy and useful, but they can also be dangerous.

If you are looking to not only lose weight but to also keep it off, then a lifestyle change will be best for you. If you’re hoping to lose 20-30 pounds, then you can’t just make a drastic change to your diet to lose it and keep it off. It must be a gradual process of eating healthy and cutting out the foods that are bad for your health.

Would a Diet Work for You?

If you find that you go through periods of feeling bloated, having a no-sugar diet for the month may work for you. It’s not a permanent fix to the problem, but if the issue isn’t permanent itself, then you really don’t need an on-going solution.  In this case, a diet would work best for you compared to a lifestyle change.

If you have a wedding coming up and hitting the gym just didn’t fit into your schedule, then cutting carbs for a week or two could work for your situation. If the matter at hand is just fitting into a specific dress for the day, then a big lifestyle change might not need to happen. You just have to make sure that you are keeping up with vital nutrients to stay healthy during this short process. The Mayo Clinic has a dieting plan that may work for you to ensure that you healthily lose your goal weight.

Is a Lifestyle Change a Better Fit?

Lifestyle changes are permanent – you don’t come in and out of them every month because you’re bored or feel like cheating on how you eat. They call for commitment, which comes from a mindset stemming from understanding that your diet change isn’t about only looking better, but to instead be healthier.

While vegetarianism and veganism are some of the more popular lifestyle changes when it comes to eating, you don’t have to choose either of these. There are advances and drawbacks in both eating habits, and if you know your body works best on meat, then that’s what you need to focus on.

Instead, you can choose to avoid sugars and flours, specifically in processed and prepared foods. You can limit or end the habit you feel contributes most to your weight gain and poor health. This can be soda, packaged snacks, pre-boxed lunches, sugar-intensive drinks, fat-filled foods, and more.

Other Things to Consider

lifestyle changesHand in hand with diet changes is exercise alterations, as well. While eating healthier is the largest contributor in your journey, staying active is a very close second. You don’t have to join the gym or take classes if you don’t feel like either is the right fit for you, but moving your body will help burn calories, tone your muscles and help give you a new mindset.

Going for a walk before or after work could be a great option for you. Start with a manageable goal and work your way up to more far-reaching distances. Start with walking half a mile, then shift to walking a mile. You can throw jogging into the mix if that is something you’re interested in, and maybe add in 10 push-ups and 25 crunches. Set achievable goals for yourself, so when you start meeting them, you’re going to want to keep pushing your limits. The feeling of success will start to build naturally and come entirely from you.


At the end of the day, the only person who can hold yourself responsible in either of these diet changes is you. Relying on anyone else for the changes in your health and wellness will be a losing game, because not only will you not be doing it entirely for yourself, but eventually, you both will lose steam. It’s totally acceptable to ask for help, but you can’t ask for anyone to hold you.