(Closed) Which is better? Following a diet program or eating healthy and exercising?

posted 7 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
3620 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’ve had great success with eating healthily and exercising – my healthy eating modelled after the “Body for Life” program where you eat 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals, and you make sure that you’re incorporating a complex carb and a lean protein in each meal. I’ve been doing that since 8/1 and have lost 12lbs so far.

*edit – I have also given myself an “off” meal each week and a complete day off from healthy eating and exercise each week so that it’s not total deprivation.

Post # 4
Hostess
11167 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

While I’m sure that Weight Watchers and other diet options are beneficial for some women I just couldn’t fathom spending all that money on it for the rest of my life. I am a firm believer that being a healthy person shouldn’t necessarily be expensive or out of one’s reach due to cost (ie; gym membership, cost of diet program etc).

I’ve lost a total of 120 pounds by eating healthy smart options and excercising regulary. I have managed to keep it off for well over a year as I changed my lifestyle entirely rather than modifying it for a certain fad diet program.

Post # 5
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think there are positives to both approaches, you just need to consider which route you are most likely to stick with. A lot of times I get overzealous on a health kick and want to change all my eating habits and go to the gym for an hour every day…so I do it for a week or so, miss a day at the gym, and I’m off the wagon. For me, it’s better to start incrementally and add things on instead of trying to change too much at once and getting discouraged.

I’ve heard weight loss is primarily from changing your eating habits (though obviously exercising helps to burn additional calories and tone your body), so I started with that. I am doing the South Beach diet, which I chose because the first 2 weeks sort of “jump start” your weight loss. I get discouraged easily, so it was motivating to see the numbers moving on the scale. I’m now on a more moderate version of it (carbs are back!) and I’ve lost 8 lbs so far. I’m hoping to start incorporating exercise as well, but I need to find a time to incorporate it into my regular daily routine.

ETA: I don’t want to stay on a “diet” forever, but it has been motivating to lose some weight, particularly for the wedding. I’d like to transition to making healthier choices overall once I reach my goal weight. I think restricting yourself too much sets you up to fail if you try to maintain a diet lifestyle for a very long period of time.

Post # 6
Member
5011 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

Eating healthily and exercising regularly are the best long-term way to lose weight and keep it off. A diet plan is often just a quick fix and a lot of people regain more weight than they lost in the first place.

Post # 7
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

When my sister got serious about losing weight and getting healthy she just changed her diet and exercise routine. She lost a few pounds but really needed something more. She started a diet plan and it was life changing. She’s lost over 100 pounds and its on a program she can live with. She learned what she should eat and what to stay away from. Most diets evolve into a lifestyle change if its done properly. So in her case she needed a diet to actually see results.

Post # 8
Member
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think this is a bit of a loaded question because even though its a “diet program”, WW was about learning to eat healthier. It taught me a lot about portion control, making the right food choices (especially when dining out) and eating “real” foods. Could you get those same concepts elsewhere? Absolutely… But, I thought I was eating healthy before I joined WW and I learned that my idea of healthy wasn’t actually that healthy. Just because you don’t eat fried foods, candy bars and chips everyday doesn’t mean that you eat right. I highly recommend WW as a starting off point. It’s great to have the support system and you learn a lot about healthy living and how to make smart choices. I think if you did WW for a few months and then cancelled your membership but stuck to the program, you would have the necessary tools to make the right decisions. I certainly don’t intend on spending money on WW for the rest of my life. The beauty of the program is that its designed to reward you for reaching your goal weight by allowing you to attend WW meetings for free once you’ve reached the lifetime status. Honestly, I don’t think a lot of people have the accountability or motivation to do it on their own, and I think WW helps a lot with that. I lost 10 lbs on my own and then I completely plateaued. Joining WW helped me get over that plateau and I lost another 19 lbs to reach my goal weight. That is totally worth every penny I’ve spent on it, and then some. I think calling WW a diet or a fad is totally false because it really is about lifestyle changes which you can then maintain on your own, but with the right tools to keep you on track. 

Post # 9
Member
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Although I’ve never used it, Weight Watchers helps you to learn what you should be eating, and to know what the correct portion sizes are.  So, in a sense it’s the same thing as eating healthy.  There’s a lot to know about “eating healthy” and I think it’s good for people who are just starting out.  But the best rule is to eat right and exercise if you want to lose weight and keep it off. 

Post # 10
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I personally think that eating healthy and exercising regularly (and enough) is the best option. However, sometimes diet plans/programs can get you to a point where you know what is healthy to eat and how much of it you should be eating. Some people need diet plans to jump start their healthy eating habits. However, I don’t think a diet plan should be used long term. If you know how to eat healthy and you exercise regularly, you will be able to use that for the rest of your life.

Post # 11
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee

Completely agree with PitBulLover. I was one of those people that needed the motivation to start eating right and exercising so I joined Herbal Magic and was on it for a few months and lost 17lbs while on it and now 3lbs while not on it. The program and supplements are expensive, I don’t agree with how the consultants/coaches will tell you that you don’t have to exercise to lose the weight while on the program (I did. Not regularly, but often), or the fact that they claim you will gain all your weight back if you don’t keep buying the supplements (which I stopped and have actually lost weight because I kept eating right and exercising) but it did give me the right tools to decide what is a healthy lifestyle and how to maintain it.

Post # 12
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee

I think exercise + tracking your eating in a way that makes sense for you.  I pay $16/month to use WW Online, just because the points system helps me stay on track.  I’ve also used Livestrong in the past and that was great too. 

Post # 13
Member
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Without a single doubt, the latter.

Dieting doesn’t change your eating habits. Changing your eating habits, changes your eating habits. And excercise is just a given.

Post # 14
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I am very pro WW, myfitness pal and the like.  Tracking is very important for me.  Also, WW does advocate eating right and exercising, many people just don’t know what that actually means to lose weight.

Post # 15
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

That depends…. Are you looking for a blitz weight loss and don’t care about if the weight comes back or are you looking to permenantly shed pounds? I’ve found that dieting (unless you plan on sticking to said diet for the rest of your life) makes you lose weight relatively quickly but the minute you stop dieting, you gain back all the weight. For me, healthy eating + excersice works the best to get weight off and keep it off. 

Post # 16
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

weight watchers: too much emphasis on those pre-packaged meals = bad for you.

atkins: not balanced enough.

these diets are gimmicks that do not teach you how to lead a healthy lifetstyle.  maybe you will drop weight now, but you will probably not be able to maintain it the rest of your life. 

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