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  • Writer's pictureJessica Gerlock

Dieting Vs. Lifestyle Changes

As someone who has personally gone through a major weight loss transformation and has been able to keep off my weight loss for over 5 years now, I can tell you that the secret to long term weight loss success is not to be strict and do a hardcore diet but gradually making small lifestyle changes. Those small changes add up to much greater and longer weight loss success than dieting and restricting yourself ever will. Diets are usually very temporary and not maintainable, lifestyle changes are forever. Here are some of the reasons why you should focus on making lifestyle changes over dieting:

Long Term Weight Loss Success

You didn’t become overweight overnight and you should not loose all your weight overnight either. When first approaching a weight loss journey you should not go for the quickest/easiest way and go on a crash diet. You might lose weight at first but you will gain it back once you reintroduce the foods back. For long term weight loss success you should approach your weight loss as a lifestyle change making small healthy changes. This way you are not overwhelmed and can continue on your weight loss journey for longer without falling off the horse. Small changes will create healthy habits for you to incorporate in part of your daily routine.

Moderation, Not Restriction

For any kind of weight loss you don’t need to restrict yourself completely of anything and go all or nothing. Long term weight loss success is about balance and remembering that no body is 100% perfect. Yes fad dieting will help put you in a caloric deficit but it will also restrict you from certain things that eventually you will crave again. Aim for moderation, not restriction. Try making a lifestyle change for 80% of the time to be healthy and clean and 20% of the rest of the time you can enjoy life in moderation. It is not worth it to be miserable.


Many diets are quite restrictive and rigid, where as making lifestyle changes are more flexible as well as teaches you self-control and self-discipline. It is very easy to follow instructions and do something someone else says until you are on your own and you fall off. Rather than following a generic set plan made by a complete stranger, you can figure out what works with you and your schedule. By making small lifestyle changes, you can create a unique plan that fits into your life. Eventually as you continue, you will start creating healthy habits for long term success.

Regular Physical Activity

When you are dieting the only thing most people care about is getting into a calorie deficit to lose weight. Yes focusing on getting into a calorie deficit is very important but without daily physical activity it will be a much slower process. With making some healthy lifestyle changes, physical activity is just as important as dieting. I tell my clients all the time that weight loss is 100% diet, 100% exercise and 100% a positive mindset. You will get quicker weight loss results by incorporating exercise into your lifestyle and not just dieting.

Yo-Yo Dieting

“Yo-Yo” dieting is when you lose weight, gain it back, lose it again, and gain them back again. It ends up being a recipe for disaster and actually quite risky for your body. It can mess up metabolism as well as increase your risk of heart disease. Rather than speeding up your metabolism, you actually slow it down. Instead of your next fad diet you want to try, try incorporating small healthy lifestyle changes. Although it will take more time, it is permanent compared to going on another crash diet.

As you can see a diet is very temporary and dieting over and over can be quite unhealthy in the end. Most health professionals suggest making small lifestyle changes compared to strict dieting. Making small healthy changes in one’s lifestyle is the best chance to create healthy habits and keep off your weight loss success for the long haul. It may be tempting to lose a lot of weight quickly, but this is bad for your body and you will likely end up regaining the weight. Instead, aim for small healthy lifestyle changes. You can do it!

Stay Strong!

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