What do you prefer – dieting or healthy eating? Isn’t it a tricky question? Should you lose weight or gain health? You may be successful in dieting but the prospects could be more detrimental than beneficial. This doesn’t happen in case of healthy eating. The number on the scale budges, saving your weight-loss efforts and providing you good health.

Dieting may not help you to lose weight in the long run. You always feel hungry, unsatisfied and frustrated. It is always better to fill your stomach with healthier options having fewer calories. Complement it with logging enough time in your bed. Being tired or sleeping less than six hours a day may slow your metabolism and cause hormonal changes, leading to weight gain. It may also make you feel more hungry and eat more. Exercise is equally important but overdoing it can backfire. Your 80 per cent focus should be on healthy eating, keeping the calories intake in mind and 20 per cent on work out schedules. It’s better to spend some time and energy on planning balanced meals.

Always choosing diet food like salads may not be your best option. They may not contain enough nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Just because a food supports your dieting plan doesn’t mean you can eat it solely and repeatedly. Eating whole wheat bread, nuts and using olive oil are healthy changes. However, they are not low calorie substitutes, so the mantra lies in controlling the portion.

Experts say never skip breakfast. Wholegrain cereal is one of the best selections to have healthier weight. You must have been told not to eat in the evening. To avoid evening meal is possible only when you sleep early. What if you stay up till midnight or so, your body will naturally require food. At that times, you may binge on highly calorised snacks that are readily available and more tempting. To avoid this, aim at healthy eating in the evening, keeping a gap of at least three hours between your dinner and bed time. In this way you will be able to burn calories and fat by the time you sleep.

You need to eat every three to four hours to keep your metabolism rate high. The secret of an apt health lies in eating more often in smaller amounts instead of eating less frequently. It is good to create your own food log rather than dieting. It may make you a more responsible healthy eater.

Substitute water for sugary beverages like juices and flavoured sodas. A study revealed that by drinking two glasses of water half an hour before eating meal, you may consume much fewer calories than usual. Say completely NO to unhealthy and calorie-dense food. Avoid excessive munching even with low calorie snacks. Eat more home-cooked food rather than restaurant food. Eat slowly savouring the flavours. Give your brain enough time to get signals that you are reasonably full. If you have a sitting job, boost your metabolism and increase calorie burn by standing and stretching every hour. Keep yourself stress free. Any kind of stress leads to increase in amount of hormone called cortisol. It may increase the amount of fats your body stores away.

Dieting may be sabotaging your best get-fit efforts. So why not eat nutritious food high in fibre and water content, which will help you consume less calories. Go for more plant food, whole, unprocessed foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar. Also, they should be high in nutrients. What you can eat is more motivating than what you shouldn’t eat.

Dieting only results in regaining the lost weight as soon as you go off the diet plan. Give up fad dieting in favour of wholesome healthy eating and healthy habits. Stick to ‘better food and no more’ with a healthy lifestyle instead of starving.