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Healthy vs. Diet Foods

Twenty-two days into the New Year and here is our diet report:  Hubby has lost approximately 9 pounds since January 1st, by eliminating most carbs and really focusing on eating healthier.  I've been impressed with his choice of healthy salads and soups at restaurants.  So how am I doing?  You may remember that I decided that I would eliminate wheat from my diet because elimatinating all carbs is torture on me and I just can't do it.  I thought maybe if I stopped eating breads, cookies, cakes, etc, that I would lose weight because those are my temptations.  Well, I'm very disappointed to report that I've actually gained 3 pounds on this diet.  SIGH.  I know what the problem is, though.  I have been preparing most meals at home, all low carb, but of course that means more meat than I would normally eat and add in the fact that I was allowing myself to eat all carbs besides wheat….yeah.  We have been eating out a lot less, eating many more veggies, and when we do go out, we eat healthier options, BUT I need to tone it down on the meat (even though it's mostly lean) and other carbs.  ha!  So, it's time to reassess and focus on eating healthy, not just eliminating one certain thing.  So I'm going to try to fill my plate with half veggies, and just watch my meat and carb portions, all while increasing exercise.  Sigh, sigh, sigh. 

Which brings me to something that it's taken me a long time to learn….diet does not mean "healthy" in most situations.  Diets are a good way to jump start weight loss, but they're oftentimes not healthy.  Hubby is trying to lose weight for a few months by low carb dieting.  He's not going to do this forever, but if he can lose weight and then switch to eating healthy habits, it will be easier to keep off the weight.  

Diets are great for those who are overweight and it is affecting their health.  If they can shed some pounds by dieting and gain confidence to keep losing and striving for a healthier lifestyle, I think that's great.  But, if you examine any of the prepackaged diet foods, you'll find that they are loaded with preservatives and sodium, and oftentimes sugar, and rarely taste that good.  I won't name any names here, but you're likely familiar with the big brands that produce food intended for you to lose weight.  I've been a member of such a program…for a month…and I lost 7 lbs.  They promised that I wouldn't be hungry and I would enjoy the food.  Well….I was hungry most days and I had to force myself to eat a lot of the foods they sent to me.  BUT, it did make me lose weight, which was the ultimate goal…it just wasn't a very healthy way of doing so.

diet foods

These diet foods also contain hydrogenated oils, caramel color, corn syrup solids, phosphates, synthetic nutrients, additives, artificial sweeteners, and many other things you'd probably be shocked that were in "diet" food.  

So what's the solution?  Eat real food.  Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food has many tips to make it easy on you.  Of course, you can eat real food and still be eating way too much real food, but I think that once you start eating more real, fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, meats and real seasonings as opposed to mysterious sauces and packets of weird stuff, the weight will come off and you'll be healthier.  

real food

Our family is working on getting there, it's a hard process, but it is a little change that we can make.  And if you think that life is much too busy to make this change, check out Lisa's simple, delicious recipes and meal plans!

Have you started eating healthier this year?  Have you tried diet foods?  I'd love to hear your opinion!

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Maria (Mammahomemaker)

Thursday 31st of January 2013

I've been on Nutrisystem for the past 2 1/2 months and I have lost over 30lbs. Although I have to admit, I found healthier recipes to use at home too, so I can have meals with my family. Even though you're eating more protein, you should definitely limit the portion of it. Always have 4-6 oz of any lean protein. Eat smaller meals through out the day. I love my greek yogurt. It's high in protein and good fats and carbs, it's helps keep you fuller until your next meal. Your idea of filling your plate halfway with veggies will definitely help too. You don't have to cut all carbs out, but definitely limit them. I'm allowing myself 1 dinner roll at night and 1 slice of white bread at lunch. It's hard, but if you stick to it, you'll succeed! Best of luck and keep us posted!


Tuesday 29th of January 2013

Yes yes yes! Diets are short temp fixes that are not good to continue too long. It's seriously about making lasting changes in food and exercise.  Moderation and portion control make a huge difference as does eliminating empty calories. Cutting out soda almost completely made a huge difference for me! 


Saturday 26th of January 2013

I agree, dieting in general doesn't always (or often, even) equal healthy living. While it's okay to diet for short periods, it's important to make healthy changes that last a lifetime too.

Ellen Christian

Friday 25th of January 2013

I try really hard to eat healthy but I totally admit to having my weaknesses too. For the most part, I try to do better each day.


Thursday 24th of January 2013

I have no tried any diet programs that send you food. I have bought the frozen low calorie meals. I do like them, but they are NOT all winners!

I am not dieting. Just like you said it's temporary. It's about being healthier all around. Sure some weeks are going to be better than others. It's a big learning process, and our bodies don't always follow the rules.

Good Luck to you on figuring out what works for you! The numbers may show a gain, but I bet you've seen improvements in other ways.

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Family lifestyle blogger from
Tyler, TX
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