30 Jul 2010
Too often you'll hear people say they need to lose weight to get healthy. Though the body mass index (BMI) does show an increase in certain health problems after you reach a certain weight, simply being skinny doesn't necessarily mean that you're healthy. There are several key differences between dieting to lose weight and starting a healthy diet that will naturally lead to weight loss.
Dieting to Lose Weight
If you simply want to lose weight, all you have to do is create a calorie deficit. When you burn more calories than you eat, your body will turn to fat stores for energy and the weight will come off. Losing weight is a function of how big your calorie deficit is, not how healthy your diet is. Though eating healthy foods can help you lose weight, you can also lose it by eating pizza and chinese food as long as you're burning more calories than you're eating. The same is true about gaining weight/getting fat while eating nothing but healthy foods.
Eating Healthy With Natural Weight Loss
A better approach to dieting to lose weight is to start eating healthier. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, legumes and fish/seafood are a lot more nutritious and lower in calories than foods such as sodas, white flour, candy, fast food and pizza. Replacing unhealthy foods with healthy ones will naturally cause your calorie intake to drop which will mean weight loss without counting calories, measuring food and worrying about how much you eat. These healthy foods are also a lot more nutrient dense which means you'll increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. You'll be healthy rather than just skinny.
The Bottom Line
It's wrong to assume that being skinny also means being healthy. Though weight is one of the predictors of overall health, it's not the only one. If you're skinny by not eating a lot, you might be just as unhealthy as an overweight person. When you don't eat, you aren't getting enough nutrients through your diet. These nutrients help protect against heart disease, certain cancers and other diseases while giving you the energy to live your life. Leading a healthy lifestyle means eating right, exercising and enjoying yourself, it's not about your weight.