In health and fitness, diet refers to the total quantity of food ingested by an individual or group over a defined period. Dietary guidelines for people on the Atkins and South Beach diets advise high-protein foods and high-fat foods as main components of a diet. In nutrition, the diet emphasizes that the majority of weight reduction and prevention of diseases is achieved through a balanced combination of healthy foods. Most of us have heard of the words “diet” and “calorie control.” However, what exactly does these terms mean?
A diet may be described as a dietary pattern with respect to food composition and caloric intake based on research, studies, or personal experience. Meta-analyses of published studies on diet and obesity show that diets low in calories lead to less body mass index or BMI, but are accompanied by increased caloric intake. Diets high in protein and carbohydrates lead to increased body mass index or BMI, but reduced calorie consumption. From these findings, it is possible to draw conclusions about the effects of diets in the way they affect body weight. But what really is the meaning of “diet” and “balance”?
The dictionary definition of diet states: “a prescribed regimen of foods especially for the maintenance of health or well-being, intended to reduce weight.” These definitions imply that diets are directed towards reducing weight. However, diets can be adapted for different purposes. For instance, low-fat diets, low-calorie diets, low-sugar diets, etc. have different underlying principles or guidelines as compared to low-carb diets.
The second definition of diet (entry 2 of the entry) of diet implies that the dieter has a specified number of calories per day to lose weight. This is closely related to the first definition of diet. Low-calorie diets are aimed to reduce calories, either by reducing intake of calories or by counting only those calories needed to maintain normal body weight. A low-calorie diet usually requires you to limit portion sizes, particularly in meals, as well as portion size in snacks. You will probably also need to take vitamins or minerals supplements, as prescribed by the diet program you choose.
The third entry of the definition of diet indicates that the diet should be tailored to meet individual requirements and needs. The word “diet” in this context is used as a generic term to refer to any dietary pattern and/or regimen. By considering a broad perspective, this broad view could accommodate both dietary programs that are designed to help you loose weight, and medical programs designed to reduce or eliminate diseases. The medical definition of diet could also include programs such as diabetic nutrition, weight management surgery, and other programs that have been prescribed by doctors for specific reasons. These programs are termed “medical diets” for a reason.
If you want to lose weight, diet programs can provide you with the necessary motivation. But if you do not know where to start or what foods to eat, your search may prove fruitless. This is where diet books, eBooks, websites, and magazines came in. For information on how to lose weight and where to find the best sources of information on how to create and maintain the proper diet program, consult the links below.