Dieting or Healthy Eating?

In the red corner, we have the current undefeated Champion of the World….The multi-billion dollar Diet Industry.

 Dieting or Healthy Eating?

In the blue corner, we have the 98 lb weakling known as… the Healthy Lifestyle

Skinny Fighter Dieting or Healthy Eating?


Which is better – Dieting or Healthy Eating?

  • With billions and billions of book sales, video downloads and online subscription, the Diet Industry is like a cross between Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather…with a big bucket of steroids and amphetamines thrown in for good measure.
  • The Healthy Lifestyle industry is like the little old lady who tells you to eat your vegetables.

As a result, the diet industry is the  1,000,000 to 1 odds-on favorite to win the battle for our “I want to get lean, healthy and fit” dollars. 

  • But maybe, just maybe, we may be looking at a comeback for Healthy Eating.
  • There is more and more research being done that proves that a health focused lifestyle is the better way to a trim waistline.

The Science

A New Zealand based study looked at the negative effect that stress had upon the health of obese women. They found that obese women can improve their health and prevent further weight gain by ditching their diets and learning to deal with stress.

  • The study encouraged women to break free of chronic dieting and make lifestyle changes, including listening to their feelings of hunger and fullness rather than focusing on weight loss.
  • Following a group of 225 women, the research showed that the women who lost weight by dieting often regained the weight they lost, and more, within five years.
  • The researchers found that “the most successful intervention involved providing intensive training in relaxation techniques while equipping the women to recognize and avoid stress-related triggers for eating.’’
  • “Many overweight women had a fearful and guilt-ridden relationship with food, and their eating was often emotionally triggered”.

Additionally, the research showed that this lifestyle approach resulted in “significant improvement in reducing psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and medical symptoms including headaches, fatigue and lowered blood pressure”

Hmmmmmmmmm…it sounds like the diet industry might have something to worry about.


  • American Journal of Health Promotion.
Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. Mary-Jo

    January 31, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Very true. Thanks for this post and making people aware! This is why in my blog, despite all the facts and knowledge of nutrition that I have — I spend alot of energy and time looking for things that can help address underlying stress and sources of anxiety.

  2. tammy

    May 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Great article and great job overall!