Cheats vs. Choices: The Difference Between “Dieting” and a Healthy Lifestyle

Well, the holidays are over, and for many of us, that means “getting back on track” with our eating. Maybe it was that fancy dessert at the in-laws’, or maybe it was something savory and nibbly at the office holiday party that led you to eat too many carbohydrates, but now it’s the new year, and you’re recommitting to a new you.

Did you “cheat on your diet”? I hope not. Because regarding your eating habits as a “diet” puts you in the frame of mind that says once you achieve your goal weight or size, you can go “off” your “diet” — and that ALWAYS leads to regaining the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose!

Whatever healthy eating regimen you choose to follow, it needs to be a LIFESTYLE, not a “diet.” And you can’t “cheat” on a lifestyle!

Okay, you ask, then what do you call that double helping of cornbread dressing and the huge slice of pecan pie for dessert? If it’s not a cheat, what is it?

Here’s the difference between dieting and making healthy eating a way of life: If you choose to eat something that’s not on your plan, it’s a choice YOU’VE made. No one is holding your mouth open and stuffing treats into it. Only you can choose what goes into your body, and if you choose something that’s not on your plan, you’re the one who has to live with the consequences. Therefore, only you can decide whether those poor choices are worthwhile to you, and if so, which ones you choose and how often you choose to have them.

By the same token, no one has the right to condemn you for making those choices, nor should you beat yourself over the head for getting off track. It’s your body, it’s your lifestyle, and just as you made the choice to eat something unhealthy, you can make the next choice to get back on your plan and continue your healthy lifestyle!


You can read Chandra’s low carb success story in the CarbSmart magazine: megsstory.html.

Chandra is also the listowner of the Low Carb Muffin Mania list on Yahoo, which you can access at:

She is a frequent contributor to the following low carb recipe and support lists:

CarbSmart Choices:

The CarbSmart Recipe Exchange:


Low Carb Chat:

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