Difference between Dieting and Fasting

Key difference: The main difference between the two terms is that ‘dieting’ is defined as the practice of eating food at regular intervals for health benefits, whereas ‘fasting’ is defined as the practice or the act of not consuming food for a certain or set period of time.

Nowadays, with the health fanatics rising and taking all over the world, being ‘slim’ or ‘lean’ or having a ‘size-zero figure’ are the next-big-thing terms used for defining a good body. And, in order to achieve that look, people will or can follow any method or mean to have that ‘good body’. This is where the terms ‘dieting’ and ‘fasting’ come in, as these are the two easiest and simplest methods of reducing weight.

Though, both the terms may be used for the same reasons and be used interchangeably, dieting and fasting are quite different from each other. Dieting is defined as the practice of eating food at regular intervals of time to increase, decrease or maintain the body weight. It is simply eating and drinking selective foodstuffs. Also, it controls the food desires and teaches one to limit their amount of food-intake.

Dieting is often considered as a part of a physical regime that is followed by people, who want to lose, gain or maintain their weight. Although, there is no proven difference between the different types of diets, there are four main categories of it:

  • Low-fat diet
  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Low-calorie diet and
  • Very low calorie diet

And, as these names suggest, these diets based on their moderate or low intakes are helpful in weight loss. Also, here there is no absence of food or water, as both are taken in regulated fashion in a diet. It is considered as a healthy lifestyle that helps one in eating good food and taking in the right nutrients for their bodies.

Fasting, on the other hand, is the act of willing forgoing a meal or the consumption of food for a certain set period of time. Fasting in its strictest sense means abstaining from anything that is considered as food or anything but water i.e. it means taking in nothing except water. In fact, no tea, no juices, no coffee, even no fruits are allowed during a fast. Though, there are modified fasts such as:

  • Fruit fast – consume nothing but fruit juices
  • Juices fast – consume nothing but raw fruits

Fasts are considered important before blood test or medical exams. At times, obese people also keep fast in order to lose weight because of their intermittent nature. Also, there are religious fasts wherein one scarifies their natural desire for food and spend some time with God in order to seek spirituality. Here, the religious fast may also mean to abstain from sex and other human activities.

Thus, from the above definition, one can understand the differences between the terms ‘fasting’ and ‘dieting’. Fasting is eating food in limited portions for weight loss, whereas fasting is not consuming anything except water for weight loss. Though, the occasional dieting and fasting is considered good for health, but both in excess can cause really fatal and dangerous health problems.

Comparison between Dieting and Fasting:

 

Dieting

Fasting

Definition

It is defined as the practice of eating food at regular intervals for health benefits.

It is defined as the practice or the act of not consuming food for a certain or set period of time.

It is

It is a healthy lifestyle.

It is mostly religious.

Consumption

There is consumption of both food and water.

There is no consumption of food, but only water.

Intake

It allows the intake of only limited amount of food.

It only allows the intake of water.

Types

There are four main categories:

  • Low-fat diet
  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Low-calorie diet and
  • Very low calorie diet

The different types of fasts are:

  • Fruit fast
  • Juices fast

Image Courtesy: weightlosstricks.org, faithingeeks.com

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