Diet and Health Vocabulary

Diet and health vocabulary is already a part of our daily lives. There are a lot of programmes on TV giving tips on weight loss or eating healthy. You can find hundreds of books written on the topic of losing weight or healthy recipes to follow a good diet. Social media is another platform where different people from all around the world post their daily meals or sharing their tips on losing or gaining weight or the calories of the food we consume. Even the food labels that you see on different food products on the shelves of a grocery store have a great deal of vocabulary related to diet and health that you may not even understand all.

Everyday you read or hear many different words and expressions about diet and health, but how many of them you really know?

Let's learn some of the commonly used diet and health vocabulary you may often come across.


Metabolism is the process your body uses to produce energy from what you eat and drink and burn this energy to help your body to function.

Your metabolism can be slow or fast. If you have a slow metabolism, your body burns the calories slowly. When you have a fast metabolism, your body burns the calories quickly.

Example sentences:

  • Having too little tyroid hormone has negative effects on her metabolism.
  • It is said that drinking green tea daily boosts your metabolism. 

Lose weight - Gain weight 

First of all, what is weight? Weight is a measure of how heavy you are. 

You measure weight in different ways. In the United States, the imperial system is used to measure weight. In some other countries around the world, metric system is used to measure weight. Metric system uses kg. If you weigh 60 kilograms, you weigh 132,77 pounds according to the imperial system.

Lose weight is a phrase that we use when we exercise and we become less heavier. If you weight goes from 80 kgs to 68 kgs, then you lose weight.

Weight loss is the noun form, it is the process of losing weight when you eat healthy and exercise. It is a decrease in your body weight.

Gain weight or put on weight is a phrase when we eat food that contain so much fat and as a result we become heavier. For example, if you weight goes from 50 kgs to 70 kgs, then you gain weight or put on weight. 

Weight gain is the noun form, it is the process of gaining weight and as a result there is an increase in your body weight.

Example sentences:

  • I gained weight during the quarantine.
  • She is currently working with a dietitian and losing weight gradually and healthy.
  • The weight-loss tips include drinking water before the meals and not skipping breakfast. 


Diet is the kinds of food you usually eat. It is what you eat daily to help your body to generate energy and use it in daily activities.

Diet also means eating less food than usual because you want to lose some weight.

We need to talk about two phrases related to the word diet:

Go on a diet: When you go on a diet, you decide to start eating healthier than usual by controlling the amount of what you eat or drink and choosing low-calorie food to lose weight.

Be on a diet: When you are on a diet, you already started controlling what you eat and you eat less than usual.

Example sentences:

  • This time I decided to go on a diet and lose 25 lbs till summer.
  • Sorry, I can't eat that chocolate cake, I'm on a diet.

Get in shape

This phrase means working on your body to make it look better and more fit. When you exercise regularly you lose some weight, your muscles show up after some time and you start to have a toned body. Your body looks good, strong and fit.

Example sentences:

  • It's my dream to get in shape till January.
  • This program will help you get in shape in just 30 days.

Cut down on

Cut down on something means you eat or consume less of a particular food or drink to control your weight or lose weight.

When you are on a diet you usually cut down on sugar, fat or carbohydrates.

Example sentences:

  • I'll cut down on sugar for 14 days to speed up my weight loss.
  • You need to cut down on sugary drinks and drink more water if you want to consume less calories.

Cheat meal

First let’s talk about cheating. What does it mean to cheat? Life consist of some rules. At school, at work, at traffic, in games you have to follow some rules to be successful, to get what you want, not to have problems or to win. If you don’t obey the rules to win or to get what you want, then you cheat and you are not fair. 

You usually cheat on an exam when you don't study for it.

It is the same for being on a diet. When you are on a diet, you have some rules to follow. For example, you need to consume less sugar, stay away from cakes, chocolate, etc. or you shouldn’t eat pizza,hamburger,etc  if you want to lose weight. Some food are not allowed on your diet.

A cheat meal is a meal that you allow yourself to eat some snacks, hamburgers, pizza or some high calorie food which is not normally allowed on your diet. It is like a celebration of diet for your body, you indulge yourself with the food you love. You temporarily break the rules that you follow on your diet with a cheat meal.

Example sentences:

  • I always cook vegetables in the oven with olive oil the day after my cheat meal to balance the calories.
  • Mac and cheese is my favorite cheat meal!


Carbs is the short form of carbohydrates.

Carbs, or carbohydrates are one of the three major food classes with proteins and fats. There are two main forms of carbohydrates: sugar and starch. Our body uses the carbohdyrates to generate energy for muscles. 

Examples of foods that are high in carbs are potatoes, bread, pasta, fruit, rice and corn.

You should limit the carbohydrates in your meals if you want to lose weight.

Example sentences:

  • A medium-sized banana contains 27 grams of carbs.
  • You can find the amount of total carbs on food packages by looking at the 'Nutrition Facts Label' on the back or side of the packaging.

Clean eating

Clean eating is a way of eating fresh,natural food in all of your meals as much as possible. Natural food is free of additives that is added to especially packaged food to keep them fresh for a long period of time or improve their taste. 

If you want to eat clean, you should eat more of fresh vegetables and fruit or legumes (such as beans or chickpeas) and not canned or packaged food.

Example sentences:

  • Susanna shares her clean eating recipes on her youtube channel.
  • I have some quinoa,avocados,cucumber and spinach on my clean eating grocery list this week.


Digestion is a process that your body goes through to break the food into smaller parts to be able to use it for energy.

Digestion starts in your mouth when you start chewing the food and continues in your stomach.

Example sentences:

  • It is believed that drinking soda after a heavy meal helps in digestion.
  • Chewing your food well can help you improve your digestion.