Why dieting can be dangerous and is not worth the trouble?

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It’s sad how people view dieting as a fast solution instead of making the effort to learn how to eat properly. I do not refer to healthy meal plans people follow which in some ways can be limiting as well, but rather about diets that cause extreme weight loss in a very short amount of time. These types of ‘too good to be true’ offers almost always misfire and here are the reasons why.  

Diets are not long-term solutions  

Diets are not constructed with the purpose to help you keep off the lost weight. They are an easy short-term solution that will later certainly backfire unless the person dieting doesn’t grab control of its eating habits and doesn’t go back to eating everything they would eat before the diet with the mindset that the since diet is over, they can return to their old routines. Thus, it should be of no surprise why most people fail at dieting and suffer the consequences of the yo-yo effect. 

You need calories! There is no point in starving yourself  

The most common misconception people have about dieting is that fewer calories equal bigger weight loss. Although this equation is partially true and it does work for dangerously obese people, it is not always the greatest solution. For best weight loss results people indeed should avoid high-calorie food such as sweets, soda, fast-food to name a few. However, there is a big difference between high-calorie fattening food and high-calorie healthy food (potatoes, rice, meat, fish, whole grain bread and pasta, beans, etc.). Calories enable your body to function properly. Diets do not only restrict your food choices but also can expose you to health risks.    

To illustrate, the UN diet is the worst possible meal plan I have ever heard of. The diet suggests that each day you eat different types of food (day number one protein, day number two is fruits, day number three carbohydrates, and so on). The structure of this food regime should be an immediate red flag. It’s depriving your body of eating different foods at once and limits the consumption of powerhouse foods only on certain days which is just plain wrong. For healthy and normal functioning, each day your body needs to receive a certain amount of all groups of food.  

Losing weight is a two-ingredient recipe  

Don’t let diets fool you. As previously stated, they may function at the beginning but will hang you out to dry when it comes to maintaining the weight afterward and not gaining it all back. A successful weight loss journey calls for a simple two-ingredient recipe: exercising + smart food choices. The result will certainly not be the same if one of them is missing.

Let me illustrate. On one hand, you may work out five times a day and don’t put any effort into what you eat in which case you will see zero progress. On the other hand, you choose to follow a certain diet and completely remove the physical movement from your plan. In this instance, you may see significant results at the beginning but everything is most probably going to collapse due to the already discussed yo-yo effect.  

Eating in moderation is key  

Many tend to believe that there is no such thing as bad food. Although I partially agree with this statement, I do stand by the fact that you can eat everything you crave as long as you eat in moderation. Even when it comes to losing weight, there is no reason why you can’t treat yourself to cheat days. This is another point that proves that classic dieting is an almost guaranteed failure. The more you restrict your food choices the more you will be tempted to indulge in food you shouldn’t eat.   

A final piece of advice: instead of forcing yourself to follow a specific diet, consult a nutritionist. After all, you don’t have to try out drastic diets. Forget about calorie-counting and get truly acquainted with nutrition and dietetics. Trust me, your body will thank you. 

 

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