Have you ever been in a yo-yo dieting cycle? You begin dieting, and then you cheat, and then you feel guilty and start over. What’s even more annoying is, the fat you lost then returns with its friends and family. It’s hello fat and goodbye fitness before you know what hits you. Chances are you’ve tried all the diets you’ve come across. Your Pinterest is populated with what and what not to eat, and you already have outfits you hope to wear when you rid yourself of those pounds. But do you know the dangers of dieting?
One common reason people deny themselves some certain food is in order to ‘be healthy’. They insist on maintaining a ‘healthy weight’. Contrary to this, there is nothing like ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ weight. This is because a person could be of relatively normal weight and still be unhealthy. Whereas, a person who is of bigger size may have a healthier lifestyle. That’s the irony – people believe they need to be skinny to be healthy.
In remembrance of the International World No Diet Day, we intend to stress the fact that there should be ‘no diet’ in any day. These are the reasons you should skip the diet completely.
Dangers of dieting your doctor wouldn’t tell you
1. Slowed metabolism
When you eat more, your metabolism increases; when you eat less, it decreases. Your metabolism is responsible for burning the calories in your body by converting it to energy. Therefore, when you diet, you reduce your caloric intake. This, in turn, slows down your internal metabolism as it tries to match the calories consumed. Yes, you would lose weight initially, but it would eventually plateau, making no changes. This is often when people try even harder. Then the cycle begins again, resulting in another build-up.
2. Dieting is bad for your mental and physical health
The yo-yo cycle of dieting on and off can cause harm to your body. The side-effects of this fluctuation is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Even worse on the list of implications is the harm to your mental health. People who diet could end up stress eating, overindulging in alcohol and self-induced vomiting. There are many cases of anorexia that begin from innocent decisions to diet.
3. Vitamins and minerals deficiency
When you go on a diet, you eliminate a lot of food from your daily intake. Most of these foods contain the minerals and vitamins your body needs. For example, eating just one type of meal (Mono Diet) for an extended period can be detrimental to your health. When you cut out starch, dairy, protein or fruit, there is no balance in your meals. Eating too much animal protein can be harmful to your kidney, resulting in kidney failure since it’s harder for the kidney to process. Therefore, you should strike a balance in your meal intake.
4. Dieting makes you think more about food
The irony if dieting is that it makes you think more about food. This makes staying away from it even worse. You think about what to it, how many calories it has, or what they would serve at the event. Also, you don’t go out as much because you worry about what would be served. When you focus too much on something, it’s hard to stay away from it.
So what should you do?
In a society where people are seen as perfect when they have a certain weight and size, it’s easy to fall into a trap of believing you aren’t fine the way you are. Whereas, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle of mindful eating, exercising, and so on, you are healthy irrespective of your size.
Also, eating disorders are usually associated with mental health issues. They end up with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression or general insecurities.\
However, there’s a better alternative to succumbing to a diet fad. The answer is mindful eating and a better lifestyle. Rather than count the calories and deprive yourself of food, you should know your body. Your body is smarter than you realise, and it knows what it wants. This can be realised through mindful eating. Rather than rush your meal — which is usually done given the frenzy of the world — you should be more conscious. Be conscious of the texture, taste, sight and smell of your food. This way, you enjoy your meal and feel even more satisfied.
So, for a healthier you, skip the diet!