Many people struggle with the concept of healthy eating versus dieting. We can pick up so many unhealthy habits with our so-called diets. Everyone has a different reason why they want to diet. Maybe it is to be slim, though slimness is temporary when dieting- over the long run the majority of dieters gain the weight back. People will then diet again, looking for quick results leading to negative vicious cycles. Some people chose to diet in hopes to get healthier. The diet cycling as mentioned earlier can lead to more health risks. Most dieting decreases our muscle mass. Muscles are needed for good health. Many diets are unhealthy and our mind and body won’t function properly while restricting calories. Dieting can lead to an obsession with food, or make you feel like a failure if you aren’t “perfect”. These are just negative psychological responses.

Let’s get into some of the most common dieting habits.

  1. Skipping meals or large calorie deficits

The body needs food for energy not only for our workouts, but also just for our everyday existence. By depriving the body of food we can lose our attention span and have higher levels of irritability, lowered attention span and fatigue. Along with this, muscle tissue can be lost. By restricting the body of its needs we slow down our metabolism, this makes us store fat even with a lower intake of calories. The brain and muscles will demand fuel which can cause cravings that may lead to unhealthy choices.

2. Fasting

Fasting is not beneficial when it comes to losing the weight most of us want to lose. The majority of the weight lost during fasting is just water weight. Fasting can result in muscle loss which in turn slows the metabolism and leads to subsequent fat gain.

3. Cutting out Carbs

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy. When our body loses its main source of stable energy we can get fatigued and moody. This can lead to cravings which can lead us to eating those higher fat and sugary foods to satisfy those munchies.

4. Liquid and Replacement Diets

When you start this behavior it is just a temporary habit, not a permanent fix. In fact, people have a higher chance of regaining any lost weight in a short time, to even gaining more weight in the years after. You can also lose muscle mass along with the fat. This leads to slowing of our metabolism and storing more fat on lower amounts of calories. Not only are these replacements expensive, we lose our control over our body plans and have loss of self esteem.

These are just a few of many diet fads. Our bodies don’t understand when or why we do these things. It just knows to try and survive and will try to reserve to maintain proper functioning with any sources it is getting. Just these few examples can help show why dieting isn’t effective. It is important we create healthy changes to our everyday life. By slowly creating better eating habits and starting to check in by eating mindfully we become overall healthier individuals. Once these habits are created we have maintainable and sustainable health.

-Meghan Cool, Personal Trainer, BS in Food Science & Nutrition @ 

Zero Doubt Club

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