How to prevent dangerous dieting
- The problem with many diets out there is that they are temporary fixes
- The number one tip I would give you as a dietitian is to avoid fad diets
- Evaluate the program you are following to see if it is too restrictive or limiting
You’ve been there before, that constant state of being on again, off again diet plan. You follow along for 2-3 weeks and feel disciplined, lose weight, and gain confidence.
Then, that wedding happens, or the party comes, and you let loose a little, only to go on a week-long overindulgence spree (because you had been so “good” for so long!), which leaves you gaining back all the weight you lost, and then some.
This pattern is one that the majority of the U.S. population can relate to. The problem with many diets out there is that they are temporary fixes, a quick plan to lose some weight, only to gain it back and send your metabolism on a roller coaster.
These habits may seem harmless, but they are extremely dangerous to your overall health, metabolic function, and even your heart.
A new study has found that people who fluctuate up and down on their weight by even 10 pounds have a higher risk of heart disease and strokes. The researchers are finding that these constant changes in weight add stress to the body. Stress can promote inflammation, which can cause hormonal changes and metabolic disorders.
All of these factors combined can lead to heart issues that can ultimately be extremely dangerous.
The researchers make it very clear that overweight or obese individuals should still try to reach a healthy weight and lose weight in order to do so. But, it’s maintaining the weight loss that is proving to be difficult for most of these individuals.
What makes it so hard for us to keep the weight off in the long run?
And what can we do to prevent the “yo-yo” and lose weight once and for all?
The number one tip I would give you as a dietitian is to avoid fad diets. Diets that promote calorie intakes below 1200, juicing, cleanses, or quick fixes should be avoided because they are typically only meant to be followed for a short amount of time.
And what happens when you finish your strict fad diet?
You go right back to the habits that got you unhealthy in the first place.
What you SHOULD look for as you try to lose weight and maintain your weight loss is a program that promotes eating good quality foods such as fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, wholesome carbohydrates, and lean proteins.
We should view this lifestyle as eating MORE of the wholesome foods and less of the sweets and treats. With this simple mindset shift, we get ourselves out of the deprivation that often accompanies fad diets.
We view our new lifestyle as giving us a plethora of options, because really, there are more healthy foods out there than we think there are!
As a dietitian, I help my clients come to that realization. There are so many delicious and healthy foods out there, that when we fill up on these healthier options, there is less room in our bellies and our bodies for the not-so-healthy options. And that’s a lifestyle that we can maintain for life, because there is no end date.
So, how do you prevent falling into a dangerous dieting trap?
Evaluate the program you are following to see if it is too restrictive or limiting, ask yourself if it is a plan you could follow forever, and if it is not, run from it.
Find a meal plan that is sustainable and that suits your needs and gives you a lot of healthy options to choose from. Only then will you not feel deprived, you’ll be able to lose weight, and the most important part; you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss and improve your health.