There’s no question that maintaining a healthy weight is super important for your physical and mental health. But losing weight can be tough, and if you don’t approach it the right way, dieting can be just as bad for your health as being overweight.
It seems like there’s a new diet trending every week, but it only takes a few minutes of research to see that many of these diets aren’t healthy. Not only that, but the long-term success rate of these trendy diets is very low, mostly because they’re so strict and hard to maintain.
If you’re planning on starting a diet, here are some health considerations to keep in mind. You’ll have more energy and better mental focus on your weight loss journey, and you’ll likely be more successful at maintaining a healthy weight for the long term.
1.Nutrient Deficiencies Can Happen When You’re Restricting Calories
When you’re on a diet, you’re eating less in an effort to cut calories. Sometimes you’re avoiding certain food groups, too. This increases your potential for developing nutrient deficiencies that could take a toll on your mental and physical health, not to mention your energy levels.
For example, when you’re cutting carbs, you’re missing out on tons of vitamins and minerals that are found in grains and starchy vegetables. If you’re avoiding dairy, you might not get enough vitamin D, especially if you don’t spend much time in the sun. And if you’re following a plant-based diet, you’re at a higher risk of iron and B12 deficiency.
The easiest way to fill in the nutritional gaps when you’re dieting is to take a multivitamin every day. Consider ethically sourced naturally organic vitamins from a reputable brand – they are a great choice as they’re more readily absorbed by the body than synthetic supplements. Look for a formula that contains probiotics to aid digestion and B-complex for improved energy and mental focus.
2.Restrictive Dieting Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Long-Term Mental Health
Most people don’t realize the toll that restrictive dieting can have on their long-term mental health.
You start out with the best of intentions, intending to lose weight to improve your health and self-esteem. But unfortunately for some, restrictive dieting can lead to eating disorders and obsessive eating habits that can be tough to recover from.
In fact, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, restrictive dieting is a leading cause of eating disorders. Those who practice extremely restrictive diets are 18 times more likely to develop obsessive eating habits than those who don’t.
The best way to avoid such a negative impact on your mental health is to follow a healthy eating plan that doesn’t force you to restrict certain foods or food groups. You will still lose weight if you focus on eating a clean diet that includes all of the major food groups.
The main portion of your diet should be made up of fruits, veggies, and lean protein. Instead of cutting carbs completely, choose whole grains that are packed with valuable nutrition. And instead of thinking of fat as the enemy, choose healthy fats like coconut and olive oil, avocados, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Find healthier strategies to satisfy your cravings, too, but don’t deprive yourself. For example, try eating something healthy first to see if the craving goes away when you’re not hungry. Or, find a healthier option, such as frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Or, simply enjoy a small portion of whatever you’re craving.
And when you have one of those cravings that you just can’t kick, MealEnders can be a real-life saver. They come in a variety of flavors that satisfy any craving and reset your taste buds. They’re a safe and effective solution for that deprived feeling that can lead to overeating and take a toll on your mental health.
3.Dieting Isn’t a Long-Term Solution
If you really want to improve your health over the long term, dieting isn’t the answer. Making healthy lifestyle changes and sticking to them will go much further than simply slashing calories or restricting certain foods. Instead of starting a fad diet, why not put your focus on an overall journey to better health?
Invest your time and energy into learning new skills like healthy meal planning, grocery shopping, and stocking a healthy fridge and pantry. Instead of ordering lunch at the office, learn how to prepare healthy lunches and snacks to take with you to work. Take control of the food you eat instead of letting it control you.
Simple things like adding an extra serving of fruit or vegetables to every meal, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a walk after dinner can have a huge impact. These are the types of changes that you can adhere to for life, which makes this a much better strategy for long-term health than following a fad diet.
4.Slow and Steady Weight Loss is Better for Your Health
Crash dieting to lose weight fast does more harm than good. Most experts recommend losing around one to two pounds a week as a healthy weight loss goal. In fact, losing even small amounts of weight can have a positive impact on your health, including lowering your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
You’ll be much more likely to keep the weight off if you shoot for slow and steady weight loss and set realistic goals for yourself, too. Crash dieting can have a negative impact on your metabolism, making it harder for you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, but rapid weight loss is generally water and muscle– not fat.
Rapid weight loss can also lead to a variety of other health concerns, like poor immune function, extreme fatigue, dehydration, muscle cramps, and more. Crash dieting can take a toll on your emotional health as well, leading to irritability, anxiety, and even depression.
Losing weight fast might seem appealing at first, but in the end, the negative impacts just aren’t worth it. Making gradual changes to your diet and exercise routine will help you lose weight at a healthy pace and keep it off for the long term.
If you’re planning on starting a diet, it’s important to remember that food is fuel. Restrictive diets deprive your body of the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. Instead of simply slashing calories and going on a diet to lose a few pounds fast, consider embarking on a lifestyle journey that supports gradual weight loss and better health for the long haul.
Written by Nicole McCray