Did you know that May 6th is International No Diet Day? The holiday was started as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as raise public awareness of the potential dangers of fad dieting.
The Problem with Dieting
Whenever people want or need to lose weight quickly, they inevitably turn to the latest, greatest fad diet. But how many people actually reach their weight loss goals with dieting? Not many. In fact, research suggests that nearly 95% of all diets fail and most people regain the weight they did manage to lose within one to five years.
Not only are fad diets ineffective, but some of them can also be downright dangerous. Many crash-type diets can lead to:
- Dehydration. When you try to starve your body of calories, you rarely lose fat. Though the scale may say you have shed a few pounds, it’s usually water loss. This, if pushed too far, can lead to dehydration with accompanying fatigue and headaches.
- Imbalanced Blood Glucose. Strict calorie restriction causes your blood sugar levels to plummet, which in turn causes dizziness and fatigue. Conversely, drinking sugary juices or sports drinks (as some detox diets call for) can drastically increase sugar levels. Such fluctuations can damage the liver and kidneys over time.
- Slows Metabolism. Extreme dieting typically results in a slow metabolism and an inability to lose weight. The exact opposite of what people want.
Why You Should Focus on Eating Healthy Instead
Eating healthily means switching your focus from one of restriction to one of incorporation. The goal here is to not deny yourself food but to eat more natural, wholesome foods that promote your health and well-being. When you do this, the weight naturally comes off.
While fad diets are not sustainable long-term, healthy eating certainly is! Forgo prepackaged foods and opt instead for grass-fed meats, dairy, eggs, produce, nuts and seeds. Be sure to eat plenty of healthy fats from full-fat dairy and fatty fish and meat and refrain from manmade fats like trans fats found in baked goods. Opt for water and green tea instead of sugary sodas.
When you eat healthily, you not only easily lose weight, but you feel full of energy and vibrant. Contrast this to crash dieting where you feel like you’re going to pass out at any minute!
The moral of this nutrition story is, ditch the diets and eat healthy for life instead!