Unhealthy dieting generally leads to greater weight gain in the long run. Extensive juice fasts, extreme calorie reduction, and an overuse of diet powders and pills may lead to immediate weight loss. These results, however, are often hard to sustain on a long-term basis.
Defining Unhealthy Dieting
The definition of unhealthy dieting can vary depending on who you ask. However, experts tend to agree that an extreme reduction in caloric intake over an extensive period of time is not only unhealthy, but often results in short-lived outcomes. Certain extreme diets, for example, require that you only drink your meals for days on end. You take in a very limited number of calories and your body struggles to adjust to the new regimen.
The Impact of Unhealthy Dieting
Nausea, dizziness and headaches are common symptoms associated with extreme diets. Any time you reduce your caloric intake so drastically, you will lose weight. Your body will go to work on metabolizing your fat stores. If carried on for too long, you will probably also see a loss in muscle mass.
At the end of a three-week juice cleanse or a very low-calorie diet, for example, you will very likely see an acceleration in weight loss. The challenge, however, is that you have not implemented any habits that can be sustained on a long-term basis. You cannot survive endlessly on such limited food intake. You will have to go back to eating. What will you eat?
One of the challenges of unhealthy dieting is that it results in feelings of deprivation. Psychologically, it is very difficult to endure a lack or limit of nutritious and favorite foods on a long-term basis. Many people come off of extreme diets or long hours of starving themselves and head straight for the fridge. Binge eating is a common consequence of feeling food deprived.
Establishing Healthy Dieting Patterns
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is through a gradual adjustment of your diet and the incorporation of a regular exercise regimen. This requires a change in habits. It takes willpower to make changes, but the changes do not all have to happen overnight.
You can begin by identifying and cutting out some of the high calorie, high fat foods that are excessive in your diet. To avoid feeling deprived, you could replace each food item with a healthier alternative. If you eat a candy bar each day, for example, you might choose to replace that with a low-sugar, dark chocolate alternative. Instead of eating pizza for lunch every day, you might go with a sandwich made with whole grain bread, sliced turkey and no mayo.
Unhealthy dieting usually leads to health issues and long-term weight gain. To lose weight and keep it off, create a diet plan for yourself that involves making healthy and gradual changes in your eating habits. You will avoid feelings of deprivation and are more likely to achieve long-term weight loss success.