Unhealthy dieting is dangerous with potentially serious health consequences. Diets, in the context of improved eating plans, are helpful when you are overweight. You know you must take charge and start a healthier lifestyle that will get you back on the track of fitness. Dieting becomes dangerous, however, when diets promise dramatic weight loss in a short time frame. That is when you fall prey to unhealthy dieting. Here are the danger signs of unhealthy dieting.
Too Few Calories
Call them fad diets or crash diets, but they all promise to make you slim in days, not months. Another common link they share is that they insist on too few calories. Any diet that asks you to take in only 900 or 1000 calories a day is dangerous. No matter what your height or body type, you should avoid diets that require an intake of less than 1200 calories per day.
You lose weight fast by "starving" yourself with 800 or 900 calories, but the results are poor. Your body is not designed to starve and to function well at the same time. Doing without the amount of calories you need places your body's sytem into starvation mode. You lose your tissue as well as fat and you upset your metabolism.
A dangerously low intake of calories will also affect the health of your hair and nails. Any sensible diet is one in which your calories are restricted to not less than 1200 to 1500 per day depending on your body type. In some few cases, doctors place their patients on a "VLC" diet, which stands for very low calorie, when the patient's life is endangered by serious obesity. The doctor's justification is that the risk of remaining obese outweighs the health risks of a VLC diet.
Restricted Food Groups
Sensible diets that have a high success rate, such as Weight Watchers, do not ask you to reject any food group. A healthy diet is a diet that is balanced, calling for proteins, minerals and vitamins that come from vegetables, fruits, animals, dairy and whole grains.
Any diet that requires you to cut out all fats is also unhealthy. You need some fats in your diet for energy. Also, a no-fat diet may trigger cravings.
Healthy diets take effort, patience, self-control and nutritional awareness. The benefits are enormous, including better health and pride in knowing you got the job done. In contrast, miracle diets require no effort, no exercise and no information to guide you. Miracle diets are big business but provide poor results. Alarmed by extreme claims of diet purveyors, the Federal Trade Commission issued red-flag warnings of what these claims may sound like.
Here is a summary of diet claims to ignore:
- "No diets, no gyms” required; just pills
- Go from size 16 to size 8 without giving up your favorite foods.
- You can eat cake, donuts, ice cream and cookies. Our pills will melt your fat away.
- Our earrings, when worn, destroy fat cells.
Any diet that does not call for sacrifice, exercise and patience is not worth your trouble or your money. Rapid weight loss will just mean you will gain back the pounds and more.