Unhealthy dieting can result in numerous undesirable consequences. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet that is devoid of necessary nutrients can not only sabotage your dieting efforts in the long run, but it often results in unintended health consequences as well. Here are five consequences of unhealthy dieting.
1. Binge Eating
Unhealthy dieting can result in feelings of deprivation. If you cut your calories excessively, eliminate all of your favorite foods and eat very little food that delivers much needed nutrition, the consequence is often a need to make up for everything you missed out on.
Binge eating is sometimes the outcome of having gone too long without necessary nutrition and calories. If you consistently skip meals when on a diet, it is possible to feel deprived and eat many more calories late at night, especially if you’re unable to fall asleep from intense hunger.
2. Muscle Loss
Unhealthy dieting practices that don’t incorporate enough protein can lead to unwanted muscle loss. Your body needs protein to build and repair tissues, and carry out a large number of processes. When you don’t consume enough protein in your diet, your body will consume its own muscle mass.
3. Fatigue and Nausea
Some unhealthy dieting practices involve extreme calorie reduction. Juice fasts where you go for weeks without consuming solid foods often result in undesirable side effects. Fatigue, nausea, dizziness and headaches are common consequences of these unhealthy diets.
4. Eventual Weight Gain
The challenge with unhealthy diets is that they usually cannot be sustained in the long term. You may be able to survive on a short term basis on an extremely low-calorie diet, but eventually you will have to resume eating regular meals. When you go on an extreme diet, you don’t have the opportunity to gradually develop habits that will sustain you in the long haul.
It is much healthier and you will see greater results in the long term if you adjust your diet gradually. Instead of cutting thousands of calories on a daily basis, find ways to cut a few hundred calories each day. Combine that with daily exercise. When your body has energy, you can be more active and exercise will develop your muscles, which helps to burn off even more calories.
5. Challenge to Mental Health
Unhealthy dieting is challenging for your mental health. Many people feel grumpy and irritable when they are hungry. Not getting enough calories, not having enough energy to carry out daily tasks, feeling dizzy and nauseous can all combine to push some extreme dieters into feelings of deep sadness or even depression.
The best way to avoid the consequences of unhealthy dieting is to establish healthy eating patterns. Do this gradually. Identify aspects of your diet that you want to change and work on one component at a time. Reduce calories gradually. Exercise more. Address your emotional needs. Over time, you will see the pounds fall off and stay off in the long term.