Thinking About Dieting? Don’t!
People are always trying to diet for any of a number of reasons. Reasons include:
- Lose excess weight
- Get fit and in shape
- Control an illness, such as diabetes or arthritis
- Get healthier
But people fail to realize that not only do diets not work, and are at best a temporary fix, they are causing more harm than good. Some diets are better than others, but dangerous nonetheless. The extremely dangerous diets are low-carb and low-calorie diets.
More often that not, people can’t stick to the chosen diet because it’s too restrictive. Then when they stop the diet, they get depressed because the results go away, and try yet another diet. And on the cycle goes. But even when they can stick to the diet, they will see symptoms such as
- Increased susceptibility to getting sick
- Blurred vision
- Loss of energy
And they fail to realize that their body is telling them it’s in trouble. The body is experiencing caloric and nutritional deficiencies. These issues could also lead to future, long-term ailments because the body isn’t able to function properly. So fine, you lost some weight. But do you know or understand the cost of losing the weight on restrictive diet plans?
Here are some things dieting does to your body:
- Reduces your metabolism and slows the rate at which your body burns calories
- Increases your body’s efficiency at wringing every possible calorie out of the food you do eat so you digest food faster and get hungrier quicker.
- Causes you to crave high-fat foods.
- Increases your appetite.
- Reduces your energy levels (so even if you could burn more calories through physical activity you don’t want to).
- Lowers your body temperature so you’re using less energy (and are always cold).
- Reduces your ability to feel “hungry” and “full,” making it easier to confuse hunger with emotional needs.
- Reduces your total amount of muscle tissue, including loss of heart muscle.
- Increases fat-storage enzymes and decreases fat-release enzymes.
- Possible damage to blood vessels; which increases risk of heart disease.
Dieting could also cause Diabetes, or make your Diabetes worse. Type 2 Diabetes would be a side-effect of your metabolic system getting destroyed by the diet, and your body trying to respond. Weight gain could also be caused by dieting due to your body being put under the impression that food is scarce, so when food becomes more readily available it will increase calorie storage.
When dieting, because your body is starving due to caloric and nutritional deficiency, it actually stores fat and begins consuming itself for energy. Your body will actually begin to eat body tissue. More often than not, because the body doesn’t know which tissue could be shrunk and which is vital, the body will eat a lot of your muscle. This is why you will see muscle loss and a gain in body fat during a diet; the longer you’re on the diet, the worse the ratio will be.
Dieting is also dangerous for your mental state. Starving your body creates more cortisol, which is basically the bodies stress drug. And you become obsessed with food and your body image. You focus on what your cult leader (the dietician or creator of the diet) says you can and cannot eat, when you can eat what, and what your body is supposed to look like.
Meanwhile food is an instinct, not a habit. Our body knows what it needs, when it needs it, and when it’s full. Todays fast-food and rhetorical “apple a day” society helped screw that up. Likewise, you do have unhealthy thin people and healthy heavy people. We’re not meant to look the same and all be the same weight. But this ridiculous diet-culture we have pushes thin is in, and many dieters wind up becoming bulimics or anorexics due to this.
In the dieting world, a growing trend is what’s called the “keto diet”. The keto diets are low or no carb diets that force the body into ketosis. The body reaches ketosis when blood sugar levels are low and the body begins eating stored fat for energy. Short-term this type of diet may be ok. But it is extremely dangerous to stay on long-term. A long-term keto diet can actually bring about ketoacidosis, after all, ketosis is a mild form of it. Ketoacidosis generally affects Type 1 Diabetics, and is the leading cause of death of Diabetics under 24.
Long-term keto diets could cause muscle loss and enter your body into starvation mode. This would make it extremely difficult to lose weight. It’s also been suggested that most weight lost on the keto diet is actually water weight.
Under direct physician supervision, a keto diet does have its plus side. It was fine-tuned in the 1920’s for children with epilepsy, and was not intended to be an adult diet. Starting with Dr. Atkins is how keto-type diets started becoming a fad.
Generally speaking, any diet that is under 1,200 calories is considered a “starvation diet” since you are literally starving your body. Fad diets may result in weight loss, but it does not mean it’s healthy. No fad diet will give long-term results either. Most people gain the weight back, if not more, about a year after the diet. Fad diets are especially dangerous if you’re Diabetic. You’re risking your life if you’re Type 1 Diabetic and could cause your Diabetes to worsen if you’re Type 2. Fad diets should only be used if prescribed by a doctor or registered dietitian, and only under their direct supervision. And only used for the prescribed amount of time.
The Healthy Diet
Now that we know how dangerous and nutritionally deficient dieting is, not to mention short-term and misleading results, we can discuss how to properly get fit, lose weight, or achieve whatever results you are trying to achieve through dieting. First, it needs to be understood that lowering caloric intake or not eating certain foods, or over-eating certain foods, isn’t the answer. Nor is it the problem. To achieve results we seek, we must examine ourselves and our lifestyle. What do we eat? Are we active or lazy?
Health is a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. The saying “You are what you eat” is very accurate. If you eat primarily fast food or nutritionally deficient foods, that is what you will become. And through lack of nutrition, various illnesses and diseases will form in your body; including osteoarthritis, diabetes, kidney stones, and heart disease, as well as potential muscle loss and loss of bone density.
To achieve a truly healthy diet, and the results you seek, you must make a lifestyle change. For many, this is as simple as converting from conventional foods and fast food to a more nutritious diet of non-GMO and organic foods. By making the switch, you’re still eating the same food and same amount of food, but you’re consuming less chemicals and more nutrition. You can still enjoy meat, as long as the beef is grass-fed, chicken is free range, etc. You can still eat dessert, as long as it’s made with organic ingredients. And you will get results.
Slowly cut out fast food from your diet, and slowly start replacing conventional foods with the non-GMO or organic counterparts. Over time, as more and more of your food is non-GMO and organic, you will find you won’t even like how the more conventional foods and fast foods taste anymore. This will happen because your body will become used to a more nutritious diet, and fall in love with being able to function properly and much easier. Your body will then begin telling you it will not accept consumption of additive-filled, over-processed, and chemically made foods.
If you lead a lazy lifestyle, get more active. Go for a 10 minute walk or bike ride everyday. Something that simple will have huge benefits on your health.
You also need to stop being “weight-obsessed” or “image obsessed”. There are healthy heavy people and unhealthy thin people. You must learn to accept you for you and go after certain results because you want them, not because society wants them for you. I had this problem myself when I was younger. I’m extremely thin, according to government standards I’m always bouncing between 5-20lbs under weight. I tried picking up my weight when I was younger through muscle-building, as muscle weighs more than fat. I started on a high-protein and creatine diet that others recommended and worked out everyday. But despite this, I couldn’t turn myself into the type if guy most women drool over. I got very tone and increased my strength, but I’m still thin and pretty small.
It took me a while to accept the fact that 1) I don’t really want to look I have muscles on my muscles, I think it looks disgusting, and 2) my body isn’t going to do something it’s not meant to do. Some people are able to grow muscles on the muscles on their muscles look good, and some people can’t and would look horrible if they made their body do it. And the same is true for women. Some women look beautiful thin, and some look more beautiful more curvy. Everyone’s healthy is at different weights and appearances. Understand this, and it will go a long way in helping you achieve happiness, as well as the results you seek.
As well as converting your diet to one that is non-GMO and organic, and being sure you add activity to your day, I also recommend adding non-GMO sourced dietary supplements. This is important because even by switching to non-GMO and organic foods, we are still missing nutritional value. Nutritional deficiencies will still exist because todays food contains fewer nutrients that it once did. This is due to a combination of over-use of soil for farming, and the over-use of pesticides and insecticides. So todays soil isn’t as nutrient-rich as it once was.
Through proper nutrition our body can function the way it was designed to, and do so optimally. Through peak performance, our bodies will be able to manage themselves; including keeping us at the weight we’re supposed to be. If you’re dieting for weight loss, nutrition will bring you to a healthy weight. If you’re dieting for fitness, nutrition will help you become physically fit as well. Unlike fad diets, a healthy, nutritionally sound diet will give you more than just weight loss or fitness. You’ll feel as amazing as you look too.
The dietary supplements I recommend is the Super Vitamin & Minerals (found here). It’s a very simple plan you do in the morning. You take the vitamins in the morning with your breakfast. That’s it, you’re done for the day. The rest of the day you go about as you normally would. The vitamins provides your body with all the nutrition it needs to get you going. It is formulated with non-GMO and organic ingredients, and is formulated to guarantee maximum absorption. I use the products myself and absolutely love it.
You could also speed up weight-loss results in a healthy way by reaching ketosis naturally. Once you are completely converted to a non-GMO and organic diet, and you’ve started using non-GMO sourced supplements in your diet, you can reach ketosis naturally through intermittent fasting. This is done by not eating breakfast until a certain time of day and not eating after a certain time in the day. The best would be a time frame of 10-12hrs. For example, breakfast at 8am and dinner or last snack no later than 8pm; obviously your breakfast and last food times would have to fit your schedule. If you start work at 8am, then maybe go from 7am to 7pm.
By doing this, during the hours of food consumption your body will get its energy from the glucose provided from your diet. After consumption hours, the body will naturally switch to ketone production from the burning of fat.
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