Whenever you search for the word diet on Google, Instagram, or any other apps, the first things that you encounter are all about varying tips and information about how dieting works, what you should do, and how to do it effectively. Sometimes, they tell you to do calorie counting, skip meals, do weight cycling and the latest wellness crazes, or just go on a juice cleanse, but most of the time, the terms “Healthy” and being on a diet are interchanged quite a lot.
Moreover, what we must know is that the word “ Diet” simply refers to the foods and drinks that an individual consumes on a regular basis. Diets can include things such as the Mediterranean diet, a vegetarian diet, or any such things that have a specific set of food that a person will eat. However, as the years go by, it has become more and more synonymous with “Restriction” and “Starving” as it commonly entails things like calorie counting, skipping meals, and other such things.
There is only a fine line separating healthy weight loss and having a distorted relationship with food. This can impact not only our physical health but also our mental health as well. The most common indication of an unhealthy relationship with food is when individuals restrict themselves a lot when it comes to food and end up losing weight but regain it after only a while. This makes it doubtful whether their “Diet” was even effective in the first place.
So what does an unhealthy relationship with food look like? Well, having an unhealthy relationship with food comes with a lot of emotions. For example, you may feel guilty every time you eat a particular kind of food or when you eat above the daily calorie limit that you’ve set for yourself. Likewise, you may also feel burdened with guilt when you feel that you haven’t burned off enough calories for the day. It may also happen that you tie your own self-worth to how much you weigh or how light you are as you just can’t stop weighing yourself and judging yourself in the mirror.
Having an unhealthy relationship with food not only affects our physical health but also our emotional and mental health as well. It can alter our behaviour towards food and can change the way we see it and the way we treat and see our bodies. This will show up in all areas of your life!
Not all people have an unhealthy relationship with food and we don’t really start off in this world with one. However, due to many factors around us such as dieting, our relationship with food can become unhealthy quickly without us even noticing it. In fact, about 35% of people who “Diet’ using intermittent fasting, watching their weight closely, and/or keto diet have or developed an eating disorder.
This is not to say that doing those things will automatically give you an eating disorder, as people are different. Some may be more tolerant of these restrictions than others. However, it is undeniable that these kinds of diets have negative side effects on many people such as feeling exhausted, and confused, having a low mood, and developing a yoyo weight loss pattern where they constantly lose and gain weight over a period of time.
So what are some of the side effects of dieting that we have to be aware of? Well, here are the most common ones you should watch out for:
When it comes to metabolism, we generally want a fast one, right? Since having a faster metabolism means that we can burn fat a lot faster. However excessive and improper dieting can lead to a slower metabolism instead.
This is because as we deprive ourselves of the fuel that our body needs, it goes into survival mode and shuts down non-essential functions which can also mean slowing down our own metabolism in order to conserve precious energy.
Aside from this, symptoms such as bloating and constipation will also become more common.
The solution for this would be drinking plenty of fluids and to add more food into our regimen so our body doesn’t have to overcompensate.
Inability to feel satiated
Our body has its own signaling system to tell us when we are hungry or when we are full. However, people who have constantly messed with their own body’s system through strict dieting and hopping from one diet to the next often find that they are unable to connect with their bodies’ hunger and fullness.
This can lead them to not enjoy eating anymore and not get any feeling of satisfaction or satiety whenever they eat. To them, food simply becomes something they put into their mouths and swallow. This is frustrating and can have a long-term impact on a person’s mind and body.
Another way an unhealthy relationship with food manifests itself is by not having any control over ourselves whenever we are surrounded by food.
This is especially true with people who have been depriving themselves of food they consider to be guilty pleasures because they are so appetizing and delicious. Their cravings for these food can often go out of control as they will eat a large amount of these “Forbidden” foods that they have deprived themselves of because of their diets.
Rebounding essentially means gaining back all the weight you have lost due to strict diet methods. This can be frustrating for a lot of people and many even develop more unhealthy eating habits because of it as they lose more hope for themselves.
This happens due to a lot of things. It may be because of their slower metabolism as we have mentioned earlier, or because they start eating more and thus gain more weight in return as they finally feel “Free” from their oppressive diets.
If there is overeating, then there is also undereating or under-fuelling. This is when you eat less than the required or necessary amount of calories that you need for the entire day. You see, everyone has a different amount of calories that they need depending on the kind of work or activities they do during the day.
Aside from this, other important factors in food such as vitamins and minerals can also be lacking. This can lead to a lot of problems such as poorer sleep, bone density loss, and muscle soreness. Not only this, but the right amount of good fat needed for the brain’s fuel also disappears.
Bottom line: These are just some of the most common side effects of dieting that no one tells us about. What’s important now is that we are now aware of them and can set ourselves on a new path in our weight loss journey so we can make healthier options and not risk ourselves developing an unhealthy relationship with food and so we can keep all the weight that we have lost without having to rebound.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to diets and welcome a positive mindset, habits, and behaviours that are enjoyable and sustainable for your unique lifestyle then apply to work with me!
Please reach out and get in touch for private 1-1 sessions.
Love Louise x
I have a reputation as a compassionate and innovative therapist who produces rapid and lasting changes with my clients. Are you ready to become my next success story?
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