Ditch the Fad Diets for Good
WHY EXTREME DIETING DOESN’T WORK.
The word ‘diet’ in today’s society often implies calorie restriction, calorie counting and deprivation, all of which will not support weight loss efforts. An increasing number of people are choosing extreme, calorie restrictive diets because they’ve reached a point of desperation and will do anything to lose weight. In addition, when it comes to losing weight most people want a quick fix that provides the most results in the least amount of time. While this would be great if it could be done in a healthy way, most of the time it simply cannot.
[fruit + veggie bowl.]
When it comes to weight loss efforts, extreme calorie restriction is exactly what you want to avoid. Extreme dieting can have very negative health effects that include increased stress, malnutrition, muscle wasting, lowered metabolism, hormonal changes and weight gain. In addition, when you deprive the body of calories you are also limiting essential nutrients that the body needs to perform its day-to-day functions. Adequate intake of high-quality protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins + minerals are all extremely essential in different ways, which explains why we are healthiest when we consume a diet high in a variety of different foods. Also, when calories aren’t being consumed in adequate amounts the body goes into starvation mode, clinging on to all the fat is has available. The body will tap into stored sugar [glycogen] and breakdown muscle for energy before it spares fat, which may lower the number on the scale, but as a result may severely compromise a healthy body composition [i.e. not a good idea].
[super green smoothie + eating well mag.]
And while many people still believe that all you need to do is burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, it turns out there is much more to the story. In fact, it’s food quality that we need to be paying more attention to, and less on the quantity. Let’s take a look at why:
Take 100 high-quality calories of almonds versus 100 low-quality calories of soda. Almonds contain healthy fats, fiber and nutrients that slow digestion and absorption, plus they don’t spike your blood sugar like other foods [i.e. soda + sugar] do. When your blood sugar spikes too much and too often, insulin is released in excess. Insulin is known as the ‘fat storage hormone’ meaning that when it is released in response to sugar consumption, your body will store excess sugar as fat. Hence why we now know that it’s not dietary fat that makes us fat, it’s excess sugar consumption that’s to blame.
Now let’s look at 100 calories of soda. Soda essentially contains sugar and not much else. Because of this, the soda you drink gets readily absorbed into the bloodstream and sharply spikes your blood sugar. Then what happens? Insulin responds by being released from the pancreas and it shuttles the excess sugar eventually into fat storage. Do this over and over again by drinking too many sodas and eating too many low-quality sugary and starchy foods, and you have a recipe for weight gain and disease.
So now is it a little bit easier to understand why choosing high quality food is going to be more important than just simply counting calories to lose weight? Good. Let’s move on.
[whole food love.]
MOVE OVER FAT DIETS. WELCOME LIFESTYLE CHANGE.
So no matter what your goal is; whether it’s to lose weight, eat more veggies, clean up your diet, sleep better, have more energy, etc. you can do it through lifestyle change. This takes paying attention to your diet and your habits. In order to really get healthy and stay healthy, you have to address your food intake, stress levels, sleep habits, exercise habits and inflammation. Working with a Nutritionist proves to be very effective for a number of reasons. A Nutritionist will help you identify which habits may be sabotaging your efforts while also learning what a healthy diet really is, without the confusing mixed messages we hear from the media. Stay tuned for future blog posts on this subject!
Fad diets are a thing of the past and lifestyle change is what it’s all about. Eating healthy can literally change your life. Most people just need a little help navigating the grocery store, cookbooks, etc. to find out what healthy eating really is. That’s where I come in. This is my passion and why studied nutrition and started Nutritiously Rooted in the first place. My hope is that you can come here [to Nutritiously Rooted] to find real food recipes + health tips that inspire you and get you on the path to better health. You will see that eating healthy gives you energy, allows you to think more clearly, sleep more soundly, lose weight and live the life you’ve always wanted to.
[nutritiously rooted whole food recipes.]
So here’s to the end of extreme dieting and to the start of a healthy, effective way to get healthy and enjoy life. Extreme dieting will not get you to the place you want to be; it takes the joy and pleasure out of food, which we all need a little bit more of. Questions? Comments? Let me know by commenting below 🙂