Updated: Jul 11, 2020
Judy Mahle Lutter writes in her book, that nearly 50% of women in the world are on some kind of restrictive diet. And this fad is fast growing, quickly attaching itself onto teenagers, and even young kids. But is dieting really worth it? We'd beg to differ. Here's 10 Reasons Why Diets Aren't Helping You.
1. Diets don't give permanent results
One of the major drawbacks of dieting is the physical toll it takes on your body. Diets don’t lead to permanent weight loss or muscle gain, and this may lead to a decrease in morale.
2. Dieting often results in bingeing or overeating
Tight restrictions on certain food items, especially ones that we are naturally drawn to, such as cakes and pastries, can later lead to binge-eating sessions of the same. This is basic psychology, since deprivation of a certain food item only leads to an increased appetite for it. And sometimes, we don’t know where to draw the line, leading to an unhealthy degree of consumption.
Link to help cope with binge eating - (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-overcome-binge-eating)
3. Dieting labels certain foods in the wrong light
The world is not black and white, and neither are diets. There are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, just ones that are more nutritional than others. Labelling foods as such, can lead to increased levels of stress or guilt while consuming them, that last even after the duration of the diet.
4. Dieting poses as a risk to develop eating disorders in the future
At least 30 million people of all age groups and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. Improper dieting can unfortunately lead to eating disorders such as bulimia,
anorexia and rarely even pica. These disorders are serious and need urgent
medical help to overcome. Furthermore, diagnosis of such disorders can also lead to a dwindling mental health and cause ailments such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc.
Link to statistics of eating disorder patients - (https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/)
5. Diets focuses mainly on body composition
According to data published by the University of Colorado, 35 percent of people who start by dieting occasionally become addicted to dieting, simply beacuse they are in the hopes of achieving 'the perfect size.' This is an unhealthy idea, as diets promote the achievement of weight loss by any means possible, including prolonged periods of starvation, tight restrictions and things such as liquid diets which are extremely dangerous for your metabolism.
6. Diets may cause loss in confidence/body-image issues
A study conducted by Psychology Today Body Image Survey, showed that 56% of women say they are dissatisfied with their overall appearance. Diets promote one type of body shape/size over the other, and this is an extremely toxic way to view your bodies. This can also cause decreased confidence and may even lead to body image issues.
7. Diets keep you from enjoying your life guilt-free
A major drawback of diets is that they cause you to constantly worry about your food intake, no matter where you are. You could be at a party, or a company dinner, and you wouldn't be able to enjoy the moment, as your mind would be busy calculating the amount of calories you're allowed to intake, or whether or not the host has prepared dishes that are suitable to your diet. About half of patients with eating disorders have co-morbid anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.
8. Diets are not individualised
Diets are generally made keeping the entire population in mind, and are therefore not catered to every individual's unique body requirements, food culture, availability of resources, interests, moods, etc. Not all diets are suitable for every person.
9. Dieting may cause mood changes
Restrictions and deprivations of food, can cause acute modulations in emotions, leading to bouts of crankiness, anger or even depression. Scientists have discovered that insufficient scarce consumption of thiamine can cause "introversion, inactivity, fatigue, decreased self-confidence, and a poorer mood," according to a report published in the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. While this not only takes a toll on us, personally, it has a negative effect on those around us.
Link to a study between mood and dieting - (https://bit.ly/2xJRb8c)
10. Diets ignore your intuition and body wisdom
Lastly, diets ignore the natural intuition that your body has. Maybe some days, you don't want to eat that tub of greens. And sometimes, you can't bring yourself to take another bite of that salad. In such cases, diets steamroll through your intuition, causing you to end up with a bad gut feeling. (pun intended!) This in turn, causes a blatant disregard of natural instinct.
It is important to realise that being healthy does not only refer to weight loss, diets or working out. Your health covers all aspects of your body, including the mind. In order to help your body, you must treat it as a temple, and listen to what it needs; instead of placing restrictions and forcing it into strict diets.
Join Sazia Queyam's Integrative Health Program, and learn the art of self-health management. It's time you begin to love and care for your body.
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1. Ulfvebrand, S., Birgegard, A., Norring, C., Hogdahl, L., & von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y. (2015). Psychiatric comorbidity in women and men with eating disorders results from a large clinical database. Psychiatry Research, 230(2), 294-299.
2. Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358.
3. Le Grange, D., Swanson, S. A., Crow, S. J., & Merikangas, K. R. (2012). Eating disorder not otherwise specified presentation in the US population. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 45(5), 711-718.