Weight Loss

5 Common Side Effects of Long Term Dieting

Let’s clear up one misconception before we start this article. So, what is the difference between creating a nutritionally healthy lifestyle and long-term dieting?  Dieting, as defined in this article and in our videos and our battle cry ‘diets need to die’ is “dropping your caloric intake to lower than recommended levels in order to shed pounds more quickly.”

exante is all about getting you into the healthy range based on who you are. When we give you a number to strive towards on your caloric intake, we always go for the healthy level for a person in that range. Everyone is different but there are levels of healthy and unhealthy on both ends of the spectrum. Programs telling you to eat 500 calories a day are Diets with a capital D. They are the ones that need to go, and here are some reasons why:

5 – Metabolism

Your body adjusts to your caloric intake over long periods. In the short term a quick cut of calories for a small period of time might not have a large impact on your metabolism (though, it has a lot of negative effects in other places). In the long term, however, your metabolism will begin to store more calories and begin alter your metabolic rates. It will store everything you eat because you’re in starvation mode.

4 – Nutrient Deficiencies

Many times when people think about dieting, they only thing about lowering one major item. Whether you cut the calories or the carbs or the saturated fat, that’s mainly the part you pay attention to. When you lower your caloric intake, you also drop your intake of essential vitamins and minerals which can lead to a constant state of lethargy. Lack of energy and general sluggishness.

3 – Psychological strain

Diets create an oppressed feeling because you are inhibiting yourself constantly. This leads to stress and irritability. Even if results are where you want them to be there is the risk of wanting more. “if I lost 15 lbs on 500 calories, imagine how much I would lose if I could get down to 300?” you tell yourself. Long term dieting to Anorexia is a very thin line and many don’t realize that they’ve crossed it until it’s too late.

2 – Medical complications

Nutrient deficiencies, stress, and eating disorders can all lead to a laundry list of complications. High blood pressure and heart problems are high on that list.

1 – Isolation

Stress and Irritability do not turn you into the social butterfly. As time goes on there is also the complications of going out. When you’re eating at a restaurant with friends or at a friend’s party you have less control over the food. Over time the company becomes not worth dealing with these hang ups. Often times, long term dieters find their social circle dwindling to only a few close friends or only to friends who are on the same diet as them.

Moderation in all things is key to keeping yourself healthy. Eating healthy and eating less are not the same thing. Creating a healthy lifestyle is about defining the difference and sticking with it.

Molly Walsh

Molly Walsh

Writer and expert

Molly graduated from the London School of Economics in 2019. In her spare time you can probably find her golfing or trying to be inventive in the kitchen.

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