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Why Healthy Diets are Actually Unhealthy

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Emily Higgins

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Fad diets may seem like a good option now, but are not always promising later.

New and different types of diets seem to resurface on the internet every couple of weeks. Whether it’s smoothies, elimination methods, detoxing or fasting, there is always a plethora of options fit for someone looking to lose weight. But, what the media and self-proclaimed dieters say is not always true; once a diet is started, it works best if it never ends. Since dieting, by definition, is a temporary food plan, it is not promised to work long term. According to studies done by MayoClinic, while weight loss may occur during the dieting process, after the diet ends people typically gain back approximately half of the weight they lost, causing the body to suffer even more trauma.

Diets that include cutting food groups and other essential nutrients that the body needs may cut weight faster, but it ends up putting more stress on the body. The point of a diet is to reconstruct and re-proportion different meals to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle. Due to the faster results, users tend to take shortcuts even if it causes more harm to their body.

The most common dieting methods include calorie restriction and whole food group elimination. This means that the user will either cut their calorie intake by up to 50 percent or eliminate one food group for the entire duration of the diet. Not only is it hard to cut out favorite foods, but it also puts more stress on the body. According to Haley Goodrich of INSPRD Nutrition, unhealthy diets are much harder to maintain.

“After a diet, I always crave the foods I used to eat,” junior Teryn Jones said.

Calorie restriction puts stress on the body which suppresses hormones in order to increase abdominal fat cells. Since the body does not want to starve, it responds to overly-restrictive diets by slowing the body’s metabolism over the course of the diet, making it even harder to lose weight. After the diet, behaviors of the individual tend to create a “boomerang effect,” where after the diet they go back to their normal eating patterns, leading to overeating. 

Dietitians recommend first-time dieters to lose the diet mindset and stick to healthier forms of losing weight. Combining light exercise and eating in moderation is a great way to introduce the body to the dieting trend. There is no elimination of entire food groups and the individual can still eat the foods they enjoy. These types of diets target the nutrients the body intakes while exercise improves the physical well being and aids healthy weight loss. Even though this is the healthiest form of dieting, the results are not as instant as the other trends. That is why most prefer to cut food groups or liquefy and detox their meals rather than combining the exercising and diet.

“I like to try the different dieting trends for fun, but I try not to do them for long,” junior Mckayla Johnson said. “The sudden eating change is more harmful rather than exercising everyday and losing weight in a healthier way.”

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Why Healthy Diets are Actually Unhealthy