I have to start off this post by saying that I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from trying to lose weight, I simply believe that following a diet of any kind is often not the answer. There’s losing weight the right way, and then there’s losing weight the wrong way.
Let me explain.
There are so many different kinds of diets out there which promote health benefits and weight loss. Paleo, Keto, Whole30, to name a few, are often talked about a lot on the internet. Many people recommend these diets as a way of getting slimmer and healthier because most of them involve cutting out all processed foods, refined sugar, carbs, grains, starchy vegetables, and dairy products.
Now, I’m not going to claim that it’s bad for your health to cut out some of these foods but it is extremely difficult to follow such a highly restricted diet. We’re human. We’re not going to eat healthily all of the time and we shouldn’t feel guilty about that.
I once tried to follow a strict diet in the hope that it would cure my digestive problems. I cut out all of the foods that I mentioned above, even fruit, as I genuinely believed that it would work. It didn’t work. I was irritable, moody, and hungry all of the time. I hadn’t realised it at the time but I was significantly restricting my calories which could have been dangerous had I continued it much longer.
The paleo diet, for example, has been credited as being a healthy way of living and simultaneously been discouraged due to serious dangers. If you aren’t too sure, read this blog. It points out major flaws in the diet which could be detrimental to your health. And it’s not just the paleo diet that is potentially a danger, here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t follow any diet.
You could be restricting calories
Naturally, when people are trying to lose weight they start off by limiting their calorie intake, which can be a great way of losing weight if its done correctly. Losing weight can often be achieved by smaller portion sizes, you can learn a bit more about that by reading this article, instead of skipping meals. Even when trying to lose weight, you shouldn’t be left feeling really hungry throughout the day.
Diets are hard to stick to
You’re probably aware of how frustrating it can be trying to stick to a diet. You have to meal prep every single day, stop eating out, and avoid temptation when other people around you are eating the foods that you crave. It might feel like your whole life revolves around food; what you’re going to eat, what you can’t eat, what you want to eat. It’s exhausting. That’s why after a short time a lot of people simply quit their diet and resort back to eating the way they ate before. I don’t blame them.
You might be cutting out the wrong foods
Carbs are not always the enemy when trying to lose weight. Sure, eating less bread and smaller portions of pasta will help, but cutting out entire food groups is dangerous and could lead to vitamin deficiencies. There’s certain food swaps that you could make that will make a difference, like swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes or white rice for brown rice. You don’t have to make dramatic changes to your diet to be healthier.
It could lead to a negative relationship with food
The problem with dieting is it can often lead to negative feelings towards food. You might start to see it as the enemy and with that attitude comes the feelings of guilt and shame when eating certain foods. Some people feel like a failure when they make a ‘slip up’ in their diet and eat a supposedly banned food. This then leads to them under eating, or working extra hard to burn off the calories they just consumed. And in some circumstances it can cause eating disorders and severe anxiety.
Let me say that no one should be made to feel guilty for eating. And no, eating a cake or some chips doesn’t make you a failure, nor is it going to ruin your chances of losing weight. Don’t let that worry consume you.
If you’re trying to lose weight healthily focus on portion control, making food swaps, filling up your plate with more vegetables, and cutting back on refined sugar where possible. That should make a lot of difference without the worry of following a strict diet.
Remember that a number on the scale is just a number and there is a lot more to you as person.