The idea of losing weight is often associated with fad diets, limited consumption of your favorite foods, and forced exercise that you don’t enjoy. But contrary to popular belief, the best way to lose weight isn’t to restrict your calories to the bare minimum and suffer through a lifestyle that actively works against your own. In fact, restrictive diets can actually make losing weight much more difficult than it needs to be.
As told by Katelyn Brockmiller RDN to Merrell Readman.
We’re Giving Away 25 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Bundles From Cleancult
With the new year upon us, there is not a day where we don’t see a restrictive diet being advertised to us somewhere. Is restrictive dieting an effective way to lose weight and improve our overall health? Let’s first define a calorie deficit as the reduction of the typical daily caloric intake for a person without eliminating important key nutrients. When someone is trying to lose weight, less calories means more weight loss in theory. However, when we go on a restrictive diet, it starts to limit certain key nutrients.
First, your body goes into what we call survival mode. This happens when the body does not think it will get what it needs to perform daily functions. The body begins to use muscle as a primary source of energy. You begin to lose lean muscle mass and can overall start to feel weaker. If you are working on a fitness goal while on a restricted diet you will actually see your strength decrease. In the long run, you will not burn the fat that you want while decreasing your overall performance.
Secondly, restricted diets can affect your overall mental health. You enter this cycle of doom on a restrictive diet. Eating starts to become a chore more than an enjoyable experience. The list of forbidden foods continues to grow and expand as you further get invested into the diet. You can begin to refer to foods as good or bad. These labels create a negative approach to eating. You can start to feel guilty when you eat a forbidden food and even feel like you failed. This develops into a poor relationship with food. If taken too far, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating can form. Overall, restricted diets truly can have a negative impact on your overall mental health towards food.
So what can we do instead of a restrictive diet? Eat a balanced, well rounded diet. This includes carbohydrates, protein and fat. Engage in regular physical activity. I say activity because we need to stop making the impression that the only thing that will burn calories is showing up to the gym and forcing ourselves to run on the treadmill. The key in successfully adding physical activity to your day is finding something you love.