The dark side of dieting

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Did you know that 45 million Americans go on at least one diet each year?  And while dieting is not a cause of eating disorders, it is often a precursor to disordered eating.  

Nutritionist Trish Brimhall, from Nutritious Intent, shared with us the dark side of dieting.

Restrictive-diet behaviors not only carry serious psychological and physiological side effects for you, but spills over into the lives of those around you.  Consider these sobering consequences that come from the dark side of dieting:

  • 75% of women perpetuate unhealthy thoughts and behaviors about food and their bodies.  It should come as no surprise then that half of all girls ages 9-10 are dieting.  Your thoughts about your body don’t just affect you.  To quote the musical Into The Woods,  “children will listen.”
  • Dieting behavior leads to feelings of anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia (uncontrolled negative thoughts about perceived flaws in one’s body), and distrust of one’s body signals and cues, and ability to maintain good health.
  • Restricting calorie or nutrient intake can cause the body to slow down in an effort to conserve energy.  
  • Diets that lead to quick, dramatic weight loss generally involve losing lean muscle mass as well as fat. 
  • Repeated dieting makes it harder and harder to lose weight.  The more you diet, the longer it takes and the more you have to restrict to lose weight that previously came off with less effort.  
  • Dieting destroys your relationship with food and erodes your confidence in your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.  

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