Diet Don’ts

Photo Credit: USDA PD

Obesity is a serious problem in the United States. Obesity rates are more than 30% of the population of some states and the problem appears to be growing. The increase in obesity rates has many people re-thinking their diet and fitness habits. Some may even take extreme measures to lose weight or to prevent weight gain. Extreme measures to control or lose weight can lead to serious health problems and are not advised. 
Don’t do extreme dieting. Extreme dieting is a common method employed by many people who want to quickly lose weight. Starvation diets, skipping meals, cutting entire food groups from the menu or relying on diet shakes for nutrition can result in malnutrition and loss of muscle mass. Your metabolism will also slow down, which  defeats your weight loss goal. The average person needs at least 1,200 calories every day to stay healthy.  Eat a variety of foods, including dairy, fruits and vegetables to get the nutrition you need and to avoid hunger. Avoid fad diets that limit the variety of foods you can eat or restrict your menu to only a few foods from one or two food categories. 
Don’t count on diet pills or shakes to help you lose weight. Diet products that promise you will lose tens of pounds in just few weeks are unlikely to live up to this claim and may actually harm your health. Most diet pills are a combination of diuretics and caffeine, which cause you to lose water and can result in dehydration. Overuse of diet pills can result in electrolyte imbalance, too. 
Over-the-counter diet pills may not appear to be dangerous , but they can still cause harm. “Most diet pills are nothing more than a quick fix loaded with caffeine and diuretics that can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance,” says Diekman, director of nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. Diet supplements and over-the-counter diet pills do not receive the same level of scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration as prescription drugs, so their safety and effectiveness is not assured. 

Don’t do colon cleanses or detox programs. Colon cleanses can cause you to lose some weight initially due to water loss and the complete emptying of the bowel. Water loss from colon cleanses can cause dehydration. Detoxing your body by drinking only juice or water for days can lead to a lack of nutrients, decreased metabolism and may cause other health problems. It’s best to drink lots of water and eat a high-fiber diet every day. 
Don’t purge. Purging, like vomiting or using laxatives are unsafe and can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening, health problems. When you force yourself to vomit shortly after eating, strong stomach acids can cause erosion in the lining of the mouth and esophagus. Tooth enamel is also damaged by stomach acids. Purging can lead to the severe eating disorder bulimia. 
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

2 Responses to Diet Don’ts

  1. Katrina says:

    Yep that pretty much sums up what I thought….just started my path to what is hopefully a healthier life….it has not ceased to amaze me what "stuff" there is out there…..that is absolute rubbish promising all sorts of things….I have an appointment with a dietician in about 1 1/2 months…it takes about 3 months to get an appointment….and hoping she will have even more ideas for me

  2. Robin R. says:

    That's great to hear Katrina. Thanks for sharing. I know you will do well and feel so much better once you eating more foods that heal rather than destroy your health. Have a great day!

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