6 Problems with Dieting from New York Registered Dietitian

Celebrate Valentines and Love by Not Dieting

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Love has always been, and will continue to be, one of life’s great mysteries. For thousands of years, poets, authors, philosophers, musicians, even jingle, bumper sticker and billboard writers have attempted to define love. (Or at least come up with something insightful or catchy for it!)

And since February has a day designated to celebrate love – Valentine’s Day – I thought what better way to celebrate the mystery of love than with a series of blogs about how love has to begin with you. 

Okay, I could feel the eye-roll there. Hang with me.

Let me be clear, I’m not talking about narcissistic personality disorders here or some mega-personality giving an hour talk about the greatness of self-love. I’m talking about something very basic, very important, and too-often overlooked, I’m talking about loving yourself enough to let go of dieting and trust your body.

Don't DietUnlike a bunch of cynics out there, I love Valentine’s Day. In a world so chock-full of hate and anger, why not celebrate love? More importantly, why not learn to love your body? So, in a month of love, my first blog post is about NO MORE DIETING.

Here are 6 reasons why you should not diet:

  1. Dieting is about restricting your food intake. It’s pretty basic. But by doing this, you’re also training your body to not listen to critical hunger signals. Basically, you’re tricking your body, not trusting it to tell you what it needs. Inversely, when you do this, your body won’t feel when it’s full.
  2. Dieting slows your metabolism … permanently. That quick weight loss after a highly restricted diet is exciting. It’s inspiring. But our bodies weren’t built to think about weight and how we look. They are machines that respond to nutrition deficit by slowing down your metabolism. Permanently. So, once you have a highly restricted calorie count and lose weight, you can’t go back to eating “normal.”
  3. Dieting plays tricks on our brains. Modern-day diets aren’t just about food restriction but also entire food-group restrictions. Diet fads play into that billion-dollar business, and line our bookstores’ shelves. Again, people see results (or else Atkins would not be a millionaire). Those results, though, are statistically short-lived as our bodies fight to put that lost weight back on.
  4. Diets encourage you to cheat. They play with the idea of will power and, “Well, I
    blew it this morning with that chocolate croissant, why bother today?”Yo-Yo Dieting
  5. Weight cycling is unhealthy. Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight that can range from 5 – 10 pounds per cycle up to 50 pounds per cycle. When this weight loss occurs during dieting, it’s referred to as yo-yo dieting. This causes some serious health problems like lowering our metabolisms, the increase of cortisol in our bodies (which is the primary stress hormone), and cardiovascular disease.
  6. Dieting is “temporary.” It’s a quick-fix. A lifetime of health and love comes from a lifetime of good food choices and nutrition. It comes from a healthy relationship with food. There isn’t a shortcut to it. 

Why not begin February with love? Loving yourself enough not to diet. Instead, make food, exercise, and nutrition choices every day to support your body and its health.

This isn’t easy. Over the next few blogs, I’m going to give some helpful tips to make self-care a priority in your life. As Lucille Ball said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”