Oh, no. It looks as though you’ve had a row with the weighing machine. Again.

What was it this time? The needle pointed five kilos ahead? What other options are there apart from running, yoga, swimming and various other exercises?

Dieting, you say? Cutting down your food intake to a minimal? Are you sure you know the difference between dieting and starving?

Unfortunately, many don’t understand what dieting truly is.

The common misconception is that Dieting refers to controlling the amount of food or calories you ingest, in order to lose weight.

However, the truth runs along these lines:

Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight. That’s right, folks. Dieting doesn’t mean cutting down on your nutrition intake–it means balancing it.

To determine a proper diet for yourself, it is suggested that you visit a dietitian and have them plan it out for you, based on your body type, weight, eating habits, height, etc.

However, if you’re more of the future planner, it would help to know some of the long term effects of dieting

The Long Term Effects of Dieting:

“Success” in dieting methods has been generalized as weight loss. This implies that losing weight will lead to improved health, and yet, health outcomes are not  included in diet case studies. Do weight-loss diets lead to improved cholesterol,  systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose? 

The question is not whether or not one should diet, but what exactly is it that dieting achieves.

In most case studies dieting persons show minimal improvements in the above mentioned health criteria, while none correlate with weight change.

Shocking, but true. Though weight-loss dieting might help shed those extra pounds, it only does so temporarily. In the long run, however, case studies reported that, the majority of individuals had gained almost all of the weight that was lost after dieting, if not more, regardless of continuity in their diet or exercise program. It was also revealed that after two years of dieting, up to two-thirds of dieters were even heavier than they were, prior to beginning their program!

The “Taboo” Foods

Certainly, when you are put under a weight loss dietary program, there are certain foods you would be required to give up or cut down on. These include, but are not limited to:


  • Salad Dressings
  • Beverages like alcohol, smoothies, coffee with cream and sugar, sweetened juices, teas, and sodas
  • Certain meats like Bacon, grilled Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Croutons
  • Burgers
  • Chocolates
  • Doughnuts
  • Cookies
  • Tortillas
  • French fries
  • Potato chips

The list could go o forever, but to sum it up, anything with carbohydrates or fats becomes a taboo. Though it is true that not all dietitians advise that you ban these foods, or tell you to cut down on their quantity, could you really live with feeling guilty every time you pass a packet of Lays, in a shop?

Think about what we saw earlier, about how dieting isn’t really all rainbows and ponies in the long run, and ask yourself: is all the effort really worth it? Is it honestly worth it to drown in shame every time you take a bite out of something sweet, only to find out that you’ll gain the same weight, or probably more, two years down the lane, despite your efforts?

Doesn’t seem smart.

chips 2processed meat

The Ignored Side Effects

Every day, it seems there’s a new “it” diet. But now, it seems as though there’s a whole new reason not to try them all: It turns out, switching diets can drastically affect your intestinal health.

While there are studies that show the health and medical benefits of weight loss, a study in 2005 of around 3000 Finns over an 18-year period showed that weight loss from dieting can result in increased mortality, while those who maintained their weight got the best. It has also been found that in most cases, a low fat diet causes constipation. Is that something you want to deal with? I think not. In adolescents, it is noted that along with physical ones, dieting can inflict psychological and emotional harms. The stress of being thinner usually leads to eating disorders like Anorexia and low self esteem in teenagers. Sadly though, these ill effects are shadowed by the supposedly ‘fantastic’ results of dieting, that last no more than six months after the completion of your regime.

images (2)

The Consequences

In many cases, normal dieting doesn’t seem to be satisfactory. Not because you’re not doing it right, but just because it isn’t normal and your body is not ready to accept such changes as you inflict on it during the course of your diet. Sadly, these simple signs are misunderstood and dieters are lead to believe that their diet lacks severity.

As a result, they monitor their eating habits even more strictly than they did before and needless to say, this only leads to more harm.


  1. Binge Eating: Binge eating is sometimes the outcome of having gone too long without necessary nutrition and calories. If you consistently skip meals when on a diet, it is possible to feel deprived and eat many more calories late at night, especially if you’re unable to fall asleep from intense hunger.                                                                                                                                                             download (2)
  2. Muscle Loss: Unhealthy dieting practices that don’t produce enough protein can lead to unwanted muscle loss. Your body needs protein to build and repair tissues, and carry out a large number of processes. When you don’t consume enough protein in your diet, your body will consume its own muscle mass. Ouch!                                                                                                                        muscle-loss-in-legs
  3. Fatigue and Nausea: Some unhealthy dieting practices include extreme calorie reduction. Juice fasts where you go for weeks without consuming solid foods often result in horrible side effects. Fatigue, nausea, dizziness and headaches are common consequences of these unhealthy diets.
  4. Challenge to mental Health: Unhealthy dieting is challenging for your mental health. Many people feel grumpy and irritable when they are hungry. Not getting enough calories, not having enough energy to carry out daily tasks, feeling dizzy and nauseous can all combine to push some extreme dieters into feelings of deep sadness or even depression.                                

 download (3)

The Final Conclusion

After having thoroughly read about dieting and it’s true colours, can you really say that it is the most natural way to lose unwanted weight?

The challenge with weight loss diets is that they usually cannot be maintained in the long term. You may be able to survive on a short term basis on an extremely low-calorie diet, but eventually you will have to resume eating regular meals.

The ball is in your court then. Do you prefer dieting? Or happily Die-Eating?