Author’s note: This article discusses disordered eating.
It’s the beginning of a new year, everyone’s favorite time to make that list of resolutions that (hopefully) we can abide by for longer than three weeks. One resolution has stood the test of time? Losing weight.
While losing weight is a personal decision, it should be done the right way and for the right reasons. The right reasons being to feel better not look better. Coming out of the season of cakes, casseroles, and cookies, it’s no surprise that we may feel a bit sluggish. However, it is crucial to remember that in order maintain a healthy lifestyle in the new year, it’s best to think twice before picking up that cayenne-lemon water that you call “dinner.”
Fad diets are those that promise fast results, often ones that are unrealistic. These diets also tend to be extreme, requiring the individual to eat only certain foods or drinks and often are only supported by just one successful “study.” Some are more drastic than others, but fad diets are popular all around the world. In fact, women in China enjoy the delightful “sun diet,” where they stare into the sun for exactly 44 minutes each day as a meal replacement. From the solar energy, they see rapid weight loss results (but maybe it’s because they aren’t eating). Though in the US we see plenty of strange and restrictive diets, from the baby food eating plan to simply chewing food and spitting it out. These are all awful for you because they don’t provide the adult nutrition required to function. Of course, after going on these diets for a certain amount of time then returning to normal food, all the weight would bounce back.
One of the most common fad diets that has withstood the test of time is juicing. Whether it’s been for a few days before a big event or several weeks, juicing was a popular option for many to shed pounds quickly. These cold pressed juices are certainly healthy, providing many vitamins and minerals that we can’t extract from fruits and vegetables by simply chewing.
However, when someone chooses to subsist on juices alone in lieu of food, that’s where we find problems. First, lots of folks find making their own juices to be too burdensome, so they opt for store-bought beverages. Many of these have been pasteurized though, meaning they have been subjected to extremely high heat to preserve the juice for a longer shelf life. With pasteurization, many of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes die off due to the high heat, leaving the juice to be a liquid with zero nutritional value. In addition, juices lack fiber and are often high in sugar. You’re better off, in many cases, to just eat the fruit itself. Finally, a diet of only juice knocks out proteins and fats, which are essential for a proper diet and even for weight loss.
Before scrambling to find a way to lose weight, think about what you’re doing. Is the desire to lose weight really about the weight or something else? Stress can wreak havoc upon our lives and oftentimes, losing weight is a go-to to gain control in life. Social media has also been devastating in its promotions of certain body types and encouraging unhealthy eating habits. Moderation is key. Maintaining a diet rich in fruits, veggies, proteins, and fats is essential (and so is treating yourself). Also, a healthy fitness regimen is necessary to move your body, sweat, and feel strong and powerful.
So, cut out the fad diets and eat how you want because food isn’t the enemy, it’s the loyal companion that fuels your life.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.