Dietitian Susie Burrell reveals five signs that your diet is actually bad for you

There are many different types of diets, and many “experts” are selling diets or diet books that claim to have the single formula for weight loss.

Then we have the fad diets that have been around for a few years at a time — paleo, keto, the 800, and the lemon detox, to name a few you’ll probably be familiar with.

The reality is that most, if not all, diets work when followed, but the problem is that few, if any, can be followed long term.

So if you’re not sure the way you eat is doing its job, here are some of the signs that the diet you’re following may actually be doing more harm than good.

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Is your diet doing you more harm than good? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You constantly feel helpless

Although a diet is simply a pattern of eating, nowadays “dieting” means restriction, with a list of foods to avoid and indulgences to avoid in the quest for dietary superiority.

One of the problems with deprivation is that over time it tends to fuel obsession and, in the case of food, obsession with all the foods we’re not supposed to eat.

For this reason, one of the telltale signs of a doomed diet is one in which you feel like you can’t include the foods you enjoy in reasonable amounts. This means that if you can’t eat cheese, chocolate, dessert, or enjoy a glass of wine once in a while without it derailing your diet, it’s unlikely to be the best choice for you in the long run. term.

It takes hours of shopping, cooking and prepping

Life is busy. There are jobs, kids, family responsibilities, sports, dates… so let’s be honest, a diet that requires hours of shopping, cooking, meal prep and lots of expensive ingredients that blow the family budget might be doable for a week or two, but unlikely to be sustainable.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to require hours of meal prep, or overly special foods. Instead, cheap, quick, and easy meals that use pre-prepared foods and meals can easily be part of a healthy, sustainable, calorie-controlled diet.

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Fruits and vegetables to include in a healthy diet
Any diet that requires expensive ingredients and hours of shopping isn’t worth it. (Getty)

Your body is not working well

You may feel stuffy; or get sick more frequently. Or you may have dry skin, or your period may even have stopped. Or you can’t remember the last time you were hungry.

The human body is very sensitive to changes in usual food intake, and slow digestion and accompanying constipation are one of the first signs that your body may not be getting the calories and dietary fiber. it needs to function optimally.

As your calorie and fat intake decreases, your hormones can be affected, which in turn can affect mood and the menstrual cycle. Over time, as your intake of whole foods and key nutrients decreases, your body’s ability to fight infections also decreases. If you don’t feel good about your body, chances are the diet you’re following isn’t helping you feel and perform your best.

dietitian susie burrell
Susie Burrell says that for a diet to work, it has to be sustainable over the long term. (Susie Burrel)

You feel tired and lethargic

Overly strict diets that cut out major food groups or nutrients can lead to relatively rapid weight loss, but over time can negatively impact nutrient intake, which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and have a negative impact on your mood.

Nutrients, including carbohydrates, iron, vitamin D and calcium, are depleted over time in the body, which means that it may take several weeks or even months before you start to notice the physical symptoms associated with a restrictive food intake.

If you’re starting to wake up and feeling like you haven’t slept, or you’re not recovering from your regular workouts, or you’re getting sick a little more often, it might be time to take a break. Take a closer look at the foods and nutrients you might be getting. missing.

It’s not sustainable

If you’re on a diet where you’re “on” or “off,” chances are it’s not the right diet for you. Strict diets that force you to weigh and measure foods, eat only specific combinations of foods, or count calories or carbs so tightly that you literally can’t eat anything outside of your meal plan are setting you up. to a diet cycle that is difficult to escape. .

The best diet we can follow is one that fits into our lives and includes social events, dining out, and special treats. Weight loss may be slower on such a diet, but it will be sustainable.

Author Susie Burrel is a leading Australian dietitian and nutritionist, founder of shape meco-host of The nutritional couch podcast and prominent media spokesperson, with regular appearances in print and television commenting on all areas of diet, weight loss and nutrition.

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