You Can’t Just Quit Food

22August 2021

It seems like every day a new fad diet becomes mainstream. More and more people are going keto or paleolithic to achieve their dream physique. Perhaps you have friends or family trying out a new nutrition plan. Inspired, you may set a personal goal of getting in the best shape of your life by next summer. How
should you go about this? The answer may vary based on your lifestyle and individual needs. However, you shouldn’t just give up food cold turkey. Highly restrictive crash diets only provide rapid results in the short term. What’s more, they can have negative impacts on your health and quality of life. Let’s explore some of these consequences in further detail.

Your metabolism slows to a crawl

Our bodies haven’t caught up with changes in modern technology. That means they aren’t used to having an overabundance of food stored away in refrigerators. In the times of hunter-gatherers, a lack of food could signal serious problems like famine. As a result, our body does everything it can to preserve its resources. When you cut out food completely, it enters starvation mode. Your basal metabolic rate will slow down as your body fights to stay alive. Besides making you feel lethargic, this will cause weight loss to slow down as well. A slower metabolism certainly isn’t ideal for maintaining weight loss in the long term.

You risk nutritional deficiencies

Your body needs macro and micronutrients for optimal functioning. A well-balanced nutrition plan should include protein, carbohydrates, and fats in addition to vitamins and minerals. When you stop eating, you can’t get any of these nutrients. Therefore, your organ systems aren’t able to do their jobs. Let’s consider what happens to the body without some of these nutrients.

Protein –
Protein is the body’s building block for muscles. Without hitting your required daily protein intake, you will lose muscle mass in addition to fat as a part of your weight loss. You could find yourself becoming physically weaker as a result. Muscle loss can be counterproductive if you have aesthetics in mind for your weight loss journey. A lack of protein can lower your immunity. Increased susceptibility to infection will make it difficult, if not impossible, to stay productive during your weight loss period.

Calcium –
Most of us have seen ads for milk highlighting the importance of calcium. Science has shown that calcium is essential for keeping your bones strong and dense. Without enough calcium, your bones become weaker and break more easily.

Vitamin C –
When was the last time you read that the secret to eternal youth was vitamin C? While you probably haven’t thought of vitamin C in this way before, it does impact your appearance in significant ways. Vitamin C affects your body’s ability to produce collagen. Collagen plays a vital role in keeping your skin, hair, joints, and gums healthy. If you want to keep yourself looking as youthful and vibrant as possible, it’s not a good idea to interfere with your body’s collagen production process.

Your mental health may suffer

On one end, crash diets may cause eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. Even if you are confident that you are not at risk for such conditions, consider what stopping eating will do to your social life. It will make social eating an impossibility. Fear of temptation could make you more likely to say no to social
engagements centered around food. If you do attend, how will your enjoyment of the situation be impacted?

Your friends and family may express genuine concern about your health because of your new lifestyle. You’ll also have to exercise tremendous willpower to avoid food throughout the day. Will power acts like a muscle that weakens the more you use it. How much will you have in reserve for stressful decisions during this time?

A happier, healthier alternative
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the risk associated with stopping eating. The good news is that a slower, more gradual approach to weight loss works better for people in the long term. You can still achieve your admirable goal of becoming healthier while enjoying yourself in the process. Remember that becoming and staying fit is a marathon, not a sprint. Find a nutrition plan that works for you in the long term and stick to it. You will have more energy, spend less time worrying about food, and still have the things you enjoy in moderation.

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