Thursday, August 16, 2018 | ePaper

Chronic dieting - is it an eating disorder?

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Life Desk :
Chronic dieting is associated with eating disorders that commonly come along with conditions, such as anxiety disorders, fear, and depression.
Eating disorder is a condition characterized by irregular or unhealthy eating habits and severe distress or worrying about body weight or shape which simultaneously affects health and poses a risk.
The three most common types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Chronic dieting is a condition when a person restricts calorie intake in his or her diet on a regular basis mainly to reduce weight, observes The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Chronic dieters tend to be more obsessed with their weight and size. Forever worried about their weight, they tend to try one diet or the other and frequently add weight or lose weight in a process that is popularly termed "weight cycling." It is proved to be an unhealthy practice on a long-term basis and may affect a person both physically and psychologically.
Restrict calorie or alter food preferences and choices in the long run (more than two years). Follow a strict diet mainly to lose weight, fail to meet their goal or achieve the targeted goal but regain weight over a period of time leading to a sense of failure and stress.
Yes, cutting calories is the easiest and simplest way to lose weight. The primary cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed, and calories burned, according to the World Health Organization. Weight loss can be easily achieved either by eating fewer calories or by burning more calories through physical activity, preferably both.
Any excess of calories whether from carbohydrate, protein, or fat will have an impact on the individual's body weight. Similarly, foods with empty calories, i.e., lots of added sugar such as soft drinks and carbonated beverages are another source of carbohydrates, but these add extra calories with few vitamins and minerals. This strongly enforces the logic "Eat less, Exercise more."
Generally, people become over conscious of their weight and start following several diets saying 'No' to their favorite foods mainly to restrict calorie intake. Once they reach a goal, they run back to their routine eating habits which will lead to overeating due to long-term craving, finally making their weighing scale heavier than before.
If you are planning to lose weight, aim for a balanced eating plan rather than a diet that restricts certain macronutrients or food groups.
Chronic dieting may physically affect a person by causing high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, an imbalance in body water and fluid, decreased insulin resistance, binge eating, reduced production of leptin, slow metabolism (biochemical process that converts food into energy), and diseases in gall bladder and heart.
Chronic Dieting may also result in lack of specific nutrients such as carbohydrates which simultaneously leads to nutritional deficiencies. On the other hand, continuously denying themselves their favorite food items can also psychologically affect a person causing depression and mental stress. This may often lead to intense cravings for high-calorie foods thereby leading to anxiety and frustration when people fail to meet their targeted weight.
-medindia

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