Avoid the Pitfalls of Restrictive Dieting

pitfall-dieting

On this diet, which ever one you choose, there are a set of rules that have to be followed. These rules leave us feeling restricted and eventually we either finish the diet (you've lost the weight that you want) or we "cave in" and overeat on the foods that we have curbed due to the rules of the diets.  When you come off of a diet or cave in and binge after dieting this can lead to regaining lost weight or even gaining more weight than if you had never dieted at all. We call this the yo-yo effect.

Where is the nutrition?

The other things about restriction in diets that tends to scare us as dietitians, is that when you cut out entire food groups you may be missing out on nutrients that you really need. Science has come a long way in being able to tell us more about what our bodies need to function properly but I don't think we know everything.

Still getting a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fats, and proteins is a great way to make sure all of our bases are covered without trying to figure out what vitamin or dietary supplement you might need to fill in any gaps from a restrictive diet.

As far as your nutrition and daily intake goes, some good goals include increasing your fruits and vegetables, making sure that at each meal half your plate is filled with them. You could make a goal to keep track of your intake and calories; being more aware of what we are taking in each day is half the battle of making sure we aren't overeating.  A goal that I worked on a few years ago was being more aware of my hunger and satiety cues. I wanted to make sure I was eating when I was hungry and stopping when I was full.  A lot of people use external cues to tell them when and how much to eat so this one might be great for a lot of people. 

Focus on exercise more

Exercise is something that most people could get more of. Some of the goals that you might want to make this year instead of just losing weight could be that you will increase your exercise from 5 minutes per day to 15 minutes. Or from 15 to 30 minutes. Or making a goal to schedule your daily exercise. Goals focused around getting stronger or increasing endurance tend to work well for people, too. 

RELATED: 9 Tips To Help You Make the Healthy Changes You Want To Make 

Be OK with being you

Being alright with where your body is at is another goal that would be great to set in this coming year. Our society has been focused on being thin is beautiful, and while we have made shifts toward encouraging better body image, we still have a long way to go to being a physically self-confident society.

Overall, instead of going on a diet and risking the binge/restrict type cycle that we are all prone to, making goals to make a more sustainable and healthy you will make you feel more successful, more healthy, have more energy, and as a side effect your body will naturally go to a healthy weight for you.

For more information and tips for your new resolutions, visit Intermountain’s LiVe Well.