The short answer to this question is: yes. This may seem obvious, but dieting can also be dangerous if not done correctly. There are some major do’s and don’ts when it comes to dieting. In this article I’ll discuss when and when it’s not safe to diet, and what kinds of diets are safe to try. As we all know, obesity does not do wonders for your health. Nearly 70% of US adults are overweight, so there is also a lot of dieting going on. Some of this is healthy and productive, but there are some dieting methods that should definitely be avoided.
When Is Dieting Okay?
First of all, the human body goes through many phases of development. This is why it’s very dangerous to diet as a teenager. Teenagers are in a critical period of development, so they can rob themselves of essential nutrients with dieting. The other thing to keep in mind is that it’s not always necessary to diet. For some people, nothing about their diet has to change. More exercise may very well help someone lose weight and feel healthier. While dieting isn’t wise for younger people, healthy eating should always be encouraged. For healthy development one should eat a variety of foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Staying away from sugary beverages and foods, fatty meats, and greasy food will also promote healthy weight.
An Unhealthy Diet
As you probably know, losing weight is pretty simple in theory: burn more calories than you consume. Achieving this formula can take many forms, however, and it’s hard to find the right plan for you. Super-low calorie diets should be avoided categorically. Any diet less than 800 calories per day is definitely not healthy. In fact, most people need around 1200 calories per day to remain healthy. So, while you know that calories and fat can cause weight gain, that doesn’t mean you cut them excessively. For example, your body needs fat to survive, so a completely non-fat diet is dangerous as well.
The Healthy Diet
There are a few simple steps that should be taken before jumping into any systematic diet. First, keep track of your calorie intake and cut back to a reasonable amount. Second, increase physical activity to burn more calories than you consume. Lastly, make lifestyle changes that obstruct your ability to lose weight. These can be small changes, such as drinking less or adding less sugar to beverages and foods.
How Do I Know If I Should Diet?
The first question to ask is actually: Do I need to lose weight? This is obviously your decision, but if you think you’re overweight, you can always calculate your Body Mass Index, or BMI. You can easily find BMI calculators on the web. The BMI ladder has different ranges that delineate between normal, healthy BMIs, overweight BMIs, and obese BMIs. This isn’t a perfect test either, however, because muscle mass also plays a role in the BMI and can mislead your conclusions. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor and get a recommendation on weight loss and diet.