Saturday, April 28, 2012

Healthy Habits: Healthy Summer Dieting

There's a strong temptation to go on crash diets that promise a quick fix as summer approaches, in preparation for swimsuit season. It can also be a time when eating disorders are triggered by the desire to look perfect in skimpier outfits during warm weather. Eating Recovery Center urges individuals to avoid the five most common weight loss and dieting behaviors: - Restrictive diets: Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan diets and cleanses have been popularized by celebrities as seemingly successful methods for slimming down. Some people have food allergies or medical conditions for which these types of restrictive diets can be helpful. However, for the vast majority, removing entire food categories from a diet can rob the body of essential nutrients and kick-start a pattern of food restriction. - “Thinspiration”: While social networking sites such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram have restricted users from posting pro-eating disorders content, thinspiration still runs rampant online. What may start as casually posting photos of men and women at an individual’s “goal weight” or “ideal” body shape can quickly spiral out of control and drive unrealistic, obsessive thinking and behaviors. - Crash or fad diets: Dieting is the most common behavior that triggers eating disorders. Furthermore, diets simply do not work; about 95 percent of people who lose weight by dieting will regain the weight in one to five years. - Excessive exercise: Over-exercising can result in excessive wear and tear on muscles, bones and joints. Furthermore, if individuals do not rest and give their bodies time to recuperate, injuries can quickly follow. - Diet pills or aids: Diet pills, diuretics and other over-the-counter weight loss aids promise users a quick fix. However, the long-term consequences of diet pill use can include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and – in serious cases – even death. “Any weight loss regimen that seems too good to be true almost certainly is,” explains Holland. “Rather than looking for a ‘quick fix,’ make a choice to practice a healthier, sustainable lifestyle that emphasizes body acceptance and realistic goals and focuses on moderation.” Eating Recovery Center recommends that anyone seeking to begin a weight loss program first consult a physician. Individuals with a family history of eating disorders who engage in weight loss behaviors are at a significantly higher risk of triggering an eating disorder. Visit for more information about eating disorders support and recommendations for ways to intervene should a loved one’s weight loss regimen go too far.

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