7 Reasons You Really Shouldn’t Diet

I don’t think there’s a single young woman on the planet who hasn’t gone on a diet…and that’s pretty sad. If you want even sadder, get this: 80 percent of ten-year-old girls admit to having been on a diet, and we all know that the average fourth grader shouldn’t be worrying about their love handles. Dieting obviously isn’t a new phenomenon–just check out vintage women’s magazines from the sixties and those awful cabbage soup diets from the pits of hell. But these days it’s absolutely impossible to escape them. Try logging onto Instagram without seeing a celeb shill for Fit Tea or an article about the miracle of some new dairy-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, substance-free, fun-free detox. Go on, try it. You’ll fail.

But diets have become so normalized in our society that this cold hard truth might be a tough pill to swallow: Diets, for the most part, are bad. They’re bad and they do more harm than good. Whether you agree with me or not, at least hear me out. Check out these seven reasons why you should never diet…ever.

Most Diets Fail

Study after study has confirmed this to be true: Most diets don't work. And when they do work? The results are short lived. That's why the term yo-yo dieting exists: People lose weight, only to gain it all back, and then some. The only way people actually keep weight off is to have a total lifestyle change: Obtaining healthier eating habits that are actually sustainable; throwing in exercise is a major key as well. But many people see lifestyle changes as less satisfying because they require too much commitment and might take longer to show results. So, yeah, obviously going on some flash in the pan diet is going to be more appealing to many.

My Mad Fat Diary

You Can Develop Incredibly Unhealthy Eating Habits

Diets are naturally restrictive, but these days there's such intense scrutiny about foods being "good" or "bad." There's eating clean, as if there's such a thing as eating dirty. You have people second guessing whether they should eat fruit due to sugar content, entire days ruined by a single bite of a croissant...Look, it's fair to want to stick to a diet; who wants to slip up? But it's so easy to go down a dark path into unhealthy eating habits. Food shouldn't be something that strikes fear in your heart, and many strict diets do just that. Being afraid of an avocado? Not the business.

To The Bone

Fad Diets Are Mostly Scams

Listen: A fad diet might do its job, but they're often very misleading. What they often don't tell you is that most of these diets aren't meant to be used long term. They're simply not sustainable for a lifestyle change. Like, okay, so you're on a juicing detox...you obviously can't eat like this forever. So, sure, you might lose some weight short-term, but what happens when you start eating like a normal person again? You just gain all the weight back. Why even bother?


You Won't Be Happier

"Ugh, I'll just be happier if I lose 15 lbs! That's all I want!" It's so easy to convince ourselves that some weight loss, smaller love handles, fitting into a new dress size is the key to happiness. But here's the tea: It's not. It's really, really not. If you have underlying discomfort with yourself--who you are, what you're doing with your life, etc--then losing a couple of dress sizes isn't going to be a cureall. That's why there are loads of people who even hit their goal weight and still feel miserable: It wasn't just the weight that made them feel sad. Be honest with yourself and find out if you suffer from a lack of confidence, insecurity, depression, anxiety, etc in a way that isn't purely associated with your weight.


They Can Be Super Dangerous If You Don't Know What You're Doing

Be real: You're not a doctor, and neither is the chick on Pinterest who made an aesthetically pleasing guide on some lemon juice and hot water detox that you've been interested in. Diets--no matter how intense they are--can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You should always talk to a doctor or nutritionist before going on a diet...and most don't. Don't set yourself up for trouble; the negative effects can be long lasting.


Diets Can Eff With Your Growth If You're A Teen

If you're a teenager, get this: Your body is still growing. Your body still needs oodles of nutrients, and some crash diet could very well neglect your body of what it needs to grow in a healthy matter. This is especially true since many people go on diets without the supervision of a doctor or nutritionist, and they don't really know what they're doing. So suddenly cutting dairy might mess with your bone health, for example, which could mean that you're setting yourself up for weak bones and joints for the rest of your life. Sorry to sound scary, but...I'm keeping it real.

Mean Girls

You Don't Need One

Nobody needs a diet. Period. If you're invested in eating healthier, that's great! But you can do that without dieting and trying to lose weight in a short timespan. Making healthier choices--whether it's with food, exercise, stressors, etc--that means you're undergoing a lifestyle change, and that can be better for your body at the end of the day and offer actual long-term results. Before you decide to make a lifestyle change, however, talk to your doctor! They can help you determine what your goals should be in a way that won't leave you feeling miserable and hungry all the time...which diets do.

Cherry Glazerr/White's Not My Color This Evening

Have you had a diet go wrong? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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