By Alex Chan ‘18
Dieting is commonly known as the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion. Dieting is usually practiced to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight. A popular practice indeed, however if done incorrectly, can result in frustrating results. Thus, it may result in an undesired change or no change at all. Although it is commonly thought that consuming less food results in weight loss, it is actually an impractical way of approaching the issue. In fact, such diets can lead to loss of lean muscle mass, increased risk of gout (a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot, and swollen joint), and electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. They help to regulate heart and neurological function, fluid balance, oxygen delivery, acid–base balance, etc. In short, there are better ways to approach weight loss, ways that lack the side effects of low calorie diets.
“Dieting is good if you are doing it the way it is meant to be, otherwise, it hurts more than it does help. Dieting is more about eating right than eating less,” mentioned Johnny Guo ‘18.
Sadman Hossain ’18 noted, “You have to be committed to losing your target amount of weight in order to be committed to the routine. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.”
One of the most important things to keep in mind is your sleep schedule. Although it may seem unrelated, it has been proven that sleeping less than five to six hours of sleep can cause decreased metabolism rate and hormonal changes that harm your weight-loss efforts. In addition, based on a study, sleep deprived people can cause more hunger, on average, an extra 500 calories a day. In addition, the diet itself maybe the issue. Although it is common that people choose salads over any other food, salads usually do not contain enough carbohydrates to keep your hunger in check. Oatmeal or healthy soups and a light sandwich is definitely a better choice. Moreover, it is wise to not go out and eat too often. Meals made from restaurants, almost all the time, contains more calories than home-made meals. Therefore, going out to buy ingredients and finding healthy recipes is an effective way of taking a step towards a healthier weight. And no matter how trivial it may seem to others, skipping meals is an ineffective way to approaching weight loss. Foremost, weight loss through starvation harms more than it helps, and evidence shows that people who eat healthy breakfasts compared to those who don’t tend to have healthier weights.
“When you diet, always have a plan with you and keep your progress updated as you go. Following your plan and tracking progress helps for a more accountable and procedural diet,” said Zilong Yuen ‘18.
Overall it takes dedication and commitment to starting a diet regimen and seeing it to the end. Many common practices are unhealthy, however by following the guidelines above, weight loss is an almost guarantee no matter how slow the progress.