Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Giving up Dieting

[Before reading this blog post, I just want to let my readers know that I’m neither a certified nutritionist nor a doctor. Therefore, whatever advice I give is solely based on my experience. If you want to seek medical help this is not the place. I’m only sharing my personal insights.] 

I’m ecstatic; I’m finally back at the gym after one month filled with setbacks. After my endless attempts in Ramadan to control my binge urges, I just gave up because I told myself that it’s okay to binge eat as it is only temporary and will end after this month – I know, terrible excuses I keep giving myself. The most important thing right now is that I truly lost all my excuses and I’ve been working hard for the past two weeks. I already got a few compliments on how radiant I look and guess what? I did all that by NOT starving... Just eating according to my goals and working out.

This got me to a really important issue that I’ve been noticing in young adults and that is; distorted image of what “dieting” and “proper nutrition” truly are. Approximately 3 out of 10 young adults that I come across are on extreme starvation diets, their diets basically consist of one big meal per day or eating too little calories throughout the day. I honestly don’t know how they do it. It’s so hard for me to starve myself and it opens huge binge doors for me. Sure, those of you who are on extreme starvation diets will lose weight but you’ll also experience hunger pangs, decreased energy, hair loss, mood swings and many physical effects related to specific nutrition deficiencies. 

Starving never works simply because of our survival instincts. Our survival instincts are our inherited properties to behave in a way that maximize our chances of survival. They are extremely powerful and respond when one or more of our basic biological needs are not met (such as hunger). Basically, when you’re starving, your survival instincts are activated because it senses a threat to survival. Dieting is against human nature and our brain (survival instincts) will fight back. Then, the body’s metabolism slows down and the body does everything it can to conserve energy. It seems as though our survival instincts aim to aggressively convince us to eat. This is why people who starve eventually give up and gain all the weight back (probably even more). 

As for me, I gave up dieting. It takes so much energy to stress about food and I have a wedding coming up. I’m not dieting; I’m on a healthy eating (and fitness) journey.

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