With the start of a New Year, many of us want to lose a few pounds, but are there signs that your diet has gone too far? Dieting has to be done carefully and sensibly, or it can put your health at risk and make you feel well below par. Some people also think that they need to lose more weight than they really do, and keep dieting past the point at which they should stop. Here are some signs that your diet has gone too far …
1. Losing Weight Too Fast
One of the signs that your diet has gone too far is if your weight loss is happening too fast. However much weight you need to lose, the sensible approach is to follow the traditional advice, and aim at losing one to two pounds per week. It takes time to put weight on, so it follows that it will take time to lose it. Crash diets are ineffective, and can even be dangerous, so take the slow and steady approach.
Have you been getting comments about your weight loss? If people are saying that you're losing the pounds too quickly, you may think that they are jealous, or actually take it as a compliment. But listen to what they are saying, and think about whether they have a point. Other people can often see things more clearly, so if they are making negative comments, they may have good reason to be worried.
3. Cutting out Meals
This is a really bad sign - if you are missing meals, then you are definitely taking dieting too far. Okay, so you think that skipping lunch or breakfast will save calories. But you won't get the nutrition or energy that your body requires. You can still have healthy, low-fat meals, but you must eat three proper meals a day.
4. Clothes Size
Are you obsessed with dieting down to a certain clothes size? Do you want to fit into a size 6 wedding dress, for example? Stop right there. Rather than aiming at a dress size (which is actually pretty meaningless), your goal should be to achieve a healthy weight and size. This means taking your height and build into account. Don't be guided by dress size - it's just a number!
Losing weight is a worthy aim if it means that you will improve your health and fitness. However, sometimes the desire to lose those pounds begins to take over your life and routine. Be wary if you find that your life starts to revolve around food and avoiding it. For example, do you turn down invitations to dine out because you worry about blowing your diet? Do you avoid eating with your family?
6. Physical Signs
Another major red flag is if you are showing physical signs that all is not well. These include feeling faint, feeling weak and low on energy, your periods stopping, and protruding bones. These could indicate that you have lost too much weight or are losing it too quickly. If you find yourself with symptoms like this, stop your diet immediately and consult your doctor.
7. Excess Workouts
There's no denying that exercise is good for you, and that combined with a sensible diet it's a good route to losing weight. But has the gym become your second home? Are you running miles every day because you are desperate to shift the pounds? Some dieters become too extreme with their workouts, trying to burn off the calories. So consider honestly whether you are taking your exercise program too far.
Before embarking on a diet, you should always ask yourself honestly if you really do need to lose weight. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, and you should not let yourself be influenced by the media. Lose weight if it will make you healthier, not because you want to fit into a smaller dress size. And always approach dieting sensibly; avoid fad or crash diets. Have you ever realised that you went too far with a diet, and what made you aware of this?