Just because something is hard to do and is more involved, does not mean it is necessarily more fruitful. For example, a 10-kilometer run will burn significantly more calories than running for half the distance. But why run 10 kilometers when you could do two 5-kilometer runs instead? It is much better to fit two 5km runs in your weekly schedule than it is to aim for a herculean effort on Sundays with a 10k jog. Not to mention there are long-term issues with long distance running, but that is beside the point.
The same applies to diet and nutrition. Just because something is harder to achieve – not to mention you must be very careful with what you do when it comes to your diet, there are many ideas that could have dangerous results. You need to steer clear of extreme diets.
Let us consider an individual Matthew, who wants to lose weight more than everything else. Matt is a 45-year-old diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. His doctor has told him for years his weight is an issue. But the best he has been able to do is make a little progress in the right direction, before stalling, and inevitably returning to old ways.
Matthew is sick of calling himself fat and feeling out of shape. He knows he deserves much better. It is a delicate period in his life and the cardiovascular risks are becoming real. The last thing he needs is to suffer the same fate as someone close to him, who is also dealing with Type 2 diabetes. He has tried what his doctor advised but it just has not worked for him. He needs to try something new …
- perhaps he will search and stumble with an online fad or crash diet.
- a friend may tell him about a crash diet, claiming it worked for them.
No matter what, he needs to be careful because some diets will do more harm than good. Such is the case with a diet that proposes …
- severe caloric restrictions,
- complete avoidance of carbohydrates, or
- too much of one food such as protein.
The first on the list especially – it has become quite popular nowadays to attempt extremely low-calorie diets for a "temporary" period. Temporary in this sense should be a matter of a day or two. There is no physiological issue with going a short period with minimal eating. Your body finds a way to cope. But when you go several days or weeks, consuming an intake of just over 1000 calories or even less – we are talking about a serious concern. Add diet pills to the equation, and we have a more significant problem.
Not only are these diets extreme, but so are the repercussions. The consequences are rarely talked about, while the potential benefits get all the attention. Even if you can apply your willpower to achieve these feats, it does not mean you should.
But why not apply the same motivation for something less extreme? Something that is proven to work? A balanced diet is all you need to follow. The progress may be slower, true. But the benefits are guaranteed and come without a price.