Dieting Information Guide

Until recent history, hunger and famine were the greatest killers of human populations. Extended periods of semi-starvation weakened societies to illness and killed off the vulnerable. As healthy adults, we are built to withstand periods of hunger in times of necessity. Fortunately, large populations of the world no longer have to fear starvation. But we are faced with the opposite problem: overeating, to the point that obesity and its related diseases is one of the most serious dangers today, killing as many people as smoking. Dieting for weight loss is the most common method for controlling your weight in order to prevent health problems and poor self-image associated with obesity. However, care should be taken when restricting your diet in order to avoid causing further health problems.

Reasons for Dieting

The best reason to change one's diet is for health, rather than image. Obesity contributes to cardiovascular risk, and excess body weight is also a risk factor for most prevalent cancers. The rapid rise in obesity and Type 2 Diabetes have led to projections that children today in countries where obesity is most common could have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Obesity is caused by diets full of fatty foods and simple carbohydrates (such as sugars), which are foods with low nutritional value and high calorie content. However, simply losing weight alone does not bring health benefits, especially if radical tactics are used. Unhealthy diets may use extreme restrictions on calories. These diets can lead to rapid weight loss; however, the more rapid the initial loss, the more rapidly you are likely to gain it back. A good rule of thumb is if you can't sustain your diet over time, then the weight is also likely to come back.

Changing Your Diet

You can change your diet for a variety of reasons, not least of all for personal taste. Altering your diet can lead to higher energy levels and better long-term health. Going on a diet means that you are making a temporary change in what you eat. The most common reason for dieting is to achieve weight loss. Long-term or permanent change in your diet can also be achieved. Major changes are usually due to lifestyle changes, religious choice, discovery of food allergies, or based on personal ethical choices, such as becoming a vegetarian.