A simple Google search of the most common New Year’s resolutions will reveal that nearly every year, dieting and exercise close in for numbers one and two on that list. In 2020, as in countless years before, millions of Americans will choose to begin a new cycle of dieting. 

Fad diets and weight loss regimens will emerge with the same old promise to help participants shed pounds quickly and unrealistically. The problem occurs when the idea of eating healthy and the decision to diet often become conflated. 

As we associate dieting with healthy living, we may often forget that deprivation of good carbs or healthy fats, and eating too few calories can be just as unhealthy as drinking sugary sodas or eating starchy snacks. 

While the decision to eat healthier should always be encouraged, and can often also lead to healthy weight loss, it is also important to recognize the harmful effects of partaking in a fad diet or shedding too many pounds too quickly as a result of self-deprivation.

Fad diets, such as the popular ketogenic diet or the paleo diet, deem certain foods off-limits and might also limit daily caloric intakes. This type of eating can result in malnutrition, which can lead to serious health risks like a weakened immune system or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. 

Healthy eating encourages weight loss at a slower pace. Some studies have even shown that those who lost weight at lower rates of speed kept the weight off longer, while those who opt for a crash diet can gain more weight than they initially lost after ending the diet. 

In the New Year, if you resolve to lose weight, also keep in mind that healthy eating should take precedence over starvation or limiting certain foods. Don’t be afraid to research other options and consider the longevity of your resolution. Make health the real priority on your journey to building a better you. 

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