From damaging your health, to damaging your mind, going on a diet can have some serious effects on your body that far outweigh a little extra weight.
When you're considering starting a new diet, or dieting for the first time, it pays to do some research. You can find a wide range of both healthy diet articles and medically-sourced journals online that can help you understand the risks in what you're about to undertake.
The problem with dieting, is there are right ways to go about it and wrong ways. Did you know that when some people go on diets, they become obsessed about food and dieting - to the detriment of healthy balanced eating.
Mentally we are all different, but if you start to feel guilty about eating food, this can lead to food disorders like Bulimia. Likewise, if you stop yourself eating some foods altogether, this can create cravings which in turn lead to yo-yo dieting patterns.
So the risks of dieting can actually be mental as well as physical. The latter effects are that if you do succumb to yo-yo dieting the long term outcome can actually be your increasing in weight rather than helping you to lose it.
There are some, but if you understand what you're doing and research how to go about dieting, you can minimise them.
If you choose to cut out the calories, many people go to far and actually start to cut out the very nutrients our bodies need to function properly. For example our bodies need fats to help absorb other vitamins and minerals. Secondly, fats also provide energy for our bodies.
Secondly, cutting out nutrients can lead to physiological effects like headaches, cramps and even a loss of bone density in extreme cases. Some of these physiological changes may become irreversible if they are left too long.
The one that actually makes you wonder if dieting is a good thing at all is the loss of metabolism. This affects the rate at which you burn foods for energy, not too mention that slower metabolisms also mean you feel more tired and listless - compounding the need for you to get out and exercise. It's like a vicious cycle.
You can't possibly know everything about a diet before you start it. But knowing some of the basics behind the diet, how it works, what's expected from you and what results you may achieve, will help you achieve your goals in the long run. You can quite easily find information on the latest thinking, risks of certain diet plans as well as the healthy diet advice that can be found about the plan you want to follow.
There is lots of publicly-available information on everything from diabetes and food intolerances through to salt intake guidelines and health risks. You can also browse through health and slimming magazines, such as Slimming Magazine, or check out newspaper supplements and sections at the weekend.
If you want to find really useful, official information, then there are plenty of organisations available for you to browse through their websites. You'll notice that there is a great deal of essential information at your fingertips so choosing the right diet for your requirements should be a simpler task, given all this excellent assistance!
NHS - LiveWell - www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweight
British Nutrition Foundation - http://www.nutrition.org.uk
Nutrition.gov - www.nutrition.gov