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Over half of the population of the United States is attempting to lose weight at any one time. That number breaks down into a massive list of different types of diets. These diets include healthy dieting and many non-healthy diets. Obesity is a growing problem in the country, with many people choosing convenient, processed fast-food over organic, nutrient-dense, home-made options. With the population's need for instant gratification comes the rise of fad diets. They claim to help you shed weight quickly, but at the cost of your physical and mental health. 

Dieting, when done correctly, can help you with long-term weight loss. The problem is that more times than not, it can lead to eating disorders, mental health problems, and physical health issues. Here are some of the dangers of dieting. 

Eating disorders 

Due to the restrictive nature of dieting, many people can develop eating disorders as a result. When you're on a diet, you have to think about food 24/7 and control everything that you consume. You can quickly become obsessive with it and take it one step further by over-restricting. Over-restriction can result in malnutrition and even starvation. If you slip up and end up eating something outside of your diet, you may end up forcing yourself to throw up out of guilt, leading to bulimia. Many teens are susceptible to eating disorders as they struggle with low self-esteem already. Therefore, it is important to know that if you are suffering from an eating disorder, or dieting is mentally affecting you, it's never too late to seek help. With the help of a teen rehab center, teens can receive the necessary treatment and support they need to get better. 

Binge eating

Diets often restrict you so much that you begin to have uncontrollable cravings for the items you're cutting out. You'll also likely be consuming fewer calories than your body is adapted to. These factors can lead to binge eating, making you quickly put back on any weight you've lost. The results of most diets are unsustainable. They don't teach mindful and balanced eating or how to enjoy your food healthily without guilt. When you inevitably stop your diet, you'll not only go back to your previous habits but often end up eating more and worse than you did to begin with. 

Loss of vital nutrients and vitamins

Diets require you to eliminate specific foods, which put you at risk of deficiency when it comes to your vital nutrients and vitamins. Some diets require that you only eat one type of food, or only consume liquids. These are dangerous as your body will not be getting what it needs to function correctly, and internal processes can start to shut down. Many diets require you to eliminate starches like oatmeal, bread, rice, and potatoes, but this will dramatically reduce fiber, which can cause intestinal problems. Alternatively, over consumption of protein can dehydrate the body and cause stress to your digestion. 

Regardless of the type of diet you are on or your reasons for dieting, it's important to recognize red flags in your habits. If your physical and mental health starts to take a downward spiral, you need to reassess the diet you are on and make changes to your program. There is no quick fix to weight loss. Healthily losing weight takes time, dedication, and persistence. 

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