Ever wonder how a restricted diet affects your body long term? All too often I see clients that have jumped from one fad diet to the next, trying to find that perfect plan that will give them the results they desire. In the meantime, not only are they sliding down a slippery slope of a lifetime of diets, because we all know, diets fail us. Yes, that’s right! Diets fail us!
Restrictive diets in effort to lose weight, result in increased cravings and urges for food. 90-95% of people who lose weight on restrictive diets, regain the weight back and many result with weight higher than they started at. That’s right! Diets cause you to gain weight! They cause many biological and health damage including; teaching the body to retain more fat, slow rate of weight loss with each attempt of dieting, decrease metabolism, increase binges and cravings.
Dieting also provides psychological and emotional damage; eating disorders, increased stress, social anxiety, lowered self-esteem. Dieting gradually erodes confidence and self-trust.
So how does dieting affect my gut?
Here’s one more way diets leave us hurting. Eliminating whole food groups or foods containing gluten effects your gut microbiome. There’s a lot of recent research showing how our gut microbiome can affect our overall health. Research has shown the relationship between the gluten-free diet and the gut microbiota. Complete elimination of gluten, unnecessarily, (without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity), leads to worsened immune function by increasing pathogenic bacteria (E.Coli!) and decreasing beneficial gut bacteria. Our gut ecosystem is greatly influenced by our diet. When the growth of beneficial bacteria is not supported due to reduced supply of their main energy sources, other non-beneficial bacteria begin to grow and lead to intestinal microbial imbalance (dysbiosis). This can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, yeast infections, leaky gut syndrome, skin conditions (eczema/acne), brain fog, infections, and colon cancer.
Dietary counseling by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) will help guide you to achieve your individual health and fitness goals, while including interventions to eliminate potential health risks of restricted diets. When needing to eliminate gluten, good planning with the guidance of an RDN will allow you to feed the beneficial gut microbiome largely through resistant starch, providing pre and probiotics.
Here’s to good gut health!