Updated: Mar 21
Diet culture is fierce. It's always with us wherever we go.
Day 9: Focusing on weight can compromise your health
Speaking of active individuals, athletes also have much higher energy demands. Logically this makes sense as the more calories you burn the more you need to eat. However, you'd be surprised at how many people take this as an opportunity to focus on weight.
Diet culture is fierce and always in our lives wherever we go. The hard part is identifying when it is at play. If you can recognize it, you can make better choices aligned with your health, not aesthetics. Easier said than done!
So, why is focusing on weight such a bad idea? Well, for one, weight is and should always be fluctuating up to 6 pounds. This is dependent on hydration, bowels, food intake, etc. When the focus is solely on numbers, it is easy to manipulate your behaviors in such a way that brings that number down such as restricting, exercising, or not drinking enough.
While the scale MAY or MAY NOT go down, guilt and feelings of failure flow through if the number is not what we had in mind. So, automatically, the brain says, "I have a solution." Let's "try harder" meaning to restrict more and exercise harder. That will do the trick. The problem with this? Health is compromised. All it takes is 5 days of undereating to get changes in bone structure. FIVE. For example, if you had Covid-19, you have not only dealt with fever, diarrhea, fatigue, nauseas, perhaps loss of smell and a sore throat but you have also dealt internally with bone mineral composition changes, poor absorption of vitamin D, decreased appetite leading to poor calcium, Vitamin C, iron, B vitamins to name the few I've covered already. Add all of that up together and your immunity is affected and inflammation is skyrocketing.
What is the take-away? Focus on eating for health, reducing inflammation, and meeting your energy demands for your level of activity. If that feels daunting, book a session so you can be clear about what that looks like for you. Click below and schedule your health and wellness session and start focusing on good health. The rest will follow.
Jen Pfeilfer, MS, APD
Dr. Thomas R. Schneider, Medical Director