[By Nadine Harper]
In our body conscious society fuelled by unrealistic digitally modified images staring right at us every corner we turn, it is little wonder that every other person I know, including myself, is on a perpetual diet— 24/7. While I’m all for healthy eating to drop a dress size or two, make sure that you are not overdoing things no matter how great it seem. I know when the pounds start falling, most people couldn’t care less how they are coming off, but you should. It might not be immediate, but certain routes of losing weight can plant evil seeds that affect your health adversely in the future.
There are a handful of common signs that are easy to spot but first of all, you got to be honest with yourself in order to identify them. Do your body a huge favour, embrace healthy and not skinny living and make the right changes today.
When your menses stop flowing
Having a regular menstrual flow is Mother Nature’s way of telling us that a female of child bearing age is in good health and therefore capable of carrying a child and nursing it. When your weight is too low or the pounds are coming off too fast, your period might come to an abrupt halt.
This is one of the worst and most obvious sign that your diet is way overboard and you need to make adjustments immediately. It is highly likely that you are not eating enough and the no brainer way to fix this is to up your caloric intake with healthy calories. This will prevent the host of problems associated with hormonal disruption including your reproductive health. It is perhaps wise to discuss the problem with your gynaecologist to rule out any other underlying health issues.
Thinning scalp & falling hair
Premature hair loss is another common red flag that might be brought about by unhealthy dietary habits. Hair is primarily made of protein – it’s the one thing that can make, or break your hair if you’re not getting enough. Insufficient iron stores is one of the most common under-recognised causes of dry, brittle or thinner hair. Hair is primarily made of protein so if you’re not consuming enough of that, chances are your crowning glory will bear the brunt of it.
“Plan a well-balanced diet where 25-30 percent of your calories come from lean proteins such as fish, skinless chicken and eggs while beans, lentils and soy are great alternatives for vegetarians,” suggests Dr. Chua Han Boon, senior medical consultant with The Sloane Clinic. “Most of these nutritious food are also packed with iron, biotin and B vitamins to promote the healthy growth of stronger and shinier strands.”
When you look at a plate of food, are you just seeing numbers? It is good to be aware of your caloric intake, but your life and mealtimes shouldn’t be governed by calorie counting. It is more important to plan your diet such that you consume a variety of healthy food instead of obsessing over the absolute number of calories.
Eat whole foods and learn to eat until you are about 80% full, this being a much healthier way to tell if you’re really full or still hungry. Learn to listen to your body instead of dictating it and the health benefits will surface in no time!
Constant mirror inspecting
There’s self-love and there’s self-hate too. In any case, it’s unhealthy to be at either extremes. If you are constantly inspecting and judging yourself in the mirror, scrutinizing every little bloat or bulge, you might be taking your diet to an unhealthy place. It is perfectly fine to check yourself in the mirror or use a weighing scale to monitor the progress of your diet but you shouldn’t be enslaved to it.
Our body is much more than a mere mirror image and often, you see what others don’t see (the lousy bits) and others see what you don’t see (the good stuff). Have a healthy balance of self-confidence and humility and quit inspecting yourself so much in the mirror! Is not just what others see in you, but what you see in yourself that’s important too….