There’s never been a worse time to diet. Former dieters report negative effects from dieting including obsessive thoughts about food, isolation, and negative body image as well as effects on mood, mental health, and self esteem. This excellent article sums up the damage:
We cut calories, carbs, sugar, grains, processed food, and cross our fingers when we hop on the scale, hoping to see the number drop. And when we don’t, we blame ourselves, which only forces us to diet longer or harder. I know women who’ve been dieting for over 20 years! But dieting can lead to terrible emotional and physical stress, which can then put our well-being at risk. Here are the ways that dieting stress can rob you of your health.
One of the experts quoted gives this warning relevant to self care during the corona crisis when we need sleep more than ever:
If you go to bed hungry or with strong cravings, the stress hormone cortisol and the fight or flight hormone adrenaline are released due to dieting stress. This can cause interrupted sleep, resulting in poorer quality zzz’s. Lack of sleep in turn can raise cortisol levels even more, as well as the hunger hormone ghrelin, and can increase cravings, so you eat more.