The chronically dieting women…

Sunday Mar 28, 2010

For most healthy women, “going on a diet” for a designated time should present few, if any, nutritional or long-term health problems.  However, serious health problems may arise for active females who chronically diet or restrict energy intake while expending high amounts of energy in exercise.

If an active female constantly restricts energy intake, it is almost impossible to get adequate nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins, and minerals).  For example, If not eating enough protein, the body will not be able to maintain and repair muscle tissue and to cover the cost of any protein used for energy during exercise.

Many active females avoid fat either for weight loss or because they think fat is bad for their health.  If fat intake is too low (<10-15% of energy intake), the intake and absorption or the fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids may also be low.

With poor energy intake, many complain of fatigue, frequent injuries, irritability, etc. In this situation, you should either increase total daily energy intake and/or decrease total energy expenditure (less exercise).

Chronic energy restriction can result in decreased bone density, impaired immune response, menstrual dysfunction, anemia, poor exercise performance, and increased recovery time from injury.

Another effect of constant dieting is that it lowers the metabolism rate (more accurately, resting metabolic rate).  This means that the total daily energy expenditure is reduced in people who chronically restrict energy intake.  This decrease is compounded when heavy physical activity is combined with low energy intakes.

It is important to keep healthy energy statues.  An adequate intake of macronutrients is important as well as micronutrients for optimal health and fitness.

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4 Comments »

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March 29th, 2010 | 12:42 pm
Susan Brenton:

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May 13th, 2010 | 4:01 pm
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May 14th, 2010 | 6:25 pm
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August 22nd, 2010 | 2:06 am
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