In the year 2020 the obesity rate increased to over forty percent of the adult population in the United States. Many Americans across the country turn to fast foods because of the cheapness and quickness in preparation. Anything that is quick, easy, and tastes delicious will draw people in when they are feeling hungry or other emotional stress.  

Adults rely on fast food or other processed foods to feed themselves and their families which leads to unhealthy lifestyle eating habits and obesity for younger children. Obesity rate in the youth population has increased to over nineteen percent. Once people become overweight and notice severe health changes they are drawn to the idea of crash diets where they are promised rapid weight-loss.

You may have heard of a few common crash or “fad” diets like the Ketogenic diet, the Atkins diet, or the Paleo diet. While these diets may seem appealing to burn fat fast it is important to understand that cutting out specific calories and foods will not allow your body to grow and function properly. These diets are designed to be a quick two to six week fix where you completely change the way you eat and do not provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Let’s focus on the Ketogenic diet and how it can cause negative effects. The ketogenic diet is designed to cut out carbohydrates and increase fat consumption to burn stored fat more rapidly. This diet is difficult to sustain over time because of the variety of food restrictions that leave most people feeling more hungry. The diet causes nutrient deficiencies because of the limited calories offered to the body. Without our essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like carbs, proteins, and fats, we will not be able to have energy to function properly which affects our mood and performance.

It is important to understand the risks with diets that offer a quick fix that lead to negative outcomes over time. A quick fix is never the answer to changing your lifestyle eating habits. Experiment cooking and eating all different types of foods to provide all different nutrients for your body. When you have your favorite foods in mind get creative by switching up different ingredients and offer your body with nutritional value. 

The best way to balance a healthy lifestyle is to find clean foods you love to eat and enjoy prepping at home for yourself and your family. Keep clean healthy foods at home and prepare meals when you have a little bit of free time to keep you and others in your house on track. Pack your best snacks and head outside to enjoy nature while getting exercise. Make small changes in your daily routine like walking and moving during your lunch breaks.

Providing your body with the nutrients it needs to grow, repair, and function properly along with comfortable workout clothes you can make changes that will last a lifetime. Set weekly goals to make small changes in your daily routine to achieve healthy and real results that will set you up for success. By pushing yourself and making those small changes you can set an example for your friends and family to live a long, healthy, adventurous life. 


To stepping out of our comfort zone, trying new foods, and creating cleaner eating habits for a happier life.

Elizabeth Heald

Trainer and Health Coach

The Outdoor Athlete


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