Diet & Exercise: Can You Overdo It?

Diet & Exercise: Can You Overdo It? featured image

A proper diet and exercise plan are essential to a healthy body, but going too extreme isn’t always the best plan of attack. When it comes to eating right and working out, you want to make sure that you follow an all-encompassing strategy that doesn’t skimp on any one factor because doing so can have a negative impact on your body in the long run.

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If You Cut Out Carbs Entirely

Not all carbs are created equal. There are good carbs (complex 
carbohydrates derived from whole grains that are rich in fiber, vitamins and nutrients and slowly break down into glucose) and bad ones (simple carbohydrates that are processed and rich in white flour).

The Bottom Line
Scaling back on starchy white carbs is OK, but you don’t want to totally deprive your body of whole carbohydrates and eliminate them entirely from your diet. 

“Choose 100 percent whole grains like steel cut oats, quinoa and barley,” says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade.
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If You Build Too Much Muscle

It’s natural to experience a loss of muscle mass and definition with age, but regular workouts that 
combine cardiovascular exercise and strength-training keep your muscles toned and healthy. But 
it’s also important to build some muscle—just do it at a slow and steady pace and find what works best for your body type and shape.

The Bottom Line
Don’t build up too much muscle because it will turn to flab if you stop working out. Fitness expert and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska explains that if you scale back on your workouts, you’ll need to adjust your diet to compensate for the changes. Another plus for strong, healthy muscles that are within reason: They increase your metabolism.
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If You Constantly Diet

Similar to how exercising affects your metabolism, so does constant dieting. “Following a healthy diet has benefits both today and in the future. Now, it can improve your skin texture and tone and help you maintain an ideal overall body weight; in the future it can improve your health,” says Palinski-Wade.

The Bottom Line
Going on and off diets can be detrimental to your metabolism in the long run because the body can go into starvation mode if not enough calories are consumed regularly.

“Extreme dieting and extremely low calorie diets negatively affect the body because there is a lack of fuel,” says Palinski-Wade. “When the body doesn’t receive enough energy it makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off.”
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If You Only Do Heavy Cardio Workouts

High-intensity cardiovascular exercise has its place when you want to burn off unwanted fat, but Kaska says that you don’t want to limit yourself to just cardio-based workouts.

“Most people like the toning effect they get when they first start doing cardio, but it 
will plateau because there is not enough resistance.”

The Bottom Line
Incorporating strength-training or stretching and lengthening workouts, like yoga, into your 
routine is essential to getting good muscle tone, which becomes more difficult to achieve with age. 

Give yourself downtime between your workouts and do a variety of different types of exercises, so that the body doesn’t become dehydrated and too tired.

 Circulation-stimulating workouts, like yoga, serve a dual purpose: they help oxygenate the skin so you glow from head to toe.

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If You Work Out Too Much

Working out too hard or too frequently can hinder your results. “Overdoing 
it, or repetitive movement increases your chance of stress injuries,” says Kaska. A lot of people think that if they work out all the time, the weight will just fall off.

The Bottom Line
“When you work out and use up calories, your body needs extra calories for energy. If you are over training and not eating the right amounts of food and often enough, you can hold onto weight since there is a major reduction in caloric intake,” Kaska says.

“Eventually the body will shift into starvation mode and feed off the muscle for energy.” 

If you don’t give your body a chance to repair and recover, your results become null and void. “If you’re not toning, firming and strengthening your body today, your results won’t carry into the future,” says Kaska.

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