Effects of Poor Diet on Your Health and Your Weight
You’ve probably heard the effects of a poor diet discussed all the time on TV talk shows. You might have read about it in magazine or newspaper articles or heard a report about it on television news broadcasts. The effects of poor diet on the body are endless and can lead to disease and poor quality of life.
Effects of a poor diet on the body:
The experts interviewed on TV or quoted in those articles may not have used the term “the effects of poor diet” in the interview. They may not have spoken of diet at all. Instead, they may have talked about obesity or type 2 diabetes or cancer or osteoporosis, or…well…just about any mental or physical condition.
You see, statistics show the effects of poor diet to be ill health and death for hundreds of thousands of people. Health Data reports that poor diet contributes to 678,000 deaths each year in America alone. Many of these deaths are obesity-related, which is one of the effects of poor diet.
It is easy to think that it doesn’t affect you while you buy a candy bar out of the vending machine at work every day, grab a burger from a fast food place for lunch, and order pizza for dinner. You feel fine. All the while, the effects are slowly and silently (in the beginning) taking their toll.
Do you feel the effects of a poor diet?
Do you ever feel the effects of a poor diet? Are you experiencing the symptoms of a poor diet? Are you moody? Do you often feel tired or depressed? Do you just not seem to have the amount of energy you used to have? Are you irritable? Are you having skin problems? Have you put on some weight that you can’t seem to get rid of?
Well…though there are health conditions that can cause these symptoms, it is a good bet you are feeling the effects of a poor diet.
Just to be certain, though, let’s inventory the type of foods you eat.
Do you eat many whole foods, such as fresh or frozen vegetables that you cook yourself? Or are your meals basically pre-cooked for you? Do your meals come out of boxes, cans, or other packages, with ingredients on the labels that you cannot pronounce?
What type of beverages do you drink? Water with a spritz of freshly squeezed lemon, perhaps? How about green tea naturally sweetened with Stevia? Or do you chug sodas and sweetened fruit juices, and energy drinks?
How often do eat at fast food restaurants? Regular restaurants? How often do you just grab a sandwich at the convenience store down the street?
The effect of ultra-processed foods
If you are primarily eating ultra-processed and fast foods, you are NOT eating real foods — nor are you receiving many nutrients or fiber.
And you’re not alone. One study showed more than 60% of the average American’s calories consisted of ultra-processed foods and that 90% of the added sugar in their diets came from these foods.
What are ultra-processed foods?
The term “ultra-processed food” refers to foods that are high in saturated fats, low in dietary fiber, contain simple sugars, and contain additives such as emulsifiers to make them look and taste like “real food,” but they are anything but real — or healthy.
The preservatives, emulsifiers, and other chemicals disrupt your biochemistry, leading to all sorts of health problems. Routinely eating ultra-processed foods not only contributes to disease down the road but also creates a hormonal clog that elevates your setpoint weight, leading to weight gain and obesity.
You can do so much better than that, especially living in America — the land of plenty.
It is hard to believe that people who have plenty to eat can suffer from nutrient deficiencies. But this can and does happen if you eat a diet that consists primarily of ultra-processed foods, added sugars, starchy carbs, and other foods with no nutritive value.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Your body needs many vitamins and nutrients that it cannot make itself. It depends upon you to get them from your diet. These vitamins and minerals are collectively called micronutrients.
If your body does not receive the amount of a nutrient it needs, either because you do not get enough of it in your diet or your body cannot absorb it, you’ll suffer a nutrient deficiency of that vitamin or mineral. As previously stated, a poor diet is a nutrient deficiency that can lead to many health problems.
Even if you consume processed foods that have been fortified with certain nutrients, it is still possible to suffer nutrient deficiencies due to a poor diet. Here are a few of the most common nutrient deficiencies.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Deficiency
Thiamin is a key part of your metabolism, as it is crucial for carbohydrate metabolism. It also ensures proper operation of the nervous system.
A thiamine deficiency can cause several serious symptoms, including:
- Weight loss
- Nerve and muscle damage
- Short-term memory loss
To prevent deficiencies, many grain products and cereals in the U.S. are fortified with thiamin. Other sources of thiamin include:
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. It is also responsible for increasing the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
A deficiency of this vitamin is common. As sunshine is a typical source of vitamin D, deficiencies are most prevalent in areas of the country and world that have little sunshine.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Bone pain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive problems
Vitamin D occurs naturally only in a few foods, which include:
- Egg yolks
- Cod liver oil
- Fatty fish, such as salmon
Many grain and dairy products are fortified with vitamin D.
Like vitamin D, magnesium is critical for healthy bones and teeth. This mineral is also responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, which makes the prospect of a nutrient deficiency of magnesium scary. Yet, studies show an estimated 48% of Americans may indeed have a deficiency of this crucial nutrient.
There are a few reasons so many people suffer from magnesium deficiencies. The biggest reason is that industrial farming practices deplete the nutrients in the soil, leading to magnesium depletion in crops. Many people also have digestive issues preventing them from properly absorbing magnesium.
Regardless of the reason, a magnesium deficiency can cause many serious symptoms, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular heartbeat
Restless leg syndrome
Magnesium-rich foods include:
- Dark green vegetables
Vitamin K is a group of compounds required for the blood-clotting process and bone metabolism. Vitamins K-1 and K-2 appear to be the most crucial of the K vitamins. This vitamin group is available in only a few foods, which is one of the reasons a deficiency of this vitamin is so common.
The symptoms of a vitamin K deficiency may include:
- Easy bruising
- Excessive bleeding from wounds
- Blood in the urine and/or stool
Foods that contain vitamin K include:
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin B-12 is responsible for keeping the body’s nerves and blood cells running well. This nutrient is also needed to help make DNA. Vitamin B-12 is a common nutrient deficiency, even if you eat a lot of foods containing it. Though vitamin B-12 is plentiful in meat, many people do not consume enough meat to receive an optimum amount. Plus, certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, may affect your ability to absorb vitamin B-12.
The symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency include:
- Cognitive problems
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B-12 include:
- Roast Beef
Effects of a poor diet on the body with disease:
As you can see, a poor diet can affect every area of your life. But it is particularly visible in your weight.
The Centers for Disease Control states that more than 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. The effects of poor diet on the body are one of the biggest factors for in our obesity epidemic. As you probably know, being overweight and obese increases your risk for many serious health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and many more.
This is how the effects of a poor diet impact your weight.
Bad Food and Your Hormones
Your body is an amazingly complex machine. It regulates your weight just as it regulates your respiration, heartbeat, and blood glucose level. (The only time you have to step in and help your body regulate any of these processes is if the system breaks down. Otherwise, it handles it without any help or thought from you.)
The hypothalamus in your brain, your digestive system, and your hormones talk to each other through a continuous feedback loop to synchronize the activities that keep your body fat at a predetermined level, known as your setpoint weight.
This system guarantees you’ll never be too fat or too thin. If you take in more calories than you need, you’ll simply burn more calories. If you take in fewer calories than your body needs, you’ll burn fewer calories.
It will continue working perfectly like this…unless something comes along and damages the system. That something is a poor diet and other lifestyle factors. When that happens, a hormonal clog develops whereby the hormones can no longer send or receive correct messages. They give you more fat than you need, and your setpoint weight rises.
The effect of bad food on setpoint weight
Your setpoint weight is the number on the scale that your weight typically hovers around. Your weight varies by about 10 to 15 pounds of your setpoint, and your body defends it because it believes that is the amount of body fat you need to stay alive. If you crash diet, your hormones enact a variety of different tactics to maintain your fat stores. For instance, they make you ravenously hungry. They’ll trigger weakness and irritation. They’ll slow your metabolism. Plus, most of the weight you lose will come from water and muscle. Your body will store body fat for the day when starvation gets really bad!
The only thing your crash diet will do is lower your metabolism. As soon as you go off the diet, you’ll start immediately gaining back the weight. You’ll also probably gain an extra 10 pounds on top of what you lost as added insurance against future starvation.
You may think you’re doing a good thing by using the false calorie-deficit theory to lose weight. But what you’re actually doing is starving your cells, and the effects of a poor diet on the body will never bring you lasting weight loss. The only thing that promotes lasting weight loss is giving your body foods that nourish the cells and remove the hormonal clog. A diet that lowers the setpoint weight contains foods that fill you up, so you’re not hungry all the time, keeping you satisfied instead of feeling deprived. You will have a calorie deficit, but your cells will be so nourished they won’t mind burning fat and lowering setpoint weight.
Wow…that plan sounds a lot like the SANE Diet.
The SANE Diet Lets You Say “Goodbye” to the Effects of a Poor Diet
On the SANE Diet, you’ll be so full of SANE foods you won’t have any room — or desire — for inSANE ones! There are no calories or points to count. No starvation. No deprivation. And nothing difficult to remember.
The SANE Diet food groups
Here are the 4 main SANE food groups.
- Non-starchy vegetables: 10+ servings per day. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
- Nutrient-dense proteins: 3-5 servings per day; 30-55 grams of protein per meal. Fill a third of your plate with nutrient-dense protein.
- Whole-food fats: 3-6 servings per day. Fill the remainder of your plate with whole-food fats.
- Low-fructose fruits: 0-3 servings per day. Feel free to have yummy servings of low-fructose fruits up to 3 times per day.
General SANE principles
Increase your consumption of whole foods, meaning select foods as close to their natural states as much as possible. If you’re purchasing vegetables, for instance, select a plant that you could have picked. (Fresh or frozen.)
Reduce your consumption of ultra-processed foods, refined carbs, and refined sugars. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where you’ll find produce and meats. Processed foods and refined carbs are the biggest sections (unfortunately) in the center of the store.
Start slowly. There is no need to change your total diet overnight. In fact, trying to do that is the surest way to shock your system into quitting, which might make you feel like a failure. Instead, just make small changes at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be all SANE, all the time!
But always remember…Progress, not Perfection!
Next step: End the effect of poor diet with SANE
Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?
Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism burn fat, and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?
Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet, and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by .