8 Dieting and Exercise Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

It's hard not to get excited when you finally make the decision to get in shape. And who wouldn't be tempted to speed things up with an extra workout here, eliminating certain foods there?

Understandable, sure, but definitely not wise: Overdoing exercise, especially after a hiatus, can cause serious injuries, and drastically cutting calories can make you irritable, forgetful, and may even age you.

Here's why too much of a good thing can be a bad thing—and how to strike a healthy balance to still get the results you want.

Mistake: You drastically cut fat, carbs or calories

Why it's bad: Your skin, hair, and nails will suffer—and so will your mood.

More: 9 Mood-Boosting Foods

When you cut calories, you deprive yourself of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration and overall skin tone and texture, explains David E. Bank, MD, FAAD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. "The skin also requires essential fatty acids—which the body can't produce on its own—to maintain hydration. A diet that's too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails."

Other key youth-boosting nutrients include vitamins A, C and E. Being deficient in A, for example, can cause acne, dry hair and skin, hyperkeratosis (thickening and roughness of skin), and broken fingernails. A lack of vitamin C can affect collagen synthesis (the "glue" that binds our ligaments, bones, blood vessels and skin) and low levels of vitamin E can cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. (Check out exactly what to eat for clear, glowing skin.)

More: 10 Foods for Healthy Skin

Fat is also an essential building block for brain cell membranes, explains Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of The Good Mood Diet. Different types of fats play different roles in the brain, but DHA, which we get primarily from fish oil in our diets, is linked to cognitive function, memory and mood. If your diet contains less than 25 percent total fat, everyday coping skills may diminish, and you may feel increased anxiety, frustration and stress.

Mistake: You go the extra extra mile

Why it's bad: You could end up with chronic foot pain.

If you've ever felt a stabbing pain in the arch of your foot after working out, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This painful foot injury occurs if you put excessive strain on the underside of the foot, explains Ryan Halvorson, a personal trainer from the IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

It can strike runners and walkers alike when the muscles of the foot are overused due to repetitive motion. The arch support becomes strained, small tears develop, and the tissue stiffens as a protective response.

More: 5 Moves to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

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