Top Seven Worst Diet Tips

Top Seven Worst Diet Tips

July 22, 2014   45 Comments

If you make the mistake of telling a stranger that you wrote a book about losing weight, you will want to pull your hair out.

Fortunately, I have a lot of hair.

People can’t wait to tell me their solution to the weight loss problem. First, they ask me what I advocate (eating more fruits and vegetables, changing habits, exercising) and then they launch into their latest and greatest solution.

I always nod appreciatively, but I wonder if they would do the same to a person who wrote a book on aerodynamics or another scientific pursuit. My approach in the book is evidence based – meaning there are scientific studies that show if you increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat while decreasing the amounts of meat and processed foods – you will lose weight and keep it off.

The basic concept is that you remain satiated because the volume of food that you eat remains the same, while the amount of calories you eat decreases (and you lose weight). There is an added benefit of getting more nutrients because you are eating fruits and vegetables.

Diet tips that are not evidence based make up most diet tips you will find in magazines, TV, and on links that state “Lose 10 pounds in five days!”.

Here are seven diet tips that people keep giving me:

1. Don’t eat fruit, it makes you fat. Cookies make you fat - fruit is filled with fiber, water, and nutrients. No one ever got fat eating too much fruit (well, no one that I know).

2. Fat-Free and Sugar-Free are good food choices. Most fat-free or sugar-free foods are full of artificial ingredients to make them taste like sugar and fat. A much better choice has less sugar and fat naturally.

3. Go Vegan (not as a lifestyle choice but as a way to lose weight). Beef and other meats are nutritious and can be healthy when not eaten in large quantities with condiments such as bacon, cheddar cheese, and onion rings. Try decreasing your meat consumption before you take the radical step of ending it.

4. Cut out all your carbs. A friend of mine gleefully told me that all I had to do was cut out carbs to lose 20 pounds. She did look slimmer until about 6 months later when she had put it back on (I didn’t say a word). I think we could all use some carb cutting when it comes to cookies, white bread, and large quantities of white rice BUT whole grains, beans, and fruits are good carbs. Our bodies NEED carbs. Do tell the restaurant that you don’t want the bread basket.

5. Give up all added sugar. Yeah, that will work FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES when you decide that a life without chocolate is not worth living. ‘Nuff said.

6. Go Gluten-Free. Gluten is not making you fat. But that breadbasket is not helping. See cut out all carbs above.

7. Do cleanses, detoxes, or juice fasts. These will help you lose weight in the short term because you have stopped eating, but you will be mighty grumpy. Your body actually detoxes on its own using your digestive system, kidneys, and liver. No need to “cleanse” to lose weight.

Please share your worst tips!


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 45 ]

Amen, well said!

on July 22, 2014

Very well said!

on July 22, 2014

"Life without chocolate is not worth living". You speak the truth woman!!

on July 22, 2014

Common sense - so refreshing! Thank you Snack girl!

on July 22, 2014

Agree with every one of your points above!

I will add I find it incredibly sad and depressing that women I know in their 50s have been counting calories of every bite they put into their mouths since they were teenagers. Talk about taking the joy out of eating. Yes, science-based, but also no way to live, IMO.

on July 22, 2014

Preach it!!!!!!!
I lost 50 pounds 20 years ago and work everyday at keeping it off exactly the way you describe. It can be done.

on July 22, 2014

Well said but #5 should be # 1 LOL! That and no sugar in my morning tea will turn me into the grump in #7 easy.

on July 22, 2014

Very refreshing to read. I did a boot camp and the trainers running it, pushed a low carb diet with limited fruit and high protein with lean cuts of meat. It worked to lose while doing. But not enjoyable for a lifetime.

on July 22, 2014

Worst diet tip I ever received is to cut out all alcohol. I lost 30 pounds on WW, including alcohol consumption in my points. Might I have lost faster without it? Maybe, but not happily. :)

on July 22, 2014

Preach....Amen! So many people are doing #7 to lose weight. If you "eat right" the majority of the time the weight will come off and your body will always be prepared to cleanse itself...no need for the temporary jump start.

on July 22, 2014

The absolute worst advice I get, and way too often, is someone suggesting some miracle supplement.

on July 22, 2014

Well said! The best diet is no diet. We've got to learn to eat in a healthy way that is sustainable for life!

on July 22, 2014

Great advice! I lost 95 lbs. on WW, have kept it off for 2 years, so far. WW promotes healthy eating, making fruits and veggies my best food friend, but not my ONLY food friend. When I crave a less healthy food, I wait. If my craving continues for more than a couple of days, I go ahead and eat it, in a controlled amount, counting the points carefully. The craving is
gone, I'm still in control,
all is well! I will never quit WW, as this is my magic 4th time, but the first time I have been completely committed!

on July 22, 2014

Ugh I am so over the low carb,gluten free,& "cleansing" trends. Now I do believe celiac disease,Crohn's & legitimate wheat & gluten allergies exist,but they are the only people that need to avoid it.There are those who eat gluten free who are overweight so that is something to keep in mind before resorting to it to lose weight.As for these "cleanses" it is rediculous to think that one can just live on juices & liquids & no solids for even a few days. I don't understand why anyone would think they would benefit from that. I would bite someone's head off by the end of the first day.I was really surprised,though when my sister-in-law(who is a pharmacist & has a Phd.medical degree)said she did it & even reccommended it!She says she felt better & lost weight so I guess to each their own!I just try to stay active & eat somewhat well(not without an occasional indulgence!)
And Kris I agree with you on the alcohol! So long as it isn't excessive it should be fine.But I guess it is best to cut back on it to lose weight bacause of the empty calories,but even when losing weight we deserve a treat every now and then!

on July 22, 2014

I agree with all that you said, but I would also add cooking more at home/ eating out less as a part of my weight loss success. This fits into the part where you said to eat less processed food, but I needed this part spelled out separately for me.

on July 22, 2014

Great advice - doing WW has helped me lose and keep it off. WW may not be trendy or the latest "new news" like fat is good then fat is bad, carbs are evil, carbs are OK - but WW works if you work it and it is easier to live with long term - I think the way you lose weight has to be the same way you can live long term to keep it off - otherwise hello weight gain.

on July 22, 2014

@Jill - Very good point. Yes, cooking at home (with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains) makes a HUGE difference in calorie consumption. That is why I include easy recipes in my book - so that people will be encouraged to cook.

on July 22, 2014

Being active. I went to Hong Kong for 3 weeks, stuffed my face for 3 weeks with delicious food. I thought for sure I'd gain at least 10lbs while I was traveling. But I was very active everyday, sightseeing, shopping, I was go-go-go non-stop. Plus I had a 20lbs baby in a carrier most of the time (she didn't like the stroller). I came home weighing 5 lbs less!! I was shocked.

In addition to that, I think eating less food is the key. When I'm home with 3 kids, I eat proper healthy meals because I eat what they eat. But I can't snack, especially junky snacks, because they want to eat what I eat. That means I spent most of my day either not eating, or eating healthy food. Overall, I do eat less. My indulgences only happens at night after the kids are in bed and all my chores are done. Eating crappy late night food is not healthy, but my weight keeps dropping and I know it's because I eat less (overall) and I eat healthier (overall).

on July 22, 2014

Thanks for the info and I agree a life without chocolate is not worth living!

on July 22, 2014

Great post! Thanks snackgirl!! :)

on July 22, 2014

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