These worst diet tips are from all sorts of people who talk to me about losing weight. If you listen you will want to pull your hair out.
Fortunately, I have a lot of hair.
I find myself in conversations with strangers about diet all the time. Why? They ask me what I do - and I tell them that I write about healthy eating and losing weight.
People can’t wait to tell me their definition of healthy eating and how they have lost weight. Many are exceedingly passionate about their personal findings and have no interest in hearing what I think.
It is almost like we are talking about faith except with religion, people are more aware that others may disagree. I have yet to encounter many people that want to passionately convince me that my faith is the wrong one.
I always nod appreciatively because I have been taught to be polite in the face of ideas that run counter to mine. If the stranger would listen, he/she would learn that I advocate for eating more fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains, changing bad habits, and exercising.
My approach 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.
But, these strangers don’t want to hear my solutions because they have it solved with the DIET THAT CHANGED THEIR LIFE.
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. 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.
5. Give up all added sugar. I am a serious advocate for limiting added sugar - see No Sugar Challenge. All added sugar? I don’t think you need to give it all up to lose weight. It just seems so sad not to share birthday cake with your friends for the rest of your life.
6. Go Gluten-Free. Gluten is not making you fat. Processed carbohydrates such as white bread are not helping but switching to a gluten-free brownie is not the solution. I think that people lose weight when they go gluten-free because they cut back on processed foods (pizza, pasta, cookies…) - this can be a great approach but it isn’t because of the gluten in these foods that you lose weight.
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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This No Sugar Challenge is brought to you by my high cholesterol numbers in January......