Avoid These Worst Diet Tips
From your hairdresser to your accountant, everyone is a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to weight loss… We asked some of the biggest health experts in the world what were the worst diet tips they’ve ever heard.
Have you ever tried one of these worst diet tips?
The worst diet tips we’ve ever heard
1. Carbs Are the Enemy
The most prevalent myth about dieting of all time is that carbs are the enemy.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the healthiest foods in the world–that is, the foods that have the highest ratio of micronutrients to calories–are mostly carbohydrate-based.
Kale, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, etc.–these are high in carbohydrates but also extremely healthy. The key is to pick your carbs intelligently.
Another prevalent myth out there is a bit of an antithesis to the previous tip.
Some experts like to believe that as long as the food is “natural” and not processed in any way, that means an individual can eat as much as (s)he desires and still be healthy.
But dieters should still be mindful of caloric intake when eating unprocessed foods.
For example, a diet high in foods like avocado, tree nuts, and coconut will likely be very high in calories, and excess consumption of these foods can hurt a diet plan more than it can help.
– Kristie Santana, certified nutrition coach, and owner of National Coach Academy
2. Master Cleanse for Weight Loss
The worst diet tip I’ve ever heard someone give is to do the Master Cleanse to lose weight. Ugh! I hate it when I hear this.
It’s such BS because that kind of starving will only serve to lower the metabolism and strip lean muscle tissue, setting you up to gain a TON of weight when you start eating again. Worst idea ever.
I cannot think of a single champion bikini competitor who has ever used the Master Cleanse to win her rocking physique.
She does just the opposite — eating regularly, keeping lean muscle on the body, and fueling her body.
– Londin Angel Winters, Owner of Metaphysical Fitness.
3. Detoxing or Colon Cleansing Leads to Weight Loss
Editor’s Note: This was the only response out of dozens that we got twice (note the previous one) so we wanted to include two different perspectives. Back to the experts:
This is BS because the kidney and liver do an amazing job at detoxing the body without the help of special juices.
Furthermore, a “clean” colon will not dissolve the accumulated fat in your body.
– Dr. Albert Takem, MD, Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has a weight loss and wellness center in Chevy Chase, MD
4. Diet Drinks Lead to Weight Loss
One I always hear is that diet drinks that contain sugar substitutes such as aspartame will help you lose weight and are fine for a balanced diet.
Aspartame is a neurotoxin that can worsen blood sugar control and cause weight gain, headaches, nerve damage, and eye damage.
This is because it is made partly from wood alcohol, which breaks down to formaldehyde.
– Dr. Carolyn Dean is a health pioneer with over 25 years of experience. She’s authored 30 books and is the medical director for the Nutritional Magnesium Association.
5. Drink Vodka…What?
Clearly at the top of the list (and I’m in the gym 5 days/week, so I hear A LOT of bizarre things) is the recommendation to drink vodka when you’re watching your diet since it’s an “easy way to get drunk faster”.
Second, in the running has got to be the suggestion that a great diet to follow is eating jars of baby food instead of adult food.
The theory that the trainer espoused was that you still get to swallow real food, it just takes longer to eat so you naturally restrict your calories.
6. Eating Fat Will Make You Fat
In a metabolic study by Pawan and Keckwick in 1956 (old school research) subjects were divided into three groups and given calorically equal diets for a week, including 90% of the three different macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
They then observed the outcomes of these different diets. Subjects reacted very differently to the diets. Out of protein, fat, and carbs, which one do you think produced the biggest change in weight loss? These were the results:
- 1000 calories, of which 90% was fat:
Weight *loss* of 408g/day
- 1000 calories, of which 90% was protein:
Weight *loss* of 272g/day
- 1000 calories, of which 90% was carbs:
Weight *gain* of 108g/day
Of course, none of these diets are sustainable and we shouldn’t be eating a diet that consists of 90% fat (that’s a lot of butter!), but it’s a very simplistic example of how we should stop being so afraid of fat.
Fats in “crappy foods” such as cookies, frozen pizzas, etc. won’t help you lose fat – but neither will avoiding the healthy fats of salmon, almonds, and avocado for instance.
We don’t get fat by eating fat. We get fat by eating sugar.
– Anne Clara Laugesen, Editor of WorkoutPerfect.com, and author of The 1-Hour Goddess
7. Tip #2: Don’t snack/do snack
This is a silly tip and usually stems from the notion of counting calories – because if you do snack, you “add more calories” during the day (also counting calories is wrong – look at the study above).
In reality, snacking in small amounts is a great way for people that like it, to make sure we don’t arrive home for dinner and are starving, resulting in both over-eating and a tendency to want sweets and other unhealthy foods after dinner.
It also helps us make better choices when, for instance, we’re in the supermarket and if we tend to get very hungry before meals.
Although there’s a debate on whether or not our metabolism gets a kick from eating frequently, studies are still conflicting and the few randomized controlled trials conducted have found that snacking neither helps nor works against your weight loss.
If you should or shouldn’t snack is highly personal – if you get hungry between meals, take a healthy snack. If not, don’t.
– Anne Clara Laugesen, Editor of WorkoutPerfect.com, and author of The 1-Hour Goddess
8. Eat less or have an extremely low caloric intake
Yes, it is true that if you are over-eating then decreasing your intake and calories will make sense. However, this is not effective for all and not effective for lifestyle diet modifications.
Having an extremely low caloric intake is not sustainable and eventually, you will have to increase your calories. Having a diet with low nutrients and caloric over a period of time will cause your metabolism to decrease.
Therefore, when you do eat a “normal” or healthy amount of calories, you will gain weight rapidly because you have ultimately slowed your metabolism.
Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet full of protein and nutrients will help you to achieve lifestyle diet modifications (not temporary changes).
Institute of Medicines suggestion on energy requirements (caloric intake calculator)
– Kathleen Cullum, MSN, CRNP, FNP-C at MDMercy
9. Dr. Oz gives sound nutrition advice
Let’s get this straight, Dr. Oz gave some pretty sound health advice in his early years, but that has since changed as his show gained popularity and he became more of an entertainer than a doctor.
He should have stuck to giving advice in regards to cardiology, and not encouraging supplements that don’t work.
Dr. Oz knows perfectly well that the only miracle “pill” for weight loss is modifying one’s lifestyle habits, whether it’s through diet, exercise, or meditation.
Nutrition experts everywhere find his advice infuriating, as so many consumers respect him and follow his advice. Always keep in mind that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
– Rene Ficek, Registered Dietitian and Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE).
10. Super strict Paleo is key
Working in the fitness industry (I am the editor at SkinnyYoked.com) I’ve heard a lot of BS diet tips. The worst diet advice I get over and over again is the paleo diet.
I think because it’s fashionable people follow it without thinking too much about the fundamentals. Of course, we should all cut out preservatives, fillers, and artificial ingredients from our diet.
Of course, eating fresh meat and vegetables and fruits is healthy.
However, taking it to the extreme and ONLY eating things available to cavemen and women is just stupid. Our race has progressed a lot since the Stone Age. Eating a greasy burger at a restaurant over a lemon-butter-dressed tilapia fillet is not a smart choice.
Furthermore, there are tons of awesome food inventions like fruit leather or dehydrated fruit that aren’t exactly “paleo” but are great healthy snacks.
So the idea that you should live your life exactly like a caveman (who actually had very unhealthy, short lifespans) is probably the worst dieting advice I’ve heard from a supposed “expert”.
– Erik Bowitz, Editor of Skinny Yoked
Well, that wraps it up!
From carbs being the enemy to cleansing your way to weight loss, these are the worst diet tips we have heard!
Avoid the temptation to jump on a weight-loss bandwagon and stick to the old trusted weight loss methods: burn more calories throughout the day than you consume via controlled nutrition and exercise!
Avoid these worst diet tips and start getting sustainable results today!