Diet Rules that are Meant to be Broken
Happy Friday interwebz friends! I actually did this post as a guest post on Healthyezsweet a little while back, but I decided that I needed to share this with my readers!
During the beginning of the year, the amount of weight loss posts on the internet increases 10 fold. There is a lot of misinformation out there on how to be healthy/lose weight. I am here to debunk some of those “diet rules” that just don’t add up. I used to believe so many of these “rules” on how to live healthy, but in actuality, they did not make me healthier at all. How much of those posts do you actually believe? Today, I take all of them with a grain of salt- and here’s why you should too.
BIGGEST DIET rules that should be broken:
Do not consume more than 1200 calories a day.
No adult, child, teen, elderly person, etc. should be consuming only 1200 calories a day. If you are an active person and work out, consuming only 1200 calories is dangerously low and can put you at a net calorie count of 800 or less. When you eat such a small amount of calories, your body tries to conserve energy, which can make it even more difficult to lose weight. Eating only 1200 calories can put your body into starvation mode, and can result in you feeling irritable, anxious, and HANGRY! Your body needs sufficient fuel to function properly and to enable you to think clearly. Next time you see something telling you to eat 1200 calories just laugh at it and move on. I repeat- do not eat a 1200 calorie diet for weight loss! This is not sustainable and will wreck your metabolism.
Don’t Eat Past 7
So many healthy living gurus try to endorse this idea that you should not be eating past 7. I call bull****. If you are hungry after dinner, then I see no reason as to why you shouldn’t have a snack. Just be sure to choose something that is healthy (or even not so healthy) and won’t interfere with your sleep. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to sleep if you are hungry or overly full. Also, there is no proof that eating late at night contributes to weight loss. The reason why people think eating late at night is linked to weight gain is because often times people choose unhealthy foods to snack on late at night like ice cream, chips, fast food, pizza, etc.
Cut Carbs to lose Weight
The only thing eating a super low carb diet will do for you is leave you starving an unsatisfied. Choosing healthy carbs to fuel your body will increase athletic performance, digestion, and mental clarity. All of those diets that promote cutting out whole grains, fruit, potatoes/starches, etc. do not promote a balanced lifestyle. If you are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, then I suggest incorporating many whole, unrefined carbohydrates into your diet such as oats, rice, potatoes, lentils, fruit, quinoa, beans, and quinoa/rice pasta. Also, apparently there is some sort of misconception that carbs are just bread and pasta. Like WUT. No. Carbs are in virtually all foods.
Do a Juice Cleanse to lose weight
Gosh, this “diet tip” drives me CRAZY. And you will probably feel crazy too if you are only consuming juice for days/weeks/months on end. Literally- you are gonna feel bat sh** crazy. Some juice cleanse programs suggest drinking only juice for as long a month. Serious face palm. Don’t get me wrong, I think healthy vegetable/fruit juices can be an awesome addition to any diet, but solely consuming juice is not sustainable. Juices do not have as much fiber as whole foods, and thus will not fill you up or leave you satiated. You will also likely not be able to get in enough calories, and the weight that you MAY lose will just be water weight that you will gain back faster than you lost it. My advice: skip the juice cleanses and eat whole plant-based foods.
You need to eat Gluten Free to Lose weight
This is a total myth. While I do eat a gluten free diet because I have celiac disease, it is not necessary for weight loss. Most of the healthiest foods on the planet are naturally gluten free, so if you adopt a plant-based diet you will lose weight. BUT- there are so many products out there that are gluten free that are not healthy. There are gluten free cookies, crackers, chips, ice cream, and other processed foods on the market that have been made gluten free. Store bought gluten free cookies are usually no healthier than regular cookies, and may even have more calories or additives to make the product taste better. My advice: lower your gluten intake naturally by eating more plant food.
Fasting one day a week/ intermittent fasting/ fasting of any kind.
Do you know what fasting will do? Turn your body into a fat storer because it doesn’t know when it will get any food next. There are popular diets out there that encourage fasting 1x a week where you eat nothing that day, and only can drink water. There are also less intense fasting diet programs where you don’t eat between a window of 7 a.m. (give or take) until 11 a.m. the next day. I mean that doesn’t sound so horrible right? But waking up without having breakfast, or going to bed STARVING doesn’t sound too ideal to me. it’s also not necessary to lose weight. it can actually inhibit you from losing weight if you binge out between 11-7 p.m. Just to show you how deranged fasting is- as I was searching pinterest for a graphic/image to go along with this “diet” , pinterest asked me “Are you struggling with an eating disorder?- help is available”. Seriously- if that doesn’t convince you that fasting is not healthy in any way, shape or form, then I’m not sure what will. Please treat your body right.
Overall, I believe in a healthy, balanced diet full of nutritious plant foods and treats when I see fit. Deprivation, restriction, and fasting have no place in my life, and they shouldn’t in yours either.
Have you/ do you follow any of these “diet rules”?? What is the number 1 diet myth you wish people would stop believing?? Have you ever gone on a diet?? What do you suggest to people looking to live a healthier lifestyle??