5 Extremely Stupid Diet Myths.
It’s nearly impossible to turn on the TV or radio these days without being bombarded with advertisements for the latest advancements in weight loss and dieting, all of which promise that you’ll lose weight with little change or sacrifice on your part. But pause and reflect… If losing weight was truly that simple, wouldn’t everyone have their dream body by now? As a general rule, if a weight-loss gimmick promises drastic results in a short period of time or simply sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Aside from being too good to be true, some of them are actually dangerous, particularly if you don’t know what to look for. Here are a few examples of extremely stupid and dangerous diet gimmicks to avoid:
1. Meal Substitute Shakes.
This is one of the most widely used “diet” programs. SlimFast, MediFast, and Shakeology are all over the place. I strongly advise anyone considering one of these programs to conduct extensive research and reassess their options. Some SlimFast and Shakeology drinks are actually pretty good nutrient supplements that would be a great addition to a healthy meal plan. A SlimFast and a spinach and grilled chicken salad for lunch, or a Shakeology with scrambled eggs and a slice of whole wheat toast, are not necessarily unhealthy or unsafe options, but three meals a day consisting entirely of meal-replacement shakes are.
2. Detox Diets in Liquid Form.
Some of these diets are downright frightening. Most involve some combination of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, and the diet instructions range from “drink once a day” to “consume nothing but this drink for the next ten days.” I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous and unhealthy these “diets” are, despite their popularity. Will you slim down? Without a doubt. But you can’t live on this liquid concoction alone, and the moment you try to return to regular food, you’ll not only gain the weight back, but you’ll most likely gain MORE weight back, because all you’ve done is traumatize your body with this brief period of starvation.
Permanent weight loss necessitates long-term lifestyle changes. Period. If your “diet” is not something you can stick to indefinitely, it will not benefit you in the long run. The food is delicious. Please consume it.
3. The Fast Food Diet.
This diet works on the premise that if you stay within a certain caloric range, you will lose weight regardless of what you eat. While this is true in theory, it is also very misleading. The quality of the calories you consume is just as important as the quantity. 1,600 calories of crap is still crap and will not improve your long-term health. Healthy food is beneficial. Please consume plenty of it.
4. Fasted Exercise Burns More Fat.
This school of thought holds that all exercise should be performed on an empty stomach in order to burn fat reserves. This is not a false statement in theory. However, in the grand scheme of things, it makes no difference. When your body runs out of calories, it will burn fat reserves, regardless of the time of day or night, or how much you have or haven’t eaten that day. You will burn fat regardless of whether you consume fewer calories than you burn. Furthermore, eating gives you energy and generally makes you happier… Please, eat.
5. You Should Only Eat 1,200 Calories a Day to Lose Weight.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, A daily calorie intake of 1,200 is recommended for a six-year-old on average. Unless you are very short and slender, 1,200 calories is insufficient for anyone. At all. Ever. Calculate your basal metabolic rate using a calculator (BMR). This is the amount of calories your body would burn in a day if you did nothing but lay in bed. You should never, ever eat less than this amount. I know it appears to be quite high, but trust me. Eating more can sometimes provide the necessary boost.
I lost more weight on a 1,500-1,800 calorie per day diet than I ever did on a 1,200 calorie crash diet. Don’t know how to calculate your BMR? https://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator Eating less than your BMR can harm your metabolism and body in the long run. The food is delicious. Please, eat.