Ask the Experts: Top Don’ts

by in Ask the Experts, February 3, 2011


As a registered dietitian, I share many of the same tips with clients over and over again. For instance, I always tell my clients to give up saying they don’t have enough time to eat better and exercise, and remind them:  Health should be a priority!

We asked nutrition experts from across the country to share their most valuable tips. We filled you in on the top dos, now for the don’ts: The things we urge clients to STOP doing in order to get healthy.  How many are you guilty of?

Don’t Stock Your Pantry With Junk
Even if it’s not for you (yeah, right!), leaving junk food at arm’s length is just asking for trouble. Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD says “never put junk food on your kitchen countertop.” There’s a time and place for cakes, cookies or whatever junk food you love, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. How about a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter instead?

Don’t Ignore Hunger Cues

Our own Katie Cavuto-Boyle says don’t “clear your plate just because.” Read her recent post all about mindful eating.

Don’t Go Overboard at Restaurants
Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. urges her clients to refrain from “treating every meal in a restaurant as a splurge. Keep splurges to celebrations or special events.” Nowadays we eat out often so make smart choices to stay on track – we’ve got lots of tips to help.

Don’t Guzzle Your Calories
Healthy Eats’ “Veggie Table” dietitian Janel Ovrut reminds her clients to bypass gulping endless calories.  “Even seemingly healthy enhanced waters and beverages are usually loaded with sugar. Get nutrients from food, and hydration from water,” she says.  Not a fan of water? We’ve got ways to flavor it up.

Don’t Buy Into the Latest Diet Craze
Lots of nutrition pros weighed in on this one! Food writer Jessica Cox, RD, reminds her clients to “avoid defined meal plans and ‘diets.’ It’s hard to stick to a boring meal plan for more than a few days. Instead resolve to make a few healthier choices each day within your normal routine.” Alma Kay Nocchim RD, CD, LD backed this up by also warning against “diets” altogether. “Changes must be considered a positive change in lifestyle to work!” 
Melissa Buczek, MS, RD, CDN says “don’t follow the latest ‘fads,’ instead, seek out reliable, health information from professional source. Don’t think of your daily food intake as a ‘diet;’ make every meal and snack a pleasurable experience, a healthy part of your day-to-day life.”

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
Along the same lines as those diet crazes is our nutrition expert Toby Amidor’s number one no-no. “Don’t believe everything you see on TV or read.” she says. “There is lots of nutrition and diet information swirling around out there. Before you go and buy the newest buzz food, gather the facts by looking for information published by registered dietitians. To find a registered dietitian near you, check out”

Don’t Throw In The Towel
Any nutrition professional will tell you that mistakes are part of the learning process. Registered dietitian and author of The Thin Diary,  Cindy Guirino warns against giving in if you slip up. “Don’t collapse when you spot too many lapses,” she says. “Correct the behavior that is causing it.”

Don’t Skip Meals
Dietitian and life coach, Linda Eck Mills discusses a topic that RDs bring up on a daily basis. “Stop skipping meals, especially breakfast! If you don’t like traditional breakfast foods, eat foods you do like.” she says. “You will actually slow your metabolism by skipping meals.”

Don’t Weigh-In Daily
It’s super-easy to get hung up on that number on the scale. What most people don’t realize is that daily weights are not always an accurate measure of your success. Don’t “weigh yourself every day” says Heather S. Zeitz, RD, VP of Health Content at Alere. “If you are going to monitor weight, pick one time a week where you weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink,” she says. “Fluid fluctuations throughout the day/week will be discouraging and won’t help build confidence in your efforts to manage your weight.”

TELL US: What are your major nutrition no-nos?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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