5 Bad Dieting Tips To Ignore

by in Diets & Weight Loss, April 10, 2012
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Weigh the crazy dieting advice you receive very carefully.

Trying to shed pounds for bathing suit season? Be careful how you go about losing the weight. There’s so much nutrition misinformation out there—don’t get sucked into thinking you’ve found the magic way. Although there are many dieting faux pas out there, here are 5 common misconceptions I often hear.

#1: Avoid All Fruit
Fruit is nature’s candy and contains a form of sugar called fructose. Before you shun all sugar,  it’s important to understand the source. Oftentimes, folks confuse natural sugar found in fruit with added sugar found in cookies, candy and sugary drinks.

Fruit contains about 60 calories per serving and a ton of vitamins, minerals, fiber and special plant chemicals that help fight disease. The sources of added sugar (like sodas, chocolate bars) typically contain hundreds of calories and not many nutrients. Of course, you need to balance out fruit with other foods, but any healthy diet plan should include several servings of fruit each day.

#2: Avoid All Dairy
Dairy is another food group often banned from diets because folks claim it’s tough to digest. If you’re lactose intolerant, then the statement is true. However, for individuals without milk issues, lactose (the form of sugar found in milk) is pretty easy to digest. Dairy products contain 14 key nutrients including protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, magnesium and several B-vitamins. Milk is also one of the best sources of vitamin D—a vitamin that many folks don’t get enough of.

 #3: Go Sugar and Fat-Free
If you think dieting means sabotaging flavor, you’re sorely mistaken. Typically foods that are manufactured to be free of sugar and fat are tasteless. Even worse, they are often misconceived to be calorie free, which is often not the case. This can lead to a false sense of eating less than you actually are.

Many fat-free versions of cookies and chips also contain olestra— a fat substitute that can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration and loss of vitamins A, D, E, and K.

#4: More Is Better
One of the most common examples is green tea. Studies show that green tea can help speed up your metabolism…slightly. This doesn’t mean you should drink bottomless cups of green tea. More can be harmful, especially since green tea contains caffeine and certain compounds that leach iron and calcium from your body. If you want to reap the benefits, drink 1 to 2 cups of green tea per day.

#5: The “One Food” Diet
Do you think one food will help melt away fat forever? Whether you’re talking about cabbage, chocolate, cookies, grapefruit or anything else, relying on one food to lose those love-handles isn’t healthy or effective in the long run. First, these diets typically eliminate most other food groups. This means that you’re not getting all the important vitamins and minerals your body needs. Second, you’re not learning how to really eat healthfully, once the weight loss part is over you’ll be frustrated with the rebound weight gain.

TELL US: What bad dieting tip have you gotten?

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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (1,302)

  1. mary says:

    Eating whole grains is good for you that is a myth. It is was has made us obese and diabetic. The jury is out about the cows milk being good for you.

  2. Eric says:

    Mary that makes no sense I eat a ton of whole grains and im far from obese and definitely not diabetic. Whats your source? lol

  3. Shannon says:

    Treadmills and walking are worthless!! I’m SO sick of hearing this!!! Walking is the best safest form of exercise and I’ve lost 20 lbs to prove it. Not to mention lowered my cholesterol from 300 to 200!!!

  4. Trisha says:

    Mary, I was obese and diabetic. I changed how I ate. No white bread or rice or pasta. I replaced it with whole grain bread and pasta and brown rice. Eliminating sugar and exercise such as walking 1/2 hour a day helped me lose 85 pounds. I no longer have diabetes. Whole grains work.

  5. bongo says:

    Are you kidding me? This is a recipe for disaster. Eat every 3 hours a portion not bigger than your fist. Eat everything fresh, self cooked or raw. Avoid white sugar, white flour, fat from animal sources all processed food and sodas.

  6. mary says:

    I am outta here dont want to listen to lies that you all are selling by the wheat pushers.

  7. Diane says:

    It all boils down to this: burn more calories than you eat and you'll lose weight. There's no magic bullet. I lost 25 pounds in 6 months last year by eating 1200 calories a day; eating every 3 or 4 hours. I ate everything in moderation – portion control is key. What finally opened my eyes was wearing an armband that measured how many calories I burned. I usually burned about 500 calories/day more than I ate; an hour of boot camp and 45 minutes of Pilates per week is all I exercised.

  8. [...] “5 Bad Dieting Tips to Ignore”  and since swimsuit season is looming (this is a whole other ballgame to get into…not NOW though)…“Avoid These Sexy-Stomach Saboteurs” [...]

  9. Tim says:

    Good Article. I try to eat very balanced meals. I found this website called A Colorful Plate, http://www.acolorfulplate.com. The website them is a colorful plate is a healthy plate. It does a good job incorporating superfoods and foods to nourish the body while also not depriving yourself. I try to cook a few meals from it a few times a month. I think it's a balance between learning how to enjoy incorporating healthy foods as the main part of your diet. Only that way are you willing to stick with it. Sometimes I believe that if you explain to someone the actual health benefits of the specific food item they are even more excited to eat it. For example, when you know that brussel sprouts are good for your eyes and can help prevent eye disease you are more eager to eat brussel sprouts.

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