by: Denise Mijares, RND
Imagine this scenario, let’s say you’re wondering how you should step up your diet or workout to achieve your goals faster; then suddenly your “healthy lifestyle guru a.k.a know-it-all friend” comes and give you random pieces of advice. Or you go to your most trusted buddy – Google and start googling things such as “how to lose weight in a week” or “Why am I not gaining any muscle after three visits to the gym” and all sorts of "it’s a matter of life and death" questions. But, no matter where we go or whom we consult, we just can’t seem to piece things together and we just can’t find the science behind everything.
Don’t worry. As a dietitian, I had encountered a lot of clients who worry about the same thing. And I’ve come across a lot of questions and struggles people experience when embarking on a healthier lifestyle. The thing is, some of these “tips” only brought more harm than good.
So here are the Top Ten Worst Diet Tips You’ll ever hear:
- STOP SNACKING
Snacking is not necessarily bad, in fact the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) encourages people to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks instead of just the 3 main meals. Eating snacks in between main meals reduces chances of your overeating since you’re not starving. Starving make you shove all those foods in and before you realize eat you’ve eaten way too much than what you’re supposed to. Just pick healthier options of snacks to keep you full for a longer period. Skip those junk foods or processed food and then you’re good until the next meal.
- DON’T EAT BREAKFAST TO SAVE YOUR CALORIES FOR LATER
No, no and another no. Like the previous number “stop snacking” skipping meals makes you starve and starving causes overeating. Eat regularly as much as possible. If you’re working or engaging in heavy physical activity you may really need energy at the beginning of the day. I’m sure you don’t want making a scene and faint all over the place right? PLEASE DON’T STARVE YOURSELF, GUYS!
- DON’T EAT AFTER 6PM/8PM OR WHAT EVER TIME THEY TELL YOU
A burger is still a burger regardless of what time it is. So, its calories and nutritional quality won’t change just because time changes. But sure, eating earlier in the evening is better than eating way too late. Eating late makes you sleep later too since most can’t sleep with a full stomach (which means you’ll feel hungry again in the middle of the night). But if you haven’t eaten yet at around 6pm, 8pm or whatever time they told you, not eating dinner is not the way to go. If you want to cut off calories, eating less is better than not eating at all.
- CHEAT DAY = BINGE DAY
Although, we all know that going on a “dieting” means restricting ourselves, most people have this “CHEAT DAY”. Just like what they say, all work without play makes Jack a dull boy. So, a few of your favorite comfort foods is not bad. And if you can burn them during your workout sessions or physical activities, then good. Rewarding yourself for your progress is not bad every once in a while. Depriving yourself can make your craving more intense and end up devouring them in one big swoop.
- YOU BURN MORE CALORIES ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
SORRY GUYS! But this is a huge false! Empty or full, your stomach digests food just the same. If you’re talking about basal metabolic rate or the resting metabolic, there are many factors affecting them and unfortunately having an empty stomach isn’t one of them. One increases his/ her metabolism by working out or engaging in moderate to heavy physical activities. And remember, the more energy you exert the more you must eat and get energy from foods.
- FAT MAKES YOU FAT
It depends on the fat; animal fat or cholesterol sources are one of the least favored dietary fat options. You may replace them with nuts, seeds, fats from fish(omega-3), avocadoes and vegetable fats for frying. Whether it’s carbohydrates, protein or fat, everything in excess will be stored in the body as fat. So, depriving yourself of fats with the same total calories per day will not really make you lose weight, only lesser calories will.
- REPLACE PROTEINS WITH CARBS
If you’re working out on a weekly basis sure, but if you’re not, you are actually doing your body a lot worse. Too much or excess protein consumption without it converted to muscles only strains the kidneys which may result to kidney damage if done in a long period of time. Eating a balance diet is always better if your just aiming to eat healthier, for clarifications on these you may opt to consult your doctor or dietitian or you may get in touch with one of our in-house Registered Nutritionist-Dietitians for a FREE consultation and to know which meal plan suits you best.
- TRY THIS NEW FAD DIET
For many years now, there have been lots of diets coming out from nowhere. And believe me, majority of those who try them don’t really know the science behind it - if it’s good for the body or not. Not that I’m saying all non- medical diets are bad, some may do you bad and some may actually improve your lifestyle. One classic example of this is the Mediterranean diet, actually just recently the Mediterranean diet was coined as one of the best lifestyle change diets (excluding existing medical nutrition diets) as it is very similar to the DASH diet or the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension which improves choices of food from fats to carbohydrates. So before trying out diets you may want to consult your doctor or nutritionists just to be sure. *wink*
- CUT OFF ALL YOUR CARBOHYDRATES,ESPECIALLY THE FRUITS …THEY HAVE SUGAR
Carbohydrates are in our diet for a reason, we can even trace it back from our elementary days. During nutrition month if you remember; go foods or the carbohydrates give us energy. So without carbohydrates the body will get energy from fats and proteins or even our fat and muscle stores. Energy from muscles means getting energy from your gains. You will never want to waste your hours at the gym just to be broken down by the wrong diet. Different exercises demand different food distribution, if you’re going for cardio you may not want to skip carbohydrates unless you want to faint. Carbohydrates provide immediate source of energy if you’re going to jog on an empty stomach you will notice that you’ll tire out faster than usual, carbohydrates also contributes to endurance so skipping it won’t give you good more than the damages. There’s also a reason why body builders eat a lot of protein since they need to bulk up their muscles, and where else will you get them? Yes! That’s right! Protein! So, before cutting out food items evaluate it more carefully, okay? *pinky swear*
- SUBSTITUTING MULTIVITAMINS AND DRINKS WITH ACTUAL FOOD
And lastly…. SUBSTITUTING MULTIVITAMINS AND DRINKS WITH ACTUAL FOOD, there is no known single food that provides everything. Eating a variety of food every day is always better than eating just anything then substituting vitamins for the load of crap you ate without vitamins. As much as possible go for the nutrient dense foods than the calorie dense ones.
Starting off with the healthier options is very helpful to your body in the long run, when your body is adjusted to a healthy lifestyle you’ll never have to think of it as a diet since you’ll be starting to enjoy eating like that.
So there you have it! You might have stumbled upon or heard these tips once, but I’m pretty sure you won’t fall for it again. What are other diet tips you’ve heard before? Comment them below! I’d like to talk about it with you.
If you had conquered some of the tips above, let us know how it went. You may want to share it with us here. We’re very excited to hear your story.
About the writer:
Denise got her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in Centro Escolar University. She has passion in cooking, which makes her a perfect fit for her work as a Production Officer. Aside from curating daily menus, there's really more to our Denise than what just meets the eye. She's a very creative person (she actually designed the interior of our washroom!) and enjoys doing calligraphy during her free time. Some people say there's no such thing as coincidences, well in that case, the whole Paleo Manila Team had been truly blessed to have crossed paths with Denise, our 'frieeeeeend'.