All of us trying to lose weight are searching for the “diet” or eating plan that works best for our body types. We go through dozens of different diets in our attempts to find the one that sheds pounds or activates our metabolism effectively. But is that really effective? Are the diets we’re trying actually doing us harm? The answer might surprise you! Here are some of the diet habits that might be doing more harm than good—habits you’ll likely want to avoid:
Extreme Low-Carb Diet
The Keto Diet is all the rage these days, with people championing a very low carb diet and leading up on proteins and fats. However, the truth is that there is little or no evidence that Keto provides long term benefits. Yes, people are seeing success in the short term, but a lot more people are struggling to keep off the weight they’ve lost when they return to their normal higher-carb diet. It’s impossible to totally eliminate carbs from your diet. Instead of going crazy-low carb, try limiting your carbs to a healthy amount (2 servings of whole grains per day, 1-2 servings of fruits, and up to 5 servings of low-carb veggies). Do that, and you’ll see healthy, sustainable results!
The Intermittent Fasting Diet has become popular due to the fact that it allows you to eat pretty much whatever you want, as long as you eat it within a specific diet window (6 to 8 hours). However, this can lead to overeating, and people will gain weight just as much on a fasting diet as they would eating normally—the calories are a lot more important to weight gain or loss than the amount of time a day you spend eating. Diets like the Snake Diet and OMAD (One Meal A Day) can lead to all kinds of problems—not the least of which is the tremendous emotional and social pressure that comes with trying to have friends while still maintaining your rigid eating schedule.
Let’s clarify: gluten-free eating for those who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is definitely a must. However, for the average person, cutting gluten out of your diet isn’t going to do a thing. Unless you know for sure that gluten affects you negatively—your skin, your digestive tract, flu-like symptoms, etc.—then eliminating gluten from your diet serves no purpose at all. Gluten is just a simple protein that doesn’t have negative side effects for the average person, and cutting it from your diet won’t make you healthier or lead to better weight loss. Only those who need to cut it out for medical reasons should bother with gluten-free dieting.
Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
Documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” or “The Game Changers” can be very convincing and provide rational arguments for trying vegan and vegetarian diets. For those who are trying to improve their health, veganism and vegetarianism can be a good option. But for weight loss, neither is really a good diet. You end up eating a lot more carbs than are good for your waistline, making weight loss that much harder. Your best bet is to focus on a veggie-forward diet: a diet that encourages a drastic increase in vegetable consumption, but not to the exclusion of animal products. After all, meat can provide high-quality nutrients in a calorie-efficient package. Unless you have a very good reason for going vegan or vegetarian—such as sensitivity to animal products—doing so won’t lead to more effective weight loss.