Terrible Diet Tips We've All Followed & What We Should Do Instead

It wouldn't be surprising if most millennials grew up surrounded with so many heavily advertised diet plans, processed foods and tons of internet chock-full of conflicting and questionable health advice that might be harmful or unsustainable, and basically having a pretty wonky relationship with food in general, especially in the long run. It's amazing that our bodies are still functioning. There are various terrible tips that our generation, and even generation before and after us has followed due to the constant falsely advertised behind campaigns that promote “body positivity”. According to our nutritionist reports around the world, there are a number of insidious terrible diet tips that people of age 21 to 38 years old have tried at some point.

Changing how your body looks doesn’t necessarily mean that you hate your body or yourself. In the end, you look the greatest when you feel great. If you really want to change your body for the better, do it from a place of love. In short, do it because you love yourself, do it because it's healthy for you and it makes you happy, not because it's a punishment. Work with your body not against it. Be patience with yourself and build a positive relationship with food, they are your best friends, not your enemies.

In order to achieve a healthy relationship with yourself, firstly you need to recognise what does not work and could be a highly damaging type of diet that is fairly common that we’ve probably followed at least once in our lifetime—and understand what to do instead. 

  1. Carbs are bad

In the early '80s, everyone thought fat was the enemy, but by the time millennials were old enough to diet, the story had changed to demonize carbs. Carbs have gotten a really bad rap. But it's really refined grains that deserve the bad press. There's a big nutritional difference between refined and whole grains. Refined carbs (think white flour, white rice) lack two out of the three parts of grain that contain the most nutrition. Whole grains, on the other hand, are intact and a great source of minerals as well as fiber, which supports both gut and cardiovascular health. They also stabilize blood sugar, which in the end will actually help you stay slimmer if that's what you're going for. 

Cutting out any entire nutrient group is something few nutritionists recommend: You need all of the food groups and the essential macronutrients. Fiber, good fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. So rather than mixing carbs altogether, choose complex grains, like brown rice, oats, and quinoa.

  1. The sugar in fruit is just as bad as candy

Forgoing fruit (and even some vegetables) because it's too sugary is a common, though ill-advised, diet tip. We have heard countless times from people that they will absolutely not eat carrots, yet they may be having ice cream on a nightly basis. The truth is that fruits do contain sugar, some will spike your blood sugar, and going full fruitarian is not something any nutritionist we've talked to suggests. Most of us would likely benefit from more fruit in our diet, not less

Fruit and, especially, vegetables, even those with a higher glycemic index, are not the same as having fruit chews or gummy candies and are an essential part of any eating plan. Unlike candy, fruit offers vitamins, minerals, hydration, flavor, and fiber to keep you full. Consume a reasonable amount of fruit, for example, not an entire bunch of bananas or pounds of grapes in a sitting, but a small apple, two clementines, or a cup of berries. And please, enjoy your carrot and celery snack guilt-free.

  1. Foods labeled "diet" will help you lose weight

Millennials have grown up with sugar substitutes in processed foods, think diet soda, sugar-free candy, reduced-calorie chips, etc. These options seem like the perfect combo—taste without the calories. But it is not so simple. Unsatisfying, blood-sugar-spiking sugar substitutes can actually make us crave sweets even more, ultimately derailing your nutrition goals.

We suggest replacing diet soda with flavored seltzer and sugar-free candies with fruit or dark chocolate chips. Your taste and desire for the sweet will start to dissipate and it will be easier to avoid sweets overall.

  1. Weight loss is as simple as calories in, calories out

Weight balance is so much more complicated than the old calories-in-calories-out theory. By restricting yourself around certain foods that you want, you tend to actually become more preoccupied by them and less likely to control yourself once you encounter them. Deprivation is how we end up in vicious dieting cycles that are detrimental to our health and weight-loss goals, not to mention the toll it takes on our mental wellness. 

The same amount of calories in a processed sweet and a fresh vegetable is not going to have the same short- or long-term effect on our bodies. A 100-calorie snack pack is not going to fuel your body the same as an avocado. Ditch the old calorie-counting mentality. Quality over quantity is a new rule to live by.

  1. When you want to "reset" your body, go on a detox

Detox diets are all the rage with millennials, who are heavily focused on overall wellness and clean eating. These trendy cleanses seem great because they can lead to boosts in energy levels and drops on the scale. But even though those initial results can seem encouraging, they're not sustainable. You will first lose water weight and sugar stores, and when these sources are depleted, weight loss will slow down. Additionally, not all detox diets are safe, and the limited intake can lead to nutritional issues long-term.

Instead, be gentle with yourself by starting slow and focusing on a sustainable, long-term plan. Consume a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Focus on fiber and drink LOTS of water. This will allow the body’s built-in detoxification processes to work smoothly and naturally and will help you lose weight in a safe way.

  1. Supplements work as a quick fix

Millennials have supplement fever, but weight loss is not found in a bottle. Supplements are by no means bad, especially if you're using them in a targeted way to help make sure your body is meeting its nutrient requirements. But you cannot supplement your way thin. They go hand in hand with a healthy diet, but you must do both.

  1. Exercise will offset your unhealthy eating

You cannot reach your best health by thinking this way. Yes, working out is key to well-being, but you must do both, not just one.

Interestingly, there is also such a thing as working out so hard it actually hinders any weight loss efforts. Intense exercise can raise cortisol and adrenaline, which puts our bodies into a state of fight or flight. This often causes the body to hold onto weight, adding that 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is best for weight management. We believe that movement plays an important role in healthy life but it's important to slow down, tune into your body, and see how you feel. If you have more energy, you could do some HIIT or weight training, or if I'm feeling a slower pace, you could go for a walk in nature or do some yoga.

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