How To Spot Bad Weight Loss Advice
Unfortunately there are an abundance of fad diets, diet scams, or just fake and potentially dangerous weight loss claims that can end up costing you a lot of money. With the current Covid-19 situation, a lot of people have gained weight due to not being able to get to the gym or be outside as much as before or working from home has greatly increased the temptation to snack due to being in close proximity to the kitchen all day.
It is therefore essential that you understand what is a good and bad source of information when it comes to weight loss advice. Check out the following to avoid falling in the traps of the diet companies or potential scams.
Look out for the following:
If you see any of the following, it is a fad diet! AVOID THEM!
- Promise an ingredient or product that will help you lose weight without having to change your lifestyle.
- Rapid weight loss promises. If they are promising anything over 2lb a week, stay away!
- Recommend that you only eat foods based on your genetics or blood type.
- Anything with the word ‘detox’ (That’s what your liver is for!
- Recommend magical effects of foods (fat burning etc)
- Promotes the avoidance or limitation of a whole food group.
- Promotes eating mainly one type of food (e.g. cabbage soup)
- Has no scientific evidence to support it (often use celebrity endorsements)
- Or they make recommendations from a single study (this is often extremely bias or even funded by the company)
- Trying to sell you products or supplements.
- Suggests it is a secret that doctors aren’t aware of yet.
- Recommend the same diet for everyone (You should be asked about your personal circumstances, preferences and needs. Otherwise it will be generic and not tailored to you)
So now you can identify a fad diet, what is the best advice then for losing the pounds and keeping them off? You might have heard this many times but it is really about making healthy changes, eating a well balanced diet and doing a bit of exercise. Here are a few tips to get you going:
1. Keep a food log. This doesn’t have to be detailed, just keep a note of what you are eating each day or over a period of a few days. This can help you spot where the problem areas are within your diet so you have something to focus on.
2. Make protein the main part of each meal. Select your protein source, then build the rest of your meal around that.
3. Make a meal plan for the week. If you make a menu for the week it makes it much easier to stick to a healthier diet and also helps when it comes to shopping and cutting down on food waste.
4. Chose leaner and lower fat foods.
5. Use fruit and vegetables as a snack and to fill up your plate at meal times. (It is very difficult to consume too many calories from carrots vs chips, potatoes). As mentioned in point 2, put your protein source on the plate first, then fill with vegetables/fruit/ This will leave less space for the things that are easier to over consume.
6. Keep an eye on your portion sizes. Try weighing your portions out and compare it to a serving size on the packet. You might find that you are using a lot more than you thought.
7. Set realistic goals. Aim to lose 1-2lb a week. If you set goals that are more than likely, unachievable (e.g. i want to lose 10stone this year) then there is a good chance you are setting yourself up for failure. Start small, set small achievable goals (e.g. 1-2lb a week).
8. Increase your exercise. Again, be realistic! You are not going to be going from no exercise to doing strenuous exercise 7 days a week, this will only lead to you becoming demotivated. Just aim for 30minutes of moderate exercise a day (this can just be a brisk walk, some gardening etc you don’t have to be going to the gym or running round the streets if you don’t want to). If you can find a sport/exercise you enjoy, then go with that. It makes it much easier to change your lifestyle if you are enjoying what you do.