This myth-busting article sets the record straight on some 'fad' diets.
15 Jun 2017
When it comes to getting into shape, there are a lot of fad diets around. More than often, if they appear too good to be true, they probably are. While some are ineffective, others can actually have an adverse effect when wanting to achieve your physical goal.
We have summed up our top 5 nutrition mistakes that you need to drop if you want to drop the pounds.
While occasionally lowering food intake and fasting may have some benefits in terms of digestion etc., our liver and kidneys do a pretty good job of ridding our bodies of anything excess, so quite often a detox is largely unnecessary.
‘Tea-toxes’ have become a popular option when dieting. While herbal and fruit teas are considered a healthy beverage, replacing foods with them can have an adverse effect when wanting to lose weight. This is because they create a short-term caloric deficit, so once the detox is over, hunger levels increase and we end up eating more than before the detox. So, when a ‘tea-tox’ is on the table, it’s best to leave it to the liver!
2. Liquid Diets
The premise of liquid diets is to replace two meals per day with shakes, and then have one solid meal.
The issue here is that each shake on average is 180-200 calories. This can equate to 400 calories consumed through shakes per day. This would mean a lot of calories would have to be made up within that one solid food meal to make up your daily intake, which is highly unlikely. This, as above, creates an enormous calorie deficit – which only leads to one thing: overeating.
3. Protein Intake
It’s well known that protein is very important when it comes to improving body composition. It aids in recovery, has a high TEF (Thermic Effect of Food), and keeps us satiated etc. But, as the saying goes, there is too much of a good thing.
Unbeknown to many, piling on the protein means piling on the calories by default. On the flipside, some aware of this may reduce the fats and carbs in their diet to compensate for this vast increase in calorie consumption. This restricting diet quickly becomes boring and, should the diet fold, overeating is often on the cards.
Keep it simple and stick to 0.8-1.2g/lb.
4. ‘Six Small Meals’
‘Little and often’ is a saying that frequently circulates when it comes to weight loss tips. But, our tip off is that it’s a rip off.
Dividing your daily calorie intake between six small meals throughout the day is more like rationing than dieting. Say, for example, someone is on a diet of 1300-1400cal per day. This would equate to only 200 calories per meal. This would certainly not be satisfying and feel more like a snack than a meal. The temptation to overeat is insatiable and, quite often, indulged!
Instead, dividing calorie intake across three to four meals is much more manageable and would feel more like a meal, supressing the hunger better.
It would seem the term ‘little and often’ might as well refer to weight loss instead!
5. Low Fat OR Low Carb
Weirdly, there’s a growing trend to cut all fats or carbs (entire macro-nutrient groups) in one go from the start. All it tends to lead to is food cravings, huge hunger pangs and/or serious lethargy. The real take home here is that so long as you’re in an appropriate calorie deficit and you’ve reached your protein target, you can absolutely keep both fats and carbs in your diet, and divide them as you prefer.
Of course, during the end of a ‘Grind’ stage en route to your checkpoint, it may make sense to pull one or the other to further drive up the deficit. But until you’re at this stage, it’s largely un-needed and may hinder adherence to the diet.