Everywhere you turn, there is someone waiting to give you advice about the best way to lose weight. Maybe it’s to drink only lemon water with cayenne pepper for 7 straight days or to stand on your head while eating breakfast and dinner or to spin around in circles while eating each meal to burn off some calories in the process. Okay, obviously these examples are way out there and totally extreme, but here’s our point: just because someone swears that some ridiculous technique worked for their friend or their sister or their cousin doesn’t mean it’s sound weight loss advice.
Really, there’s no quick fix to weight loss. You have to put in the time and the effort: eating right, exercising, and taking the proper supplements that can help you boost your results. To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve complied some of the worst weight loss advice we’ve ever heard.
- A calorie is a calorie. Okay, we know that you have to restrict calories to lose weight, but that’s not ALL you have to pay attention to. People who say “a calorie is a calorie” are basically saying that it doesn’t matter where the calories are coming from as long as you’re staying within your calorie needs. I mean sure, you might technically be able to lose weight eating 1,200 calories of potato chips and nothing else every day, but would you be healthy? No. Would you be satisfied during the day? Definitely not. It’s much better to optimize the amount of food you’re able to eat each day by choosing tons of low-calorie vegetables and pairing them with whole grains and lean meats. This way, 1,200 calories will go a longer way and you’ll be getting all the nutrients you need to keep you healthy and energized.
- If you skip breakfast, you’ll save calories and lose more weight. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for your weight loss efforts. When you skip breakfast, you tend to get so ravenous throughout the day that you end up overeating and consuming way more calories than you would have if you started your day with a balanced meal. Instead of skipping breakfast, have some plain oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and raw nuts or a couple of eggs scrambled with a ton of veggies.
- Ditch the Carbohydrates. First it was fat, then it was carbohydrates, but the truth is, there is no one single nutrient that is responsible for weight gain. All of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) have a place in your weight loss diet. Instead of ditching the carbohydrates, you just need to make better choices – nutrient-dense sources that are minimally processed. This means including fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, legumes (like beans and lentils), and whole grains in your calorie-conscious diet.
- You don’t have to pay attention to portion size as long as you’re eating healthy foods. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can eat as much of it as you want. Healthy foods still contain calories so if you overdo it, you may find yourself gaining weight. Always be conscious of portion sizes and make sure to fill at least half of your plate with veggies.
- Just eat the same thing every day. There isn’t a faster way to fall off the diet wagon than to allow yourself to get bored with the foods you’re eating. While we’re advocates of keeping things simple – you don’t have to attempt to cook gourmet meals every night and leftovers are certainly you’re friend – you shouldn’t eat the same thing day after day. If you do, you’ll start to get bored and start looking for some excitement in the foods you probably shouldn’t be eating. Instead, experiment with new, healthy foods and come up with some simple recipes that you’ll enjoy.