- It's boring. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that diets without a variety of foods have the highest dropout rates. And who wants to stick with the exact same foods all of the time anyway?
- It bans whole food groups. Registered dietician Andrea Giancoli says that our bodies need nutrients from all of the food groups to function efficiently. For example, complex carbs are the fuel for our brains and muscles. That’s why low-carb diets often cause weakness, irritability, and disorientation. You also want to avoid “fasting” and “detox” diets. That’s because they slow your metabolism and in order for your body to function, it has to steal calcium from your bones, which weakens them.
- You have to change all of your habits at once. Dr. James Hill runs a nutrition program for the National Institutes of Health. He says that very few people can do a complete 180. So it’s best to make small changes, like reducing portion sizes or switching to whole grains. That goes for exercise as well. Instead of marathon sessions at the gym, try walking 2 thousand extra steps a day. That takes most people under 20 minutes and cuts your chances of dying from a weight-related illness in half.
- It promises to work magic. Harvard University weight loss expert Dr. Frank Hu reminds us that there are no shortcuts to long-term weight loss. Studies show that people who lose 1 to 2 pounds a week drop the most weight and are the most likely to keep it off.
Have you ever been on a diet you realized wasn't so good for you? What worked? What didn't?