• Kel

Bad Diet Advice? Here's How to Spot It!

Updated: May 5, 2021

How to Recognize and Tune Out the Noise!


When it comes to giving diet advice, there is never a shortage of people willing to offer you their tips and experiences. However, most of us fail to identify whether the information we are receiving is good or bad for our personal health.

Most people fall victim to fad diets and weight loss supplements because they don’t do any research to test the claims of these so-called weight loss programs. Not only do they significantly restrict food groups or calories from your diet, but you can also cause irreversible damage to your health.

If you want credible nutrition advice, make sure it is coming from a trusted source. Sadly, there are far too many false claims about nutrition that you need to be aware of that are mentioned below.

Making False Claims

Unfortunately, there is no set approach to spotting a fad diet. However, the following guidelines can help you to better understand what you need to pay attention to so that you aren’t fooled by false promises. Fad diets tend to:

  • Claim to help you lose weight very quickly (more than 1 or 2 pounds per week).

  • Promise that you will lose weight and keep it off without exercising.

  • Claims that sound too good to be true.

  • Recommendations based on a single study.

  • Lists of “good” and “bad” foods.

  • Recommendations made to help sell a product.

  • Recommendations based on studies published without peer review.

  • Elimination of one or more of the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy).

Your Online Nutritionist Lacks Credentials

In today’s day and age, it is easy to add credentials to your name because not too many people would know how to do a background check. However, whenever you contact someone on the internet for seeking nutrition advice, remember to look for the letters RD, which confirms that the person is a registered dietitian or verify that they are certified by an accredited organization for nutrition coaching.

Never-Cook Again Diets

If your diet plan encourages you to abandon your daily cooking routine, there is something seriously wrong with this plan. Most fad-diets force you to rely heavily on raw vegetables, fruits, fluids, and milk. However, there is no reason why you should say good-bye to cooking.

A better approach is to use fresh ingredients in your diet and control portions, so you don’t go overboard.

Detox and Cleanses for Weight Loss

I am sure you or someone you know has experimented with a detox or cleanse before. These types of commercial programs often result in temporary weight loss due to caloric restriction and dehydration (most commercial programs include a laxative). The human body is a machine and you can detox your body through sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom more often, without putting your body through a detox or cleanse. More credible advice would be to drink more water, eat more fiber and move more to stimulate your body’s natural detoxification process.

Eating Late at Night Will Cause You to Gain Weight

Eating late at night, or at any specific time of day, will not cause you to put on more weight than what is normal for what you ate and the activity you performed. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you expend, regardless if that occurs in the middle of the day, the morning or at night. However, in reality, people who eat a lot of food late at night tend to consume more calorie-dense foods and thus eat more calories, which can cause weight gain.

Eat the Same Food Every Day

Although there are people who can tolerate and prefer eating similar meals every day because it keeps things simple and consistent with their meal plans. On the flip side, people can get bored and unmotivated to eat the same meals each day.

You Must Give Up Eating Your Favorite Foods

Never eat pizza, ice cream, cookies, or french fries again? Don’t worry, this is horrible nutrition advice that you should choose to ignore. The most successful approach to weight loss and weight-loss maintenance is to make permanent lifestyle changes that include a healthful eating plan and ample physical activity. A “diet” is not the answer. A healthy lifestyle allows for all foods in moderation.

Emerging Weight-Loss Products

It is easy to see why weight-loss is a billion-dollar industry. Every year, thousands of weight-loss schemes and fitness gadgets surface on the market, promising miraculous results. We witness hundreds of fad diets, books, herbal teas, special foods, and fitness trackers that claim to push our weight loss efforts in the right direction. However, the outcomes of these popular supplements and products are temporary.

Moreover, fad diets fail to provide sufficient nutrients and calories, so you end up feeling tired or unhappy throughout the day. Additionally, most supplements that are popular on the internet do not comply with the standard guidelines. Always do your research to verify product claims and check the ingredients to decide if it is safe to put into your body.

Carbohydrates Are Bad for Your Health and Cause Weight Gain

As far as weight loss goes, the proportion of macronutrients—carbs, fat and protein—consumed is important, but not as important as the total caloric intake versus caloric expenditure. However, foods rich in fiber and protein tend to be more satiating, which in theory would lead to a reduced intake of food and calories compared to high-fat foods and low-fiber carbohydrates. A few satiating foods that will keep you feeling full to prevent cravings without taking a massive toll on your waistline are eggs, Greek yogurt, bananas, fish, oranges, beef, apples, and grapes.

Skipping Meals Is A Great Way to Lose Weight

In theory, skipping one meal while keeping everything else in your diet the same will help you lose weight. However, when you skip a meal, your eating pattern changes and you tend to overeat and overcompensate later, which will likely lead to weight gain.

“Scientific Diets” That Lack Real Scientific Evidence

Be careful of organizations and people who claim to offer you a scientific solution to lose weight. But what happens when you ask them for stats and figures? They tell you it’s still in the testing phase. Don’t become a subject for anyone’s research without knowing the benefits and side-effects of a diet.

Keep in mind that humans are different from mice. Hence all scientific evidence that you see should come from human subjects and not mice. Some manufacturers fail to mention any warnings or claims on the labels to let us know whether the product is suitable for humans.

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Burns Fat

False. ACV can reduce blood sugar, but only if you take it with a meal and it still doesn’t mean you burn fat. ACV claims to aid in digestion and although research is not conclusive one way or another – if you feel better taking it, great. If it makes you feel worse, then stop taking it. Although ACV is not bad for you, it is still best for you to eat fruits, vegetables, protein, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates and fats while paying attention to your total calories.

No Research Sources

Even if some researchers or manufacturers manage to share any research findings, they don’t have any sources to share. That’s because their research may not be from peer-reviewed journals or research publications. It’s common for many brands to come up with solutions and weight loss programs after conducting online research based on other people’s experiences.

Vague Advice

That’s another way of offering terrible nutrition advice. For instance, if someone tells you to eat a piece of fruit every day or walk every week, there is no set guidelines or explanation as to why you should be doing this. You don’t know which fruits to eat/avoid or how often should you walk or exercise. Again, only a certified nutrition coach can suggest the kinds of foods you should consume and explain why they are important.

Why Do You Need A Professional Nutrition Coach?

It is difficult and frustrating to navigate through endless amounts of information about nutrition and not know if you should believe it or not. Also, the last thing you want to do is waste your time and money, or even worse, put your own health at risk.

There is a way for you to eliminate your concerns and fears about nutrition and that is by working with a Nutrition Coach. Nutrition Coaches help people transform their lives to obtain optimal health with real food, exercise and lifestyle changes. Everyone is unique in their needs and requirements and coaches will work with you to determine how to meet your own individual goals.

A Nutrition Coach can provide you with credible education that is science-based in the following areas:

  • Calculate caloric needs

  • Educate healthy portion sizes

  • Teach how to read food labels

  • Calculate macronutrient ratios

  • Dispel nutrition myths and fallacies

  • Demonstrate how to navigate grocery stores

  • Discuss the pros and cons of various diets

  • Use coaching and communication techniques

  • Teach the health benefits of various food groups

  • Evaluate eating plans and provide general guidance

  • Perform body composition testing and dietary assessments

Learning how to achieve your goals while developing and sustaining healthy behavior changes from a credible Nutrition Coach will forever change your life. You will also gain self-confidence and become a credible source in educating others the truth about nutrition.