I want to start this article with total transparency. I don't partake in any crazy or restrictive diet, and yes, I consider myself healthy, in-shape, and happy all year round. That being said, if any of the diets or foods I list below make you happy and you are satisfied with how you look and feel, continue to do that. No matter what I write or post online, I always want people to know that happiness is based on the person and not a label.
However, there are some diet habits that I can scientifically disprove, as well as disprove from how I've seen others approach them.
1. Drinking celery juice is magical
People are hailing celery juice as the cure-all for every ailment, the superfood of the century. Celery juice is over 90% water (Google it), and the rest of it is essentially fiber and micronutrients. That's it. It's not bad for you. But it is not some miracle cure that is going to fix a horrible diet.
2. Eating too much fruit will make you fat
To quote my friend Jordan Syatt, "NOBODY EVER GOT FAT FROM EATING FRUIT." Seriously, quote how high fruit is on the Glycemic Index, talk about the carbs, but really use your common sense here. Do you REALLY think that eating fruit is going to make you fat? Have you ever seen a fit person get fat from having a banana? I'm going to go munch on some cantaloupe while you contemplate that.
3. The time of day you eat will determine how much weight you gain or loseGiphy
A simple fact of fat loss is calories in versus calories out, and so many fake fitness "professionals" want to overcomplicate this (usually to sell some BS information). What it is you are eating, not the time of day you eat it, determines body composition. Two meals or six meals a day, if they both add up to 2,400 calories, it makes no difference.
4. You have to have protein within 30 minutes of lifting
Ah, the anabolic window, something I believed in for years. The idea that you have to have protein for recovery within 30 minutes to an hour of your workout or you won't gain muscle. While consuming protein both before and after your workouts is ideal for optimum recovery, it's mostly about the amount of protein you consume each day that determines your ability to build muscle.
5. Carbs will make you fat
I won't go into the science too deeply here, but there is evidence showing that an insulin spike from consuming a lot of carbohydrates at once can inhibit lypolisis (the breakdown of fat). This is why people might avoid carbs if they are educated. However, as long as your body is in a lypoliptic (fat breaking down) state longer than a lypogenic (fat creating state), you will not gain fat. How does one ensure this? Calories in < calories for weight maintenance.
6. Butter coffee actually helps you lose weight
You can watch this amazing video above from Healthline, but here's the tl;dr: Butter coffee is professed as an amazing breakfast replacement because it's less than 500 calories. The problem? Those calories are almost all fat (hello, butter) and no other nutrients.
You're turning a five-calorie cup of coffee into something that is actually bad for you long term (LDL cholesterol and all of those horrible things large quantities of saturated fats do to us). From experience, it's better to consume 500 calories of real food. Keto diet aside, does the idea of consuming this much butter every day seem like it would make you lose weight? I'll sip my non-buttered coffee while you think on that.
7. Skinny teas actually work
I think everyone has seen someone from their high school who has posted on Facebook and Instagram about selling detox teas and promising results quickly. Detoxing? Yeah, that's what your liver and kidneys do for you (might I add for free!) every day. Again, fat loss is about calories in versus calories out, along with stress management and exercise.
8. Keto is the key for losing fat hella quickly
I have many, many strong opinions about keto but I choose to withhold them here because I know for some people, that is what makes them happy and I support them with that. What does keto do? It is a high-fat, low-to-no carb diet that forces your body to use ketones (stored body fat) as energy.
Yes, this will make you lose fat because you are literally starving your body. But it is not the "healthiest" way, the most sustainable way, or the only way to lose fat. The reason I don't like keto? Very few people can sustain it in the long term, and even binge on dieting after giving it up (effectively causing more fat gain).
9. You can eat what you want as long as you use a waist trimmer
This has to be the biggest joke I have ever seen before. People ACTUALLY buy these things and think it will magically compress fat out of their bodies because they eat like garbage. Other than liposuction, no physical device is going to magically transform your body.
I'm not mad at the people who want to lose weight but at the snake oil salespeople who outright deceive people. Yes, wraps will make your stomach look smaller for probably 20-30 minutes – it's called water displacement. That's it. Thank you, next.
10. Fats aren't good for you, so don't eat them
I mean, it makes sense right? Fat can make you fat? No. There are different kinds of fats, but the ones you are wanting to limit (you don't have to always avoid them) are saturated fats and trans fats, like those found in red meats and fried foods. Unsaturated fats, like in avocados, lean meat (like fish), and nuts actually help regulate your hormones, provide ample energy, and support many other bodily functions.
Hopefully, you've gained something from this article. So what is my approach to dieting? Common sense and making everything flexible. I am intentional and calculated about all of the foods that I eat, but I don't restrict myself. Doing so allows me to see the results that I want and stay happy. I hope on your journey to figuring out your dieting approach, you find the same happiness.