Diet Tips That Don’t Work!
Diet tips that don’t work! Wow! That’s different! This light-hearted article is all about diet tips that are totally ineffective. The dieting industry is weird at many levels; it is worth billions of dollars per year. And it grows, year after year. The problem, however, is that obesity also grows every year. So, it must mean that, whatever information we are being fed, (excuse the pun!), just does not work. The diet industry grows and becomes richer; and us, well we just get fatter! It’s sad, but true.
Yet another problem is the newly labelled ‘Obesogenic Society’ that we find ourselves living in. What’s that, did someone say..? An Obesogenic Society is one where food, particularly energy-dense, high-carbohydrate, low-quality, low-cost, junk type foods are available, 24/7.
And, at the same time, physical activity is in a continual decline. This is to the extent that it is almost being restricted, and not always because of individual choice. Society in general is playing its part in reducing energy expenditure, and the result is an ‘Obesity Tsunami’. You may also like to read our page about the latest injection for weight loss, Wegovy
Diet Tips That Don’t Work!
Let’s get back to our ‘Top Ten Diet Tips’ that simply do not work! They really are bonkers! And, sorry to say this, but so are we, for buying in to them! And what about crash diets? Well, we all know deep down they do not work. If you think about it for five seconds, the clue is in the name: it will result in a car crash in your life….
#1. Don’t skip breakfast
How often do we hear those words? You should eat breakfast as soon as you get up in the morning: it will keep hunger at bay. It is, after all, ‘the most important meal of the day’. But in reality, it’s just one of many diet tips that don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Don’t skip breakfast is always a controversial topic when talking about weight loss! Historically, it was thought that skipping breakfast may be counterproductive for those who want to lose weight. However, recent research, published in the BMJ, found that dieters who ate breakfast actually consumed more calories in a day than those who didn’t!
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
As weight-loss specialists, our advice to clients is to listen and respond to your body’s natural signals. As a result, you only eat when you are physically hungry. And if, like some people, you are hungry first thing in the morning, then go ahead and have breakfast.
On the other hand, if you don’t start to feel hungry until several hours later, it’s better to wait until then, before you reach for anything to eat. By the way, a healthy breakfast for dieters is definitely not sugary cereal, toast and marmalade, or a croissant with a glass of fruit juice! Because that constitutes way too much sugar! A protein-based meal, such as eggs, for example, is a much better option.
At the end of the day, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, simply because it is when you are ‘breaking your fast’ from the previous day. However, the time of day when this happens is not necessarily right at the start of it; it could be 7am, or 7pm, for example. It’s worth noting that fasting is a normal, healthy, lifestyle. Also, the longer you go in between meals the better your weight loss will be. We also have a page all about the benefits of fasting.
#2. Eat up to six small meals per day
We keep hearing the mantra that eating ‘little and often’ boosts your metabolism, because you are burning calories as you digest your food. But just how true is it…? Well the truth is that more and more studies confirm that it doesn’t make any difference to your metabolism, whether you eat 6 small meals, or 3 larger ones. So, yet another diet tip that doesn’t work…
At the end of the day, when it comes to losing weight, what is far more important is actually WHAT you eat, rather than how often. In fact, contrary to the ‘little and often’ method to lose weight, many different scientific research studies show that going for longer in between meals and adopting an intermittent fasting lifestyle is actually far more beneficial.
#3. Consume five pieces of fruit per day
The notion of ‘getting your 5 a day’ comes from the World Health Organisation recommendation of consuming a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables to lower the risk of certain health problems. This policy, of course, had zero to do with weight loss! It is true that natural, whole fruit and vegetables are healthy. They are also very satisfying, because they contain a lot of fibre, water and essential nutrients. However, they do also contain sugar…
A very common expression is: “You can’t have too much of a good thing!” So, some of us might interpret that as a licence to consume unlimited quantities of something like fruit, for instance, thinking that is OK. However, the harsh reality is that the human body certainly doesn’t need unlimited amounts of ANY food, regardless of how ‘healthy’ it is. And especially when we’re trying to lose weight. Even our normal weight, hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t consume that much fruit every day! They actually ate just a small amount of fruit, and only when it was in season.
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
All in all, it’s best to have a balanced diet that includes a combination of different food groups, rather than concentrating on just one. After all, fruit is much higher in sugar than veg. And unfortunately, people who are overweight are often insulin resistant, or prediabetic. This means that their metabolism really can’t handle large amounts of sugar, even the sugar in fruit. So, the excess sugar simply turns into fat inside their body. As a result, eating too much fruit can actually lead to them gaining weight, not losing it! For further reading, there’s a lot of ‘food for thought’ about fruit on the biggest low-carb website in the world: dietdoctor.com
#4. Don’t eat fat!
Why are dieters so afraid of eating fat? Well, it all stems from the healthy eating guidelines, created back in the 1970s to supposedly tackle the rising obesity problem. At the time, the “experts” suggested that ‘eating fat makes you fat’. As a result, the new advice became to choose “low-fat” products if you want to lose weight. However, since the low-fat recommendations were created, the worldwide level of obesity has actually increased dramatically. How strange!
And nowadays, many organisations, including diabetes.co.uk, pull holes in the low-fat approach to weight loss. Food manufacturers replace the fat with added sugar, which can actually lead to weight gain. Also, studies show that because low-fat foods are far less tasty and satisfying than full-fat options, dieters are likely to eat up to twice as much of them! So possibly a better mantra for dieters to adopt would be “Eat Fat To Get Slim!”
#5. Diets are temporary
The misinformation around dieting that we are continually exposed to is exhausting. The notion that ‘diets are temporary’, for example. People often approach diets as a means to an end. In other words, they see it as a temporary period of torture and self-deprivation they must endure in order to lose weight, before returning to their ‘old ways.’
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
As sad as it may be for many people to hear, and acknowledge, however, if you want your ‘hard-won’ weight loss to be permanent, then you in turn need to make a few permanent lifestyle changes. But don’t worry; there is no need for these changes to have a negative impact on your life. With the holiday season coming up now, you may also like to read our blog post “How to take more flattering holiday snaps.”
Work out which ones you can live with in the long run. As an example, maybe it involves you reducing your alcohol consumption down to two or three days a week. But one thing is certain; diets that produce a permanent result are anything but temporary. And, of course, even if you choose bariatric surgery, you will still need to make permanent lifestyle changes as well, if you want to achieve successful, long-term weight loss.
#6. If you don’t exercise, you will not lose weight
Don’t worry if you have mistakenly believed this dieting advice up until now, because you are not alone! Many doctors are also guilty of believing the same thing. This is partly because doctors only have very minimal nutritional training during medical school. As a result, they often promote the mantra “eat less, move more” to their patients who want to lose weight.
However, scientific studies have shown that although doing physical activity definitely helps to keep our body healthy, we can’t rely on exercise alone as a weight-loss method. It’s unrealistic to think you can lose weight if you do massive amounts of exercise, but just continue with the same eating habits. Rather, the key to a successful weight-loss formula is 80% to do with what you eat and only 20% how much you move.
So, the bottom line is, it is possible to lose weight without exercising. The British Journal of Sports Medicine also quotes cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra saying: “You can’t outrun a bad diet!” Exercise: just another one of the diet tips that don’t work!
#7. Smoking helps you to lose weight
There are many myths and lies surrounding dieting that make it hard to establish exactly what is fact and what is fiction. One often heard myth is that smoking will help you lose weight. This myth may have originated from the belief that nicotine in cigarettes suppresses appetite. And it does, but only by a minuscule amount.
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
But unfortunately, smokers often live a more sedentary life, than non-smokers. So, they are less likely to participate in any physical activity, resulting in weight gain. Whereas in comparison, reformed smokers tend to become more health-conscious after quitting, and also report an increase in taste and pleasure from eating healthier foods. They also quickly benefit from the increased lung capacity and improved heart health, which in turn, encourages more movement. And, of course, these positive, lifestyle changes can all help with weight loss.
#8. Switch to sugar-free drinks
People are much more aware these days about the amount of calories in sugar, and its addictive properties. But are artificial sweeteners really any better for us? Of course, there are pros and cons to sweeteners. For those who want to lose weight, the most positive aspect of artificial sweeteners is probably that they are calorie-free. So, in that respect, a sugar-free, fizzy drink is a better choice for them than the full sugar option.
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
However there are plenty of downsides too. Many studies have found that certain sweeteners can cause some unpleasant, even serious, health issues, such as increased risk of stroke and dementia. Also, in a clinical trial, published in JAMA Network in 2021, researchers found that drinks containing the artificial sweetener sucralose actually increased, not decreased, food cravings and appetite in overweight participants!
So, what is the bottom line, with regard to overcoming a sugar addiction? Well truthfully, it’s probably best to stick to natural, calorie-free, refreshing water, and stay away from all sugar, real or artificial, as much as possible!
#9. Margarine is better than butter
Margarine and other spreads were introduced as part of the whole crusade against saturated fat. Suddenly, butter was out of favour, and the ‘new kid on the block’ was the so-called healthy alternative; margarine. Another in the long line of diet tips that don’t work!
Unfortunately for us, the consumer, however, non-butter spreads are often made with hydrogenated, or trans fats. And scientific research shows that this artificially created fat can be extremely detrimental to our health. Some of the unwelcome side effects of processed, trans fats include increased cholesterol, and higher risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
At the end of the day, butter and margarine contain a similarly large amount of fat and calories. However, there is a big difference in their nutritional profile. Butter is a natural product, whereas margarine is chemically manufactured and highly processed. So, with regard to weight loss, a small amount of butter is a healthier option than the ultra-processed alternative.
#10. We want you to succeed
It is a sad fact, but many organisations in the diet industry absolutely do not want you to succeed. Their business model is often based on you starting, losing a little weight, then putting it all back on again, and more, before starting over. As a result it creates a closed loop of perpetual customers, whether you are buying their pre-packaged diet meals, or attending their weekly classes.
An article published in Scientific American states: Research suggests that roughly 80% of people who shed a significant portion of their body fat will not maintain that degree of weight loss for 12 months; and, according to one meta-analysis of intervention studies, dieters regain, on average, more than half of what they lose within two years.
The Bottom Line
However, the good news here is that, in contrast to the giants in the dieting industry, we are weight-loss specialists who really DO want you to succeed! In fact we often say that your success is even more important to us than to you! This is because, for the past 15 years, we have relied completely on referrals from our past successful clients. Read on to find out more…..or read How to Drop a Dress Size In 30 Days here.
Diet Tips FAQs
Answer: Traditional diet tips often focus on approaches that don’t work in the long run. The diet industry has become a multi-billion dollar business, yet obesity continues to rise. This suggests that the information we receive isn’t effective in achieving lasting weight loss.
Answer: An Obesogenic Society is one in which unhealthy, energy-dense, low-quality foods are readily available 24/7, while physical activity is on the decline. This environment contributes to the ongoing obesity epidemic, making it challenging for individuals to maintain a healthy weight.
Answer: There are several diet tips that are essentially ineffective. For example, the advice to never skip breakfast, stay away from fat, choose low-fat spread over butter, eat less and move more, or to eat six small meals a day may not stand up to scrutiny. These tips don’t necessarily lead to better weight-loss results.
Answer: Recent research has shown that dieters who eat breakfast may consume more calories in a day than those who skip it. The key is to listen to your body’s natural hunger signals and eat when you are genuinely hungry, rather than adhering to a fixed eating schedule.
Answer: The fear of eating fat stems from outdated dietary guidelines from the 1970s. The belief was that “eating fat makes you fat.” However, this perspective has been challenged by research and health professionals who now suggest that including healthy fats in your diet can actually support weight loss.
Answer: Diet is not one size fits all. Every diet has its benefits and drawbacks – it’s up to the dieter to find a plan that best suits their needs. Most diets can work. The key is figuring out what diet works for your body and lifestyle. There are many diet programmes with different degrees of success. The best way to find the right diet is to experiment on yourself, testing different things until you find the one that works for you.
There is no one diet that will work for everyone, but the best way to lose weight would be adopting a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable in the long term. You might want to try a lifestyle approach such as intermittent fasting where you restrict your calories and comfortably fast for 16 hours a day. What you eat is not the most important thing; it’s your lifestyle that counts towards long-term success.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to weight loss is not to give up. It’s more a lifelong commitment to adopting a healthy lifestyle that you can live with permanently, rather than a quick fix that you do before returning to your old ways again.
Answer: Exercise is crucial for overall health, but it alone cannot guarantee weight loss. The majority of your weight-loss success is determined by what you eat rather than how much you move. Adopting a balanced diet plays a more significant role in achieving your weight loss goals.
Answer: While artificial sweeteners may be calorie-free, they are not without drawbacks. Some studies indicate that artificial sweeteners can increase food cravings and appetite. It’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay away from excessive sugar, whether real or artificial, to support weight loss.
Remember, the journey to successful and lasting weight loss requires understanding which diet tips are truly effective and making sustainable lifestyle changes that work for you. We are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need on your weight loss journey. Your success is our priority, and we want to help you achieve your goals.
Answer: Yes, you can eat more healthy fats and cut down on carbs. A high fat diet will help you lose weight while the absence of carbs shuts off your hunger hormones, meaning you’ll be less likely to overeat.
The human body is a hybrid machine. It can either run on sugar, which is the easiest option, or fat, which is a bit more challenging! The most effective way to flip your body over into “fat-burning” mode is to stop supplying it with so many carbohydrates and sugar. Following a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet allows your body to burn off those excess fat stores much more easily.
Answer: There are a number of different weight-loss tips that all have their own advantages, but the key is to be consistent. Dieting alone will never work, if you relapse then all your progress will be lost.
We have included a selection of our helpful weight-loss tips below, and don’t forget that if you decide to follow our downloadable weight-loss course you will have access to many more tips and techniques that you can put into practice to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
Below is a sample of useful diet tips that do work and everyone can start using straight away. And, if you enroll in the My Weigh Less Course, you will learn many more of our helpful tips and techniques about how to achieve successful, permanent weight loss.
Tip No. 1 – Only Eat When You’re Hungry!
This has to be our number one, golden rule, when it comes to achieving successful weight loss. In our experience, most overweight people eat for many different reasons, other than physical hunger. But, if you allow your emotions to control your eating habits, then it is unlikely that you will be able to control your weight as a result. So, before you reach for anything to eat, stop and ask yourself first if you physically NEED to eat, or you just WANT to…
Tip No. 2 – Use a Smaller Plate!
You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it’s a fact that people who use larger plates tend to eat more food than those who eat from smaller plates. No doubt you know about the power of optical illusions. But are you aware of just how much more generous the same size portion of food appears, when presented on a smaller plate, instead of a larger one? Have a look at the image below. It’s known as the Delboeuf optical illusion. If you stick to our mantra, “always go for quality over quantity”, then you will definitely lose weight much more easily.
Tip No. 3 – Drink a Glass or Two of Water Before Your Meal!
Reduce your calorie intake by over 20%, with almost with no effort! Research results, published by Harvard Medical showed that people who drank two large glasses of water, just before eating, on average, consumed around 20% less food compared with when they didn’t drink anything before they ate. This is possibly as a result of the stretching and fullness sensation in the stomach.
Diet Tips That Don’t Work
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Marion Shirran, as a director of Oxford Therapeutics Limited, is proud to be a registered Stakeholder in NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Additionally, she is involved in the government’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity.
We were proud to be nominated for the ‘Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service’ in the UK Mental Health Awards 2022.
We also appeared on the This Morning TV show with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
In 2010, we travelled to New York to be interviewed on the Good Morning America TV Show.
We are also co-authors of two bestselling books on the topic of non-surgical weight loss, published by Hay House.
You can read a full breakdown of all the components included in the treatment package on the Course Details page. There is also an explanation of the treatment on the Does This Work? page. We look forward to working with you. Check out our page Reversing or Stopping Weight Creep. Additionally, you can read reviews from medical and other professionals on the Medical Endorsement page.
Watch the short animated ‘Want and Need Video’ below…
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Diet Tips That Don’t Work