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7 Rules for Weight Loss That Are Meant to Be Broken

You can call it diet fads, myths, or just plain garbage. Here are seven weight loss rules that are meant to be broken.

  1. Cut out carbs. Before jumping on the keto diet trend, ask yourself why you're doing it. There is absolutely no need to cut out carbs from your diet. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body and the primary source of energy for the brain. Fruit, vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains (all forms of carbohydrates) provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your body.

  2. Eat six small meals a day. Contrary to what you may have heard, eating more frequently will not boost your metabolism. Unless you're unable to eat an adequate meal in one sitting, there is no need to constantly be shoveling food into your mouth. Your digestion needs a break from food to break down the existing energy. If you're hungry 1-2 hours after eating, evaluate your meal and determine whether you have a balanced meal (carbs, proteins, and fats) that provides enough energy (calories) for your body and level of activity. If it does, ask yourself if you're thirsty, bored or stressed.

  3. Don't eat after 7PM. If you eat at 7:01 PM, you won't gain weight. That said, if you're eating in a caloric surplus before 7PM, you won't lose weight either. Weight loss is about calorie deficits and not meal timing. Now while the timing won't affect your weight loss efforts if you're in a calorie deficit, you and your digestion may feel better if you stop eating 2-3 hours before going to bed.

  4. Avoid fats. Fat doesn't make you fat. Healthy fats like avocados and olive oil help to provide energy for your body, help to regulate hormones, protect and insulate your organs, and allow your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

  5. Cardio every day. While you should try to move your body daily, you don't have to do strenuous cardio every day to lose weight. Instead, try focusing on resistance training three to five times per week to build muscle and help lose fat.

  6. Eat less. While eating less calories than your body needs may help you drop weight initially, being in a caloric deficit for extended periods of time may affect your metabolism and its ability to burn more calories in the future.Instead of DIYing this with inaccurate online calculators, work with a coach or nutritionist to build your calorie intake up (reverse diet) before cutting calories for long time frames.

  7. Eat breakfast every day. If you're not hungry in the morning, don't force yourself to eat breakfast. If however you find that by not eating in the morning you're ravenous when lunch rolls around, try having a small snack that includes fat and protein to ease your future hunger levels.

While dieting rules that promise quick weight loss are tempting, remember to question the validity of the rule and whether it makes sense for you and your lifestyle. Just because it worked for your coworker or Aunt Susie, doesn't mean it'll work for you. Remember, if you can't see yourself following certain principles for the rest of your life, then those results will only be temporary. Find a plan that's flexible and sustainable for your lifestyle.


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