Have you ever seen the ads for those quirky weight-loss brands promoting a ridiculous product that will supposedly make you lose 10 pounds in one week? Or how about videos on social media claiming that eating carbs will make you gain weight? I’ve seen plenty of those and every time I do, I laugh.
You shouldn’t need to go on an extreme diet just to lose weight or feel good about yourself, and a lot of weight-loss advice on the Internet can actually be really toxic — or just flat-out stupid. I’ve compiled a list of the dumbest weight-loss advice I’ve encountered from social media influencers, self-proclaimed “health experts,” and fallacious advertisements.
- “Carbs are bad! Don’t eat them!”
This is not true. Our body needs carbs as an energy source. I saw this advice and tried following it, only to realize that I had no energy throughout the day and constantly felt fatigued. Eating carbs in moderation will not make you gain weight — it’ll supply your body with the energy it needs!
- “You’ll only lose weight if you fast!”
Sure, fasting is a quick way to lose a lot of weight. But for a lot of people, fasting isn’t a healthy nor sustainable option. For example, I tend to feel really weak and get nauseous if I go without eating for a long time. Fasting is also associated with poor dietary habits or binge-eating later on, since those that fast have often been deprived of food for long enough to want to reward themselves with something they’re craving when they break their fast. This often results in choosing high-calorie and high-sugar foods to feel satisfied.
- “Just poop out your pounds!”
I once saw an advertisement for a powder that makes you go to the bathroom repeatedly to lose weight. This is ridiculous because once you consume food again, you will gain back any pounds you lost. It also can mess up your gut and dehydrate you. This is not a healthy way to lose weight at all.
- “Cut out all snacks!”
You don’t have to cut out all your snacks to lose weight. If you’re feeling faint or need energy for a workout, snacks are essential. Just make sure you’re eating snacks with good carbs, protein, and not too much sugar. High-protein snacks before a workout also help you to build muscle!
- “Become a raw vegan!”
If you’ve never heard of a raw vegan diet, it limits dieters to only eating food that comes directly from nature, such as fruits and vegetables. This may sound healthy, but it’s actually not. A lot of raw vegans get their calories through excessive amounts of fruit, and fruit is high in sugar. The diet is also very restrictive, which could lead to unhealthy weight-loss.
You don’t need to go to ridiculous measures to lose weight. Even if someone does lose weight using one of these methods, it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy way to do so or that it will necessarily work for you. All you need to do is eat a healthy, balanced diet and get your daily exercise in. You certainly don’t need to spend hours on the toilet pooping your pounds out!