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Don't waste your time with these terrible diet tips

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Photograph: Viacheslav Nikolaenko (Shutterstock)

It’s New Years and everyone is on a diet – I mean a wellness journey. Whether you want to lose weight or not is none of my business, but I implore you to please let all silly weight loss “tricks” die. Many of them border disordered eating behaviorswhile others are just ways to make yourself miserable for no reason.

(By the way, if you feel like your relationship with food is out of control, the National Eating Disorders Association has a screening tool, helpline, and more resources.) on here.)

Smaller plates don’t make us eat less.

This one is a classic: serving yourself on a smaller plate should make a small amount of food look bigger. Therefore, you will eat less food overall and eventually lose weight.

But our brains and bodies are too smart to be fooled by that. The idea that smaller plates promote smaller portions came from a laboratory later discovered to be engage in outlined research practices. Other labs have performed their own plate-size experiments and found that people usually not eat less when given smaller plates. Besides, we get better at estimating portion sizes when we are hungry. After all, the small plate hack wasn’t fooling us.

Drinking a glass of water will not satisfy your hunger

There’s a common healthy eating tip that says if you’re hungry, you should drink a big glass of water, because sometimes our bodies can’t tell the difference between hunger and thirst.

But there is no evidence that this is true or that drinking a glass of water helps. One of the most cited articles based on hunger, thirst, eating and drinking we find that we actually get a little hungrier after drinking – so even if it were true that our bodies mix up the signals, the proposed solution probably wouldn’t help.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with drinking a glass of water if you think you might like one, whether you’re hungry or not. But don’t be fooled into thinking that hunger pangs are your body telling you that you’re thirsty. Your body knows the difference between food and water, okay? That’s why you haven’t starved or dehydrated yet.

It’s not necessarily a good idea to eat like a bodybuilder.

There is a stereotype about bodybuilders eating nothing but chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli out of small plastic containers. They eat with discipline and end up shredded, so this must be a healthy meal option, right?

While it can be a good meal if you like it, this combination isn’t the best or only way to cook a meal – especially if you don’t like the individual components. Either way, chicken breast and rice are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to meal prep. They tend to dry out, especially if you prepare them without marinades or sauces.

So ditch your idea of ​​healthy food looks likes and make a plan that involves foods you really like. Upgrade for chicken thighslearn to use a good marinatedthrow that dry rice in a waffle maker, or just make a totally different recipe. It’s okay that the food tastes good.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of bodybuilder habits: no, eating too many small meals does not “boost” your metabolism.

It’s a diet, not a lifestyle change.

The latter isn’t so much a hack as an oft-repeated buzzword: “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.” If you are trying to lose weight, please do. not make this a lifelong process. Dieting is the act of deliberately undernourishing yourself. If you want or need to do this for a short period of time, then make that choice and do it in the healthiest way possible. But after losing some weight, get back to fully nourishing your body again.

After all, it wouldn’t be healthy or smart to lose weight forever. Since the way we lose weight is by eating fewer calories than we burn, the exact meals and habits that help us lose weight are not will be the ones that will help us maintain our ideal weight when we get there. At the very least, you’ll have to increase your portions.

So if you feel like your current diet or habits need to change, be sure to separate out what you should change. in general (example: cooking at home more often) and what should change temporarily (example: smaller portions). Healthy eating and undernourishment are is not the same thing.