In today’s society many individuals spent an inordinate amount of time and money on the new quick fix diet fads. While some of these theories can be beneficial, others may do more harm than good for your overall health and weight loss goals. Here are a few examples:

Skip breakfast.

You had a big dinner the night before so you decide to wait until lunch or dinner to eat again? While this may seem like a wise idea it sets you up for failure. As a rule of thumb, always eat within one hour of waking. During sleep your metabolism slows down so you want to give it a jump start by sparking thermogenesis (the metabolic process of digesting and transporting food). Further, eating shortly after you rise keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels balanced throughout your day. Otherwise, you might fall prey to out of control hunger pains, which makes it difficult to resist the office candy dish or favorite fast-food joint calling your name. Even if you are not super hungry, grab a piece of fruit with some unsweetened nut butter.

Your diet does not matter if you exercise.

This is absolute rubbish! A healthy lifestyle includes both a healthy eating plan and regular exercise. In fact, the truth is you cannot out exercise your way out of a bad diet. Think about it. If you burn 400 calories at a spin class with your girlfriends and follow it up with a mimosa clad French toast feast, you most likely consumed more calories than you burned and it is not even noon.

Detox your way to skinny.

Doing a safe detox can be a great way to cleanse your body of toxins, which gives your digestive system a much needed break. The end goal, however, should not be sustained weight loss. It may be beneficial to clean out your body when you renew your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. After all, who does not love a quick weight loss motivation?! But if you expect that doing a two week cleanse will allow you to pick up your current lifestyle right where you left off, think again. In fact, it can actually cause you to regain more weight in the long run.

Calories are created equal.

This is an old wives’ tale. The quality of your calories is the ticket, meaning focus on eating whole foods. For instance, a 180 calorie snack consisting of an apple and string cheese has protein, fiber, not to mention vitamins. Whereas, a 180 calorie bag of chips contains no nutrients, possible trans- fats, and no protein to keep you full until your next meal. A mixed greens salad with colorful vegetables and grilled salmon for lunch, may be more calories than a high sodium diet dinner, but your body absorbs the nutrients in the salad better, making it the favorable option for a healthy weight loss plan and lifestyle.

Carbohydrates are the enemy.

While many diets focus on eliminating carbohydrates, these foods are essential to maintaining a healthy weight and diet. For instance, vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates. I recommend, as do many top health professionals, that my clients consume at least 5 vegetable servings a day and two fruit servings. Moreover, many individuals need to include a healthy amount of fibrous whole grains in their diets. Remember calories are not created equal so while you might want to pass on a cup of fluffy white rice, a cup of high-protein quinoa is a great addition to your diet. Not to mention, too much red meat and full-fat dairy can be dangerous because these foods are full of saturated fat and have a high calorie count. Those who are focusing more on a high protein should include poultry, fish, lean cuts of meat, not to mention beans and legumes.

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