And it’s not just diets either. General eating habits that seem healthy, or that celebrities swear by, are often just plain bad for you.
We spoke to registered dietitian-nutritionist Karen Ansel about 11 ways you’re eating food — or not eating it — that aren’t doing you any favors.
Keep scrolling to see what eating habits you can do without.
Cutting out too many calories too quickly
It can be tempting to want to shed pounds fast when you’re looking to lose some weight. And while slashing hundreds of calories from your daily intake will result in weight loss, it probably won’t result in the kind of weight loss you want.
According to Ansel, when you lose weight, your body burns fat. Deprive yourself of too many calories, though, and your body will start burning muscle instead of fat. This can then slow down your metabolism since your muscles are the part of your body that are most metabolically active.
So while you might be thinner, Ansel said you might end up being “flabby” too, thanks to all the muscle you’re losing. She recommends dropping no more than one to two pounds per week for sustainable weight loss.
Going on a cleanse or detox
Chances are you’ve done it before. You come off a week of “bad” eating and too much drinking, telling yourself that you need to detox to get your body back to a healthy state. But according to Ansel, detoxing just isn’t necessary.
“The truth is, our bodies have their own unique cleansing mechanism built right in,” Ansel told INSIDER. She explains that your liver breaks down toxins that enter your body, and your kidneys then flush them out.
Besides denying your body the nutrients it needs, cleanses promote the unhealthy mentality that you can eat and drink whatever you want because you’re going to end up cleansing it all out later. Ansel said you’ll be much healthier — and happier — if you maintain a consistently healthy diet.
Avoiding all carbohydrates
In recent years, many have come to associate carbs with weight gain. But that’s not the whole story. According to Ansel, it’s the kinds of carbs you’re eating that determine whether or not you’ll pack on pounds.
Highly processed carbs that are found in foods like crackers, white rice, pizza, and mashed potatoes are digested very quickly, Ansel said. This means that you’re more likely to get hungry right after eating these kinds of carbs, causing you to overeat and possibly gain weight.
But eating healthy carbs — the kind that are found in quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and beans — can actually aid in weight loss because they’re loaded with fiber. Fiber fills us up, therefore keeping us fuller for longer.
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