Health Magazine’s “100 Best Diet Tricks Ever” – what I DID and DIDN’T agree with in this article when it comes to weight loss

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Health Magazine’s “100 Best Diet Tricks Ever” – what I DID and DIDN’T agree with in this article when it comes to weight loss
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I subscribe to a whole bunch of magazines. The subscriptions are mostly free as a reward for doing surveys and stuff so I’m subscribed to Health, Women’s Health, Fitness, and Shape, Glamour and Maxim. There are some others that get shipped to my parents’ house too but I forgot. Anyway, I just received the November issue of Health magazine and I wanted to spend some time going through the importance of not taking everything you read seriously. I read some things in there that I did not agree with, which are the main reason for writing this post. There were, obviously, many things that I did agree with and found interesting as well, but that’s a given – after all, isn’t a health magazine supposed to provide me with all good knowledge?

The cover story is “100 Best Diet tricks Ever.” Of course, it’s captivating and eye-catching. I nee to know these secrets. Especially since they say they may change my life! Well, turning to page 37! Sure, there are many diet tips in there that were great however some were not given by any professionals and some which I outright did not agree with. Here are the ones I felt should not have been published:

  • #10: Weigh yourself at least once a week – even after hitting your goal weight – I disagree with this. Although I do think it’s important to weigh yourself regularly when you’re on a weight loss program, I don’t think at least once a week is a good advice – it may force some people to become obsessive over their weight. Once a person has hit their goal weight, I don’t think they necessarily need to weigh themselves still so constantly. Sure, if they think they’ve strayed from their program and threw all of their new healthy habits out the window, a scale may prove to be a good eye opener. But I don’t think everyone should have to weigh themselves at least once a week. Nothing good can come out of that besides obsession with the number.
  • #12: After a sweet treat, eat half a turkey to keep you from wanting more.” – Jennifer McDaniel, RD. Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics – I can see how this may work, I’ve done it before. But it’s important to remember that that extra turkey still has calories and it may not always turn off that craving for more sweets. The most important thing is to learn to not pay attention to the craving for more instead of trying to put a different flavor in our mouth to hopefully tune it out. It may not always work.
  • #31: Add a zero to your weight and use that to figure out how many calories you should have if you’re moderately active. If you weigh 140 calories, aim to eat 1,4000 calories.” – Jackie Newgent, RD. Author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes – so yes, this may help you lose weight, but not always is healthy. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, according to this person, you should eat 1,000 calories which is not enough. I’ve read countless of articles that say you should not go below 1,200 calories. Especially if you’re already moderately active. It may help with faster weight loss, but it is not sustainable and it will feel like restriction – I’ve done it and I’ve felt the consequences of the restriction.
  • #40: Wear something right! It provides the extra bit of motivation to lay off the fries.” – Ilana Blitzer, Health beauty/fashion editor – okay I do not agree with this one! Although it may help sometimes, if you’re already pretty in shape and just have a few lbs to lose but if you’re a bit bigger, do you really want to feel uncomfortable? I know whenever I wore something tight when I wasn’t feeling comfortable with my body, it didn’t give me more motivation – it made me compare myself to others, skinnier girls more and it made me realize how gross I looked and that everyone knew it. Instead of motivation, I felt self-contempt and embarrassment. And usually when I felt negative like this, it made me want to eat more to compensate and make myself feel better with the food. It’s not a healthy habit, but it’s what I used to do. I don’t think exposing yourself to such situations can be healthy to someone who just isn’t ready.
  • #61: Weigh yourself every day to stay on track.” – Cindy Santa Ana, 43, Health coach who lost 50 lbs – Okay, but girl are you crazy? No offense but this goes right back to #10! Obsession! Obsession! Obsession! Checking your weight every day is not healthy, your weight will fluctuate throughout the day and even day-to-day depending on what you eat, how much water you retain, how regular you were, etc. This is simply ridiculous and it is the very recipe to creating obsessive, disordered thoughts!
  • #70: During your workout, rest no more than 30 seconds between exercises. This will dramatically bump up your calorie burn.” – Jillian Michaels, fitness expert, via Twitter – Okay, I like Jillian although I don’t really follow her and don’t know much about her and I do agree with this statement as long as it’s under the right situations, but the reason why I circled it is because there should have been a note that we should listen to ourselves just as much and we should take longer breaks if necessary. Also, some workouts are designed with longer rest periods, while others are okay with shorter rest periods and I don’t think 30 seconds should be the one-size-fits-all number for rest.

Now here are some points I really liked and agreed with in this article. I found these to be a good reminder of stuff I haven’t necessarily thought about before but yet I can tell that it would work, or I’ve seen it happen from personal experience:

  • #15: Work out in the a.m. Brigham Young University researchers found that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning reduces your motivation for food.
  • #20: If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry” – Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules
  • #37: Change your goal from ‘lose 20 lbs’ to ‘lose 1 lb 20 times’ and give yourself credit for each one.” – Anne Parker, Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa
  • #48: Brushing my teeth after dinner makes me less likely to eat again before I go to bed.” – Jo Miller, Health photo editor
  • #64: Many people have a ‘healthy’ food, like almond butter, that they overeat – at which point it stops being healthy. Know yours, and keep it out of the house.” – JJ Virgin
  • #65: Eat in the right order. Eat vegetables first to naturally have more of them and ultimately eat fewer calories.” – Dawn Jackson Blanter

There were more tips in the article that I agreed with but many of them I already knew and I didn’t want to repeat the whole article in the post anyway. If you want to read it, I encourage you to check the issue out. A lot of the stuff is common knowledge or stuff many of us already know from our own research or readings. The first diet tips listed were ones I did not believe should have been published because they are not fully right, in my opinion. The second list is a list of diet tips which I found helpful that I did not keep in front of my mind at all times but I have seen its positive reactions in my own experience or I could definitely see how it could help.

The moral of the post is… take health magazines with a grain of salt. Don’t believe every single thing you read and have some common sense – use your best judgment. Best diet tips may be best for one person but may not work for another. It’s all about what works best for YOU.

Note: Please do keep in mind I am not a fitness or health professional or nutritionist and everything I wrote in this post are my opinions only based on what I’ve read, heard, and personal experience. 

13 Comments

  1. I kind of can’t believe that an RD would say to just add a 0 to your weight to figure out how much you should be eating. Holy.wow. If I did that I’d probably be passing out from starvation. No wonder so many women struggle with food issues after being bombarded with dumb ideas like that.

  2. I agree – we need to take everything with a grain of salt. I definitely don’t like the advice to weigh yourself all of the time! My weight fluctuates so much, based on the time of day, time of month, how much water I’ve had, whether I’ve gone to the bathroom recently, etc etc etc. I much prefer to go off of how my clothes fit! Because remember – muscle weighs more than fat. So I’d hate to think I’m gaining weight when really I’m just gaining muscle, hence my clothes are fitting better

  3. I’d have to disagree your point about staying motivated wearing the right clothes with the right fit. I have noticed that for me when I wear something nice that fits well I am less likely to pig out and make poor choices than when I am in frumpy, poorly fitting clothes. I think that point is smart but definitely won’t work for everyone.

    Overall though, I’d have to strongly agree that we must take these diet suggestions with a grain of salt. Some of the advice is borderline dangerous (or actually is) and I cannot understand why it’s promoted and/or encouraged. I just hope people reading exercise common sense and good judgment instead of taking it as weight loss gospel.

  4. Sometimes the things that are printed in magazines (for thousands to see!) are ridiculous. I mean…add zero to your weight? What the heck? And I also don’t agree with weighing yourself often. Weigh fluctuates at any whim and has no indication of one’s health and level of fitness. Crazy.

  5. Good points! I think magazines lots of times just tell people what they want to hear, and sometimes it’s just waaaaay to over generalized. Though “#37: Change your goal from ‘lose 20 lbs’ to ‘lose 1 lb 20 times’ and give yourself credit for each one.”” is a new one to me. I like it; thanks for sharing.

  6. I think you nailed it at the end when you said to take everything with a grain of salt, and do what works best for you. I thought was kinda funny reading your likes and dislikes – some of the things I totally agreed with, you didn’t, and it’s interesting to see what different opinions there are on health (and how many there are!)

    I really liked that you outlined your likes, and dislikes about this article :). Now I don’t have to pick it up haha.

  7. Number 31 is horrible. So if you weight 300 pounds you get to eat 3,000 calories. Yikes! Bad idea!

  8. Kammie…just a little piece of advice. Please proofread before you post. I started reading and I have the magazine and I was surprised at some of the the things you listed. For instance, you wrote that #12 says, “After a sweet treat, eat half a turkey to keep you from wanting more.” My eyes popped out and I grabbed the magazine because I certainly didn’t read that…and wouldn’t agree with it! LOL! What it actually says is, “After a sweet treat, eat half a slice of deli turkey to keep you from wanting more.” On # 31 you added an extra zero to the number and at first glance it looks like 14,000 calories…it says 1,4000 but you get the point. It’s actually 1,400 calories. On #40 it actually says “Wear something tight,” not right. It’s just that not everyone has the magazine so they are taking what you write as what’s actually in the magazine so just a word of caution. Be accurate.

    I personally do weigh myself every day when I’m trying to lose weight; it works for me and I’m not obsessive at all. It keeps me right on track. I think the whole point is to use what works for you; we’re all different so different things work for different people.

    • Oh my gosh, thank you so much for the pointers, Lisa. I needed to hear this, I don’t really proofread but I can see what you mean here, it definitely could have mislead readers. My deepest apologies. I really need to start proofreading if I want to keep the blog up huh. I hope you will accept my apology and return back to the blog to read my future posts! xo Have a great day

  9. I just want to say that there are numerous weight loss tips available on internet with lots of natural way. But to achieve healthy weight loss you must make change in your diet and living habit’s..

  10. I’m SO behind on my magazine reading, I just got to this issue this past week. I was posting some comments about it on my blog, and (in searching to see if the article was online) found your post. So I linked back here, as I thought you had some good insights.

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