While many dieters at some point consider which diet is best for them, some often ignore the negative aspects of different eating regimens. Most people tend not to give much thought to the potential red flags of a particular diet because they are intrigued by the hopeful claims made by proponents of some diets.
A red flag signals you to stay away from an aspect of the meal plan for several reasons, including harming your health and lacking proper nutrition.
According to Amanda Sauceda, a registered dietitian in Long Beach, California, some people don’t recognize red flags because no one talks about them. “I think now we are starting to see a shift in the conversation around food and eating,” she says. “This makes it easier for people to have the information they need to make better-informed decisions for their health. People are starting to see that there is no one style of eating that will work for every single person.”
It’s important to be aware of potential diet red flags regardless of whether your goal is avoiding or managing diabetes, achieving weight loss, improving cardiovascular health, and more.
Here are the top six diet red flags you should always be aware of:
- It makes you feel bad or shameful about what you often eat
Any diet meal plan that makes you feel bad about yourself is a huge red flag. It would be best to ditch any meal plan focusing on all the bad food you are forced to eat to make the diet system stand out. It’s a double red flag if the meal plan is extremely low in calories. Meal plans should be a tool to help you make healthy changes and not make you feel shameful about what you eat.
- Requires a radical cut in caloric intake
Diet plans requiring a drastic caloric intake cut could contribute to weight loss. However, such diets are unhealthy because they cause dizziness, tiredness, malnutrition, and other nutrient deficiencies that could harm you.
- A promise of a precise result
Everybody’s body is different. Diet meal plans are normally designed to work for various people without promising a specific outcome. It would help if you shunned any meal that promises a precise result, like losing 20 pounds in 20 days. After following such diets for a set amount of time, you still might not guarantee that your body will look or even feel a different way.
- Promises Quick weight loss
There is no silver bullet or quick fix regarding losing weight. According to Anthony DiMarino, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition, no diet plan can provide rapid weight loss.
“Not one single product or plan will provide rapid weight loss or a quick fix,” he says. “Many factors impact weight status, and nothing is simple about it. Any quick fix tends to be unsustainable over time. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sustainable weight loss will occur slowly over a long period.”
- Lacks Variety
One of the foundations of a solid way of eating is variety. Aside from supporting a healthy gut microbiome, variety is important because no single food will give you all the nutrition your body requires. It would help if you discarded any meal plan focusing on rotating only a handful of foods.
- Backed by celebrities who aren’t medical professionals
Weight loss companies often buy the idea of celebrities endorsing their products, which may include meal plans. Although customers may flock to their sites in search of that particular meal plan, many celebrities have zero training to back such products or plans. You should avoid falling prey because that’s how some famous people stay in the news; they always seem to be mired in controversies.