1. “I stopped eating fruit because of the carbs/sugar.”
There’s no reason to eliminate an entire food group from your diet. The reason some foods have carbs and sugars is because our bodies need them to survive. Eating a piece of fruit isn’t the same as eating a super-refined carb like bread or a spoonful of white sugar.
2. “I read about this great diet in Cosmo, so now I’m doing it.”
Listen, the job of a magazine writer isn’t to make you healthy — it’s to sell you a magazine. The version of the story you’re getting is the one they think will get you to buy the issue and talk about it. Take it with a grain of salt — or better yet, cross-reference it with articles from more reputable sources (like this one, run by dietetics).
3. “I don’t like avocados because they have so much fat in them.”
So much :(
4. “I drink Vitamin Water/Gatorade for vitamins/electrolytes.”
Everyone knows soda is bad but plenty of other drinks are precarious as well. If you’re not careful about which juice you select they can have almost no fruit or fiber and tons of sugar instead. Similarly Vitamin Water and Gatorade have tons of sugar that you don’t need if you’re not an athlete. If you’re really craving them, the low-sugar versions are better than nothing — just don’t assume the “health benefits” outweigh the reality on your drink’s nutrition panel.
5. “It doesn’t matter if I eat junk food if I stay under my calorie limit.”
It might not matter if all you’re trying to do is lose weight in the short term (but even then eating right will help you feel full enough to stay within your limit). But what you eat matters a lot — food fuels your body, it gives us vitamins, it triggers feelings of fullness or increased hunger, and it matters for your overall health.
6. “I work out so I can eat whatever I want.”
I don’t want to do anything that discourages someone from working out, especially if you’re just starting, but this is the same as #5. It may not matter on the scale or in how you feel for the short term, but it really matters in the long-term. You need good nutrition for your overall health.
7. “I just try to follow the food pyramid.”
The low-fat, high-carb diet is bad on some weird guesses and lies that somehow made their way into the government’s nutrition guidelines (and birthed the food pyramid). Some say this diet is actually what’s responsible for drastic rise in obesity in the U.S..
8. “I only eat fat-free foods.”
Here’s the thing, food companies can make fat-free foods that actually taste good because they replace the yummy flavors fat gives food with sugar, upping the calories and sugar content of your food. You’re better off sticking with the most natural version of the food possible, even if it’s fat content is higher than the processed variety.
9. “Fast food salads are healthy options.”
Salads can be incredibly caloric and high-fat. The McDonald’s Caesar salad has more calories than a burger. Many other fast food salads have between 800-1200 calories. Is the chicken fried? Is the dressing extremely high in fat content? The content of what you are eating is more important than the label “salad.” The same rules you’re following else where still apply, there’s no magical pass that because you’re eating it on a bed of greens it is magically good for you.
10. “I hate vegetables! I don’t eat them.
There are so, so many adults I have met in my life that simply don’t eat vegetables. Period. It’s so insane to someone like me that enjoys eating them, but I know that took effort. Some vegetables are tastier than others. Some, broccoli for instance, taste terrible raw but cooked they can be delicious. It just takes messing around with lots of different veggies and preparations to find the ones you like — and once you start, you’ll develop a taste for more.
11. “Eggs are bad for you.”
Yes, eggs have cholesterol. But they’re also one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are low-calorie, high-protein, vitamin rich foods that can be added to almost any kind of dish.
12. “Soda is okay as long as it’s diet.”
Just so you know, it may not have any calories but that fake sweet taste still makes your body crave more food later on.
13. “Nutrition is so complicated.”
It is and it isn’t. There’s a lot of science and details and things we don’t know for sure yet, but that’s easy to combat. You don’t have to be an expert to eat simply — just try to make most of your meals combinations of whole foods instead of processed foods.
Any other pet peeves?