Guilty pleasures are usually the first to be sacrificed when people pursue healthier lives. While this practice may seem like a no-brainer for diets, an article by the California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences & Psychology revealed that food restrictions are unhealthy strategies that can even lead to weight gain. Food restrictions may even do more harm than good because the researchers discovered that it can increase one’s risk for developing eating disorders.

There’s definitely a big difference between the diets that most people know of and those that are actually good for everyone’s health. So, let’s debunk a few dieting myths to help you learn what’s advantageous for your own health goals.

Debunking The Rules of Fad Diets

Popular diets often have a strict set of guidelines. The good news is that most of them aren’t worth following. As previously mentioned, one of the ineffective yet popular strategies in most diets is food restrictions. Fad diets often have a long list of ingredients that must be avoided because they can cause weight gain. Unfortunately, these restrictions can have the opposite effect because people who avoid certain foods are actually more likely to experience intense and frequent food cravings than people who don’t avoid these foods. These cravings can last over a few days, making it more tempting for people to eat the food that they’re avoiding.

Aside from the long list of restrictions, many fad diets also recommend consuming certain ingredients regularly. Apple cider vinegar happens to be one of them, and it’s often praised for being a solution for high cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight loss. The problem is that most of the studies conducted on the weight loss benefits were actually not conducted on humans, which means that there’s no guarantee that consuming it regularly can slim you down. In fact, there’s barely any significant amount of research done on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, so it’s much better to use it as a flavour enhancer than a cure for one’s health.

Eating Your Favourite Foods Can Be Good For You

Some of the dieting do’s and don’t’s actually lead to the opposite effect that people expect to achieve. This is especially true when it comes to guilty pleasures, like sweets, which can play a part in your diet.

While fad diets are all about restrictions, weight loss programmes based on science allow people to incorporate their favourite foods into a balanced diet. Nutritional and behavioural experts acknowledge that one’s favourite food can serve as a motivator in changing their relationship with food for the better, which is why deprivation is discouraged. These delicious motivators even make it easier for people to keep up with weight loss programmes for a long time, whereas restrictive fad diets rarely work long term.

You can even learn how to genuinely like fruits and veggies by adding elements of your favourite foods into these ingredients. A lead dietitian specialising in health behaviour change, Dina Aronson, states that healthy food can feel like a reward when you incorporate the flavours of your favourite food on healthier ingredients. For instance, she states that you can roast cauliflower with a barbecue rub if you enjoy eating barbecue food. By mixing the food that you like and with the ones you need, you’ll be able to hack your brain and stick to the habit of eating healthier meals.

If you want to lose weight and live a healthy life, you’ll need to learn how to balance the food that you like with the food that you need. To make this process easier, you can check out our health articles at The Lifestyle Collective. These resources provide proven and tested strategies that can help you achieve optimal health.