Most of us are guilty of it. Scouring the depths of Google to find quick, easy dieting tips with unrealistic results. We pretend to understand the meaning of terms, such as electrolytes, fortified and BMI, then we almost always cave in after a few days. But does the internet mislead us with false dieting tips?
Lucy Woodrow, a registered dietician said: “The internet and social media are huge parts of our day to day lives. It is important to remember anyone can offer dietary advice online, whether they are qualified to or not, and this advice is not always evidence-based.”
One dieting fad that has been popularised by the internet is ‘detoxing.’ This idea focuses on removing harmful toxins and impurities from your diet. However, Miss Woodrow isn’t a fan adding: “It is not uncommon to find celebrities and health gurus on social media promoting and selling weight loss and detoxing teas or drinks. These drinks often have laxative effects and are misleading in their claims. You do not need to detox. Your kidneys and liver will do this for you.”
Miss Woodrow warns that people should be cautious of diets that involve avoiding particular nutrient groups, such as dairy or wheat. “Dietary advice should only be taken from a doctor, a registered dietitian or a qualified nutritionist.”
So what should people take into account when embarking upon a new diet? Firstly, Miss Woodrow tells us that “Diets are often short term, quick fixes that are usually not balanced in essential nutrients. Many people who follow restrictive diets may notice significant weight loss initially but this is often difficult to maintain in the long term. Before making any changes to your diet is it important to ask yourself if you are ready to change. Is this the right time to start making changes to your diet?”
You should also be asking yourself if the changes you make are sustainable for the long term. Miss Woodrow added: “Initially it is best to start with two or three smaller changes that are achievable and measurable. Eating three regular meals a day, including breakfast, can help controlling weight It is also important to make sure you are including all the essential food groups in your diet.”
The key thing to take away from this is; there are no real ‘quick fixes’ when it comes to dieting.