“Have this food every day”
Two words to nix from your vocabulary: cabbage soup. Any diet that puts an excess focus on one food—like cabbage soup or even grapefruit with every meal—is likely lacking in vitamins and minerals. “You’re cutting out a lot of different nutrients that other foods can offer,” says Giese. “Plus, eating plays an important role in your daily life. These diets can become repetitious and dull, and you want to enjoy your meal plan so you can stick with it.”
“Swap meals with juice to lose weight”
That juice is probably loaded with sugar and might leave you hungry, causing you to overeat later. “Juice is one of the most worthless foods on the face of the Earth,” says Kirkpatrick. “There’s really no benefit to it, it is high in sugar, and there’s a benefit to eating and chewing your calories.” One study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found participants ate about 10 percent less food (corresponding to 70 fewer calories) when they increased chews by 50 percent. By doubling their chewing, they consumed 15 percent less food and 112 fewer calories.
“A big breakfast is important”
Breakfast may fuel you for the day, but it’s possible to over-fuel. “Typically when you tell people to have a huge breakfast, it includes a lot of carbohydrates,” says Kirkpatrick. “Plus, it’s just not great advice to eat a huge amount of anything.” Instead, opt for a regular-sized breakfast with a good source of protein (important for resisting cravings later in the day), such as Greek yogurt or an egg and bean breakfast burrito.