Honestly, 2019 was a damn good year for body positivity—more women than ever took to social media to celebrate their bodies, without trying to form them fit the standards of what society has taught them, oh, since the start of your time.
But, despite some serious strides on the trail to body acceptance, there have been a couple of setbacks—mainly by way of some pretty problematic (and potentially even harmful) diets. That’s right: While 2019 was the year of embracing cellulite (or, uh, “#celluLIT” consistent with Demi Lovato and Iskra Lawrence) and gushing over Ashley Graham’s pregnancy photos, it had been also another year of hardcore diets like keto and intermittent fasting.
Here, registered dietitians and trainers—experts within the health and wellness fields—divulge a couple of of the diets that had them rolling their eyes for many of 2019, and plead with everyone to pretty please leave these eating habits in 2019 where they belong.
1. Extreme Fasting
OMAD, 16:8, 5:2—whatever variation, fasting diets, or the practice of limiting your eating to certain hours of the day, or eating every other day, got plenty of attention this year (primarily thanks to celebs like Jennifer Aniston swearing by the trend). But the practice of intermittent fasting isn’t exactly practical for everyone—and may even be dangerous.
“I think the foremost dangerous diet trend of 2019 was extreme fasting,” Abby Langer, RD, tells Health. “Eating only [a few] hours each day , or not in the least on some days, isn’t normal by any means.” Langer went on to elucidate that extreme fasting takes a toll on people physically, emotionally, and socially. After all, what are you alleged to do if you’ve got dinner with a lover at 7PM—but you’ve already finished your eating for the day? And there’s no science backing up these diets. “There’s no good research showing that eating that tiny can positively affect health,” Langer says.
2. The Snake Diet
The Snake Diet takes the thought of a fasting diet to the acute , encouraging limiting your eating to as little as two hours each day , Health previously reported. to feature insult to injury, the creator of the diet isn’t really qualified to be giving dietary advice, consistent with Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD. “The Snake Diet involves extreme fasting, and therefore the creator, who isn’t a trained health care provider , promotes misinformation , like the notion that obese people only need saltwater to satisfy their needs, because fat stores provide all the nutrition required.”
This can cause serious health consequences like malnutrition, Sass says. “The fact is anyone can become malnourished if they’re missing an adequate amount of important nutrients day after day. Humans aren’t snakes, and that we shouldn’t be mimicking their eating patterns.”
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3. The Keto Diet
Keto fans (yep, we’re watching you, Jenna Jameson), you would possibly got to sit down for this one. It seems the high-fat, extremely low-carb diet won’t be the simplest in terms of your long-term health. “Keto diets have a reputation immediately of being ‘the most successful’ diet,” explains Amee Gloyn, RDN, CD.
But here’s the thing: during this situation, “most successful” mainly means “leads to the foremost initial weight loss”—but the keto diet’s “success” has nothing to try to to with overall health. “The truth is we’ve no more evidence that it works long-term better than the other diet.”
In fact, curtailing on one food group entirely—carbs, which include healthful foods like starchy vegetables and whole grains—isn’t the safest thanks to set about losing weight. “Removing entire food groups—one(s) that our brain must properly function—is disordered [eating],” Gloyn says. Instead, if you’re truly trying to find sustainable weight loss, it is vital to eat a spread of whole, nutritious foods—and to not deprive yourself of an excessive amount of .
4. No-Carb Diet
J.Lo’s abs weren’t the sole thing she made headlines for in 2019; she and fiancé A-Rod caused an uproar in January when the 2 started a 10-day “no-carb, no-sugar” challenge—much to the dismay of nutritionists everywhere.
“No because of J. Lo and A. Rod, this became an enormous trend in 2019,” Keri Gans, RDN, tells Health. “Carbohydrates, which break down into glucose, are our body’s main fuel source.” And our bodies are often seriously affected once we stop giving them carbs: “Our brain and our muscles cannot function optimally without glucose,” says Gans.
Instead, Gans hopes that in 2020, everyone learns the differences between “carbs that are better for you, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, versus people who aren’t,” like overly processed ones like light bread or sugary cereals.
5. Gluten-Free Diets (when they are not medically necessary)
Some people—like those that have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease—very much got to avoid gluten due to the way their bodies negatively react thereto . except for those do not have a medical got to remove gluten from their diets, going gluten-free isn’t an honest idea.
“Many people remove gluten from their diets thanks to a suspicion that they are doing not tolerate it,” Alyssa Lavy, RD, tells Health. “However, removing gluten from your diet without first discussing this together with your doctor may make it difficult to diagnose disorder and/or address the basis explanation for your symptoms.”
Not only does going gluten-free cut out major food groups (hi, carbs) that provide nutrients to those that can tolerate them, but it is also a serious lifestyle change, says Lavy. At the top of the day, ablation entire groups of food simply isn’t your best bet unless you want to do so for medical reasons.