1. Forbidden foods. Any diet that restricts or cuts out whole food groups is a guaranteed road to problems. Not only will the deprivation lead to binging, but it also cuts out exposure to nutrients and nutraceuticals that are vital for vibrant living. Although there are certainly wiser choices to be made, all types of real food fit into a healthy diet.
2. Very low calories. A normally active woman trying to lose weight should consume no less than 1500 calories per day; a normally active man trying to lose weight should consume no less than 1800 calories per day.
3. Speedy results. For healthy, permanent weight loss, you should aim to lose no more than one to two pounds per week.
4. No exercise. A healthy weight-loss plan should encourage at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise four to five days per week.
5. Infrequent meals. It’s best to eat before you get intensely hungry. For most people, that’s at least every three to four hours.
Pamela Smith, RD, is an internationally known nutritionist and energy coach, radio host, culinary consultant, best-selling author, and the creator of The S.M.A.R.T. Weigh® Strategy through which thousands of people have won back their health and energy. She provides wellness and menu coaching to professional, corporate and life athletes—from the NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando Magic and LA Clippers and the PGA’s Larry Nelson and Brad Faxon, to the executives and culinary development teams at Darden Restaurants, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Lines, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, McDonald’s, Cracker Barrel and Aramark Business Dining.