The Hidden Pitfalls of 2019’s Most Popular Diets

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Diet pitfalls
Not all diet foods are created equal. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

If you’ve ever started a diet — or even considered eating healthier — you probably came across popular trends like “organic,” “gluten-free,” or “vegan.”

But blindly following these labels without tracking what or how much you’re putting into your body is a surefire way to not only prevent yourself from losing weight, but may actually lead to a weight gain.

“People get caught up on going gluten-free, organic, low-sugar or whatever but then totally disregard portions, which can lead to significant weight gain over time,” registered dietitian Lisa Young told CNN.

Take, for example, a gluten-free diet. One might assume that living this brand of a healthy lifestyle means, “I can then eat French fries, gluten-free cookies and pasta on top of that. Or I can have three pieces of gluten-free bread as opposed to one or two,” Young said. But this can lead to excess calories and weight gain over time.

Similar thinking could derail a low-fat or even fat-free diet, too.

“If someone eats one cup of regular yogurt, they consume 150 calories; by eating one cup of low-fat yogurt, they can reduce the calories to 100,” said Sandra J. Arevalo, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Well, many people then eat two yogurts or even three, because ‘it’s healthier,’ without realizing that the calories are adding up.”

One study, dug up by CNN, even found that low-fat foods can actually contribute to obesity, as people buy and consume more junk food when it is labeled “low-fat.”

Buying into a label without really considering what you’re eating isn’t going to do you any favors on an organic diet either, explains Dr. Young.

“If something is plastered on a label, people think, ‘it’s gotta be good for me or better for me,’” she said. “But organic junk food is still junk food.”

And “organic” doesn’t always mean “better for you.” Consider, for instance that one organic chocolate chip cookie delivers 150 calories — 40 more than a Toll House chocolate chip cookie.

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