7 Diet Rules to Break If You Want to Lose Weight


Sara Remington/Stocksy United/Getty Images

If you're serious about losing weight, there are a few popular diet rules that you need to break. Some of these rules are weight loss myths that have lingered for years, while others are beliefs that became popular as part of a trendy diet fad. Regardless of their origin, your diet is likely to fail if you blindly follow them. So, check the list and make sure you get the facts, so you can lose weight faster and keep your weight off for good.

Diet Rules to Avoid

Diet Rule #1: "I should eat more often to avoid starvation mode."

Diet Reality: There is nothing wrong with eating small frequent meals to keep yourself from overeating at meal time. You never want to get so hungry that you binge. But if you think that eating more often is more effective for weight loss, you're wrong. 

Diet Rule #2: "Avoid carbs. They cause weight gain."

Diet Reality: Carbs don't cause weight gain. Starch doesn't cause weight gain, either. You'll gain weight if you eat too many calories, regardless of whether the calories are carbs, fat, or protein. Some people avoid starchy carbs because they usually have little nutritional value and because you are likely to get hungry again quickly if you eat them.

Diet Rule #3: "Low-fat foods will help me lose weight faster."

Diet Reality: Foods that are naturally low in fat are usually foods that are good for you. And since fat is high in calories, it's a good idea to limit the amount of fat in your diet if you want to lose weight. But many low-fat diet foods are actually bad for your diet.

Diet Rule #4: "High intensity workouts are the best workouts for weight loss."

Diet Reality: HIIT workouts have been the biggest trend in the fitness industry in the past few years. The high intensity sessions burn mega calories. But you shouldn't necessarily do more of them to lose weight faster. Sometimes, doing a hard workout can do more harm than good.

Diet Rule #5: "Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free foods will help me lose weight faster than processed foods."

Diet Reality: There's nothing wrong with eating organic, gluten-free, or non-GMO foods. But the fact is that many organic, non-GMO, gluten-free foods are processed foods and they contain just as many calories and grams of sugar as regular foods. 

Diet Rule #6: "Cheat days are good for my diet."

Diet Reality: Cheat days and diets that involve intermittent fasting sound like a great idea because they allow dieters to eat some of the foods that they crave. This is probably why the trend has caught on so quickly. But there's a downside to taking a day off from your diet — and it may cost you a few pounds on the scale.​

Diet Rule #7: "Quick weight loss methods never work."

Diet Reality: Most quick weight loss diets are fads based on bizarre, unfounded science. But that doesn't mean that all quick weight loss diets are bad for you. Some not only work but can actually help you lose more weight in the long run.

Remember that there are exceptions to every rule. While some of these diet rules were originally based on reasonable evidence, some of them have changed over the years and no longer make sense. If you follow a diet rule, make sure you know why. Smart dieters lose weight faster.

Was this page helpful?