Im not sure when everyone on earth started thinking theyre some #fitspo expert, but it feels like every nutritionist, health magazine, and random Buzzfeed article has a new rule about dieting that’s the “ultimate deal breaker” for losing weight. Like, were all for being healthy, but no one can actually follow all these fucking rules, and most of them are bullshit anyway. Luckily for you, we did some digging and found six real rules that you actually shouldnt be breaking if you want to see results:
1. Serving Size Rule
You might quickly glance at the amount of calories on your yogurt or how much fat is in your cereal, but no one actually pays attention to serving sizes. I mean, first of all, theyre pretty brutal. Like, eight servings in one container of hummus? Thats rude. And dont get me started on peanut buttershow me one person who actually measures out two tablespoons, and I’m calling the police. But, the reality is, if youre looking to lose weight, youve got to start paying attention to serving sizes so you know whats going in your body. You might think youre being super healthy by adding coconut oil to your smoothie, but theres like, a 200 calorie difference between one tablespoon and two or three. Stop eyeballing it. Youll thank us later.
2. The Mindful Eating Rule
Mindful eating sounds like a chapter out of one of Gwyneth Paltrows holistic diet books, but this rule is more legit than you realize. I mean, how often do you start eating a bag of pretzels while watching TV and then suddenly look down at a commercial break to see the bag is completely empty? What a sad moment. Mindless eating ALWAYS leads to overeating, so try to sit down with your food so youre actually deciding how much of it to eat. Youll also notice how stupid you were before you started paying attention. I mean, dont get us started on a night with the munchies. Thats like, a solid 3,000 mindless calories consumed in an hour.
3. The Water Rule
It turns out the whole 8 cups a day rule youve been hearing since is actually real and could really help you when youre trying to lose weight. First of all, water fills you up, so youll obviously be less hungry and less likely to demolish the sleeve of Oreos you find in your desk at 3pm. Plus, when youre drinking water throughout the day, your digestion just runs more smoothly by getting everything through your system. 2-3 liters a day is a good goal, so start chugging. If your co-workers ask if you have a bladder infection, youre doing something right.
4. The Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Rule
This is another oldie but goodie, aka youve been hearing it forever and ignoring it, but it actually works. Eating in the morning has been proven to jumpstart your metabolism, so youll actually burn more calories throughout the day. Its also been proven that people who skip breakfast are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks later in the day, so make the time to eat some breakfast in the morning. Go for a Greek yogurt with berries, a bowl of oatmeal, or a slice of whole wheat toast with almond butter. Frozen Eggo waffles dont count, and neither does leftover pizza. Sorry.
5. The Strength Training Rule
Its been super trendy lately to pick up some weights at the gym instead of just latching onto the Elliptical, and it turns out strength training isnt only beneficial for helping your arms not get tired while blow-drying (although thats an obvious perk). There are tons of scientific studies out there that prove strength training can actually burn more fat than cardio alone, so you can stop OD-ing on SoulCycle Survivor classes. They were getting expensive anyway. Adding some muscle to your body ensures that your body burns more calories while at rest, and you can also eat more calories without them turning straight to fat. And as an added bonus, you won’t get skinny-fat.
6. The Trans Fat Rule
So many nutrition experts recommend incorporating fat in your diet, but none of them are talking about trans fat. Trans fat, aka hydrogenated oils, are literally the worst ingredient you could be eating if you want to lose weight. Unlike avocados, nuts, and olive oil, which contain healthy fats that actually help your body, trans fats slow down your metabolism by binding to your fat and liver cells. These fats can also cause inflammation, bloating, and they trigger more cravings later on, so you might want to check the ingredients twice.