More Than Education

More Than Education, the health, fitness & coaching blog by More Than Muscle. This area of the site should be used as a reference point for everything educational relating to training, nutrition, health, fitness & coaching!

Diet and fitness fads you should leave in 2018 Posted on 20/12/2018

Diet and fitness fads you should leave in 2018

With the Christmas spirit in full flow, presumably the last thing on your mind is that dreaded 4 letter word…diet. But it won't be long before the New Year blues kick in and we attempt to return to our healthier routines. It's at this point, that we're the most susceptible to being targeted by false advertising. Quick fixes, with regards to getting back in shape, appeal to everyone; but we've got to try and avoid falling into typical consumer traps which leave holes in our pockets and make us feel disheartened. Remember that when it comes to losing weight and toning up, the reality is that there is no such thing as an overnight solution. Let's dive into a list of diet trends you need to leave behind in 2018:


Skinny Tea

The tea-toxing trend has skyrocketed this year. It’s advertised as a total detoxification of your body: "an easy, safe and fast way to lose weight just by drinking tea!" This reminds us of that saying…"if it sounds too good to be true…"

What the Skinny Tea branding doesn’t clarify is that, in order to see results, you’ve also got to follow their diet plan of 1500 kcal a day and lead an active lifestyle. You know by now that sticking to this alone will help with fat loss, and then you can save money on the expensive tea! What’s more, one of the daily teas also contains a natural laxative to make you feel instantly lighter, but don’t be fooled into thinking this means you're losing weight!

Boom Bod

Again, the name sounds very persuasive but... what is it? "Sachets containing a quality source of the natural fibreglucomannan that reduces appetite, helps cleanse & decreases bloating. For an extra boost all three sachets each contain their own unique vitamin blend that helps with energy & metabolism, reduces fatigue and maintains hair & skin". Booms bod's sales have soared recently due to celebrity endorsements and eye-catching packaging. It's not rocket science that depriving yourself of food is extremely unsustainable and could be detrimental to your overall health if you aren’t getting the nutrients you need; you can't live off a pink sachet forever…All in all, definitely not worth breaking the bank for…

Insta-famous fitness plans 

Popular social media fitness regimes tend to fool even the most knowledgeable amongst us; it's challenging not to be in awe of the transformation photos of "6 week booty plans", "ultimate bikini guides" or "30 day abs". However, they’re called influencers for a reason - because they’re trying to influence us to buy into something (which isn’t necessarily proven or healthy). It’s tempting to be attracted by the tens or hundreds of thousands of followers some accounts have accrued, but remember followers can be bought and just because everyone's doing it, doesn’t mean you should. Yes, these plans can be cheap and easily accessible but the impact can also be extremely negative; idealising unrealistic body transformations, which in reality, were achieved through a lot of sweat, time and consistent clean eating, can be detrimental to self-confidence and metal health. That said, if you’re following a plan which is sustainable and has helped you with results, then keep at it!


Blood Type diets 

This particular diet claims the foods you eat react chemically with your blood type and by following a diet designed for your specific blood type, you can digest food more efficiently meaning you'll lose weight, have more energy, and be more disease immune. This one tends to attract many as it sounds medical - therefore we assume it’s scientifically proven. Frankly, there is no proven evidence that this is accurate and much of the advice is based on eating a healthy diet. Naturally, we all have intolerances to certain foods and this is far more important to keep an eye on.


dna testing

Professional athletes pay a premium for a DNA swab that reads your genetic make-up in order to recommend what specific exercise and diet is best suited to you. This testing is now being endorsed by various fitness professionals, but we're not huge advocated…You can overanalyse your genetic make-up until you're blue in the face, but honestly, if you're looking to lose weight and build muscle, you need to eat protein, get to the gym and start burning more calories than you consume. We're not saying it's easy, you will have to persevere, but let's not over complicate things.


spinning with weights 

Basically what it says on the tin: a spin class with hand weights ranging from 1-3 kg. The spinning faze has escalated to new extremes in recent years; the studios have a nightclub vibe and it feels like you're working really hard - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you! According to a recent survey, shoulder pain affects 18-26% of adults in the UK at any point in time, making it the most common regional pain syndrome. Desk jobs, bad posture and looking down at our phones are all to blame for making us really anteriorly dominant. So, straining muscles such as anterior deltoid (front of the shoulder) and uppers trapezius (in-between shoulder and neck) is only going to further ingrain bad posture. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of negative consequence some have experienced from spinning with weights.


Extreme calorie burning classes 

If you haven't heard of high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, which planet have you been on? They usually involve: a lot of sweat, zero rest, multiple sets, and a screaming instructor. Described by many as an hour of hell after which you supposedly feel amazing and can await the appearance of the killer bum and abs you’re guaranteed to have tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, everyone burns calories at a different rate based on their metabolism, genetics, fitness level, age etc. So, claiming a class can burn X amount of calories, should already have alarm bells ringing…What's more, always attending classes where you can barely walk out, isn't advisable, you shouldn’t always train until exhaustion.


Bullet proof coffee

Bulletproof has connotations of strength, stamina and resilience, but really it's just coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil. It claims that the added saturated fat (coconut oil) can improve metabolism, aid weight loss and increase mood and strength. However, did you know full fat milk and cream are also forms of saturated fat, and probably tastier too. Adding extra calories to your diet by now drinking a coffee of 150kcal rather than 50kcal (with a splash of milk) will not single handily aid weight loss in any way; adding calories does not equal burning more.

Hopefully all this has given you some food for thought, but really, all we are trying to get across is that getting into shape takes commitment, the right nutrition, the correct training, and time. Don't waste valuable hours and pounds on trialling unproven fads which might only leave you demotivated.

Finally, let's end with a little self-love. Don’t be too hard on yourself during the festive period; its most likely going to be the most indulgent time of the year so don't guilt trip yourself after each treat. Instead, focus on drinking enough water alongside the tasty food and alcohol and go for long walks with your family and friends to keep active.