Every year brings with it a new set of fitness theories and diet advice, but there were some stinkers from 2013 that we just found too hard to take seriously. We're all for healthy weight management, and we're not rubbishing them entirely - we're just not THAT invested in our dieting to take these on. The best advice with anything touting itself as the New Big Thing is to take it with a pinch of salt. (You know, unless of course, you're on a low sodium diet...)
FIVE OF THE WORST
Eat from red plates
Research published in the journal Appetite revealed that people who eat off red plates eat less than those who do off blue or white plates. The authors had the theory that red acts as a subtle traffic light signal. We think that perhaps the people just didn't like loud plates.
Cotton wool balls as an appetite suppressant
The most insane diet we've heard of this year (and there was stiff competition) where young women were apparently stuffing these down like they were marshmallows so that they would expand in the stomach to give the sensation of being full. Instead, experts warned the balls could create a bezoar - which is a hairy mass that sits in the stomach. Nice.
Mono meals/The 80:10:10 diet
Mono meals consists of eating one type of food per meal - usually a bowlful of a specific fruit or vegetable. It sounds great in theory and on Instagram, but was described as experts as being restrictive and a danger in terms of changing your body's metabolism for the worse.
The 80:10:10 had its day when a story about a blogger named Loni Jane went viral, after a feature appeared in News.com.au. It's a diet based on 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 10% fat. The reason for the uproar: she was pregnant and following a high restrictive diet consisting mainly of fruit, posting her pictures on Instagram.
"The danger with this type of diet," said HuffPost blogger and health expert Sam Feltham, "is that you lack essential nutrients such as cholesterol, saturated fat and vitamin D. This might sound odd right now but these nutrients are particular important during pregnancy for optimal development of the baby, particularly for the brain."
Potatoes are the enemy
Sorry Paleo folk, but they aren't. Potatoes get a bad rap because they have a high GL - which is short for glycaemic load. It means that they release sugar quite quickly, which will mean that your blood sugar will crash, and therefore leave you low in energy and itching to eat more. We're not suggesting you have them with every meal, but when compared to white rice they are a better choice - lower calories - and when combined with a good protein like tuna, will help you feel fuller for longer. If you want to be even healthier, go for sweet potatoes which have a lower glycaemic load.
Tech to stop you from overeating
First there was the HAPIFork, "a computerized fork that gives a gentle buzz when you're eating too quickly." This fork, reported HuffPost US "counts each bite you take and tracks your average meal time, the number of bites per serving, and the number of bites per meal where you were "overspeeding," or bringing the fork to your mouth too quickly."
Then there was the damn stress bra that stops women from overeating. This bra contains an app that apparently can detect when the wearer is emotionally overeating and offers advice. Now they just need to invent a way you can punch an app in the face.