8 things you're doing that make nutritionists cringe


With so much diet and exercise information out there, it’s hard to figure out what it actually takes to be healthy. We checked in with nutritionists and dietitians for their most commonly-seen wellness faux pas.

1. Avoiding fats at all cost.“Many of our clients come to us worried that fat is unhealthy and therefore should be limited. However, good fats in foods like almonds and avocados lower disease risk.” — Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez, registered dietitians and co-founders of Food Heaven Made Easy

2. Refusing to eat foods that are ‘bad.’ “Deprivation is bad for you, and not the way to achieve long-term goals. Additionally, most foods in moderation are okay, especially if you don’t have an allergy or intolerance.” — Ashley Walter, nutritionist, personal trainer and founder of Living With Ashley

3. Equating gluten-free with healthy. “A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie—and probably worse for you than a non-gluten free cookie. Many gluten-free flours, like rice, potato starch, or tapioca flour are ultra-processed, refined carbohydrates, and completely devoid of nutrients.” — Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, co-founder of Neutein

4. Eating whatever you want after a workout.“Often, people say, ‘Oh, I just did a spin class, so I'm entitled to eat X’ or ‘I can't eat that, I didn't work out today.’ Your food intake and exercise output are not like a bank account. Of course, nutrition and fitness are related, but they're not the same highway. We exercise to attain fitness, for mental health, for social reasons, for fun, and for empowerment. Not to eat/not eat things.” — Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition

5. Saying, ‘I’m going on a diet.’ “A diet is not something you go on; it’s not Splash Mountain at Disney World. A diet is the combination of the things you are eating. A healthier, more sustainable way to think of it is, ‘I’m looking into cleaning up my diet.’” — Bryan Baia, Precision Nutrition coach, ACSM certified personal trainer and coach at Athlete Training Club

6. Thinking that wellness is ‘one size fits all.’“You don’t have to eat steamed broccoli and quinoa for dinner every night in order to live your best life. Remember that wellness is completely customizable, and your job is to figure out what works best for you.” — Jones and Lopez

7. Refusing to eat carbs. “Carbs have gotten a bad name in the nutrition world, but there are so many benefits of carbs. People need to learn the different types of carbs and how it can help you lose weight before making such a rash statement.” — Walter

8. Forgetting portion sizes. “People love to categorize foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ and forget that even healthful, nutrient-dense foods eaten in excessive amounts can cause weight gain. Things like avocado, nuts, olive oil and cheese are wonderful foods. But if you’re trying to manage your weight, it's probably not a good idea to eat six cups of quinoa a day.” — Moreno

Watch out for these foods: