As the new year unfolds, the internet becomes a hub for diet and weight loss advice, often fueled by social media trends. However, not all of these wellness plans come with evidential support or safety assurance. Dr. Amy Lee, an internal medicine specialist and head of nutrition for Nucific, warns against trusting random users on platforms like TikTok, emphasizing the lack of medical expertise in many offering blanket advice. In light of this, Dr. Lee identifies four diet trends that should be approached with caution.
The first trend she highlights is the “What I eat in a day” videos, a common practice on TikTok where users showcase their daily meals. While it can provide a healthy eating template, Dr. Lee cautions against potential glorification of disordered eating habits or misleading representations of food intake.
Another trending hashtag on TikTok is #WaterTok, which has amassed over one billion views. Dr. Lee expresses concern over the trend’s brevity, noting that users might replace sugary sodas with water flavor packets containing added sugars. She emphasizes the importance of moderation and suggests infusing water with fresh fruit or herbs as a healthier alternative.
Cleanses, marketed for quick weight loss, are on Dr. Lee’s list of diet trends to avoid. She points out that the weight dropped during a cleanse is often water weight and can lead to a detrimental yo-yo diet effect.
Extreme calorie-restricting diets also come under scrutiny, with Dr. Lee highlighting the potential danger of lowering one’s calorie intake to an extremely low level. She advocates consulting with a doctor instead of relying on TikTok advice and suggests focusing on improving gut health through probiotics for effective and healthier weight loss.
In conclusion, Dr. Lee advises those seeking drastic diet advice on TikTok to reflect on their relationship with food and consider professional help, such as registered dietitians, certified nutritionists, or therapists, to address personal attitudes and perceptions related to eating.