2020 was certainly a hard year—but that didn’t stop numerous people from trying to get healthier. As most of the world stayed at home due to the pandemic, there seemed to be a steady interest in people trying to better themselves as the year progressed. And while there was some great nutrition advice along the way, we’ve also heard some astounding poor nutrition advice as well. There was one tip we heard, in particular, that we couldn’t help but share—and deem the worst weight loss tip of 2020.
Theresa Gentile, MS, RD, and a spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the worst advice she heard this year was from a client. The client said that someone previously told him to consume psyllium husk on a daily basis, which would “completely melt the fat off” of him.
Here’s why this particular piece of advice is considered the worst weight loss tip of 2020, and for healthy tips that are actually helpful, be sure to check out our list of 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Psyllium husk isn’t a magical pill
“Psyllium husk is a healthy soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and help you feel full, due to the fiber’s gel-forming action in the gut. But it will not melt fat off of the body or directly cause weight loss,” says Gentile. “Although psyllium fiber is generally considered safe, it can cause gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pains, and in rare instances, an allergic reaction. Also, if psyllium fiber isn’t consumed with adequate fluids, it can be a choking hazard and could cause a bowel obstruction.”
While the thought behind consuming psyllium husk was honorable (lowering cholesterol, helping you to feel full), the massive side effects that can happen do not seem worth it for someone to consume on a regular basis. Medical News Today says a small dosage (5 to 10 milligrams) may be fine to reap those nutritional benefits but can still cause uncomfortable gas and bloating.
“Psyllium fiber dosage should be increased gradually to the recommended dosage and taken with plenty of water,” says Gentile.
Taking a pill for psyllium fiber may seem like an easy solution, but in reality, there’s one weight loss solution that is a lot easier—and tastier—that will reap the exact same benefits you would see from this not-so-magical pill.
A better weight loss solution
So what would be a better solution that doesn’t cause uncomfortable gas, bloating, or any of these other serious side effects? Eating real, fibrous foods. One of the best solutions would include eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning for breakfast.
Oatmeal is also a soluble fiber, has been proven to lower cholesterol, and keeps you feeling full because of the high fiber content (which is the best thing to eat for weight loss). Plus, it won’t leave you feeling bloated. The Journal of Food Science and Technology published a study that focused on all of the incredible health benefits that come from eating a bowl of oatmeal such as being a great source of high-fiber starch, a quality protein with amino acids, and a great source of numerous minerals and nutrients including vitamin E—which helps to ward off diseases such as cancer. Get started today with one of these 50 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes.
Along with oatmeal, eating a diet that is rich in fiber, protein, and good, healthy fats is the best way to feel full. Weight loss comes from a change in diet, so focusing on resistant starches (like these 9 Best Complex Carbs) along with lean protein can give anyone that same fullness factor as a psyllium husk pill could.
So to follow Gentile’s lead, we say skip this worst weight loss tip of 2020 and focus on feeding yourself real, nutritious foods in 2021.