People on TikTok are eating vegetables dipped in mustard to lose weight. Experts say it isn't 'credible.'

Why everyone on TikTok is dipping raw vegetables and chicken sausage in mustard. (Illustration by Jacob Nunes for Yahoo)
Why everyone on TikTok is dipping raw vegetables and chicken sausage in mustard. (Illustration by Jacob Nunes for Yahoo)

Vegetables dipped in mustard are capturing the attention of millions on TikTok.

That's all there is to the app's current biggest food trend: a plate filled with hearts of palm, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and chicken sausage, all dipped in mustard. According to the originator of the trend, Tiffany Magee, the meal has helped her lose weight.

While it's just something Magee eats for lunch or dinner, it has now escalated to a full-on "diet" with followers believing their mustard plates can aid their own weight-loss journeys.

How it started

Magee, 31, has been sharing her health and weight-loss journey online since May 2016. She's curated a lifestyle and fitness community through her blog and Instagram account under the brand name My Adventure to Fit. She attributes her overall 80-pound weight loss to her diet.

The food Magee eats is also informed by her diagnosis of Lyme disease. "[My diet] dictates the severity of my symptoms and allows me to feel good or okay most of the time, instead of absolutely terrible," she tells Yahoo Life. "These are some of the very little foods I’m allowed to eat to minimize my inflammation."

She first posted about the specific mustard and vegetable food combinations to her TikTok, where she goes by Tiffany Elizabeth, on May 19, sharing that it was her office lunch. A similar video on May 23 drew more attention and has since garnered 2 million views.

She says that the initial interest could be credited to the fact that people were "completely intrigued by the idea of mustard and the sound of the crunch of the veggies." She then continued to post about the meal "to encourage people to be healthy, to be consistent" and to "trigger a craving that’s actually healthy."

More people try the mustard plate

Users across the app are posting videos of themselves eating raw vegetables dipped in mustard, inspired by Magee:

Magee created a Live, Laugh, Mustard e-book in response to the interest, where she outlines the specifics of the plate. She also launched a Facebook group "for people to share their mustard journey" and shared that she's had 104 million video views in the last week.

"I wanted to give people someone to follow that they could do their journey with because that’s what I personally needed to succeed," she says of her videos, explaining that she was "struggling for a lifetime with my weight and not having any clue what to do or where to start in a world full of so much conflicting information."

Experts explain why this has gone viral

Brenna O'Malley, a registered dietitian and founder of The Wellful, tells Yahoo Life that people are always fascinated by the "idea that there's an answer to weight loss." When someone like Magee shows visuals of how her body has changed and credits this mustard plate for that, people will want to try it.

O'Malley compares it to previous food trends deemed weight loss "secrets," like celery juice and greens powders.

Esther Tambe, registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist tells Yahoo Life, "Individuals will do whatever it takes to be thin. As long as someone else shows they lost x amount of weight doing some trend, that is enough for an individual to copy the same trend in hopes of altering their body too."

The "objectively odd" nature of the food selection contributes to the intrigue, according to O'Malley, as well as the "do what I do" way that Magee's videos are presented.

"I feel like it's sort of just like a recipe for people wanting to copy this to have those same results of weight loss," says O'Malley. "But it's really not the most helpful way of getting health advice or nutrition advice."

What to consider

"Nutrition is very individualized," Tambe says. "It is not a one-size-fits-all."

"Even if we all ate exactly the same way, we wouldn't all suddenly have the exact same metrics of health or feel exactly the same in our bodies, or our bodies wouldn't all of a sudden look exactly like each other," O'Malley says.

She encourages people to consider their "intentions" when trying a viral food trend and asking themselves, "Is this meal coherent?" when they see others eating in a "disjointed way." Most importantly, O'Malley urges readers to recognize the difference between wanting to try vegetables with a specific condiment for the first time and "trying to eat like this person who has a lot of followers and has had these changes in their body."

Eating solely based on trends would be "exhausting" O'Malley says, while Tambe notes, "Nothing about them is credible or sustainable."

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit the National Eating Disorders (NEDA) website at for more information.

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