So, you are looking for some good weight loss tips, new diets to try or fitness lessons? If you are one of the millions of people with an internet connection, the first place to start a search is of course – the internet itself. Whether you want to lose weight, learn how to cook healthy food, or you’re just looking for advice on a healthier lifestyle, you will find all that information online. However, don’t believe everything you read! There is a lot of information out there, some reliable and some not. There are many myths and misconceptions going around, and I’ll be busting some of the most popular ones here.
1. You can make a big change in a single month with proper diet!
Nope. If you really want to become fit and healthy, you need to take your time – regular exercise and some variety in your diet are more than enough. Don’t think you can lose weight by just dieting – in most cases physical exercise is much more important. In order to reach your goals, you have to combine the two. Some of those magical diets are completely unhealthy, mostly because you don’t get enough nutrients. Oh, and by the way, there is a fact about those diets which you probably haven’t heard of – most of them are reversible. So, unless you want to spend the rest of your life eating oranges and nothing else, stop trying to find an easy solution, and get to work. The sad truth is – no pain, no gain!
2. Just trust the food labels at the supermarket!
If you are one of those people who actually take time to read food labels and you are curious to know what you are eating, you are probably familiar with words like “Dietary fiber”, “Trans-fat” or “non-GMO”, but do you truly understand what all of that means? Let’s look at this simple example. The label says “natural” and you would think that it means no GMO, but you are wrong. There have been recent studies in US done by non-profit organizations that found a substantial amount of GMO content in food labeled as “all natural”. There is more – a lot of packets claim something in bold and bright letters, while somewhere in the fine print hidden at the back it says the complete opposite, so you should be careful when reading labels. Don’t believe me? Next time you buy a pack of chips or orange juice, just check it yourself.
3. Eat only gluten-free food if you want to stay healthy!
Recently, gluten-free diets have been going around like crazy. All those celebrities and famous athletes like Novak Djokovic don’t eat gluten, so why should you? Well, maybe because by avoiding gluten completely, you also avoid many important nutrients, like different vitamins and minerals that your body requires. The truth is, there is a certain amount of people who suffer from celiac disease, and that means that their bodies cannot digest gluten properly or are gluten sensitive, but if you are not among that group, there is no actual reason to avoid gluten. And always remember – balance is the key, too much of anything is just as bad as not having any.
4. You can never exercise too much!
Of course that physical exercise is healthy – it improves your immune system, helps preventing variety of disease like diabetes or high cholesterol, and increases the general health. Most people don’t get enough exercise, but there are some who tend to take it to a whole another level – they work out too much. Over exercising can lead to serious injuries, exhaustion, and even heart disease. So if you are feeling tired all the time or your back hurts, better skip your work out for that day. Once every four weeks of intense training go light for one week – about 50% of your normal effort. You must know when enough is enough.
5. If you drink a lot of water you will lose weight!
This one is actually partly true, drinking water can help you lose weight, but only to a certain extent – e.g. you can use it to suppress your appetite. People often confuse hunger and thirst, so if you feel a craving for a snack you should try drinking a glass of water first. You should also have in mind that water doesn’t magically burn fat or anything like that, but it is somewhat correlated with losing weight. Drinking water and staying properly hydrated is an important part of weight loss, even though drinking the water itself won’t help you much unless you coordinate it with proper diet and exercise.
6. Spot training actually works!
Spot training is a concept that says you can lose weight of a specific body part by doing exercise that afflicts only that area, and this is a wrong assumption. Do you have some fat on your stomach? Well, doing sit-ups will not help you burn that fat. It is predetermined completely by genetics where the body will store fat and to what degree. On the other side, fat burning exercise, like running or jumping rope will burn fat all over your body, not just on the legs. This of course doesn’t mean you should quit exercises that target specific regions of your body as developing a well-balanced muscular physique will actually help boost your metabolism. The body will burn a lot of calories just to maintain the extra muscle you have built; no matter where on the body they are located. If you are overweight, you can always make a balanced exercise program that will burn fat and tone your body at the same time.
Before starting to worry yourself with all information you’ve read about food, proper exercise and diet, have in mind that true facts and fiction are difficult to tell apart, especially today, in the golden age of internet. We all have that “healthy lifestyle obsessed” phase at times, but remember the key to staying healthy is simple – balance. Balanced diet, balanced exercise, balanced life. People don’t use the “the golden mean” or “middle way” doctrine for nothing. If you are still skeptic about this and don’t understand something, you should ask a qualified professional for advice.