Originally published on The National Student on 10/08/15.
How many times have you come across a health tip or a trick for losing weight that just seemed too good to be true?
Everyone wants to look and feel their best, but according to research many modern day health cheats are grounded in very little actual science and are basically just myths, perpetuated by word of mouth.
In a recent investigation by British Military Fitness, a whole host of these supposed health myths were debunked and revealed to not really have any impact at all on creating a healthier lifestyle.
So without much further ado, here are the top 10 most delusional assumptions about living healthily, debunked:
10. Chewing gum is not exercise
Believe it or not, there’s a considerable following for the belief that chewing gum helps to burn fat.. let’s be honest, it would be nice if exercising was as easy as slapping around a bit of Extra, but the truth of the situation is that there’s no actual proof behind the idea at all. BMF recommend drinking lots of water instead – I mean, surely that’s just as easy?
9. Fat doesn’t weigh the most
Just looking at the scales once a week doesn’t necessarily mean you’re keeping track of your weight loss. There are lots of other things in the body that contribute to the number that shows up when you weigh yourself – instead try measuring how well your clothes fit, or you know, just think about how healthy you feel.
8. Not eating doesn’t help you lose weight
Surprise surprise, losing weight is not as easy as just cutting out food altogether. Missing a meal just simply slows down your metabolism, meaning more of the next thing you eat will be turned into fat instead. Eat less, not none at all.
7. Sweeteners are not healthier than sugar
Although they may not be quite as bad as the real thing, sweeteners do still increase your body’s want and need for sugar, making it highly likely that you’ll snap and eat something bad for you anyway. Try natural sugars instead, and just keep it below the daily recommended amount of 70g for men and 50g for women.
6. Vitamin C can’t cure colds
There is no cure for the common cold. Centuries of medicine has never developed one, so a simple increase in vitamin C certainly won’t help either.
5. Fat is not always bad
Not all of the fat you eat contributes negatively to your health. In fact, some fats actually allow the body to absorb more energy and specific nutrients, making them pretty essential to a person’s diet overall. Saturated fats should probably still be avoided though.
4. Cardio is not the best at weight loss
Cardiovascular exercise certainly isn’t a bad thing, but it’s definitely not the be all and end all of losing weight. Mixing in running with other routines such as sit-ups and star jumps with carefully scheduled rest periods in-between will help the body to get tired less quickly, and allow for more calories to be burned overall.
3. Weightlifting doesn’t necessarily makes you bulky
Some, particularly women, are often put off by the idea of strength training due to the fear of becoming too bulked up. Well, in reality, a bit of weightlifting in your work-out is healthy and for women especially, achieving a high muscle mass is actually quite difficult. Don’t be scared to try out some bodyweight exercises.
2. Juice cleanses don’t really help you lose weight
Drinking nothing but juice has no real lasting effect on your overall weight. You may shed a few pounds initially, but the second you stop it’ll likely reappear pretty quickly.
1. Calories shouldn’t always be the focus
Counting calories is not necessarily the best way to keep track of your diet. It can actually make you quite obsessive about food when calories are always involved; and by cutting some foods out due to their higher marking, you’re likely to miss out on some essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs to keep fit. Eating healthy is important, true, but so too is regular exercise.