You’ve been told the latest Top Diet Trends is the greatest thing ever. The next day it’s something else. What’s a smart person to do? Use common sense and avoid the trends in this article.
Each day, sometimes more than once a day, you are bombarded with new advice about what to put in your mouth and how to get your sweat on.
Every which way you turn, be it on the streets or social media, someone is telling you how to get ripped and lose fat, how to feel better and how to get the body of your dreams.
Whether you stay abreast of the latest advice or not, you can’t help but be caught up in the swirl of fitness and diet advice that runs rampant in our modern day society. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that among the gems, there’s bound to be plenty of bad advice too. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to discern the good from the bad.
We all know there’s no one size fits all when it comes to your health.
There’s no magic pill. No one stop shop. If there was, the health and fitness industries wouldn’t be churning out new quick fixes and fad diets promising to cure all our woes just about every single day.
You’ve no doubt tried, or at least know someone who’s tried, any number of approaches to getting your dream body. Maybe you’ve slashed carbs. Fasted. Tried Tabata workouts. Popped a fat burner. We’re always searching for that next best thing and, more often than not, the results just don’t pan out. Think back to when you were a kid.
Did your parents follow a certain diet?
As you got older, you’ve no doubt seen many approaches be the next greatest thing, just too soon fade into diet and workout history.
While it’s true there’s no one size fits all approach, and everyone’s body reacts differently, there are quite a few approaches that flat out just don’t work. What’s worse, some go beyond just not working, into flat out dangerous territories.
We could spend all day discussing pros and cons of many of the latest, greatest routines and nutrition plans out there, but here are the crème of the crop of those that just flat out need to go away.
Read on to make sure you know why they’re dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
#1 No Pain No Gain
It’s basically the rallying cry of many locker rooms and gym-going meatheads everywhere. If you’re saying it and living and lifting by this mantra though, we invite you to rethink it.
You’re likely doing more harm than good. In reality, any pain is the enemy to true gains.
Have you ever had a trainer yell at you to just crank out a few more reps?
Maybe you have adopted that mindset yourself and made yourself push through even when your body was screaming for a rest day or lighter weights. The idea of this piece of advice is that nothing good comes without hard work and to see the progress you have to push beyond your comfort zone. The thought process is that you should feel aches and pains from working out.
Why It Needs To Go Away:
In reality, your body is the best judge of your limits, and you’d do well to listen to it. No need to push through the pain and ignore what your body’s telling you. In fact, for most of us, if you’re feeling extreme discomfort, it’s pretty likely you are overdoing it.
To have a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, sure, you should feel sore after a killer workout. But, you should also take rest days, get plenty of sleep and work out moderately about five times a week.
It’s all you need.
#2 Get On The Low Carb Diet
It’s a tale as old as time, or at least as old as diets have been around. Ditch the carbs and lose weight.
The low carb diet craze started back over a century ago but really picked up attention with the well-known Atkins diet we’ve all at least heard of, if not tried. The premise of the low carb diet is that by cutting out carbs – bread, pasta, grains, starches, fruits and veggies – and instead of eating a diet higher in proteins and fats, you’ll lose weight.
The diet promises to help you drop weight and reduce risks of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The main claim is that by reducing carbs, your body will have lower levels of insulin, which is released when your blood sugar raises. Lower insulin means less energy stored away as fat, and that should result in weight loss.
Why It Needs To Go Away: What’s wrong with this idea?
While it’s true that there are good carbs and bad ones, and that the bad ones, like donuts, white bread, pasta and other nutrient empty options, aren’t going to do you any favors, carbs are one of the macronutrient groups for good reason. They are essential for optimal health and bodily function.
Ever slashed calories and noticed how foggy headed and tired you feel?
Yeah, there’s a reason or that.
Good quality carbs, meaning unrefined, whole grain, low GI options like quinoa, brown rice, oats and sweet potatoes, all fuel our bodies with vital energy and keep us full for a long time. They regulate your blood sugar levels and act as gasoline in our tanks for daily life.
Not to mention, try building muscle when you are depleting your body of carbs. You can’t! They’re a major food group for a reason, and slashing carbs to the point of depleting yourself just makes you crave and want them all the more. Keep your head on straight.
Eat the carbs.
Just make sure they’re the good ones.
#3 Start Dirty Bulking/Carb Loading
On the flip side of the low-carb craze, the pendulum swings in the other equally foolish territory.
You’ve heard of dirty bulking. You may have even tried it. If you haven’t, you just have to walk into any bro-filled gym to catch wind of talk of carb loading and dirty bulking.
A very popular option among the more bro crowd, dirty bulking is the idea that in order to build muscle and make those gains fast, you need to be stuffing your face with pretty much any and all carbs.
Nothing’s off limits, so say fans of this plan. Whole pizzas?
Go for it. Pop tarts?
This mindset of carb loading is as common among heavy lifters as it is with super endurance athletes like marathoners. The idea is that you will saturate your body with carbs so that you have more than enough energy to get through your workout. This can certainly hold true, but, in most cases, it backfires and isn’t necessary.
Why It Needs To Go Away:
Again, the thought process behind carb loading isn’t entirely off. It’s true that carbs equal energy, and you need plenty of both to perform at your peak. However, the danger arises when athletes use it as an excuse to eat anything and everything.
Carb loading shouldn’t be an excuse to throw all common sense out the window.
First of all, the idea that you can load up and then be set to last through something like a marathon simply isn’t true. You’ll still need to be refueling. It can also backfire in the form of extra weight. It doesn’t matter how hard you pound the pavement or how heavy you lift. The extra carbs can definitely turn into extra pounds. So chill out on the piles of pasta. Eat a balanced diet (notice a trend yet?) of veggies, protein, and grains.
Unless you are in a truly extreme athletic situation, a balanced approach is all you need.
#4 Get Into The Juicing/Cleanse Craze
The 2016 calendar year was easily the year of the juice. And, let’s not forget about the cleanse.
Then there was the extreme detox. We can only hope that 2017 is the year they all stop. If it seemed like everyone and their mother was all of a sudden replacing solid meals with jewel-colored juices and singing their praises, it’s because they were. Thanks to a lot of celeb and dietary superstar endorsements, and some well-intended roots, the juicing and cleanse craze took off recently.
More and more people opted to cut out many solid foods and instead guzzle down some fruit and veggie juices. Maybe you hopped on the bandwagon yourself. The supposed perks of these liquid diets are to flush out your body, restore digestive function and drop weight fast. You are filling your body with more fruits and veggies, less processed, salty, fatty, sugary options.
Why It Needs To Go Away:
So what’s the problem?
How can drinking down a mother load of fruit and veggie servings be a bad thing?
In theory, it’s not. No one’s ever argued that fitting more produce into your diet is anything but a perk. The problem arises because people on juicing cleanses tend to only juice, forgoing normal meals and all normal, rationalized knowledge about a healthy, balanced diet.
If you are only juicing, or even just slashing a large amount of solid food in favor of liquids, you are robbing your body of the vital macro and micronutrients it needs. Man cannot survive on fruits and veggies alone.
You’re also loading up on crazy amounts of sugar in those juices – and don’t say it’s okay because they are natural sugars. It’s not okay!
Natural or not, you are taking in a lot of sugary calories. Sure you will lose some initial weight, but, more likely than not, it will all come ballooning right back as soon as you go back to real food.
As is the case with a lot of celeb advice, the smart move is to ignore it!
#5 First Thing In The Morning Is The Best Time To Workout
You’ve likely heard that if you can resist the urge to hit snooze on your alarm clock, getting up right away and knocking out your workout is the ultimate and will get you the best results.
The logic has long stood that by springing out of bed and hammering out your workout on an empty stomach, you’ll burn the most fat and torch the most calories.
It’s been a standby piece of advice for years. What’s behind it?
The idea is an early morning workout boosts your metabolism for the entire day and gives you that natural endorphin high to get through your afternoon.
Why It Needs To Go Away:
There’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with an early morning workout. In fact, good job if you are able to perform your workout that early in the day. The problem lies in thinking it is somehow better or the only way to do it. That is simply false.
In truth, whatever time of the day you work out and can get it done is the best time for you. For example, many people feel stronger and able to lift more in the afternoon. At the end of the day (no pun intended), whenever fits your life and your schedule is the optimal time to work out.
If you can’t explain it, rationalize, justify it, if your friends are raising their eyebrows at you, if you can’t even articulate why you’re doing it or where you first heard it, it’s likely time to reexamine what the heck you’re doing and if it’s benefiting you.
Don’t let yourself be duped by anything with the words quick results, cleanse or basically anything that promises too-good-to-be-true or cure-all results. Celebs aren’t geniuses and don’t always have your best interests at heart. A healthy life is a culmination of many factors, hard work and a heavy dose of common sense.
By Emmy Schneider-Green