It’s that time of year again when we will be bombarded with ads about extreme diets and fitness routines promising you that “perfect body”. BE VERY WARY! Most of these companies’ first goal is to make money. If something seems too good to be true it probably is. Below are points that will hopefully help you avoid signing up for a fad diet or workout plan.
1. YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE FAT
If a trainer or plan says something like “ get rid of bat wings, or get rid of that thigh gap” I would not recommend them. The reality is you cannot reduce fat on one part of the body with exercise. Your diet will play the biggest part in reducing overall body fat. You can weight train to strengthen areas of the body but tone is not guaranteed. Your diet and genetics will play the biggest part in where fat is stored.
2. BE WARY OF ANY DIET THAT DEMONIZES A FOOD GROUP
Yes, cutting out carbs might help you lose weight initially but studies show most gain more back within a year because it is not sustainable. When starting a new diet work with a dietician that can work with your specific goals and lifestyle. Remember sustainable change does not happen overnight and just because something worked for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you.
3. EXTREME CLEANSES ARE DANGEROUS
Your body has amazing organs that “cleanse” for you! Your liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs all help to cleanse your body. Diets, teas, juices that promise to “cleanse toxins” are BS and are potentially very dangerous. If you want to cut out drinking for a month that is one thing, but only drinking juice or drinking a tea that is essentially a purging process is not helpful. It slows down your metabolism and can lead to serious health issues.
4. AESTHETICS & HEALTH ARE TWO SEPERATE THINGS
We are living in a world that has prioritized and even promotes aesthetics over health. Read this as many times as you need to- A SIZE OR LOOK DOES NOT CORRELATE WITH HEALTH. Health is a very complex concept that pulls from all aspects of our life. Diet, socio-economic factors, fitness, mental health, safety, and so much more play a part. To think you can measure a person’s health by just looking at them is not correct. Keep this in mind when you are tempted to buy a product because of what the person looks like who is selling it.
5. YOUR WORTH & HAPPINESS IS NOT DETERMINED BY YOUR SIZE
I know we have all had that thought in our heads- “if I just had _____ my life would be better”. That train of thought is such a dangerous narrative to buy into. It takes away our power to take control. How many times have you said this and acquired said thing just to find your level of happiness was not changed? I think we have all watched enough Disney movies to know that happiness and worth cannot be dictated by external factors but it’s still something most will have to work on.
6. IT’S OK TO WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH OR LOSE WEIGHT
I’m not saying that you should feel shame if you feel a desire to become healthier or lose weight in 2021! But healthy is not dictated by your size. Focus on how you feel. What movements make your body feel better after? What foods give you energy and fuel you? Does making these “healthier” choices add value to your life or add stress? Are you avoiding time with friends because you are worried about “cheating”? Are you feeling achy and tired after an intense workout? These may be signs that your “healthy” choices aren’t working for you. Our bodies are pretty amazing things. They do so much for us and will often tell us what we need if we just listen.