These days, it seems like everyone and their mother has an opinion on how best to get healthy, and many of those opinions are diametrically opposed. When you tell people you’re looking to lose weight, tone up or just generally improve your lifestyle, you’ll have one person telling you fat is bad, another telling you fat is the key to a trim tummy and another telling you that you can live on nothing but water for 30 days and then you’ll never have to diet again!
There is so much bad advice out there that by simply trying to lead a healthier life you could end up seriously hurting yourself or your wallet!
With that in mind, here are some of the things you may have been told are essential if you want to get healthy, but which you really shouldn’t do in most cases!
Don’t Starve Yourself
We all have that friend who swears they lost 50 pounds in a month by surviving on nothing but water, and maybe they did, but this is a far from the healthy way to lose weight, and you will pile the pounds back on once you start taking in solid food again.
If you’re interested in fasting, you could try the much more moderate 5:2 diet, which is proven to be safe and effective. Sure, you won’t lose 50 pounds in one month, but by cutting your calories down to 500 (women) or 600 (men) twice a week, and eating a normal, as healthy as possible, diet the rest of the time, you will see results, and it is something you should be able to maintain over a long period of time.
Don’t sign up to fad exercise programs
Exercise can help you lose weight, build stamina, tone up and improve your general health, so if you’re serious about getting healthy, starting a new exercise regime should be top of your list. However, this does not mean that you should sign up for the first faddy exercise regime you find on the internet.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of online exercise programs that promise stunning results, but they rarely deliver, and even if they do, they are often common sense approaches that you could do without paying through the nose as this max workout review highlights perfectly.
Don’t choose food with poor nutrient content
When you are trying to lose weight, unless you are lifting weights regularly, you will need to cut your calorie intake by at least a few hundred calories to see results. This means that everything you take in should be as nutritionally dense as possible, to ensure you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need to support a healthy system.
If you do eat food which is nutrient poor, you may find that you do not feel full, no matter how much you can eat, and this could really sabotage your good efforts and lead to an almighty binge!
Don’t completely ditch all your favorite foods
A healthy lifestyle does not mean denying yourself of every pleasure you have. In fact, if you try to cut out every single ‘bad’ food from your diet, you will probably find that you stray back to your old habits pretty quickly. Having a little of what you fancy is perfectly fine. Instead of eating a bar of chocolate every day, have a few squares once or twice a week instead. You won’t feel deprived, but your waistline won’t get any wider either.
Don’t do too much too soon
When you start a new exercise regime, it can be tempting to push yourself too far in the hopes that you’ll see the results you desire sooner. This is nothing but foolish, and the result you are likely to see are injury, burnout, and failure, rather than a rocking body that you can show off at the beach.
Instead, you should start slowly and build up your stamina. As your body gets used to training, you will be able to do more and feel better for longer without getting burnt out and quitting. A healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process – there is no need to rush it.
Don’t have a negative attitude
Instead of thinking about all the things you can’t do when you’re on a diet, such as eating a whole chocolate cake or sinking a bottle of wine while you watch Netflix, think about all the good things that healthy changes will bring. If you live a healthy lifestyle, you will live longer, look better and be able to do more! Focus on the positive, and you won’t fail.
Don’t beat yourself up
If you do fall off the wagon, instead of beating yourself up about it and rage-quitting your new lifestyle, simply acknowledge your mistake, forgive yourself for it and tell yourself you will do better in future. This will stop you from eating the contents of the fridge just because you ate one chocolate bar when you shouldn’t have, or cancelling your gym membership because you didn’t attend for a few days.
Don’t weigh yourself constantly
Whether you’re trying to bulk up or you’re aiming to lose weight, it can be tempting to measure your stats constantly, but this can often leave you feeling demotivated or on the verge of an eating disorder. If you don’t see the numbers you would like, it can even lead to you giving up altogether.
In order to avoid the negative aspects of weighing and measuring, you should pick one day (Monday is good) and only take your statistics on that day each week. Log it in a chart and forget about it until Monday comes around again.
If you can avoid all of these pitfalls that come with trying to lead a healthier life, and you can resist the efforts of friends and family to suck you into the latest fads, you will quickly find that you are dropping the pounds, toning up and feeling better than you ever have before. Good luck!