Caring about healthy lifestyle has become trendy as probably never before. That is why there are so many coaches and courses that promise you to improve your life and help you get healthier in no time. Many people though prefer to figure out everything by themselves, especially because the internet has made information so available.
At the same time, the internet has made it easy for anyone to build health website, dispense information and pass themselves off as an expert. And the thing is, you never know for sure whether the information is right or only seems so. While there could be a lot of useful information on the internet coming from the real experts, you need to approach a lot of it with care.Below are four popular pieces of advice that many people generally go with as if they were fact when actually they are, to say the least, inaccurate.
Bad tip #1: Eat frequent small meals to boost metabolism
The idea that you should ditch the traditional three big meals a day for six small meals eaten is based on the argument that this keeps your metabolism busy and burns calories. This is then said to help the body burn more food. In theory, this may sound plausible but like many things that sound good theoretically, things do not quite work that way.
According to the study published in 2012, high frequency diet has no benefits compared to the low frequency diet. Moreover, the study shows that those who eat only three times a day experience less hunger and have lower glucose levels throughout the day.
Those who give this kind of advice generally tend to forget to qualify it by telling you that the most important element is not the number of times you eat but what it is that you are eating and the amount of food you eventually have eaten by the end of the day. Instead of being worried about the number of times you eat, you should be more concerned about whether you are eating more calories than you burn.
Bad tip #2: Run barefoot
Advocates for running barefoot argue that when you wear shoes, you temper with your natural stride. They argue that this results in injury and pain and that our forefathers ran barefoot because that is what humans are naturally made to do.
Arguing that humans were made to naturally run barefoot overlooks the fact that there is nothing natural about running in modern times. Runners are running on surfaces that are not natural anymore. You may try running through the woods and meadows, but in most cases it will not bring you any significant satisfaction as your feet may be way too sensible for diverse natural surfaces. If ancient runners did so without shoes, their feet were trained to walk and run without them.
So far, the benefits of barefoot running are not supported by any significant scientific studies. However, the injuries you may get from running along the concrete roads are real.
Bad tip #3: Drinking icy water burns calories
There is no dispute that staying hydrated has numerous benefits. What is disputed is whether this water should be icy, room temperature or warm. Those advocating for icy water argue that as your body warms up the water, it burns calories.
The thing is that those who back the idea forget to say that drinking icy water may have its disadvantages. For instance, some studies have shown that drinking icy water could actually thicken your mucus and make it difficult for it to move through the respiratory tract. The safest thing to do here is to follow what all other animals do, drink water at room temperature.
Bad tip #4: You can burn all the calories of your daily meals in the gym
The internet is filled with many articles with headlines such as, “5 ways to eat what you want and remain fit”. This piece of advice is based on the argument that you can exercise and burn off all the extra calories you eat. Like all the other bad advice on the internet, the people that give this kind of guidance do not qualify the conditions under which it works.
Just two Snickers or Mars bars will cost you approximately an hour of cycling outdoor or two hours of Pilates. To burn the calories from the three pieces of Hawaiian pizza, you need to spend three hours in a yoga class or two hours performing water aerobics.
Instead of eating what you want and hoping you will exercise it off, the right thing to do would be to make your choice in favor for healthy food. If your meal does not add any value to your nutrition, then you may consider not eating it at all. Also, follow the golden rule: eat as many calories as you can burn even without visiting the gym. This means strategizing and doing your math right.