6 Popular Health Myths Debunked

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The invention of the internet has given us a lot of wonderful things. You can order kittens to your workplace, stream television shows whenever you want and watch entire seasons on an endless loop, and of course, cat gifs. But one of the things that has grown increasingly worse thanks to the web is the pressure to stay healthy and look perfectly fit.

All of this online pressure, thanks to social media, can make it even easier for people to fall prey to health fads, which are becoming harder and harder to detect. Sure, everyone knows that a 3 day juice cleanse isn’t the healthiest, safest, or most effective way to lose ten pounds, but what about those fancy organic labels at the grocery store and a magazine’s new favorite detox diet?

If you’re looking to lose weight or get in shape but you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of health myths you shouldn’t believe. Knowing what not to do is a great way to start figuring out what is right to do!

Juice Diets

We love juicing, and believe in the health benefits of it along with regular solid food, but an all juice diet is another story. It seems obvious that real, solid food would be better for you than throwing everything in a juicer and calling it a day, but the juicing fad is still very much in style. Usually lasting about 3 days, the juicing diet is marketed towards people looking to lose 3-10 pounds in a short period of time or right before a big event, while claiming to clear out the body and shrink fat. Some people even try to do this every month, but experts believe that an all-juice diet can actually make you gain more weight due to a lack of nutrients being delivered to the body. According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, you could also be losing out on essentials fibers that you can only obtain from eating a whole fruit or vegetable, and there is no scientific evidence to prove that juicing is a healthier diet alternative.

Any Kind of Detox Diet

This may come as a shock, but it is impossible to detox the body even though various diet plans and health foods will claim to have this magical power. There is hardly any science out there that proves that toxins can be detoxed from your body by either diet or workout. People usually feel better after going on detox diets because they are eating less junk and instead opting for cleaner foods according to an article by the Mayo Clinic. So, while you may not be able to cleanse toxins from your body, a hearty detox diet may be a good way to start eating smarter.

Eating Less After a Day of Binge Eating

Black Friday isn’t just the single biggest shopping day of the year, but it is also the day where we all feel guilty about eating our weight in pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and decide to eat less in order to avoid holiday bloat. This is an ineffective way to avoid weight gain after a big holiday dinner, because your body can’t tell days apart. It doesn’t know that you ate more today than yesterday, it just processes the food as it arrives. Also, your body actually stores calories even more when you starve yourself, so you may gain more weight by suddenly reducing your calories. The best way to avoid bloating is to not resort to binge eating on holidays. You can eat everything you want without using multiple plates full of food.

Studies About Coffee, Wine, or Chocolate

We can’t seem to make up our minds on the potential health benefits or health dangers that lie in coffee, wine, and chocolate. One day a glass of red wine a day will cure all of your ailments, and the next day it will be linked to almost every cancer there is. Since we have no definitive science on the nutritional benefits or dangers of these three things, it is best to just enjoy them all in moderation. Besides, taking away coffee, wine, and chocolate would be just downright cruel.

Weight Lifting Will Make You Bulk Up

While the more feminine fitness classes like spin class or barre are great ways to slim down and stay in shape, it is incredibly hard to tone your body without weights or strength training exercises. For years women have been told to avoid lifting weights for fear of overbuilding muscle, but recent science has proved that not only is this not possible, but women who work on muscle tone can appear slimmer and lose more weight than women who don’t. Incorporate the weight room at the gym into your weekly fitness routine and you’ll see more results and feel stronger than ever.

Severely Cut Calories to Boost Weight Loss

If there are a minimum of three calorie tracking apps on your phone at any given time, you may want to listen up. Getting hung up on severely cutting back on your calorie intake may not only be an ineffective way to lose weight, but it may be one of your unhealthiest habits. Sure, you don’t want to be eating ridiculously high calorie foods or not paying any attention at all to your calorie intake, but trying to cut back too drastically can result in a lack of energy which can put your body into starvation mode and end up causing weight gain. Calories are your body’s way of getting fuel to power through the day, so being smart about what the quality of calories you are eating and making sure you are eating enough a day is a way more effective way to stay healthy and kick start weight loss.


The Physical Effects of Weight Gain after Starvation, PsychologyToday.com

Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?, Mayoclinic.org

Do detox diets offer any health benefits?, Mayoclinic.org

12 Reasons You Should Start Lifting Weights Today, WomensHealthMag.com

Brooke Schuldt is a freelance writer interested in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and feminism topics. Her work has been featured on various print and online outlets, including Parents Magazine, fitness.com, Ed2010, and Deux Hommes.

When Brooke is not focusing on her magazine career goals, she can be found knitting, teaching herself French, or updating her personal blog. Her bucket list includes traveling around the world, a shopping spree at Kate Spade, and writing a New York Times Bestseller.



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