I’m not a big fan of hype. I hate the click-bait feeds in FB (You Won’t Believe What Your 80’s Stars Look Like NOW!), the trend of scare-health claims (Stop Eating This ONE Health Food TODAY), or fitness miracles (Do This ONE Exercise Every Day For Buns of Steel).
So here’s something you should know about hyped-up health claims. A lot of the people who tout products, services and cure-alls may *not* be qualified to do so. (Gasp). All one needs is a camera, computer and with the click of the mouse they can create a YouTube channel, blog or website and they can promote, share and drive traffic to their site in about half an hour. And the worst part is, the information may not be credible.
So when looking at health claims on the Interwebs or from a link your well-intentioned parents sent you, here’s a few things that I think are important to note.
- There’s not ONE food that is the best to eat or the worst. Sure, there are foods that are really really really bad, and really, really, really good but there’s not an absolute worst or best. It’s all relative.
- There’s not ONE exercise that can eliminate or reduce anything. The formula is simple; eat right and exercise. But the application isn’t usually that simple for a lot of people so that brings me to my next point.
- Any diet or plan that says you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days should be investigated very carefully because the standard for safe and effective (effective is the key word) for weight loss is a pound or two a week. I know. We want to wear that bikini yesterday but remember, you didn’t gain the weight overnight.
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Unless you’re Michael Phelps who could power 10,000 cals a day (or was it for breakfast?) and still stay lean and cut. But he’s not of this world so don’t try it.
Well how do you separate the truth from the trash? You have to do some due diligence. It’s like distinguishing between fake news and well, you know…news. So here are a few tips.
- Is the article from a reputable source? Does the author have any professional associations; an RD, member of a board or association, is a member of an accredited fitness association? Trust me, if you go to school long enough or work hard for the fancy letters after your name, you’ll let everyone know. No shade, they’ve earned them so they should share them. I’m certified through ACE and I tell everyone. 🙂
- Listen, I’ve got nothing against commerce, but we spend millions annually on health and fitness products. Millions. The market is huge. So if you’re reading something and they send you to a page to purchase something, caveat emptor. Read reviews, check into the products, find out the ingredients, who makes them, etc. A few extra minutes of research will pay off before you pay out.
- If you’re hot to try out a YouTube workout, make sure the instructor is qualified. Just because someone lost weight doesn’t mean they are qualified to someone else or provide nutritional counseling. Yikes! Does the instructor know how the body works, can they provide modifications for people not able to do a Scorpion? Sometimes instructors try to “WOW” the audience with big, explosive moves. But not everyone can do them correctly. So be cautious. I’m a big fan of the Daily Burn. I think they provide great quality workouts for all levels. I also love KAISAFIT her moves are off the hook tough, so again, know what you know. And then there’s my girl over at Yoga With Adriene. She’s amazing and many of her stuff is free. And it’s the good stuff too, not just a teaser 5 minute video.
- If you read an article about something and you see that the author cites a study or an expert in field head to their website for more information. Subscribe to their newsletter. I’ve subscribed to many fitness and nutritional newsletters to stay abreast of the industry and to get some insight. I’ll post them to my resources page. After I create my resources page.
Yes, the Internet is a huge resource for information that allows many of us to take our health into our own hands, but we still have to make sure we’re looking in the right places.
Now go run!
PS – So in the case of the Hollywood headline crap, that’s just weird entertainment that only wastes time because you either get tired of clicking through the first 8 pages of stuff we already know about the stars, but at the end it’s the picture you’ve seen a thousand times. Right??