For the men, it's the Hulk-like muscles and sexy washboard abs. For the ladies, it's that "toned" look, the elusive thigh gap, and a figure so slim they might as well be named Barbie.
This has become the new definition of "success" preached to us by self-proclaimed "gurus" and "masters" in the health and fitness industry -- and sadly -- most people won't be happy until they achieve these unrealistic standards.
Unfortunately, they're creating a barrage of health myths that are hurting you more than they're helping you.
It's time to expose these myths... so that's why I emailed the REAL leaders in this industry and asked them ONE simple question:
"What's the most sabotaging health myth you wish the mainstream world had not been exposed to entering 2016?"
I received enthusiastic replies with the health myths they wish YOU knew.
1. JJ Virgin -- JJ Virgin Website
"The so-called healthy foods that come loaded with sneaky sugar and often create food intolerances. I'm talking about fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, breakfast cereals, and less-obvious culprits like balsamic vinegar and marinara sauce..."
I agree with this 110 per cent, JJ!
When something comes in a box or a package, it's good practice to look for the nutrition facts label and look at two things: net carbohydrates and sugar. This will give you an idea of the amount of sugar (glucose and fructose) in the product.
If the products net carbs are in the double digits with little to no fiber, you can expect a spike in your blood sugar. And the dreaded spike in blood sugar will raise your insulin levels -- which is not good.
If you notice your energy and happiness plummet throughout the day, there's a good chance you're eating more sugar than what your body can handle.
My advice: If you absolutely must treat yourself with a sugary beverage or treat, do it after you've worked out when your carb stores are low.
2. Natalie Jill -- Natalie Jill Website
"The most sabotaging health myth I wish the mainstream world knew is that "diet" foods are good for us. Anytime you replace "fat" with fat-free or "sugar" with sugar-free we end up with chemical junk..."
While I wholeheartedly agree with the power of unprocessed, natural foods and the avoidance of processed "machine poo," I do caution the consumption of sugars altogether, whether artificial or natural.
Sugars from fruit, as an example, can be responsible for poor health symptoms like chronic fatigue, mood imbalances, diabetes, and yeast overgrowth. Rather than position the recommendation to steer clear of diet foods, I'd prefer to focus on opportunities to empower people to better understand how their systems respond to all foods.
My advice: Write in a journal about your levels of energy and how you feel before and after food consumption.
3. Steve Kamb -- Nerd Fitness
"The most sabotaging myth the world should know entering 2016 is that relying on inspiration or motivation to get healthy just doesn't work. It might help you get started, but it won't be there over the months and months, and (hopefully) years and years of getting and staying healthy..."
I definitely agree. When it comes to business, we tend to agree that ideation is followed by a business plan, which is then followed up with tangible steps and goals.
However, when it comes to health -- for some bizarre reason -- we tend to get stuck in the ideation phase (setting our goals), and then we get discouraged when we fall off. Though inspiration and motivation are important drivers to take action, they may not be enough to create long-lasting sustainable changes.
My advice: Get clear on your health goals.
4. Rich Roll -- Rich Roll Website
"The most sabotaging health myth of 2016 I would like to disabuse people of is the notion that "Butter Is Back" and that eating a high-fat diet is healthy. Do not be fooled by the array of recently published books and so-called "health experts" supporting this supposition..."
Monounsaturated fat -- as a health food -- has actually been understood and appreciated for years.
While I agree that pop culture can blow health trends out of proportion and lead to serious consequences, this particular trend has a strong scientific basis and is supported by many key opinion leaders in the field. There is strong evidence suggesting that people can reduce their risk for heart disease by eating fewer carbohydrates and more dietary saturated fats.
This way of eating has also been linked to a reduction in body fat and overall weight. The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in both coconut oil and butter can also increase energy and metabolism through their unique metabolic feature.
My advice: Express caution on the consumption of hydrogenated or trans fats, which do have a negative impact on your fat levels.
5. Tony Horton -- Tony Horton Life
"The myth that lasting physical, mental and emotional health comes in the form of a pill, a quick fix, or some one-dimensional workout program..."
Preach the truth, Tony!
Slow and steady wins the race. Good health is a lifelong commitment and journey -- once people are on the path, they'll be able to understand this notion more clearly with confidence and motivation.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness.
It's about finding what's right for you.
When you follow solid health advice -- like what I preach over at my website, Living Rhea -- the path to your health goals won't happen in under four weeks, but you'll begin getting closer than you ever did before. And you'll do it in a way that feels almost natural and enjoyable.
So let me ask you: what area of your health and life might you be inspired to learn about and begin taking control of once and for all?
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