05/04/2016 02:17 EDT | Updated 05/05/2017 05:12 EDT

Experts Debunk The 9 Most Damaging Health Myths They Know

There are far too many "health gurus" preaching so-called "health advice." Problem is? Most of it is just not true. I reached out to 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?"

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Frustrated woman on scale

There are far too many "health gurus" preaching so-called "health advice."

Problem is? Most of it is just not true.

I reached out to 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?"

If you feel confused about health, then this article will set you free.

Let's begin.

1.) Neghar Fonooni -- Neghar Fonooni Website

"...You have more to offer the world than your body fat composition..."

Though physical health plays a key role in your life and stability over the long term, there are other factors that play just as important a role: your emotions and your mindset.

Thanks to the media's distorted and superficial image of health, we've booked a first-class ticket on the vehicle of vanity to attain happiness. But the truth is, when we develop a strong and loving connection with ourselves at our core, we naturally begin to treat ourselves with respect.

My advice: Write a love note or affirmation to yourself and keep it somewhere you know you'll see at least once a day.

2.) Kathryn Budig -- Kathryn Budig Website

"I wish people would understand that there is no single road or fix to good health..."

We are individuals with our own needs, predispositions and sensitivities.

However, given the current research and risk factors for chronic disease, there is a lot we can use as general guidance, especially as we begin to venture on our path to optimal living.

My advice: Find a buddy or accountability partner to support you on your individual journey (but remember to always celebrate shared milestones).

3.) Mark Fisher -- Mark Fisher Fitness

"The most sabotaging health myth I see, particularly in regards to fitness, is that 'more is better...'"

The emergence of personalized health tells us that no two people are alike.

Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. For some, CrossFit is the best medicine, and to others, it's yoga.

My advice: Start with a low-hanging-fruit health goal -- be it fitness or food related.

4.) Darya Rose -- Summer Tomato

"...You need to sacrifice and deprive yourself to be healthy, and that if you had more willpower to do this, you would succeed..."

Though I agree with this in theory, I do believe there is a window of discomfort that often follows a health reset.

There is power and healing in learning to find comfort within the discomfort -- and almost always -- willpower is your primary fuel to do so.

My advice: Work on small, realistic healthy goals to build up the momentum and motivation before tackling harder-to-reach goals.

5.) Robb Wolf -- Robb Wolf Website

"The most sabotaging health myth I know of is that you can get by on less than seven to nine hours of sleep per night..."

Sleep debt is very real -- those hours of sleep you missed while staying up until 5am are still affecting your body today. The only way to pay back sleep debt is through sleeping more.

Sleep offers us many benefits; one of them being the fasting state (not eating any food for a period of time). In this state, your body and brain have an opportunity to rest, rebuild and essentially "get rid of the garbage."

My advice: Get access to bright light (sunlight) during the day to maximize blue light exposure, and as the sun goes down, gently detach from your technology.

6.) Gunnar Peterson -- Gunnar Peterson Website

"Lifting weights will make you big."

This largely depends on the amount of the weights, reps, gender and your lifestyle.

For women, it's important we know our muscles cannot be compared to men simply because of our differences in hormones; in particular, testosterone. Weightlifting is unlikely to make a woman "big" like most of them fear.

My advice: Focus on its many benefits, like improved metabolism, body awareness, endurance and mental strength.

7.) Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H. -- Food Politics

"...It would be that larger portions have more calories. If you want to lose weight, the best way to do it is to eat less..."

Excessive eating is a culprit of obesity and disease, but I would be mindful about generalizing too much when it comes to portion control.

Two things are far more important than the total amount of calories in a food: quality and nutrient density. For many people struggling to lose weight, moving to a more nutritious (free from deep-fried and refined sugar) macronutrient-balanced diet can be the best strategy for weight loss.

8.) Mark Bittman -- Mark Bittman Website

"a.) We need to eat A LOT of protein, and b.) That protein is only found in animal flesh."

An excessive intake of protein is a far greater problem than low protein consumption, especially for those of us who are eating a diet heavy in refined carbohydrates.

Heavy protein intake can amplify the growth of cells and override the body's ability to kill those cells that have been damaged (i.e., cancerous cells).

9.) Jennipher Walters & Erin Whitehead --

Fit Bottomed Girls

"The most sabotaging health myth we hear time and time again is that you have to "diet" to lose weight..."

It's not a good idea to vilify the word diet. Diet has a broad meaning covering all intentional nutrition patterns. There is nothing wrong with well-designed diets for weight loss.

Begin your health journey by making small tweaks and getting some easy wins to build momentum and motivation.


There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach or quick-fix magical solution.

Take the time to do your research and experiment with what feels right for you. You can begin your journey over on my website, Living Rhea -- I'll guide you in the right direction.

Listen to your body and be gentle with your mind -- these will always be your best guides.

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