I see these pins on Pinterest. They claim things such as, “These Fives Moves Will Get Rid of Belly Fat.” Or “Cut Out Strawberries to Lose Weight.” These click bates drive me nuts! Mostly because they are inaccurate or misleading. Anyone out there with or without the proper education can write a blog or make a pin. They can make the blog or pin look professional. It is hard to know what is true and what isn’t. Here are a couple common misconceptions about health related topics on social media.
An article on Pinterest states that you will get rid of all cellulite in 30 days or reduce fat in your thighs by doing just a few exercises. Now, don’t get me wrong, the exercises contained within the pin are most likely awesome. In fact, I probably do many if not all of the exercises on a weekly basis. That is not the problem. The problem is that the article is promising something that is not all that feasible from just those exercises. Getting rid of cellulite is not an easy task. Sure doing the exercises might reduce the appearance of cellulite as it tones your muscles. But how is that going to help if you have a layer of fat (causing the cellulite) over the muscles? Cardio and eating right will get rid of the fat. Toning will help the cellulite (Where the exercises come in). Genetics will also play a role as some people genetically have a hard time losing fat in certain areas. You can’t pick where the fat comes off, which can be frustrating when losing weight. The same goes for fat in thighs, abs, back, etc. Bottom line: go ahead and do the exercises! Just make sure you are combining them with cardio and eating healthy for results.
My second pet peeve: cutting out a healthy food or food group to lose weight. Can you believe that I once saw a “diet” on Pinterest that stated that you shouldn’t eat strawberries?? Strawberries! The bright red, delicious fruit full of nutrients? But people will believe it, because it is on Pinterest. Everything is true on Pinterest, right? Wrong! Another one is broccoli. I used to follow a popular “health” page on Facebook. One day an article was posted: “Don’t Eat Broccoli, It Causes Bloat.” The very next day, they posted an article: “Eat Broccoli, It is a Superfood.” Confusing! What do you want me to do? Eat the broccoli or not eat the broccoli??? Well, I will tell you what to do. Eat the broccoli! It’s a vegetable, and it is good for you. The carb debate is another big one. “Carbs are killing you! Don’t eat them!” True, some carbs probably are killing you, like sugars and overly processed breads. But many carbs are good for you, like whole grains and fruits. Eat them! Heck, you can even eat them after 5:00 if you want to! Bottom line: If you want to lose weight, eat the correct foods from the five food groups and stay within calorie guidelines.
One last note, you have to keep in mind when reading articles and pins that claim health related advice: One size does NOT fit all. What works for one person may not work for another due to genetics, health problems, medications, etc. It might take some trial and error in finding what is right for you whether it be exercise or healthy eating.
Star Fitness blogs are written by personal trainer and nutrition specialist, Haley Thiele.
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