5 damaging myths about bodies that we all need to stop believing
Throughout our lives, we hear what we think are the facts of life about our bodies. But in reality, most of the things we think we know for sure are complete BS. For example, there are tons of myths about bodies that we all have to stop believing in. Some of them are just silly; others could really be potentially harmful or be holding you back from living your best life.
It’s time we all faced the facts when it comes to our bodies.
Too many of us rely on our friends or what we think is an instinct about what feels right when it comes to our bodies. But we should remember to do our research and talk to our nutritionists or doctors when it comes to making big choices about diet, exercise, taking medicine — anything, really.
Here are a few body myths we have to stop buying into.
1You can’t eat before bedtime.
We’ve all heard that eating before bedtime makes us “fat” or is unhealthy for us. We’ve likely even deprived ourselves of a little midnight snack because of it. There’s some truth to this, but not because eating something is bad for you at a certain time of day. Calories don’t know what time it is. Sure, if you eat late-night, you’re probably not going to burn them right away, but they’ll wait till morning. A lot of times, people who eat late night just aren’t making healthy choices about their snack. But if you want something to eat before bed, just make a healthier choice. Also, studies show that small amounts of carbs before bed actually help you sleep better, so don’t go to bed hungry!
2You sweat out toxins.
Yes, it feels like when you hit the gym after a long night out you’re “sweating it out,” but alas, you are not. Toxins are processed by your organs, like your liver and kidneys. There are times when it’s too much to handle, so your body processes toxins through fat. Some studies have shown toxins like mercury and arsenic in sweat — so that sauna or spin class isn’t the worst idea. You might feel better after working out if you had too much wine the night before, but it’s likely because you’re getting your endorphins working. Sorry, but hydration is really the best thing.
3Small meals boost your metabolism.
The research just is not in on this one. If losing weight is a healthy option for you at some point, and you want to eat a bunch of small, balanced meals to help you do that, that can be great since a lot of diets don’t work because we tend to deprive ourselves. So those small meals make us feel full and give us something to look forward to (who doesn’t like the idea of a mid-morning snack?). There are actually studies that show three well-balanced meals is way better than six small ones. But! Talk to a trainer or nutritionist to work out a meal plan that works for you. Just know that nothing “boosts” your metabolism aside from having more muscle really. So maybe just embrace the swole lifestyle and get strong AF.
4Crash diets can help in a pinch.
Don’t do this! Crash diets or cleanses are so not good for you. Yes, if you don’t consume calories, you won’t gain weight, at least in theory. But that is not the way to go about things. Even the most expensive, well-balanced juice cleanses are depriving your body of things that you need. When you do a crash diet, you weaken your immune system, run the risk of dehydration (yes, even by drinking only liquids), and make your heart work overtime. All around, not good stuff. There are other ways to fit into that dress you want for your friend’s wedding — like buying a size that actually fits your already-amazing body, eating healthy and working out for you.
5Overweight equals unhealthy.
You don’t know anyone’s life, so assuming that being overweight means that they’re unhealthy is just wrong (and rude to assume). A person can be overweight and not be jeopardizing their overall health. In fact, there have been some recent studies that show an obese middle aged person is at not greater risk for heart attacks or a stroke. If you’re concerned about your weight and your health, talk to your doctor. But know that your body weight isn’t a sign that you’re hurting your health. (Or let anyone tell you it is.)
Believing the hype when it comes to bodies can actually hurt your body, so if you have any doubts or questions, just ask a pro.