Misconceptions of a Healthy Lifestyle and What It Means to Be a Healthy

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 Today, having a healthy lifestyle has pretty much become a trend. People are living for their Instagram foodie moments and their post-workout mirrors selfies. What most are unaware of though, is the truth behind all of these trendy healthy lifestyle posts. Not all of the fads are necessarily the most beneficial to someone’s health. While getting caught up in following the trendiness of being healthy, people often obtain many misconceptions that they are unaware of. Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D, R.D. says, “‘Let’s face it, myths and misinformation are much more seductive than the truth.” It is easy to get distracted by common misconceptions of a healthy lifestyle, which includes diet and exercise, but it is important to be educated on the topic. (Hendley) Understanding these misconceptions will reduce the likelihood of obesity. In due course, understanding these common misconceptions will induce healthier habits. Being proactive is the first step in doing so. 

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Therefore, understanding the misconceptions of a healthy lifestyle will lead to a healthier life in general. Get Woke: Food Misconceptions are very apparent within diets or lifestyles, and many are unaware that they are not retaining true information. Some of the most common misconceptions include a misunderstanding of different types of foods, being gluten-free, and quality vs quantity when it comes to nutrition. Types of Nutrients When it comes to understanding the types of foods that there are, people tend to group different types of supplements into one. The most common example of these misconceptions is carbohydrates. Many people have come to the assumption that cutting all carbohydrates out of a diet is healthy, and more beneficial to them as opposed to actually consuming carbohydrates. (Hendley) What most are unaware of is the fact that there are different types of carbohydrates, or, carbs. There are in ftwo kinds of carbs. Complex and simple carbs have different effects on the body. Complex carbs are good sources of energy. Examples of complex carbohydrates are beans, whole grains, and sweet potatoes. However, when most people think of carbohydrates they think of the simple carbs. Examples of this include processed foods. Carbs, in general, break down into sugar within the body, which is why sometimes they can lead to unhealthy things like weight gain. 

On the contrary, not all carbs have the same nutritional benefit. Complex carbs have great nutritional value and vitamins. (Hendley) Therefore, cutting out anything that has any bit of carbs in it from a person’s diet is not technically as healthy as many people think. By cutting out all carbs, they may be losing some key nutrients and energy for their body. It is important to understand which carbs are which in order to get the best nutritional benefit possible. Carbohydrates are not the only foods that people often tend to confuse. There are also different types of fats, proteins, and sugars that are all similar to carbs in the sense that there are both healthy and unhealthy kinds. Gluten-Free Being gluten-free has become a very popular trend, especially among athletes. According to Sheila Keiley, “A new study reveals that about 40% of athletes without celiac disease have diagnosed themselves as “gluten sensitive” and try to follow a gluten-free diet.” Gluten-free diets are necessary for people who have celiac disease, where they can not tolerate gluten. However, if one does not have celiac disease, then a gluten-free diet is not necessary. In fact, Tricia Thompson, R.D. explains it does not seem to have any effect on a person without an intolerance. She illustrates the idea that people say they feel better after cutting out gluten, because their body was unable to digest it before, which would cause extreme discomfort. (Hendley) So, people without an intolerance may not feel different because they were not suffering while eating gluten. Gluten is found in many wheat products, which happen to mostly be carbohydrates. This trend tends to relate back to the idea of cutting out all carbs. 

When people decide to cut out gluten, they are mostly cutting out carbohydrates. Once again, people need to determine which carbs to eat and which to. To summarize, self diagnosing a gluten intolerance is not as beneficial as most people think, as it is mostly a factor of deciphering between carbohydrates. Quality vs Quantity Another popular misconception about nutrition, in particular, is balancing the quality and quantity of food. Most people think that they can eat an excess amount of healthy foods and be fine, or barely eat anything fine too. Meanwhile, the effects are the opposite. Overeating is a surreal issue. The body needs nutrients for energy. But, when a person consumes too much food, the energy is then stored by turning into sugar, which becomes fat. (Hendley) According to Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., “It’s eating too many calories, period, that makes you fat.” On the other hand, not eating enough can also be detrimental to a person’s health. Many people think that to lose weight they should eat less. Eating less will cause quick weight loss, but it is not healthy for your body. Detoxes are common examples of trendy ways to get healthy. But research has proven that detoxes have unnatural and effects the body’s process. (Hendley) Instead, people should eat proportionate amounts of the right foods. Get Woke: Exercise The other half of a healthy lifestyle: fitness, is a big factor in healthy living. It comes with its own big misconceptions as well. The most common misconceptions about exercise include the ability to work off calories, weight lifting, and putting in the time. Work it Off A big misconception that has to do with working out is also has to do with nutrition. Many people assume that they will be able to easily work out, and then burn off any extra calories that they consumed. When, in reality that is not the case whatsoever. 

Calories are harder to burn off than people expect. It is very difficult to burn all of the calories being consumed from a poor diet. (Brodwin) This is because a poor diet will result in consuming extra unnecessary calories, like previously mentioned. Which leads to much more necessary exercise. The balance between calorie intake and burning is tremendously important in maintaining a healthy life. According to plunkett fitness, “It doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you put garbage food into your body.” It is almost impossible to burn off all of the calories consumed from a poor diet. It is more effective to eat healthy than to work out constantly. (Brodwin) Lots of exercise is necessary to remain in healthy and in shape, but when a poor diet is existing the workload piles up in order to stay healthy. This is what most people do not understand. Instead, they tend to overestimate how much they can work out. Weight Lifting Many misconceptions come about the idea of weight lifting. The most common misconceptions come from the fact that people are not properly educated on the topic of weight lifting. 

Many people enjoy the idea of building muscle, while others do not. Meanwhile, some people think that building muscle doesn’t take a lot of time. Everyone has their own opinions, but in the end it is what benefits the healthy of your body that is important. Lifting weights and building muscle is horrifying for some people, and gratifying for others. Misconceptions that come from these different viewpoints vary. Many people who do not like weight lifting do not like it because of their fear of they will look. People do not want to become bulky, but instead want to be slim. However, lifting weights does not necessarily lead to bulking up. Everyone’s bodies react in different ways. (Plunkett) Workouts can be modified to satisfy anyone. In addition to this misconception, people are unaware of the health benefits of becoming strong. Stronger muscles can lead to faster recoveries from injuries, as well as make everyday life easier in the sense that the muscles will have more durability. Lifting does not mean becoming bulky, it means becoming healthy and strong. This knowledge can encourage people to want to lift more. On the flip side, many people love to lift, and enjoy the idea of looking buff. These people tend to only focus on one part of their body though. The most common area people like to build up is their upper body because of the way it looks. While it is important to work on this area, other areas need focus as well. (Brodwin) For example, a strong core eventually leads to strong everything. All in all, weight lifting is good for the health and strength of the body, not just the looks. Another very common misconception about weight lifting is a big cause for people quitting, simply because they don’t have the understanding, or the patience. Many people can not comprehend the idea the learning to lift or building muscle/burning fat takes time. 

The misconception they have is that results come quick. Which, is not the case. Learning to lift properly takes practice and patience. The strength will eventually come. Most people just are not told this enough, and do not have the patience. Putting in the Time Speaking of time, there are many misconceptions that come from the idea of how much time is spent working out. Most people assume that spending a lot of time in the gym or exercising in general will make them healthier. When, this is not always the case. According to Brodwin, “...Years of recent research suggest that short bursts of intense exercise can provide some of the same health benefits as long, endurance-style workouts — and they also tend to be more fun.” Going to the gym and working out for an hour can be great, only if that person is working hard though. Working out without any intensity will not burn calories, therefore not give any results. An intense 30 minutes may show more results because of the amount of calories being burned. The duration of a work-out session does not equate to the intensity/benefits. (Plunkett) So, it does not take long to get a good exercise. Another misconception related to this is constantly working out. Many people do not give their body a break, which can hurt someone. The body needs time to recover. (Plunkett) Also, in resting periods, the muscles grow. Overall, understanding these misconceptions are important in helping the body be healthiest. The Effects of Misconceptions Obesity is mainly caused by misconceptions that people have of healthy lifestyles. Not understanding how a healthy lifestyle should work can lead to unhealthy habits. Eventually, these habits lead to weight gain, which leads to obesity. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s estimated that in 2015–2016, 93.3 million (39.8 percent) American adults and 13.7 million (18.5 percent) American children and teens are clinically obese.” (Moores) Obesity is an epidemic that has been spreading widely, across America especially. Obesity is defined as being overweight, or in other words, having excess fat. It is determined by a person’s body mass index, also known as BMI. This tool measures the amount of extra fat a person has. This will put a strain on a person’s body. It is unhealthy to be obese or overweight as many life-threatening illnesses and diseases are results of obesity. Some of these diseases are heart disease, cancer, and diabetes to name a few. (Moores) Obesity can be detrimental to a person’s health, so identifying the fact that misconceptions lead to this will help reduce the likelihood of obesity. 

Obesity has lots of causes, many of which can be fixed out of habit. Overall, being obese is very unhealthy as if can have many negative effects on a person’s health and wellness. The number of causes of obesity is exponential, but one very real reason is the misconceptions of being healthy that people struggle to understand. By understanding these misconceptions people will be able to be truly healthy and feel the best they can. Get Right To reiterate, a healthy lifestyle consists of proper nutrition and exercise. In order to start to become healthy there are some key idea people need to understand, besides being informed on the most common misconceptions. Nutrition According to InfoBase: Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle, “No single dietary component can make or break a diet. Rather, it is the overall pattern of intake combined with lifestyle factors that determines the relationship between your diet and your health.” When it comes to nutrition, the general rule of thumb is everything in moderation. (Smolin) Eating things that someone may like, but are not the most healthy is okay. It is eating poorly all of the time that is a bad habit. A balanced diet with all kinds of foods is the best way to maintain good health. Variety and new foods will also be more motivation to eat healthy. 

A new diet, or way of eating, should make a person happy or satisfied. So choose foods you like. Your healthy lifestyle should suit you and what you like. This way you are more enticed to live healthier. (Smolin) Exercise An exercise plan should also suit a person’s likes. In other words, finding ways to get motivated will make exercising easier. Variety in workouts are helpful to staying motivated and working on all parts of your body. (Grosvenor and Smolin) According to infobase, “A well-planned exercise regimen includes aerobic exercise to improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, stretching to promote and maintain flexibility, and resistance training to enhance the strength and endurance of specific muscles.” Balancing the types of exercise will be the most beneficial to a person’s body. Overall, when it comes to exercise and fitness, being smart about your own body and decisions is a big part of starting a new lifestyle. (Grosvenor and Smolin) Balance Balancing diet and exercise is also extremely important in a healthy lifestyle. The ratios of calories being consumed to calories being burned are important to watch. (Smolin) Also, being good about both factors of a healthy lifestyle is important as well. Do not slack on one end, and be great on the other. Finding the balance between nutrition and fitness is the ultimate goal in becoming healthier. Conclusion To sum up, understanding the most common misconceptions about a healthy lifestyle will prevent illness and lead to a smarter lifestyle. According to InfoBase, “Exercise and a healthy diet also improve your mood and your outlook on life. These are the first steps to feeling good about yourself and your body.” Being happy is the total goal in starting a healthier life. That said, finding ways to be healthier, like understanding common misconceptions, can lead to a better life in general. So, get out there and be healthier. A better understanding of a real healthy lifestyle now allows for a new start. Live a healthier life by being passionate and dedicated to becoming a new person. And one last thing, never give up, because it is not impossible. 

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