Search #fitfam on Instagram and you'll see more rump than at an American steakhouse. Juicy! Every year seems to go the same way. Suddenly the once desolate roads are blistering with enthusiastic joggers. Shopping bags are bulging with iron rich greens and fresh organic fruits that costs half your monthly wage. Hello Christmas detox... We always vow to ditch the junk food and create a body that looks like it has been carved by angels. That's until there is another sodding celebration at the office. But thank goodness for the internet, hey?
Social media is saturated with motivating mantras and chiselled men in spandex. The number of 'fitness gurus' who promise us mere mortals, that we will be better off following their 30 day plans is showing no signs of slowing. It seems everyone is an 'expert' in this industry nowadays. But before you are left sobbing into a box of left over sweet and sour chicken balls in sheer desperation on who to follow, ask yourself this... would you let a plumber give you a heart transplant?
We all know health and fitness fads come and go. Never are we short of celebrities endorsing some kind of 'miracle' investment with persuasive claims that their products WILL change your life forever. We can't deny some of them do help, but some.. we're still not sure what they do. "But how do I bag myself a better body?", I hear you cry... don't worry, your prayers have been answered. Here are a few of the top diet tips, busted, so you never have to feel compelled to buy into these segments of "wisdom" again.
1. Exercise Erases Week Long Binges.
10 minutes of cardio, check. 10 reps of bicep curls, check. Holding a wall squat for what seemed like forever, check, taking a 'gym selfie' because if you didn't take a photo, it didn't happen. Sound familiar? But before you have another snaccident and delve into a box of Krispe Kremes, I hate to break it to you, you can't out-exercise a crappy diet. Eating HAS to complement exercise. You wouldn't contour without highlight, or have Kenan without Kel. It's a calorie game, and unfortunately we underestimate the amount of gym sessions it takes to transform our bodies. Did you know it takes 90mins worth of running to burn off a chicken tikka? Yes! Put the poppadoms down!
2. Pasta Makes You Fat
For all of the packets of pasta out there longing to find a loving home. This is for you. Over the years we have all heard the statement 'cut out carbs'. Why though? Well it is based on the theory:
"When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugars, which are then stored as fat."
Although there is some truth behind this statement, the reality is carbohydrates per se don't make you fat; extra calories do, whether you eat them in the form of carbs, fats, and yes, protein. Girl cancel the extra sides of chicken wings.
Carbohydrates include veggies, fruits, and grains, which are essential for a healthy diet. The problem isn't pasta!! But before you hold an Italian night inspired by Gino and Vino, remember, pasta in moderation is fine when sparingly added to a veggie dense meal.
3. Eat Fat-free Food
Wrong! Fat is not the enemy. Although fat-laden products like 'cake' can be full of calories, fat found in nuts and fish help the body absorb certain vitamins. Many fat free items you can buy are full of sugars and sweeteners. Remember you are sweet enough so you might want to check the label. We know a diet consisting of Chelsea buns and ice cream isn't going to end well. But as a whole... Fat doesn't make you fat!
4. The Holy Scale
I will tell you what to do with the scales. Burn them, use them as a doorstop, throw them out of the window. Quite frankly anything that stops them being used for their intended purpose. Scales can lie. For starters, you can step on the scales and see a loss of 3 pounds, but that loss may not even be from fat. It could be from water loss or whether you have taken your wig off. Hitting it hard at the gym and gaining muscle will make the scales show you putting on pounds. Muscle is more dense than fat, so despite losing body fat, the number on the scales will be higher. You may be slimmer, however the scales will tell you different.
5.Diet = Salads.
We have all done it, followed a prescriptive plan in desperation to squeeze into an outfit we wore as a youth. After a week, you have shifted the weight of a baby goat. Eating salad after salad and nothing but salads. This is not only monotonous, but blimin' boring. The reality is, short term on ANY plan that gets you to consuming less calories will equate to a loss. My darlings, salads are a side dish, not a meal.
Diets aren't a quick fix that begin on a Monday. Change eating habits now, yes, right now. Find a long-term, satisfying plan that you can live with. This includes a few chocolate digestive biscuits with your cuppa, or a cheeky slice of cake whilst watching the great British Bake Off. Go on, you deserve it.