8 myths about diet, exercise and sleep
Here are eight hypotheses about diet, exercise and sleep that don’t answer the sniff test.
Myth #1: Pop diets are everywhere, so they have to work
« This type of long-term restriction leads to weight gain, not weight loss, and often leads to weight cycling, » said Nina Taylor, education manager at the National Disorders Alliance. food.
Myth #2: There’s nothing wrong with taking your smartphone to bed
At the end of the line : Don’t bring your cell phone and its harmful blue light to bed. Use an old-fashioned alarm clock to help you wake up.
Myth #3 Social media can trick you into dieting and exercising
“They think it will motivate them to exercise or diet,” Taylor said. « However, it can lead to body dissatisfaction – social comparison and many worries about body and weight. These are all risk factors for developing eating disorders. »
Experts fear body dysphoria has increased during the pandemic as more young people have taken to social media while also facing social isolation and disrupted routines, Taylor said.
“Eating disorders are often a coping mechanism,” she said. « It’s a way to feel in control and deal with difficult emotions. »
Myth #4: Pressing the snooze button helps you sleep better
Pro tip: Put the alarm on the other side of the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. (And no, you can’t tell Google or Alexa to turn it off. That’s cheating.)
Myth #5: You can lose belly fat with sit-ups
In reality, exercise burns fat all over the body, not just the part of the body you are targeting.
« You can do an exercise to increase the strength of a muscle, but you can’t reduce it to get rid of fat, » said Dr. Angela Smith, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Experts suggest increasing cardio to burn fat. Strive for a balanced fitness routine by varying the intensity of training to include high and low intensity training.
Myth #6: It’s better to stay in bed with your eyes closed when you can’t sleep
According to sleep experts, staying in bed longer than 20 minutes if you can’t sleep is one of the worst things you can do because it trains your brain to associate bed with lack of sleep. In doing so can lead to chronic insomnia.
Instead, get up and do something boring, like folding laundry, until you’re sleepy. Make sure to keep the lights dim and don’t check your smartphone or laptop.
Myth #7: I have to exercise or diet all the time to change my body type
There’s a belief that exercising or dieting all the time can change your basic body type, Taylor said. « Especially among younger age groups, the feeling is ‘if I dieted better or exercised more, my body would look a certain way’. The reality is that there is a wide range and a wide variety of body types that are all normal and healthy. »
Genetics is key to how exercise can affect your body, Smith said. « If your parents are both over 6 feet tall, you’re probably not going to make it as a gymnast, for example, » she said. « Part of that could be determined by muscle shape and size, and part of it could be determined by the hormonal balances you went through at birth. »
The idea that anyone can lose or gain weight or grow to an ideal body image doesn’t make sense, Taylor said. « There will always be body diversity. After all, we would never say, ‘You should be taller’ or ‘You should be smaller’, would we? »
Myth #8: Bodybuilding supplements advertised on social media really work
High school and college kids may feel they need bodybuilding supplements after seeing products advertised on social media, said Dr. John Xerogeanes, chief of sports medicine at the Emory Orthopedic & Spine Center and professor of Orthopedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
« The biggest problem I have with my patients is supplements, » Xerogeanes said. « An influencer is marketing something that sucks, and all of a sudden the kid is like, ‘Hey, I can take this supplement, and it’s going to give me abs.' »
That’s a problem, he said, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the supplement industry.
« It may say one thing on the label, but you really don’t know what’s in it, » Xerogeanes said. « Manufacturers can put other minerals or even stimulants in their mix, which is why some high school and college athletes are testing positive for drugs. »
When working with college teams, he said, « I tell them, if you’re going to do a supplement, we have to see that supplement, and we have to have it independently tested. »