Here are the completed tips with specific descriptions of what I meant for each one.
Please remember that these tips are what I’ve learned on my fitness journey, and you might not agree with some of them but it’s how I view health and how I go about my fitness life. Thank you.
Clean eating is not the be all and end all of health:
Although clean eating is essential when it comes to a healthy diet, it’s not the be all and end all of health. I get a lot of people freaking out and asking me if it’s bad that they ate something “unhealthy”. My logic is; if you enjoy it, then it’s healthy for the soul. A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating clean 100% of the time, you have to enjoy the food you eat. And if you enjoy having a huge pizza or white bread with nutella and a large glass of chocolate milk, then go for it! One bad day won’t ruin your healthy lifestyle. In my opinion, eating what you want sometimes actually makes your lifestyle healthier, since you’re allowing yourself to eat the things you enjoy, and not restricting on certain foods. So eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat. Health isn’t just about clean eating, health is about eating what you want and not feeling bad about it. Health is about moderation, not deprivation
Less calories does not equal healthier:
You’ve probably seen a lot of text posts about this before, but I’m going to elaborate on it anyway. A lot of people seem to think that foods with less calories are healthier than food with more calories. Let me say this once; calories are not the sole important aspect in food. Food is not merely made up of calories, food also contains nutritional factors that can help your body in a positive manner. Certain foods may have less calories, but that doesn’t make them healthier than foods with more calories. For example, diet coke has 0 calories, but it also has 0 other attributes and doesn’t give your body any nutrition whatsoever. Imagine what kinds of harmful chemicals have to be put in diet coke for it to be 0 calories. The same goes the opposite way. Foods that are higher in calories aren’t necessarily bad for you. Nuts, for example, have a very high calorie count, however they contain healthy nutrients such as healthy fats that contribute to a healthy body and can aid in weight loss.
1,200 calories is not a magic number
A lot of people see 1,200 calories as the minimum amount of calories they should it, and it’s fine as long as they don’t eat under this number. This idea is false. Unless you are a 4 midget weighing less than 100 pounds, it’s impossible for your body to function on a mere 1,200 calories a day. Every person has a specific number of calories their body needs to function, this can be determined by calculating a person’s BMR. Even then, you BMR is not the amount of calories you need to be eating during the day. BMR is merely the amount of calories your body needs to function properly (breathing, heart beat, ect) and does not account for activity level. You need to multiply your BMR by your activity level to find out how many calories your body needs to function properly (I’ll post the link to BMR and activity level below).
Counting calories can end up being dangerous
I know a lot of people might disagree with this point, but this opinion is based off my personal experiences with calorie counting. Although it can be considered good to have a rough idea of how much you’re eating in a day, calories counting can end up being something one obsesses over. I, myself, developed an eating disorder due to obsessive calorie counting and restricting on foods that I believed were too “high in calories” to eat. What I normally suggest to people if they want to get a rough estimate on how many calories they’re eating, is to count calories for about a week. In that week you’ll get an estimate of how many calories each meal contains, to ensure you’re not overeating or under eating. But remember, just because it’s higher in calories/lower in calories, doesn’t necessarily make it healthy/unhealthy.
Fats are essential
I’m not talking about processed fats found in junk food and sweets (although it’s good to indulge once in a while). I’m talking about monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which opposed to fats found in junk food, can decrease cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Your body needs healthy fats to function properly, so pick up that avocado, peanut butter, nuts and enjoy them. They’re good for you.
What you consider a “binge” may not actually be a binge
A binge can be described as an act of excessive or compulsive consumption especially of food or alcoholic beverages. Normally a binge can only be defined as a binge if you have eaten the amount of calories you’d normally eat in a day, in one sitting. A lot of people come to me telling me they “binged” on ice cream of cake or whatever. Let’s be clear, unless you consumed over 2,000 calories of ice cream or cake, this cannot be properly considered a binge. What most people tend to do is “indulge” on unhealthy foods, but as said before, this is not necessarily a binge. A small indulgence once in a while isn’t a bad thing, and it won’t stunt your progress or your healthy eating plans. Be aware that you ate unhealthily, ask yourself why you did so, and move on.
BMI means nothing
People come in different shapes and sizes. A person of 5’10 may not have the same body shape as another person of the same height, thus their weights will differ, yet they could both be considered healthy. Additionally, the fact that a pound of muscle takes up less space in the body than a pound of fat, can come into the equation. A person of 5’10 weighing 160lbs, but being more muscular will have the same BMI as someone else of the same weight, but with less muscle, yet their bodies will look different.
Size doesn’t matter
You can be a size 2 and be healthy. You can be a size 22 and be healthy. Your size has nothing to do with your fitness level. I have a lot of friends who are bigger but you can run faster, lift more and are more flexible than I could ever hope to be. I also have friends who are smaller and aren’t as fit as I hope to be. Also, there shouldn’t be an ideal “size” or “weight” you should aim for in my opinion. Although it’s good to have goals, it’s not good to be so set on a size that you end up being disappointed in yourself if you don’t achieve it. Same goes with weight. Especially weight. Muscle has a higher density than fat, so it weighs the same but doesn’t take up as much space in your body. So you could weigh more than someone who is the same size as you but still look smaller due to the fact that more of your weight is composed of muscle instead of fat.
A thigh gap is not a realistic goal
A thigh gap is not a realistic goal for many reasons. The main being that it isn’t achievable by a lot of body types. To have a thigh gap you need to have wider hips than most, and even then the likelihood of a thigh gap may not be totally achievable. It all depends on skeletal structure, and the majority of people don’t have the right structure for a thigh gap.
“But I see so many people with a thigh gap on tumblr”, you say? Well there are a few ways people can position their legs when taking picture, that gives the impression of having a thigh gap, when in reality their thighs touch. By spreading your knees apart and pushing your butt back, you can give the illusion of having a thigh gap, when in reality your thighs touch.
Don’t base your happiness on a gap in your thighs.
Don’t overdo exercise
I get a lot of people sending me asks telling me they workout every day for 2-3 hours. This is not healthy. Your body can’t handle that much stress, and if you continue to overexert it, it can cause a lot of permanent damage. Your body needs rest days in order to recover and heal itself from the strain it was put on during your workouts. Additionally it’s not good to work our for over 1 hour a day, unless this technique has been approved by a fitness instructor. You additionally need to switch up your workouts once in a while; don’t focus on one specific body part every day for a week. This can really damage your body. Your body needs rest, allow it the time to heal and strengthen.
You can’t spot reduce
You can’t spot reduce. What does this mean? This means that you cannot choose where your body loses fat from. Cardio burns general fat, but no specific exercise will make you lose fat from a specific part of your body. What certain exercises will do is tone the muscle (eg, lunges tone legs) and make them look leaner. So to lose fat and look leaner you need to combine cardio, strength exercises and healthy eating.
There is no “right way” to exercise
Before you all misunderstand, I don’t mean that there isn’t a right way to perform each exercise. Of course, every exercise has a proper way to do it to ensure that you don’t get injured. What I mean by this (although I’ve probably worded it wrong) is that there isn’t simply one exercise that is effective for weight loss/health. There are different types of exercises you can do that are all good for you. I personally like volleyball, running, and horse riding; but someone else may prefer swimming, weight lifting and biking. Neither one of our preferred exercises are “better” than the other, they’re different and everyone should do what they enjoy it terms of exercise.
Lifting weights won’t make you “bulky”
This one’s for all you ladies out there. I could go on all night about this but I’d rather leave it to someone who’s put it into words perfectly: http://greatist.com/fitness/ladies-lifting-weights-wont-make-you-bulky
Diet is a word I dislike using when it comes to fitness and health. Of course, the definition of a diet for most is the way we eat. What I’m talking about are fad diets. Diets that make you eat a small amount of calories, promising fast weight loss. Let me tell you this straight away. Unless your NET calories intake is below 3,500 calories a day, there is no way you’re losing 1lb a day. And even if you are eating so little (which is very unhealthy) you will most likely gain back the weight you lost after said diet is completed. Why you ask? Because when you don’t give you body enough energy, your metabolism slows down and your body ends up storing excess energy as fat. Even after you complete your diet your metabolism is still slowed down, meaning that when you eat normally again your body stores the energy consumed as fat, thus you end up gaining back the weight you “lost” and then some.
You are not fat
I get so many people messaging me “I’m fat, what do I do”. Although many people may disagree, no one is fat. You have fat, you are not fat. Fat is fat because it is composed solely of fat. People also have muscle, bones, organs, waste, water, but no one says; “I’m so water” or “I’m so organs”! So you aren’t fat, you may have fat, but that doesn’t make you fat.
What might work for one person won’t necessarily work for you
Just because a certain way of eating and certain exercises worked for one person, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Don’t blindly follow someone else’s eating and exercise plan; find out what works best for you, and go with it.
Eating disorders are not something to strive for
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. An eating disorder is a serious illness, filled with a whole lot of pain and suffering. It’s not a “fad” or an “ideal” that should be strived for. An eating disorder does more harm than good. Please don’t strive for something so many people would dream to recover from.
Don’t trust everything you hear from fitblrs
This includes myself. The majority of us fitblrs have learned everything we know from personal experience. This does not make us experts, this does not put us on the same level as nutritionists, personal trainers or doctors. A lot of our information might be wrong, so don’t take out word as golden and perfect. Do your own research, ask around, see your doctor; don’t merely listen to what we say just because you don’t know. And most importantly, don’t ask people for advice on what to eat or how much to exercise. This includes buying eating plans from uncertified tumblr users. Unless they are licensed nutritionists, there is no way they will be able to accurately create a plan that works specifically for what your body needs.