It can be difficult to make healthier lifestyle choices, especially when you’re not sure which ones to make! And with the Internet these days, the myths about healthy living that are out there can make it seem darn near impossible to get started. But it’s not and I’m going to show you why.
I’ve noticed a lot of inaccurate information floating online about healthy living. A lot of it sounds good but there’s a whole lot that is not actually good.
Healthy living to me is about making choices and developing habits that are sustainable so you can live a long, fulfilling life. Healthy living habits should be ones that are long-term and focus on various facets that make up your lifestyle.
Which means that being healthy is not just about your physical state or your body, for a lack of better words. If we’re being honest, there are a many facets that you should you can focus on when deciding to practice healthy living:
- Emotional well-being
- Mental well-being
- Spiritual well-being
There is one of you but there are so many pieces that make up your overall well-being. All of these parts make up you, and they are equally important to just your physical well-being.
So I am going to break down 10 weird and just plain ol’ crazy myths about healthy living that you can forget for good. You should be empowered to make the right choices to help you live the healthy life you want.
Healthy Living is only about ‘eating right’
As I stated earlier, this is totally untrue. Healthy living is not just about the food you eat, it’s about all of your habits that either help you live the life you want or deter you from it altogether.
Making healthy decisions surrounding food is important, but it’s not everything. Instead of focusing solely on what you’re eating every day, try to look at everything you do, every single day.
For example, you should reflect about your eating choices but go deeper than that. How do you show up for yourself when you’re stressed? How do you take care of you? Do you notice changes in your diet/ fitness routines often?
Don’t focus on one thing. Get real with yourself by asking a lot of questions about why you do what you do, especially as it pertains to living healthier. This is how you can transform your mindset and make healthy choices regularly.
Eating carbs is bad for you or will make you fat
I really HATE that a lot of diets or fads most of us see promote the absence of carbs in your diet. It’s silly because the truth is that we need carbs to survive. Period.
In order to get the correct nutrients your body needs, you need to consume a balanced diet that consists of carbs, protein and fat. Saying that you can or dare to remove one OR significantly reduce one’s intake, can be dangerous for your health.
And remember, healthy living is about sustainability. If you can’t sustain the habit long-term, it’s probably not a good one to implement anyway!
Also, carbohydrates provide energy for your body to perform its regular functions. So instead you should try to find a balanced diet that includes carbs, protein and fats. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to track your daily nutrition!
You can only eat organic food
There has been a CRAZE about organic food for many, many years and I doubt it’s going away anytime soon.
The craze really started in the early 2000’s when the USDA released new standards for organic products which lead to mainstream adoption. Soon everybody and their mama was buying only organic. Don’t believe me?
According to NPR, “organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing“. Isn’t that crazy?!
So instead of trying to only shop for organic products, try to consume more REAL foods. Opt for more vegetables and fruits and try to limit your intake of processed foods! Also ensure you are reading the nutrition labels on everything you buy. This will teach you to be aware of 1. the good and bad nutrition facts and 2. the random ingredients you didn’t know were included!
You have to avoid all fatty foods
Like I mentioned, you need a balance of nutrients in your diet and that goes for fats as well. There are fats that are better for you than others, but doesn’t mean you should avoid them all1
To give you a quick example, the lists below will show you two types of fats, one list better than the other. Hopefully you can see the quick difference and understand why fats are not all bad for you!
Not The Best Fatty Foods:
- Fried Food
Better Fatty Foods:
- Vegetable Oils
- Chia Seeds
Being thin means you are living a healthy lifestyle
Nope, nope and no. While many may argue this, looking a certain way does not mean you are necessarily living a healthy life. Healthy living is not just one facet, its all of them! So if we work with that definition, your physical state cannot solely define if you are practicing healthy living.
Being thin is also extremely subjective based on the person, but I think you get where I’m going…
I remember when I was my thinnest, a lot of people complimented me about my phyiscality and how ell I was taking care of myself. Truth is, I was eating terrible, binge drinking often and never really practicing self-care, at least not regularly.
You see how the external image of your life can look very, very different from the real picture.
Looking a certain way, big or small, green or purple, doesn’t mean you’re healthy! Instead of focusing on how you look solely in the mirror, you should look at how you are treating yourself. Reflect about your habits and you’ll see there are opportunities even in places you didn’t think!
Diet soda is a healthier option
Well for many years we have been sold that diet soda is a healthier option than soda, which i guess technically is true, but silly nonetheless.
Instead of soda period, opt for water.
Yes, water my friend. Not saying you should never drink soda because that may be extreme, but if we are talking about “healthier options” then I would ditch the soda altogether. They don’t provide any real benefits and are just wasted calories.
You need to take a lot of supplements
So I’ll start with saying that all supplements are not bad. Many people take them to help them fill in gaps with their diet or nutrition.. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that of course, but I do think you should come to that conclusion with the assistance of your physician!
If you think you are not getting enough of a particular nutrient or vitamin, try consulting with your doctor to see what options they recommend for you based on your health and previous history. Just don’t assume and go all supplement crazy!
I have seen SO MANY people start taking a bunch of different supplements without understanding the impact of the supplement on their physical chemistry. You have to be aware of what you’re putting in your body.
Instead, try to make sure you are getting a balanced diet. Not sure what that looks like specifically for you? Consult your doctor and ask for specific tips and they will recommend supplements, if needed.
You can only eat salads to practice healthy living.
This is totally untrue and if I’m being real, it’s so silly! Healthy living is not about limiting yourself to one thing, let alone one type of meal. It’s about giving you plentiful opportunities to live your life differently and your own terms.
While salads can very much be a healthy option, it’s not always the best choice! Many salads have fatty or unhealthy dressings that completely ruin it, while others are perfect at providing balance.
I’m here to tell you that no, you don’t have to eat salads every day for the rest of your life if you want to practice healthy living.
Try switching things up if you’re bored with your meals! I am currently switching to a plant-based diet again and below are some of my favorite vegetables that I love to eat practically every week!
- Cabbage (raw is just fine too)
- Sweet Potatoes
You only need a day of two of exercise per week
WRONG! Actually research has shown that it’s not about how many days you work out each week per say, but instead about how many minutes or hours you spend exercising on a regular basis.
But they also recommend two types of exericse which include aerobic exercise such as walking, running, biking AND muscle strengthening exercises that focus on your entire body. Try to incorporate both each week to improve your physical well-being!
And it’s up to you but I would suggest breaking up the 150 minutes of exercise into at least 3-5 workouts until you can do longer workouts without increased strain on your body. You don’t want to run the risk of injury, trust me!
Instead, try to plan in advance when you’ll work out so you can make it an easier goal to accomplish. Start with a few days each week and slowly work your way up to whatever you feel is comfortable for your body.
Your life will be boring now that you’re practicing healthy living
This is the furthest thing from the truth. Your life will not become less of what it was when you decide to live healthy, it will give you more than you could ever imagined.
It will give you peace of mind knowing that you are in control of your life, your body, and your choices. Healthy living will also increase your self-awareness, giving you an opportunity to reflect honestly about the areas in your life you can improve upon.
By practicing healthy living, you can be mindful of your behaviors, habits and routines, making changes when you see it necessary to do so. Remember you have to take care of your body, your mind, and spirit! All three!
If you can remember that, I promise you your life won’t get boring. It’ll actually grow into one that is exciting, challenging, and extremely rewarding. So forget the myths and use the tips I’ve explained to practice healthy living today!
Now that you’ve learned about some of the myths of healthy living and the tips on challenging each one, how will you start to live a healthier lifestyle today?