27 Health Myths That Are Actually Incredibly Harmful To Your Wellbeing

As I go through my own struggles with what it means to be "healthy." I've realized that our society, diet culture, and even my beloved fitness industry are spreading and normalizing dangerous messages. It's time to stand up to the money-hungry businesses that live off of people's insecurities. We deserve to be treated better – at least we deserve a little bit of respect. Am I wrong? I don't think so.

What many don't realize is that "what our society deems as 'fitness' and 'wellness' is rooted in racism, classicism, ableism, sexism, patriarchy, diet culture, and fatphobia." It's all a lie created by power-hungry monsters.

But, it's really easy to fall into the trap, I've been there and I'm here to help you get out.

Everyone has their own personal definition of health and that in and of itself is healthy. Everybody and every body are different, which is wonderfully beautiful. However, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and now TikTok are bombarded with wellness influencers and health industry myths that bring life to the destructive diet culture we live in. Let's debunk one toxic diet culture myth at a time.

1. Carbs are bad

I've been scared of carbs for way too long and that's not okay. As a macronutrient, carbohydrates are essential for energy. They won't kill you, quite the opposite, they will keep you alive.

2. Skinny automatically means healthy and people in bigger bodies are automatically unhealthy

Why do we make these assumptions based on appearance when research suggests that health is not determined by what your body looks like?

3. Weight loss makes you live longer

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn't necessarily true. In general, "the act of losing weight can actually reduce your longevity."

4. There are "good" and "bad" foods

ALL foods fit because variety, balance, and moderation is the key to health. There is no such thing as a good or bad food because food is food. Period. Done. Conversation over.

5. Cellulite is gross and you should do whatever it takes to get rid of it

Cellulite is extremely common and natural. There is nothing to be ashamed of, so don't let society make you feel bad for just being human.

6. Eating after 7 p.m. will make you gain weight

Forget this and stick to one motto — I'll eat when my body asks for food.

7. You should feel good in your skin 24/7

Everyone has good and bad days and that's perfectly fine. It's all about taking time for self-care and reminding yourself of how incredible you are.

8. Diet culture is true and on my side

Actually, about 95% of diets fail and the multi-billion-dollar industries that formed diet culture profit from the cycle of returning customers.

9. You are defined by the number on the scale

No number can ever define a whole, complex human being.

10. A detox is the best way to start a diet

Detoxes have short-term effects and can leave you less motivated than you were before the cleanse. Plus, these strict diets encourage disordered eating that can lead to scary consequences.

11. Apple cider vinegar shots will make you lose X pounds

No, they really won't.

12. You should stop eating sugar entirely

All sugar is not bad sugar and, remember, there are no good or bad foods. A variety and balance of foods, including sugar, fits into a healthy diet. There is no reason to cut it out completely and live your life in fear.

13. People in smaller bodies are happy

Happiness does not come from body size, it comes from within.

14. If you gain weight, you are lazy

As we grow from babies to teens to adults to senior citizens, we are growing and *gasp* gaining weight. Bodies naturally do it and it doesn't have anything to do with laziness.

15. Weight training makes females bulky

Lifting a few weights won't magically make you bulk up, it takes a lot of hard work. Also, what's wrong with muscle?

16. If you have a flat stomach, you will be worthy

You deserve the world no matter what you look like.

17. Any and all "What I Eat In A Day" videos should be followed

Ahem, we are all different and need different foods to nourish our bodies. What works for one person may not be the ideal routine for another. Can we just stop making and promoting these dangerous videos?

18. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) determines your health

Scientifically, the BMI was never meant to be used as a diagnostic tool for individuals, so why does the medical field still use it? It's not an accurate marker of health since there are a plethora of other factors not taken into consideration. And, don't even get me started on the fact that the National Institute of Health lowered the overweight threshold so insurance companies can benefit. Overnight, individuals who are likely to live healthy, long lives started to be charged higher insurance premiums because the BMI considers them overweight or even obese.

19. Cold water makes you hold onto fat

Um, no. Okay, next.

20. You should buy Flat Tummy Tea if you want to see results

"Teatoxes" are basically diuretics and laxatives, which are not supposed to be used for weight loss. Instead of using these products to reduce bloat and constipation, many misuse them with the intention of fat loss and that's just not how it works.

21. Obsessing over what you eat is healthy

Extreme obsessions and pre-occupations are never good or "healthy" for your mental or physical wellbeing.

22. You should strive for "no pain, no gain" workouts

Exercise and mindful movement should be just that – mindful. Workouts should be fun and enjoyable. You don't have to earn your rest or earn your next meal. You don't have to overwork your body, ever.

23. Starving yourself will help you lose weight

Running errands on an empty stomach will just leave you feeling starving, depleted, angry, irritable, anxious, sad, I could go on and on. All of these feelings will work against you and your life.

24. You should listen to unqualified people on social media for weight loss and dieting tips

Definitely ignore the highly qualified dietitians and weight loss experts.

25. Eating fat makes you fat

Similar to carbs, we need our fats to survive, these include oils, avocados, nuts, and butters.

26. Intermittent fasting is a healthy and easy way to lose weight

Long-term, this type of fasting can come with damaging consequences and points to disordered eating.

27. Metabolism drops are the bomb dot com

No, it's a scam — don't fall for it. Your metabolism includes all the chemical reactions in your body and cannot be influenced by magical drops.

For more information about the toxicity of society's diet culture, check out "Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, And Happiness Through Intuitive Eating."

Purchase it here on Amazon.



Report this Content
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments