(By Scott Reid**)
With every New Year it seems a new fitness fad comes along, promising quick or instant results with very little work. But we all know that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and when it comes to our health some fads are not only a waste of time, they can actually be harmful.
So, let’s pledge to make 2018 fitness-fad free! Good old-fashioned exercise and nutrition are what is needed to get in shape and there are no quick fixes unfortunately. Here is a quick guide to the top fitness fads to be avoided this year.
- Cutting out all carbohydrates
One of the reasons this fad is still popular is to start with, if you stop eating carbs you will see a rapid weight-loss, but this is due to water loss rather than any kind of fat loss, and it will soon balance out again.
But if you are trying to work out and exercise to build up a good physique, you need carbs for energy and to perform at your best. If you want to increase muscle mass and have stable, consistent energy levels, then you need to eat some carbohydrates.
- Eating Small Meals Every Couple of Hours
There is a myth that if you eat small meals regularly it helps to cut down fat by boosting your metabolism but the difference between this and eating fewer larger meals is actually negligible – it’s just another fitness fad.
In fact, if you are eating every few hours, your body is constantly digesting food which can make you lack energy and feel very lethargic, making it hard to concentrate and get tasks done during the day.
The best time to eat meals is when you feel hungry and when it suits your body and your lifestyle. There is no magic timing procedure for eating which results in weight loss.
- Only eating one type of food
We’ve all heard of the notorious cabbage soup diet and no doubt seen numerous detox programs which advocate giving your body or system a break by only eating one type of fruit or vegetable all day.
These are just bad fitness fads. Your body needs a variety of food groups to stay balanced and get all of the nutrients you need to keep going all day. Eating just grapes for a day doesn’t rest your system; it pushes it out of whack and will probably give you an upset stomach for your troubles.
A balanced diet, with real nutritious food, is the way to go – don’t cut out particular food groups and don’t rely on only one food even if only for a day – it really won’t have any kind of positive impact on your overall health.
This goes hand in hand with cleansing routines – these are fads which often proclaim eating a single food to cleanse your system – let’s knock these on the head for 2018.
Try something like the 105 Plan.
- Changing your exercise routine each time
There is a new fad out there about changing up your exercise routine, never doing the same exercise twice, with the bizarre premise that your muscles will get used to the routine otherwise and stop responding.
Muscles don’t work that way – they respond to whatever movement you carry out so if you are not seeing results then you are not working out hard enough or correctly so seek advice from a personal trainer. It may be that you need to add some more weights to increase the challenge.
However, if you constantly change what you are doing, how can you measure results as you will be exercising different muscle groups each time, with no consistent approach? This is a fad which doesn’t work.
It’s great to vary your exercise but just jumping from one thing to another every day isn’t going to produce any kind of consistent results.
There are many fitness fads out there and no doubt new ones will spring up throughout the year endorsed by some celebrity or other and picked up by the media as the latest and best way to get fit, reduce fat or whatever it might be.
But anyone who is serious about their health and fitness knows full well that these types of fads are just that – fashionable trends which will be discredited and disappear as quickly as they arrived and should just be ignored.
The only way to get fit and healthy is to change the way you eat, to a healthy balanced diet, on a permanent basis, and to include regular exercise into your daily routine. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, it involves gradual change and hard work, whereas our society seems to demand instant results, which is why all these fitness fads become popular in the first place.
Rather than spend a fortune on the latest fad, only to be disappointed, let’s all agree to make 2018 fitness-fad free.
(** The views and opinions expressed in this post are that of the writer.)