In this newly founded, health-obsessed culture, some dieting and exercise tips have become so ubiquitous that they’re blindly accepted as facts. Keep in mind that this is the same way of thinking that led us all to believe that low-calorie, high-sugar cereals like Froot Loops were actually good for you. While this particular health myth is native to the ’90s and early 2000s, we should always question the health advice that is passed down to us—especially given the subjective nature of the evolving health and wellness space. To help shed the extra pounds of worry, we have brought to you the worst, most ubiquitous pieces of health advice they’ve ever heard. Here are the three most surprising myths:
TO LOSE WEIGHT, BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME
This advice has likely informed nearly every diet and workout plan to date, but it’s been recently proven that counting calories doesn’t actually make you lose weight—a finding that registered dietitian Samantha Bielawski agrees with. “The caloric value on the label is not equal to the caloric value of the food once it’s in our body,” Bielawski mentioned. What’s more, cutting calories can often lead to an unhealthy cycle of weight loss and weight gain as your body attempts to compensate for the lack of calories.
EATING SOY CAN LEAD TO BREAST CANCER
It’s been widely circulated in the health community that eating soy can lead to breast cancer due to the phytoestrogens in foods like tofu and tempeh. But as Clark points out, only some forms of breast cancer are estrogen-related, and soy will “not likely have this effect,” registered dietitian Edwina Clark clarified. This is especially true if you only consume one or two servings of soy per day.
A HIGH-FAT, LOW-CARB DIET WILL IMPROVE WORKOUTS
Thanks in no small part to the popularity of the Atkins diet, carbs have been branded the devil since the 2000s. Athletes have been particularly affected by this, instructed to avoid carbs and stock up on fats before a workout.
“Carbohydrate remains the most important fuel during high-intensity exercise, and there are countless studies to prove it,” Clark stated. “Lowering carbs may work for certain elite athletes during endurance training, but it’s not something everyday people should be doing, especially without the guidance of a trainer.”