Beauty & Wellness

8 Health Myths Debunked So You Will Stop Self-Saboing Your Body Goals

Debunking health myths


With social media plastering celebs’ perfectly-chiselled bods on our FYPs and explore pages, you could be tempted to try to achieve a similar look. We don’t blame you; Blackpink’s Jennie looks amazing in those Calvin Kleins, and this writer wonders how every male contestant on Too Hot To Handle comes pre-packaged with bulging pecs. 

We’re all for chasing your body goals, but there are some pitfalls you have to be aware of. Before you embark on your journey to sculpt your ideal physique, we’re here to dispel these common health myths that could hinder your progress.


1. I can get shredded off a diet of chicken breast & broccoli


When it comes to meal prep, gym bros will swear by 2 ingredients: chicken and broccoli. They’re loaded with protein, are low in calories, and can be whipped into a meal in a jiffy. Although you might shed some weight once you’re on the diet, it might not be fat that you’re losing.

The dip in weight could be attributed to the diet’s lack of calories, and it’s mostly water weight that you lose. A low caloric intake also causes low energy levels throughout the day, while the monotony of tasteless meals is just a major mood killer.

Instead, opt for a varied, well-balanced diet that contains protein, carbohydrates, and the right amount of fats. A good rule of thumb that’s easy to remember is splitting your plate into 1 half consisting of vegetables and fruits, and 2 quarts made out of wholegrains and meat.


2. Clocking in 10,000 steps daily is enough


Doubling down on marketing gimmicks, another one of the health myths that has caught on is the obsession with recording 10,000 steps daily. To put it into perspective, that’s about 8km, roughly the distance from Tampines to Eunos MRT.

Obviously, we won’t start withering away the moment we don’t clock in the kilometres; in fact most Singaporeans only average about 5,000 steps on a daily basis. Doctors recommend aiming for a comfortable 7,500 if 10,000 seems insurmountable.

Putting in the extra steps can improve joint health and reduce stress and anxiety, and even prevent sore muscles after an intense workout. Perhaps warding off food coma is not the only upside to going for post-meal walks with your lunch buddies.


3. Intermittent fasting is more effective than a balanced diet


If you’re someone who lives to eat, intermittent fasting is definitely not for you.
Image credit: Eatbook

A surefire way to lose a couple of kilos is to have fewer meals throughout the day. That’s exactly what adopters of intermittent fasting believe. The practice entails only eating during specific time windows; I know a friend who has committed to this, and he religiously eats one big meal at noon and fasts for the remainder of the day.

Scientists have chimed in with research that disproves intermittent fasting’s weight-loss effectiveness – 3 regular meals with a reasonable cut in calories will more than suffice. It’s quite likely you may also experience hunger pangs when you fast, and these cravings could cause you to overeat during meals.

Said friend also has yet to achieve any sort of semblance to a ripped build after 4 years, so there’s that. 


4. I can “repay” my sleep debt by sleeping in another day


Those who’ve gone through NS will have probably heard this one; you have to get 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Uninterrupted is the keyword here, and no, sleep debts aren’t real so you can’t O$P$ by waking up later on select days.

Adults consistently need at least 7 hours of sleep, while kids and teens need 8-10. Our bodies need rest to repair cells and release hormones and proteins. Also, our emotions and brain functions are kept in check when we snooze, which is essential for our mental well-being.

A restful night is also pivotal for muscle growth, so if you don’t want your gains to go to waste, turn in earlier.


5. Detox cleanses are a shortcut to weight loss


On paper, detox cleanses should work. After all, you’re flushing out toxins and waste by downing copious amounts of organic juices and shakes. And then you realise, your body already does this naturally – minus the force feeding – and it’s called going to the loo.

With a detox consisting mostly of liquids, supplements, and herbs, it’s no wonder little research shows that it actually works. You’ll lose weight for sure, but be prepared to see scale readings jumping back up once you hop off the cleanse, as it’s water weight you’re losing. 

It’s also dangerous if done wrongly, as a detox can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, and vomiting. Instead, we recommend sticking to your usual solid foods, with the occasional Boost blend on the side.


6. I’m not working out hard enough if I don’t feel sore after


They say no pain, no gain, but when it comes to working out, not feeling sore after a session at the gym does not mean you’re not trying hard enough. In actuality, if you’re increasing your exercise volume and weight appropriately, you shouldn’t experience too much soreness.

That’s because your body is progressively adapting to the workload; in other words, you’re doing just fine without the severe aches. You should also feel minimal discomfort in your muscles if you’re eating and sleeping well, in which case kudos to you. 

When it’s time to take things up a notch, increase the weight you’re pushing or bump up the number of reps in gradual amounts; keep at it and you’ll be one step closer to looking like Henry Cavill à la Man of Steel. 


7. Counting calories can help me lose weight


You might feel like you’re in control of your weight when you start counting calories, but IRL it’s just not feasible. Sure, you could have a rough estimate of what’s going into your body, but you won’t know what actually is in every dish you eat if you’re not cooking your own meals.

Besides, it only accounts for your caloric intake while overlooking the nutritional value of your meals. While it’s true that you need a caloric deficit to lose weight, your body also needs vitamins and minerals to function at its best. You might also develop disordered eating behaviours, such as skipping meals. Our advice? Drop the calculator and eat in moderation. 


8. I can substitute my meals with protein shakes


Take a look around the next time you hit the gym. Chances are, you’ll spot a couple of blender bottles around filled to the brim with protein shakes. Although they’re a great supplement to your workout, protein shakes can’t entirely replace your meals.

Simply sipping more of the stuff won’t magically give you all the nutrients a proper meal would. Yes, they help you build muscles and repair tissues but you’ll be missing out on healthy fats and complex carbs should you solely depend on protein shakes.

Also, they won’t make you lose weight on their own – you still have to put in the hard work with a good exercise regimen and a healthy diet.


Be wary of these health myths & supplement your healthy lifestyle with Centrum

Now that you’re aware of all these health myths, don’t make the same mistakes again. And if you need a helping hand in ensuring you’re all caught up with your nutrient intake – intermittent-fasters, we’re looking at you – then consider supplementing your diet with multivitamins.

Much like how gym bros revere protein powders to meet their protein quotas, Centrum’s multivitamin offerings are suitable for adults of any age who’re looking to fill in nutritional gaps. 


Centrum also has vitamins catered to different genders to meet each individual’s specific nutritional needs.

Adults below 50 can rely on Centrum Advance for a jolt of key antioxidants and minerals that support their immune system, boost energy levels, and leave the skin clear and supple.

Even if you think you’re living your best life as far as nutrition is concerned, your loved ones might need a little assistance. They might be less willing to make drastic changes to their routines and diets, especially when age is catching up with them.

Centrum Silver is a blend specially formulated for seniors packed with Vitamins A, B6, and D, as well as calcium and zinc; taking a single pill daily helps maintain a robust heart and healthy bones and eyes. 

On the surface, sustaining a healthy way of life can look daunting. However, push past the guise of unreasonable diets and other common health myths, and you’ll find that it’s really quite manageable. From taking a daily pill or opting for the stairs; these are minute changes anyone can take to improve their well-being years down the road.

 

Find out more about Centrum products


This post was brought to you by Centrum.
Photography by Sherlyn Lee Si Hui.

HSA Approval code: MAHP2000451
*Disclaimer: Always refer to instructions on pack before use.

Khoo Yong Hao

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