New year, new you. That’s the mantra for 2018, as folks around the world look to better themselves: financially, spiritually, physically, and otherwise.
While self-improvement is certainly an admirable goal, it’s important to get the most accurate and up-to-date information available before embarking on any journey.
The unfortunate fact is, so many wellness myths out there have — over the years — become accepted as common knowledge. The problem is so bad that the U.S. Department of Health has even intervened, offering tips and advice for how to determine the truth.
Here’s how to separate wellness fact from fiction:
Get the Whole Picture
Few things in life can be approached with a laser focus, blind to any other factors. That means no meal plan that dictates ‘zero’ anything is going to be sustainable long-term.
Rather than accepting that eating fat makes you fat, realize healthy fats are essential for optimal health. They also taste good! So, instead of cutting out fat altogether, consider making subtle changes in your cooking (olive oil instead of shortening, applesauce instead of butter), and remember to practice moderation.
Instead of eliminating carbohydrates from your diet (carbs are also integral to optimum wellness), choose whole grain options and pay attention to portion sizes.
Know Who to Trust
In an era of fake news, it’s important to check the credentials of those providing information online. There’s an endless supply of myths, lies, and flat-out bunk.
Though I’m not (and don’t claim to be) a doctor or wellness professional, I’ve lost more than 90 pounds and successfully kept the weight off through a daily regimen of nutrition, activity, and general wellness.
In addition, as a classically-trained journalist, I thoroughly research each and every article I write, including this one.
Still, as Levar Burton used to say in Reading Rainbow, “don’t take my word for it.” Which leads us to the next point.
Get a Second (and Third!) Opinion
Along with cute and funny cat videos, today’s web graciously provides various review platforms, where you can glean opinions and observations on anything from travel, to restaurants, cars, jobs, and everything in between. That, of course, includes health and wellness advice.
While the same misinformation spread on different websites probably doesn’t qualify as ‘official,’ when you collect similar advice from various outlets that place a high value on research and fact-checking, you can make the safe assumption that what you’re reading and watching is legitimate.
Trust Your Gut
In the end, if something doesn’t sound right, it’s probably not. Plus, it’s always best to listen to your body. If you feel queasy or otherwise uncomfortable doing/eating a certain thing, find a more viable and sustainable alternative.
Rather than a one-time endeavor, wellness must become a consistent part of daily life. Only then can we hope to achieve real and lasting results. Best of luck on your journey! ■
Until next time,
See You Alter,
See You Alter™ — Waist Management™
Frank Samandari is an award-winning journalist, web writer, and voice talent. Once described by a doctor as “obese,” he lost 90 pounds in 2017 and has successfully kept the weight off through a daily regimen of nutrition, activity, and overall wellness.