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Here Are the Dieting Myths You Have to Stop Believing

Here Are the Dieting Myths You Have to Stop Believing

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Losing weight is tough and it can often be an uphill battle for most people. So everyone is looking for a quick fix or a simple solution to shedding the pounds. And one thing there is no shortage of is the number of ever-increasing dieting myths that have many people running in circles when it comes to getting in better shape.

Click here for the 10 Dieting Myths You Have to Stop Believing (Slideshow)

The Daily Meal sat down with Dr. Sue Decotiis, a board certified doctor based in New York City with a specialty in medical weight loss and hormone replacement therapy, to talk about the biggest and most flagrant dieting myths that people should be aware of.

Many of the most popular dieting myths can actually be harmful to your health and overall weight loss goals, believes Decotiis. “One of the biggest things I see people clinging to is the myth of the low-fat diet. Even though fats contain more calories per ounce, it is really the sugar in our diets that are making us obese,” she said. “We’re consuming so much more sugar as a nation compared to thirty years ago.”

The 12 Best and Worst Weight-Loss Diets According to the Experts

Another myth Decotiis debunks is the use of cleanses and detoxes as a way to lose weight. “These juices are not the way to go,” said Decotiis. “And the detoxes have so many carbs in them and you’re not getting any protein. If you want to detox, you need protein.

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Additionally, the “calories in, calories out” theory that many purists tend to believe isn’t true because every person’s body is different. Decotiis notes that weight loss ultimately depends on what a person’s gut bacteria looks like, how they absorb nutrients and what types of food affects their metabolism. While the calorie counting theory sounds like a winner offhand, it happens to be a myth.

10 Diet Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Finally, another dieting trend that sounds like a no brainer is to take a probiotic. While in essence probiotics can be good in helping rebuild your inner bacteria, they are not all created equal. Decotiis cautions against picking up a store-brand probiotic thinking it will do the trick. Ideally, those looking to take a probiotic should consult with a doctor to decide what type of probiotic is best for them.

Slow and Steady Weight Loss Is Best

If someone is going to lose weight on their own, they need to take it off as quickly as possible, says Decotiis. “After you lose a significant amount of weight, you only have a certain amount of time before your metabolism readjusts and it goes down,” noted Decotiis. “When the metabolic rate readjusts, people will get hungrier and eat and gain the weight back.”

All Fruits and Vegetables Will Help You Lose Weight

Sadly, even on a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, people can’t be sure that what they are eating is healthy. Some fruits are extremely high in sugar like strawberries, so be sure that you’re looking into their nutritional value before you eat. Most nutritionists agree that any produce is better than none at all, but there are some that work better for people who are on diets or are trying to reduce bloat after overindulging.

7 Weight Loss Myths You Have to Stop Believing

Have you heard about miraculous secrets to shedding pounds overnight? You might see these claims in ads or even hear about them from friends who swear by the results they&rsquove experienced. But be wary&mdashin so many cases these commonly repeated weight loss myths are anything but the hidden key to reaching your weight loss goals.

Here are the top seven weight loss myths that could be wreaking havoc on your weight loss progress:

Fact: Not eating a couple days a week has been touted as the quick way to drop excess pounds, but simply reducing your daily calorie consumption led to greater fat loss than fasting, according to a 2014 review of published research by scientists at the University of Illinois&ndashChicago. Moreover, a 2015 study published in the journal Nutrition Research concluded that spreading out your calories over six daily meals and healthy snacks helps you maintain more metabolism-revving muscle mass than you do when you deprive your body of food.

Fact: Limiting fat in your diet is more effective at reducing body fat than limiting carbohydrates, report researchers at the National Institutes of Health. They compared the impact of low-fat vs. low-carb diets (with equal amounts of calories) and found that while total weight loss was comparable between the two diets, the subjects who ate less fat experienced greater body fat loss compared with the low-carb eaters. However, as we&rsquove said time and again, fat is not the enemy either, since healthy fats play an important role in your diet and in your body (get the 411 on fats here ). A balanced diet that includes lean proteins, healthy fats and nutrient-rich carbs is your best bet when trying to lose weight. Just remember: Not all carbs are created equal. The high-fiber fruits and vegetables and whole grains in the SmartCarbs category of your Grocery Guide help satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full without causing spikes in your insulin levels or appetite.

Fact: As we said above, healthy fats have a place in your diet. But, since fats weigh in at 9 calories per gram (carbs and proteins serve up less than half of this amount), over-consuming this nutrient (really, over-consuming any nutrient) may impede your weight loss progress. For this reason, many people have jumped on the low-fat food bandwagon. But it&rsquos important to be informed about the low-fat products you&rsquore choosing. Many processed, low-fat or fat-free foods contain added sugar or salt to enhance flavor and they often have even more calories than the full-fat versions. Your best bet is to stick to natural low-fat snacks, like fruits and veggies. When you do opt for low-fat foods, do your due diligence and read the nutrition label to determine if the lower fat comes at a higher sugar, sodium or calorie cost. (Need help interpreting a nutrition label? We&rsquove got you covered here ). If you do opt for low-fat versions of your favorite foods, just be mindful of your portion sizes. Studies at Cornell have found that we tend to eat 50 percent more of foods labeled &ldquolow-fat&rdquo than the regular version of the product. Remember: &ldquoLow-fat&rdquo isn&rsquot permission to eat an entire box.

  1. Myth:If you exercise a lot, you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight.

Fact: Exercise is a healthy habit that can help you reach your weight-loss goals, but without reducing your daily calorie consumption your progress will be slow at best. First, you don&rsquot burn as many calories exercising as you might think: For a person weighing in around 185 pounds, 30 minutes of moderate-paced walking burns fewer than 180 calories, says Harvard Health Publications. That&rsquos the calorie equivalent of a little more than one 12 ounce can of soda. Second, a 2016 study published in the journal Current Biology found that your body begins to adapt to higher activity levels and may gradually burn fewer calories as a result.

Fact: Your food choices dramatically affect how hungry you feel throughout the day. Foods that are high in protein or fiber, regardless of their calorie-content,tend to burn slowly and leave you feeling full longer. Even better, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reports that &ldquoincreasing meal frequency appears to help decrease hunger and improve appetite control.&rdquo That is, eating more times a day not only reduces feelings of hunger, it helps you to control your appetite, which is essential to losing weight.

Fact: For many of us, snacks can account for more than a quarter of our daily calories. But if you munch on nutrient-dense foods (high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories), you&rsquore more likely to maintain a healthy weight, according to the results of a five-year study known as the &ldquoNational Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.&rdquo It revealed that healthy snackers were less likely than non-snackers to be overweight or obese.

Fact: Grapefruit, celery, coconut oil and other foods are reputed to have a &ldquothermogenic&rdquo effect, meaning you literally burn more calories eating and digesting them than they contain. But many of these fat-burning ingredients are simply nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories and high in fiber or protein&mdashjust like most other fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are healthy components of your diet, but they don&rsquot possess exceptional characteristics that make them better than others at helping you lose weight. A well-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of foods is the foundation of steady, sustainable weight loss. Read more about negative-calorie foods here .

Barbara Stopfer hasn't had much of a social life since her husband died six years ago. She stopped seeing coworkers, too, after her heart condition required her to cut back her hours and work remotely.

People with too much fat around their midsections and vital organs are at increased risk for heart disease, even if their body mass index falls within what is considered a healthy range, according to a new scientific report.

It's February &ndash American Heart Month &ndash a time when the nation spotlights heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans. President Lyndon B. Johnson, among the millions of people in the country who'd had heart attacks, issued the first proclamation in 1964.

New federal dietary guidelines encourage Americans to focus more on eating healthy throughout life, to be flexible in their eating patterns and to cut down on empty calories.

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BY AMERICAN HEART Association News HealthDay Reporter (HEALTHDAY) MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- To stay healthy, don't just watch what you eat &ndash watch when you eat it.

7 Breastfeeding Myths You Have to Stop Believing

If you’re a mom, you know that the path to motherhood is paved with confusion. From the time you conceive-heck, from the time you start trying to conceive-you’re plagued with conflicting information about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Doctors and lactation consultants give different information than your mom friends, and google searches yield thousands of articles, each with a different perspective or set of rules.

And breastfeeding is no exception. Even the experts can’t seem to agree on certain aspects of this natural undertaking. Part of that is because breastfeeding, like motherhood, isn’t always an exact science, and what is recommended or not recommended depends heavily on you, your baby, and your personal breastfeeding goals. But, according to lactation consultant Colette Acker, there are several misnomers floating around the breastfeeding universe that are NEVER true.

We asked Colette to let us pick her brain about the worst misconceptions she’s come across in all her years of helping moms become breastfeeding champions. Here’s what she shared:

1. You don’t have milk until day 3 or 4.

Just because a mother doesn’t seem full in the first few days, the first milk, colostrum is all that a baby needs. The body is designed to create a baby and the breasts are designed to feed him/her. It’s a well-designed process that many mothers don’t trust.

2. Breastfeeding hurts. You just have to get used to it.

It is common to have discomfort for the first minute of the feeding in the first one to two weeks. If mom is experiencing more pain than that, the latch is wrong! In most cases, a few changes in mom’s latch and positioning techniques will remedy the problem.

3. Watch what you eat! Eating gassy foods can give your baby gas.

Your milk is made from your blood. We get gas when we try to digest the fiber in food like broccoli and cabbage. The baby doesn’t get the fiber, so they won’t get gas from those foods. Babies can be gassy, but don’t blame the beans. Keep in mind: The healthiest foods for us are often the gassy ones!

4. If the baby is nursing longer than 15 minutes, he’s just using you as a pacifier.

Babies come to the breast for thirst, hunger, love and comfort. Sucking for comfort is good for them and actually helps your milk production!

5. Breastfeeding will make my breasts saggy!

The top three reasons for saggy breasts are pregnancy, age and smoking.

6. You have to drink milk to make milk.

While I don’t hear this one as often as I used to, it’s just plain silly. Do you see cows drinking milk? Nope, the dairy industry pumps the milk out and the cow continues to make it. They are mammals just like us! You take the milk out and we keep making it.

Diets don’t work, say the experts. Learn why you have to stop dieting right now and how to implement a philosophy of moderation – for lifelong health.

On the advice of a gym-obsessed friend, Dr Luc Evenepoel, a specialist in anaesthesia and intensive care in Cape Town, attempted a low-carbohydrate diet some years ago. He lasted all of one week. “I’ve never felt so constantly hungry, lousy and sluggish in my whole life, so I decided to make up for my week-long deprivation with my favourite meal of bread, butter and soup. Unfortunately I didn’t have any soup at home, so I settled for my second favourite: bread, butter and honey. I started eating and couldn’t stop. I ate 23 slices of bread. But I felt great afterwards! I’d deprived my body of something it really needed – whole grains. Although anecdotal, this showed me that dieting is unsustainable.”

This experience – and his vital work as an anaesthetist involved in the national programme of weight-loss surgery – lead to him writing his well-received book, Dr Luc’s Promise: Lose the Weight & Keep It Off. “From listening to the stories of so many severely obese people, I realised that many of them were so heavy not because they hadn’t tried to lose weight – many of them had tried very hard – but because they’d tried the wrong things, mostly dieting. I then decided to thoroughly research what works and what doesn’t work for long-term weight control and put that all together in an easy-to-read book,” he says.

To help you on your way to a new year of healthy eating, Dr Evenepoel reveals his no-nonsense approach to weight control and why diets don’t work. Dietitians Karlien Smit and Jade Campbell also add their expertise to ensure you don’t fall for the empty promises of fad diets.

Make this year the year you finally learn how to treat your body with the respect – and care – it deserves.


THE STATS: It’s been proven over and over again that 85% of those who go on a diet, regain the weight – and more – within two years, and 95% within four years, says Dr Evenepoel. “Diets don’t work! Actually, no, they do work. You’ll lose weight if you do what the diet says, but you won’t keep the weight off. That’s proven. Your goal is to be slim not for just a few months, but for the rest of your life. Or am I mistaken?”

THE YO-YO EFFECT: A diet is about the restriction of kilojoules, so you’ll lose weight, but it’ll also decrease your metabolism (your metabolic rate is the rate at which you burn kilojoules), explains Dr Evenepoel. “If you stop the diet, your kilojoule intake increases while your metabolism is still down, and you gain weight again. So you try again. Lose, gain, lose, gain – the well-known ‘yo-yo effect’. After a few lose-gain cycles, your metabolism stays down for up to six years, and some scientists think it might stay down for life. So you’ll have to drastically restrict kilojoules for life. Good luck with that!”

Extreme or fad dieting forces your body into starvation mode with the result that many normal functions are slowed down to conserve energy, says Smit, a registered dietitian with Shelly Meltzer & Associates at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. “The weight you lose initially on fad diets is mostly due to a decrease in water and muscle mass. This decrease in muscle mass results in the reduction of your metabolic rate,” she explains.

SETTING YOU UP FOR FAILURE: A diet is all about depriving, whereas food should be about providing. Food is a friend, not an enemy – dieting leads to a warped idea about food, says Dr Evenepoel. “Depriving yourself of something your body needs is dangerous too, whether it’s fat, carbohydrates or other nutrients. And depriving yourself of something you really like, requires gritting your teeth, which you’ll never do for very long,” he says.

Many of us are left feeling like failures when we can’t attain – and sustain – the unrealistic goals of diets, says Campbell, a registered dietitian from Nutritional Solutions in Johannesburg. “Dieting gives you the impression that you’re ‘good’ when you follow the diet to the T, or ‘bad’ when you cheat on less healthy foods. Diets inevitably lead to binge eating in moments of weakness.”

The subsequent regain in weight can also affect self-confidence and you may end up blaming yourself for not being able to keep the weight off. “You may become depressed and turn to more extreme measures like diet pills,” Smit warns.

HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH: Cutting out whole food groups or cutting kilojoules excessively may lead to unwanted side effects including fatigue, headaches, low productivity and constipation, says Smit. “Fad diets often eliminate certain foods or entire food groups resulting in nutritional deficiencies that can lead to long-term health problems. For example, a lack of calcium could result in a risk for osteoporosis. Also, fad diets often discourage exercise which can lead to further health risks,” she says.


1. ORGANISATION IS KEY: Being organised is probably one of the biggest predictors of whether you’ll be successful at healthy eating, says Campbell. “By planning ahead and implementing simple habits such as writing a shopping list or plotting your meals in advance, you’ll be more likely to succeed.”

Eating three meals per day, at regular times, and if (if!) you’re hungry in between, a small snack, decreases your risk for becoming overweight by 35%, says Dr Evenepoel. “Don’t skip breakfast as this increases your risk for being overweight five-fold, and never eat on the run, because that sets stress hormones free, which direct kilojoules to your fat tissue,” he says.

2. SMALL CHANGES = BIGGEST DIFFERENCE: You don’t need to rearrange your lifestyle and eating habits completely to lose weight – rather set yourself SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. “Small changes are key, as they’re manageable and sustainable. Instead of throwing yourself into the deep end, start by making changes one by one,” Campbell says.

3. NATURAL CHOICES: In your food choices, stay close to nature. “Eat food as it comes out of the ground, or off the tree – there are apple trees, but no jellybaby trees,” says Dr Evenepoel. “If you think you shouldn’t eat it, don’t. What you eat is important but equally important is how you eat, how much, why and when.”

4. JOURNAL: Eat with awareness by keeping a log of your daily food and fluid intake, says Smit. “This is an excellent self-monitoring tool, and noting mood and specific situations provides valuable information on your triggers and potential barriers to change.”

5. PORTION CONTROL: It’s not unusual to be eating very healthily without any weight-loss success, says Campbell. “This is because you may be consuming incorrect portion sizes. The key to weight-loss is always about creating an energy deficit. For example, 100g of nuts is 2600kJ, while 100g of potato chips is 2315kJ – so although the nuts are far healthier, portion control should still be applied.”

Pay attention to your hunger and satiety cues to help manage portions and prevent overeating. “Stop when you’re full and not only when your plate is empty,” Smit advises.

Your meal should fit in your cupped hands, says Dr Evenepoel. “A snack should be filling and low in kilojoules (fruit), and never more than about four bites. Never snack when you’re not hungry! If you’ve had a decent main course and you feel satisfied, skip dessert. You want the dessert? Have the dessert, but have a smaller main course then,” he says.

An occasional treat is important to sustain your weight, because successful weight control if not about restraint, but about relaxed restraint. “Have one once or twice a week – something to put in your diary, something to look forward to,” advises Dr Evenepoel. “Never go for junk, only for high-quality treats. For example, buy the very best chocolate, irrespective of the price – but just a tiny bit, and savour it!”

6. NO DISTRACTIONS: Eating in front of a screen has become a common habit in contemporary society. “This can lead to ‘mindless’ eating and often results in the overconsumption of kilojoules,” says Campbell.

Rather create an eating ritual, so don’t watch TV, read, check your phone or work on your computer. Plus, always sit down to eat and eat slowly, putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, advises Smit.

7. EAT IT, DON’T DRINK IT: Often, without realising it, we drink our kilojoules, instead of eating them. “An average carbonated cold drink, vitamin-enriched water or sports drink of 340ml to 500ml has about eight teaspoons of sugar,” explains Campbell. “If you’re having just one of these each day, after a week you would have consumed an extra 56 teaspoons of sugar. If a drink tastes sweet, it’s probably high in sugar, so try to limit sweet beverages and alcohol. Drink water instead.” (Add lemon to your water if you need flavour.)

8. EXPERIMENT: Limit takeaways and eating out in restaurants as these meals are often high in fat and portions are generally oversized. Instead, keep home meals interesting by introducing a new recipe every couple of days or weeks. “Experiment with different flavours by using a variety of herbs, spices, rubs and pastes,” suggests Smit. “There are so many recipes books, blogs, apps and websites available with great recipes. Consider doing a basic, healthy cooking recipe course.”

Why not start an herb and vegetable garden too? Choose those that are simple to grow like rosemary, basil, rocket, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes and baby marrows, says Smit.

According to dietitian Karlien Smit, this is what your daily menu must include:

  • Lean protein such as fish, legumes, skinless chicken, lean meat, venison and low-fat dairy.
  • Whole grain carbohydrates such as oats, quinoa, bulgur wheat, brown rice.
  • Bulk up your meals with vegetables and salad, especially green leafy vegetables.
  • Healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish (salmon, pilchards, sardines, snoek, mackerel) or flax or chia seeds.

“The make-up of your eating plan should always consist of protein, whole grain carbohydrates, vegetables and fat. However, the total amount of kilojoules, carbs, protein and fat will need to be individually determined, that is, some people may need less carbs than others. Ideally, you should consult a registered dietitian to determine this,” recommends Smit.

Exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, says Kim Woolrich, a biokineticist from the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). “Exercise is also important for your long-term health, including improved muscle strength, immune function, cardiovascular health and sleep, amongst others,” she says.

Studies show that 80% of weight control comes from proper eating habits and 20% from physical activity, says Dr Evenepoel. “Exercise is not only about burning kilojoules but is a non-negotiable for good health. It’s an excellent investment for longevity and also has a positive influence on your mood. For example, it decreases depression by 30 to 50% and anxiety by 40%, so if you’re an emotional eater, it’ll help elevate your mood while burning kilojoules,” he says.

Variety and enjoyment are key to sustaining an exercise routine, says Woolrich. “By walking, running, swimming, dancing, doing Pilates, etcetera, you ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day, as well as choose what you feel like doing on any given day,” she says.

You may dislike any form of sport or formal exercise – and that’s totally fine, adds Dr Evenepoel. “The most important thing is to keep moving throughout the day – no lift, no escalator, walk to the shop, walk during your lunch hour.”


Try these resources to help you revamp your eating habits, suggests dietitian Karlien Smit:

We're Family, But You Have to Stop Trying to Kiss My Daughter

After a lifetime of letting my personal boundaries be crossed, I learned to speak up for my child's sake.

My nearly 2-year-old daughter was too young and shy to respond with a "No." She stood motionless looking at her great aunt, someone she has seen a few times sporadically in her young life.

My daughter stood still, watching.

"Go away then, I don&rsquot love you."

The woman waved her hand in the air as she spoke, her words cutting me with a knife. For her, though, and others in the Spanish village where my husband is from, this was no more than a throw-away remark said in jest. The comments like it, the hand waves, or the pretend crying, particularly from the older generation, all planted a swollen seed of unease in my stomach. Said or done innocently enough, it was emotional blackmail: Ingratiate yourself to me the way I want for me to like you. Kiss me to make me happy and make me love you.

The interaction was over in seconds. I too stood watching, anxious but saying nothing, waiting to see how it unfolded.

Over a few weeks visiting my husband&rsquos family in Spain &mdash where two kisses is the typical greeting between adults, and expected from children, too &mdash my daughter had been bombarded with kiss requests. I looked at her face each time, reading it to see if she was okay. Sometimes she looked bemused, other times perturbed, other times visibly distressed. The other person &mdash usually a distant family member &mdash reacted differently each time. They retorted with a comment, insisted until it was tiresome, and we awkwardly laughed it off, or they just grabbed her and gave her a kiss.

I watched her grow more and more distressed and as her mother, I felt wracked with guilt and confusion. I'd giggle awkwardly, mutter excuses, pick her up if she came running, or let her be kissed because I felt pressured into it.

I felt uncomfortable with the behavior of those around us, but I realized I was more uneasy with my own. After each unpleasant interaction, I asked myself, why am I staying silent?

I wanted everyone to stop kissing my daughter, so that I didn't have to stop them myself.

I realized these kiss requests provoked such anxiety in me not just because I saw her distress, but because I didn't have the strength to speak up for her. I wanted everyone to stop kissing my daughter, so that I didn't have to stop them myself. If I struggled to assert myself on her behalf, how can I teach her to refuse those kisses when she&rsquos old enough to say it herself?

I've always found it it hard to protect myself and my own boundaries. When she was about 8 months old, a distant older cousin attempted to forcefully take her from my arms even though I resisted. "She has to get used to it," she said. "Why?" I asked. She simply removed my crying daughter from my arms. And I gave in to avoid an embarrassing tug of war. I remembered this instance over the weeks of kissing attempts in Spain. My daughter couldn't verbally express that she didn't feel comfortable but I, her mother, who knows she was not, failed to protect her.

How will she learn that her voice matters, when my silence and the example I am setting says they do not? Brenna Merrill, Prevention Specialist for Make Your Move! Missoula, a sexual violence prevention project that focuses on consent education and bystander intervention, tells me I am not alone, and many women and non-binary folks face the same struggle. She has some reassuring words: "Your kids are going to notice that you are trying to do right by them, even if it doesn't always pan out."

Asked whether it&rsquos better for parents to stick up for their child and make sure boundaries are respected, or for kids to learn how to say it themselves, she argues, "It's actually best to do both. The goal is to encourage kids to have confidence in expressing their wants, needs, and limitations."

"With kids, modeling the act of respecting consent is crucial," she says. "Respecting consent means that caregivers listen when their kids communicate boundaries. It also means that we teach kids to honor the boundaries of their peers and to check in when they aren't sure if someone wants to play with them, or if someone wants a hug. Creating a culture where consent is respected means caregivers talk to the other adults in a child's life about how important it is to respect kids' boundaries."

Saying "maybe later" or having uncomfortable body language are just as valid just as important as a clear "no" would be.

When I tell her I'm concerned my daughter isn't voicing the word "no," she points out that even adults don&rsquot always communicate in clear yeses and nos. Some opt instead for what she calls "more subtle refusal tactics, like saying 'maybe later,' or simply having really uncomfortable body language, which are just as valid and just as important as a clear 'no' would be." This meant my daughter was conveying her boundaries clearly enough.

This summer, it was my husband who finally put himself between my daughter and the relatives and said, "She doesn&rsquot want to give you a kiss." No doubt it was easier for him because we were visiting his family, and it was his country, where this affectionate salute is the norm and he grew up adhering to.

While cultural differences played a big part, Merrill reflects that my reticence "expresses the nuance of being a woman, being socialized to be nice in conflict, and living a lifetime where boundaries are ignored often enough &mdash and these things impact your ability to feel confident intervening." Having watched and learned from my husband, I am learning to be a better advocate for my daughter. Merrill suggests brainstorming a list of things to say in future scenarios and having a couple of immediate interventions in my back pocket &mdash she also suggests doing the groundwork ahead of time, having conversations about why my family values boundary-setting in this particular way. That way, if I have to redirect behavior in the moment, it comes off as more of a reminder than a reprimand.

She gives me some examples of preemptive interventions:

  • Talk with relatives before visiting or during adult time at family events. Let them know why it is so important to you and your immediate family for non-consent to be honored. Give them space to ask questions.
  • Come up with alternatives (with adults and with your kids) to greetings that include touch, like waving hello.
  • As is age appropriate, talk with your kid about why an adult might want a hug or a kiss in greeting. Let them know your values: that you believe they have the right to say yes or no to physical contact. Help them brainstorm ways that they can stand up for themselves. Let them know that you will back them up on that decision.

Now, I no longer feel the need to shout to the world to stop kissing my daughter. I have a toolkit packed with phrases I&rsquoll use in the future to educate those around us, and I know I&rsquom doing the right thing by my daughter, however vocal she may or may not be.

5 Skincare Myths You Have To Stop Believing

Everyone’s guilty of believing in the odd old wives’ tale, but when it comes to taking care of your skin certain ‘myths’ can do more harm than good. We’ve rounded up five of the most important skincare untruths, so you can move on and start acting on the stuff that works.

You'll know that sleeping in your make-up is not okay, and that avoiding harsh chemicals in your skincare routine is smart advice. But there are certain myths about your skin that even the most knowledgeable beauty expert is often unsure about.

Does poor cleansing really cause acne? And must you really protect your skin from the sun all year long?

Here are five important old wives’ beauty tales to wise up about .

Myth #1. Dirty Skin Causes Breakouts

In truth, the cause of acne is more genetic than environmental and happens when excess oil and dead skin cells get trapped in your hair follicles then become inflamed. It occurs mainly on areas of skin that have the most sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, ie: your face, chest, back and shoulders, and, on top of genetics, can be triggered by hormonal changes, stress and medications – not dirty skin.

Diet can also play a role for some people who have sensitivities to things like dairy and yeast, but again, don’t believe the hype that chips and chocolate will give you acne. They have little to no effect.

Okay, so poor hygiene is not the best idea for any skin concern, but contrary to popular belief, failing to regularly cleanse your face will not give you zits. In fact, worse than not cleansing is over-stimulating your skin with harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubs.

Your best bet? Gently cleanse with Crystal Cleanser and regularly exfoliate with Natural Luminosity Scrub . These are both great ways to improve cell turnover and keep your skin balanced, clean and free from bacteria.

Myth #2. When Your Skin Adapts To Certain Products, They Stop Working

On the contrary, maintaining a consistent skincare routine is key if you want to make the most of your skin.

You don’t stop eating fresh fruit and veg after a while just because you think your body’s got ‘used’ to their nutritional value, right? Well, the same goes for your skincare routine. Once you find a formulation that makes your skin look and feel amazing, stick with it. You might want to switch up your routine when the weather changes, but a great product is always going to be great, no matter how long you keep applying it.

Myth #3. Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturiser

Moisturiser is one of the most important steps in any skincare routine – whether your skin is dry, dehydrated, normal or excessively oily.

Oily skin produces more sebum than the norm, which is why it looks shiny and feels greasy to the touch. However, if you strip your skin of oil and moisture with poor cleansing and a lack of moisturiser, your sebaceous glands will go into overdrive and produce even more of the stuff, therefore creating a vicious circle of oiliness and dehydration .

If you have oily skin and want to avoid the dehydration that often comes with it, never skip your moisturiser. Avoid rich balms and creams, for sure, but always apply a light, hydrating formulation to replace your natural protective layer and help balance your skin. Try an oil-free product like Organic Hydration Gel which contains glycerine and aloe vera to help draw moisture to the top layers of your skin without overloading it with pore-clogging oils.

Myth #4. Eye Creams Aren't Necessary

This one always amazes us and if you've tried Imperial Eye Gel you'll know why. The skin around your eyes is thinner, fragile and more prone to dryness. This means it shows the signs of ageing much quicker than the skin on your face, so it figures that it’s going to benefit from a slightly different formulation, right?

Your eye area requires extra moisturisation and targeted ingredients to help tackle unwelcome puffiness and dark circles – things that don’t concern the rest of your face. Great ingredients to look out for are antioxidants like green tea light, but effective hydrators such as aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, plus peptides to repair the skin and boost collagen production. Imperial Eye Gel has all this covered which is why so many swear by it.

Myth #5. You Only Need Sun Protection If It’s Sunny Outside

Wrong. The sun is the number one cause of skin ageing and it’s present all year round, so protecting your skin from UV damage is vital – even when the skies are grey. As for snow, it's an almighty reflector of harmful UV rays. Up to 90% UV radiation is reflected off snow-covered surfaces. exposing you to almost a double dose of UV, compared to dry sand at 15%.

Pre-Eminent Beauty Serum contains vitamin C which is proven to be one of the most effective antioxidants for protecting your skin from sun damage. Apply this every morning before moisturising to give your skin the best start to the day.

But do make sure you finish your morning routine with some extra broad-spectrum protection by applying a sun cream over your moisturiser or for a quick complexion fix and SPF 25, opt for our Organic Tinted Moisturiser [be the first to know when it's back in stock].

We'd also always recommend wearing a sun hat and sunglasses for added protection. And definitely stay out of that midday sun when UV radiation is at its most damaging.

So, now you're armed with the truth to help you tighten up your skincare and take your skin to the next level.

5. Top 10 tips to break a weight-loss plateau

How can you turbo-charge your low-carb or keto diet and kick-start weight loss?

Diet Doctor has lots of tips and tricks for weight loss and provides in-depth guides to weight loss programs:

Just want a quick rundown? Here are our top ten ways to handle a weight-loss stall:

  1. Watch for carb creep
    Look for and eliminate hidden carbs in foods such as sausages, deli meats, dressings, sauces, packaged goods, and “keto” products. Are you eating too many higher-carb vegetables like carrots, squash, onions, or rutabaga? Have you cut out all high-carb fruit and stopped drinking all fruit juice? If you are eating berries often, cut back or eliminate them for now.
  2. Be careful with dairy and nuts
    Full-fat dairy and most nuts are allowed on the keto diet, but too much of either can stall your progress. 21 Dairy, such as rich cheeses or cream in coffee, can be easy to over-consume. And it can be hard to just eat a few tasty, salty nuts. Reduce or eliminate both, and you may break your stall.
  3. Fix your snack habit
    The urge to snack may indicate that your regular meals are not providing enough protein or energy from fat. Your low-carb meals should allow you to go four or five hours without hunger. If they don’t, add protein or fat — or both — to your meals and see what happens. However, sometimes snacking is just a habit that needs to be broken. Even with low-carb or keto snacks, carbs and calories add up.
  4. Get your “Goldilocks” protein
    Protein intake should be like Goldilocks said: “Just right.” Too little protein can drive hunger, snacking, and overeating. Too much provides extra calories you don’t need. Our protein guide provides in-depth information and visuals to help you figure out how much is right for you. Plus, protein helps maintain your resting metabolic rate by preserving muscle mass.
  5. Get your “Goldilocks” fat
    Fat intake should be “just right” for you, too. Being able to eat fat is one of the reasons a keto diet can be so satiating. But you can over-do it. If you’re not losing weight, cut back on fat bombs, butter-filled coffee, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, and excessive use of whipping cream, coconut oil, and cheese. If you’re hungry between meals, add a bit of fat back in at the next meal, ideally with some high-quality protein, like a marbled steak or a piece of salmon with a lemon and butter sauce.
  6. Avoid sweeteners and low-carb “treats”
    Anything that tastes sweet, even if made with a no-carb sweetener, can keep cravings in place. 22 And low-carb foods that mimic their high-carb counterparts — like desserts, cakes, cookies, muffins, and breads — sweetened or not, are often less nutritious and may encourage overeating. Save them for very special occasions.
  7. Try intermittent fasting
    Nutrient-dense meals, ketosis, and being fat-adapted can all help you go for a number of hours without eating. When you’re ready, feel free to skip a meal and embrace intermittent fasting. Breakfast is often the easiest to skip. Mix up your fasting pattern, such as doing alternate day fasting, where you skip meals one day and then eat normally the next. This can help you avoid slowing your metabolism. Do short fasts, such as 16 to 24 hours maximum.
  8. Add in exercise — especially weightlifting
    Regular exercise — even just walking — can improve your health markers and burn more energy. High-intensity interval training is a quick and easy way to get fit. Add in resistance training, such as weightlifting or body-weight exercises, to build more muscle, and you will increase your resting metabolism and the amount of energy you burn all day. Time your exercise for before your first meal of the day or before dinner, when insulin is low, to encourage using your fat stores.
  9. Be careful with alcohol
    Although most people can occasionally enjoy some dry wines and spirits on a low-carb or keto diet, too much alcohol can contribute to a stall. Alcohol makes it easy to drink a lot of extra, non-nutritious calories. Plus, it gets metabolized first. This slows down the process of using your fat stores for energy.
  10. Pay attention to stress and sleep
    Food is not the only thing that contributes to stalls. Chronic stress and poor sleep can raise cortisol, which in turn increases cravings for carbs, stimulates hunger, and promotes abdominal obesity. 23 Examine stress and sleep factors in your life and take steps to introduce a good sleep routine, avoid stimulants like caffeine past noon, and introduce stress reduction techniques such as breathing practices, meditation, yoga, exercise, and relaxing hobbies.

Face Oil and the Lies You’ve Been Told! Myths Debunked!

Face Oils Clog Your Pores

The myth that face oil will clog your pores is probably the most common of them all!

And simply said, face oils won’t clog your pores! In fact, some face oils, like marula oil for example, contain linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) which is naturally found in your skin’s protective lipid barrier. If you are deficient in linoleic acid, your sebaceous glands tend to produce a thicker, stickier sebum (oil), which is the true culprit behind your clogged pores. Face oil, therefore, can alleviate this problem and you will actually benefit from using it on your skin.

Face Oils and Acne-prone Skin are a Big No-no!

Again, false! Acne-prone skin is often due to a combined number of factors (diet, health, hormones, etc.)! However, using face oil on your skin won’t worsen your acne. In fact, your skin may benefit from certain oils. A number of oils, such as tea tree oil, have antibacterial properties which can help destroy P. acnes bacteria and prevent breakouts from spreading or getting infected. Many face oils also have anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce redness and irritation that also comes with acne.

You Can Skip Moisturizer if You Use Face Oil

Not true. Moisturizers attract water into your skin, while face oils seal that moisture in. Moisturizers contain a number of ingredients that will hydrate and nourish your skin, but have limited oil content. Face oils, on the other hand, are entirely composed of plant-derived fats that have adequate lipid content necessary to build a barrier and create a waterproof seal to prevent water and moisture from evaporating. A great skincare regimen should include moisturizer followed by a face oil!

Face Oils Make Your Skin More Oily

Nope. Not true. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Oils can help your skin regulate sebum production. For example, jojoba oil mimics your skin’s sebum so well, it can actually trick your body into thinking it’s produced enough sebum. For those suffering from overactive sebaceous glands, facial oil is a God send! Your skin can finally chill out and stop overacting!

Face Oils Shouldn’t Be Used Every Day

False. High quality, cold pressed oils are lightweight and easily absorbed into your skin. Using them every single day won’t be an issue! Apply your favorite nourishing face oil at nighttime and benefit from an ultra restorative beauty sleep.

Face Oils are a New Trend

Absolutely not! Face oil treatments date from centuries ago! The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with beauty and used various oils such as castor, moringa, and sesame in their anti-aging beauty routines. The Japanese geishas’ beauty secret was the use of camellia oil as part of their ‘double cleanse’ skin cleansing ritual. So as you can see, face oils are not a new thing by any means! They’ve been used for a very long time and deserve some credit! Face oils are incredibly beneficial in maintaining beautiful healthy skin!

Your Important Work

Below you will find ways to stop entertaining other people’s limiting beliefs and yours, as well as how to step into the life that your heart desires.

Stop Listening to Other People’s Limiting Beliefs

The first part of your work is to stop listening to the limiting beliefs of others.

Recognize Your Own Limiting Beliefs

The next part of your work is to start to recognize your own limiting beliefs.

We have been programmed to believe that we can’t have what we want and desire.

You’ll never be able to make that much money. That’s for other people.

You’ll never have that relationship. You aren’t worthy of that. No, you don’t get to have that.

We have all these limiting beliefs. I had a client who said her financial advisor told her that she couldn’t leave her job until she made a certain amount of money each month.

Do you really need to make that amount of money?

What set of beliefs is your financial advisor working from?

Set Your Intention

My set of beliefs is that I can generate tremendous amounts of income while working three days a week.

By doing so, I can also be peaceful and grounded and truly change the lives of a lot of people.

That’s my belief. That’s what I will do.

Never would I want to live an ultra-conscious, super careful life.

I want to live a grandiose life – a radically magnificent life. I want an eleven out of ten life! It is my belief that I deserve that.

If you believe that you can only have a five out of ten life, and if everyone around you is telling you that, that’s what you’ll get.

However, start to energetically separate yourself from the energies that are telling you that your desires are not achievable.

As you start to separate, look around and watch others do what you desire. You’ll realize that you are no different from the people who have what you want to have.

I am no different than you. I am not more intuitive or gifted.

The biggest contributor to my success and ridding myself of limiting beliefs is to continue to do my own healing work.

I continue to witness my own fears, integrate my own shadow, and continuously know and have a vision for what it is that I do want.

That may be the only thing that I am doing differently than you.

And now, you’ve heard me say it, and you can do it too.

Top 7 Fitness Myths We Have To Stop Believing

You’re in the gym, trading tips, you trust your friends. They wouldn’t lie to you would they? Of course they wouldn’t. But somewhere along the way some folklore gets bandied around and somehow becomes an unquestioned truth. These waste our time and in some instances can be dangerous to our fitness. So without further ado here are the top myths we need to stop spreading around.

1. If You Don’t Feel Crap At The End Of The Workout, You didn’t really work out

This sort of philosophy is for people who are working hard to give themselves an injury. Working out isn’t a competition. Take it easy and avoid damaging yourself!

2. Weight Training Will Make Women Bulky

If you’re looking at those super ripped bulky women at competitions don’t be terrified that lifting a weight once or twice will make you look like a man. They’re a bad example, as if you want to look like that you’re going to have to shoot yourself full of steroids. To look like a guy you’re going to have to up the amount of testosterone coursing through your body. Trust me, it’s not something you do by mistake. Gaining a bit of muscle isn’t bad.

3. Squats Are Bad For Your Knees

Squats and lunges have had a bad rap for knee injuries but as Tony Gentilcore points out “Squatting doesn’t hurt your knees whatever you’re doing right now hurts your knees.”

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do these things. Make sure you do it right and you’ll be all good.

4. Men & Women Need to Do Different Exercises

We’re not different enough for this to be an actual thing. Women tend to concentrate on Legs and Gluts but guys work on their upper body. It’s a cultural aesthetics thing that makes both sexes forget an entire half of their body.


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