6 Diet and Fitness Fads You Need to Forget – NBCNews.com

In a perfect world, we would all make living a healthy lifestyle a top priority. However the reality of work, family and social commitments can tempt even the most strong-willed of us to look for shortcuts. Inevitably this leads us to the Internet, where we are inundated with countless health and fitness articles, tips and tricks. We all want to be as knowledgeable as possible when making healthy choices, but the sheer volume of information can make it seem impossible to separate fact from fad.

How many times have you seen promises to “get fit quick,” or “lose weight in 10 days or less!”? This type of message is undeniably attractive but can be misleading, and sometimes, a complete lie. When you hit that inevitable hump in your fitness journey, the last thing you need is to waste time, energy and willpower on yet another “miracle diet.”

It is essential to vet information on the internet, but we thought we’d make things easier and highlight six fitness myths that you can kick to the curb today.

1. ‘Eating Clean’ All the Time

Even if you don’t quite understand what it is, you’ve probably heard about clean eating. Clean eating is based on the idea of eating only whole foods which are minimally processed. The concept of clean eating is intended as a lifestyle as opposed to a short-term diet. The idea itself isn’t necessarily bad, but like any trend, it can be taken to extremes.

Extreme proponents of clean eating will cut out entire food groups, such as dairy and grains, in an effort to adhere to a strict clean diet. Not only is this unnecessary, it can be dangerous. Cutting out any food group can lead to mineral and vitamin deficiencies, and unless you have a genuine medical condition which prohibits you from those foods, there’s no need to eliminate it. Clean eating is a great way to kickstart healthier eating habits. Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet and not taking clean eating ‘rules’ to the extreme.

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2. ‘Fasted Cardio’ to Burn More Fat

Fasted cardio is the latest hot topic in the fitness world. Humans typically enter a fasted state 12 hours after their last meal. During a fasted state your body relies on endogenous sources of energy, such as fat and glycogen, as opposed to exogenous sources derived from food. The theory is that by performing cardio first thing in the morning, in this “fasted state”, you will burn more fat than at other times of the day.

It sounds credible, but is there any evidence to support the fat loss theory of fasted cardio? Not quite ― in 2014, a study with twenty female participants were divided into two groups. One group exercised in a fasted state while the other group ate a meal prior to exercise. Participants in both groups saw significant weight and fat loss. However, there was no significant difference between individuals who did fasted cardio and those who didn’t.

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