when “health tips” make you scratch your head

I love health and fitness magazines. I know that everything is online now and innumerable healthy living tips are just a Pinterest board away, but there’s something really fun about grabbing an issue of Shape or Self and flipping through the pages.

However….I think it’s important to remember a few things about these magazines.

  • Take the healthy eating information they give with a grain of salt. Everyone’s different.
  • Can there really be “breakthrough” “revolutionary” “no-fail” healthy eating tips every single issue?

Now, I love the workout ideas and oftentimes I walk away with a new tidbit of information that I personally find helpful. But sometimes I read something that makes me scratch my head.

For example, this Shape article I recently read:

“How Food Texture Affects Your Calorie Intake”

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They explain that according to new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people perceive foods that are either hard or have a rough texture to have fewer calories. In other words, you consume more calories. I was blown away by this “fact”! This is a perfect example of a tip that I quickly breezed by.

Since I started eating healthy and exercising regularly, I’ve developed little habits that help me keep my portions and food choices in balance. One of the most helpful habits I’ve used for years is changing up the texture of my food to make it more satisfying. I add nuts to my oatmeal, my peanut butter has to be crunchy, I add raw vegetables to my salad, and chia seeds to my smoothies. It has to be one of the top tips I would tell people if they’re trying to lose weight. So how does that align with this new “research”? I suppose I don’t know which I would eat more of, hard or soft bite-sized brownies, like they did in the study, but I have to disagree that food texture negatively influences my healthy eating habits.

Questions:

  • What’s some health and fitness research you’ve come across that you don’t agree with?
  • What do you think is a universal tip for healthy living?
  • Are you still a magazine person or do you get all your tips online?
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20 comments

  1. I am DEFINITELY a texture person–plus, having texture forces you to chew and think about your food rather than just hosing it. But I don’t think that it negatively affects anything 😀 I think a great universal tip for healthy living is the multiple bites and extra liquids–it makes you slow down and gives you time to think about everything and to register that you are in fact eating. When you layer things up, you are more likely to eat a ton more because you can do so in single bites. To me, though, just don’t put yourself in positions where you might eat something that you will regret later, whether from a GI POV or a diet POV

    1. Your tips are spot on – if I eat too fast it doesn’t matter if it’s a carrot or a cupcake I’m sick and unsatisfied. I reallllly need to drink more water I bet that would help my overall life so much haha I just don’t like it that much. Is that a weird thing to admit?

  2. I’m definitely, DEFINITELY a texture person!! I add chia seeds and peanuts to my protein shakes now and it definitely fills me up/satisfies me a lot better.
    I used to love my magazines (well, still do sometimes), but now, read lots online.
    Universal tip for healthy eating: Portion, portion, portion your food, also think before you eat!! Before I eat snacks, I question whether I’m really hungry or if I’m eating because I’m bored, upset, happy, etc.

    1. Texture makes such a difference for me! Plus I can think of tonnnns of instances when crunchy foods have fewer calories than their counterparts. Popcorn vs. french fries for example! It’s just too broad of a generalization

  3. I do love picking up a magazine every now and then but I think you’re totally right that so much of it is gimmicky! I think the biggest health tip for anyone is to find what works for your body. Just because a certain diet or lifestyle change works for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.

  4. I have stopped picking up health and fitness magazines now as I just get angry with what I read! Some things are just silly! I do on the other hand, read my husbands Men’s Health – that actually has some good fitness and health advice rather than ‘quick fixes’ to lose weight etc. I actually find it more relevant!

  5. I think that in order to be healthy you simply just need to be active to a certain degree and eat whole foods most of the time! I think it is important to find a balance and still give yourself plenty of treats along the way! Nothing is more unhealthy than restricting yourself completely of what you love!

  6. I love seeing those article titles on magazine covers – like here, buying this magazine will solve your problems! Here is a one stop shop fix all for you! 🙂 Yikes, that’s not how the world works. But I definitely DO enjoy reading these kinds of things for the sole purpose of seeing all the crazy things out there. Everyone has a different way of eating and I love hearing about all of it – but definitely some of it makes me scratch my head for sure. 🙂

    1. I KNOW! Kinda like Cosmo…”57 new ways to please your man!” every month. It’s exhausting and perpetuates the idea that women constantly aren’t good enough and need to improve somehow. Sometimes it’s too much!

  7. Taking information from magazines with a grain of salt is so important- I had a post ages ago on things I found in my sisters magazine which were so stupid- and not just that- even men’s magazines too. The texture thing- I need that with my meals. Plain oatmeal is like water!

  8. Wow! That food texture article sounds like complete wacko! 😀 that makes no sense at all! 😆 I don’t agree with the whole “low-carb” diet articles I come across, like honestly everything has carbs in it, so can we just take a step back 😀 plus we need carbs for long lasting energy and they taste brilliant!

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