We live in an age where we are constantly bombarded with “next new thing” that supports and promotes health and wellness. There are frequently new ingredients, supplements, and foods that promise weight loss or less anxiety. New diets come and go faster than fashion trends. And, the best form of exercise continues to be up for debate. Whether it be a pill, tonic, or fitness equipment, it can be difficult to sort through the headlines and discern true health facts. Below are a handful of tips to help you make sure you’re not joining a bandwagon that’s headed in the opposite direction of your health’s best interests.
Check the Source
This first tip can be very simple but also very difficult. On social media, it’s not uncommon to see posts with #sponsored or #ad in the caption. This is a red flag that you shouldn’t go running to the grocery store for the next superfood. Influencers don’t often have a vested interest in making sure the products work and even if they tried the product, knowing the true efficacy takes more time than many would be willing or able to spend. When reading blogs or articles, make sure the information is cited by peer-reviewed research. If the link takes you to another blog or article and not a published journal article, take a moment to think through if the claims are actually true and supported by sound research.
Consult Multiple Sources
After checking the source, crosscheck the claims with different sources. This can take a little time, but the payoffs are worth it. One research study or person is not enough to prove the efficacy of a product or diet. If you’re only finding the claim or magic product in one place, their “research” is likely to be self-serving and biased. Try to scan the web for different types of sources that support the claims. For example, leafy greens are widely proven to be good for our health whereas the research supporting collagen protein powder is young and up for debate.
Trust Your Gut
Don’t let the flashy words and extravagant guarantees fool you. You are better than that and should follow your gut when it comes to believing what’s truly good for you.
Make Sure It’s Not Too Good to be True
If somebody promises you results that seem too good to be true, they probably are. All good things take time and your health and wellness are not an exception to this. Additionally, a single supplement or exercise is often not going to be the only ingredient to living a healthy and better life.
Go Back to the Basics
If it seems like the key factors to living a healthy life are basic, it’s because they are. Health and wellness doesn’t need to be fancy. Sticking to the basics of healthy eating, consistent exercise, and quality sleep will go a long way. If a diet or workout regimen doesn’t seem to fit within the basics, it may be worth reconsidering.
Remember that One Size Does Not Fit All
Even though something was a game changer for your neighbor, it doesn’t mean that it will work or is even best for you. People are different, and there are often many factors that go into the “success” of a product. Instead, try to focus on what helps support your lifestyle.