These online health fads get the thumbs down

Mark Zuckerberg recently produced a Steve Jobs moment and broke the internet when he announced the greatest thing since sliced bread – a Facebook 'dislike' button.

He said, "People have asked about the dislike button for many years. We've finally heard you and we're working on this."

In preparation, I've noticed some health and fitness items in my Facebook feed over the past week that deserve some major thumbs down (and a few classic reminders that need the thumbs up).

Smoked meats

Meat health.

Committed vegan and the UK's Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Kerry McCarthy recently likened eating meat to smoking.

"I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it."

Apart from the absurdity of the livestock and restaurant industries being destroyed by such a campaign, meat is actually good for you. It is packed with protein, and vitamins A, B, D and K, zinc, iron, and more. Sure, statistics show people should be eating more fish and plant-based meals, but a balanced diet with meat is still a healthy choice.

The supplement mentality


Supplement ads bombard my feed – they are everywhere. Euromoniter values the global supplement market at US$50 billion ($72 billion) and predicts growth at four per cent per year through to 2018, with Australian expenditure ranked in the top five in the world.


Protein purchases confuse me when food provides all the protein we need throughout a day. 250 grams of chicken (which equates to 67.5g of protein), steak (70g), salmon (50g), lamb (63g) are smarter nutrition choices over a cookies 'n cream protein shake any day of the week.

Eggs, milk, quinoa, beans, and nuts all have protein, so you can ditch the rattlin' shake bottle and get your daily protein requirements from real, honest food.

The Australian Institute of Sport recommends between .8 and 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day for moderate intensity gym attendees.

Go hard core, or go home

Tough Mudder.

Australians are working/playing hard and training harder. Folks are going hard core and pushing it to the next level with CrossFit WODs, triathlons, and Tough Mudder type programs.

Yet with long working hours and stress paired with a 'must train' approach, certain dangers reveal themselves. The first is knowns as the overtraining syndrome, where one's mood and physical performance decreases and cortisol (the body's stress hormone) increases.

If you're overdoing it, one thing certain to get neglected is sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to poor cognitive functioning, heart problems, a decreased sex drive, and even stroke. Over 1.5 million Australians live with a sleep disorder costing the economy billions.

Train hard? Indeed. But remember that rest and relaxation is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Getting frog fit

Frog fit.

American Gladiator, actor, and body builder Mike O'Hearn is proclaiming to put the 'it' in 'fit' with the latest contraption hitting the market in three months. The Frog is awkward to describe. It's a four wheeled exercise cart, resistance-banded together which only moves when you power it by emulating a frog's leap - a fluid, full body workout.

I thought it was a YouTube prank, but no. You can join 'The Frog Pond' or you can find a cheap ab wheel at the gym that will save the embarrassment and potential car crash.

Thumbs up for the classics

Ocean swim,

That's just for starters. From paleo to vegetarian, CrossFit to Yoga, and The AbDominator to The Frog, there are options galore in the selection of one's diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Variety is the spice of life, but let's face it - some ideas are just plain odd.

As we change the clocks and come into spring, here are 25 debate-free classics to incorporate into your lifestyle this week:

Get your Vitamin D from the sun. Hike. Play tennis. Meditate. Eat broccoli, spinach, and quinoa. Jump in the ocean. Monitor your sleep and aim for eight hours per night. Drink more water. Cut back on the booze.

If you walk, walk harder, if you jog, run harder. Replace chocolate with fruit. Get a 20 minute power nap in on the weekend.

Stretch. Mix your weights routine with cardio and vice versa. Go to a group fitness class like boxing or Zumba. Yogis try CrossFit, and CrossFitters try yoga. Get protein from eggs in the morning, chicken at lunch, and salmon at dinner.

Revolutionary? Nah, just simple, old school health and fitness that always gets the thumbs up.

Which fitness fads do you think deserve the thumbs down? Let us know in the comments section. 

Starting October 1, Droptober is Michael Jarosky's healthy lifestyle month and eight week weight loss challenge. 

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