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No More Myths! These 3 Common Weight Loss Tips Won’t Work

No More Myths! These 3 Common Weight Loss Tips Won’t Work

Have you tried every weight loss tip in the book, only to find that you failed to reach your target weight? What might feel a personal failure is actually more likely the result of following tips that simply don’t work.

There are many myths in the world of weight loss, and it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. We’re going to give you details on three of the most common weight loss myths, including exactly why they won’t work. Never waste your time on nonsense diets or unscientific fads again.

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Truth #1 Diets that focus on changing one key element don’t work.

Plans that encourage you to cut one specific food or food group out of your diet aren’t the best way to lose weight. The key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is much more complex than simply avoiding one ‘bad’ food. Diets that promote this attitude often fail, as you’re forced to needlessly give up foods you enjoy, making the plan hard to stick to. A good diet plan is sustainable, and won’t ask you to sacrifice everything you like eating. There’s nothing wrong with the odd dessert or chocolate bar, and knowing that you’re able to enjoy an occasional treat makes you much more likely to stick to a diet long term.

Some diets that focus on cutting out a particular food group, like carbohydrates, can actually do more harm than good. You might miss out on healthy sources of energy, like wholewheat pasta or sweet potatoes. You might also find yourself opting for unhealthy options, simply to avoid the food group that’s been deemed ‘bad’ by your diet plan. Any diet that discourages eating in a balanced way is bound to have negative effects in the long term. These could be unwanted health consequences, failure to lose weight, or a lack of motivation to stick with the diet.

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Truth #2 You can’t undo a bad diet with exercise alone.

Ever been for a run and then followed it up with a calorific treat? That’s fine once in a while, but it’s important to realize that exercise can’t replace a healthy diet. Depending on the amount of calories you consume daily, it can be almost impossible to maintain a healthy weight simply by exercising, even if you visit the gym every day. The amount of calories burned during exercise is often overestimated, so you could get caught even if you think you’re tracking everything closely. While exercise is a really important part of staying fit and healthy, it needs to be combined with the right diet for the best results. Working together with a dietician and personal trainer can help you to navigate the complicated world of weight loss without focusing too much on one area.

Truth #3 Eating too few calories won’t lead to sustainable weight loss.

Monitoring your intake of calories and aiming to reduce it can be a helpful weight loss technique, but only up to a certain point. Restricting calories to an extreme level might seem like the fastest way to lose the pounds, but that’s actually not the case. When you dramatically reduce the amount of calories you consume, your body can panic. You might lose plenty of weight at first, but your body will soon start to go into ‘survival mode’, where it hangs on to as many calories as possible. This would be helpful if you were living in a famine situation, but it’s not what you want when trying to lose weight. After the initial dramatic weight loss, you’ll quickly start losing much less, or stop losing altogether. This can be really disheartening, and it’s not a sustainable way to reach a healthy weight. Focus instead on eating a reasonable and consistent number of calories each day.

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Avoid being sucked in by weight loss myths, and focus on losing weight in a way that’s healthy and easier to sustain in the long term. Your body will thank you for it.

Featured photo credit: Henrique Félix via unsplash.com

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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