12 Common Sunscreen Myths Debunked

You’ve heard it from your mother, your dermatologist, your first-grade teacher, and even Baz Luhrmann: Wear sunscreen. With the wealth of knowledge we now have on sunscreen’s ability to reduce our risk of skin cancer and to protect against sun damage like wrinkles, dark spots, and sagginess, it seems wild to think that some still skip this crucial step in their daily skin care routines. But in reality, the increasingly oversaturated sunscreen market and the onslaught of information, studies, and data surrounding it can often have a detrimental effect on consumers, leaving them unsure of what to believe and whom to trust. Over the years, certain myths about sunscreen have permeated our culture, and even the wisest of skin experts have fallen victim to them. With a scorching summer already upon us, it’s more important than ever to not only debunk these misconceptions but also to understand why they’re inaccurate.

Myth #1: Sunscreen Is Not Necessary Indoors, On Cloudy Days, Or Inside A Car

View this post on Instagram

Just say no to “hey stranger” texts. Plus, 4 other secretly shitty texts you should ignore at link in bio. @uuppod

A post shared by Betches Media (@betches) on

“False, false, false!” says Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Yes, clouds do reduce some of the harmful UV rays, but they don’t block them all, particularly in areas where the ozone layer is dramatically reduced.” It’s also important to realize that UV light is not alone in its ability to cause harm. Outdoors, UV light, in the forms of UVA and UVB, can impact skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. Some of that light can travel indoors through windows, but we’re also exposed to other types of light indoors, including visible light and blue light, which can also impact the skin. For that reason, it’s crucial that sunscreen be worn daily, and it should not be skipped just because you’re inside.

Myth #2: One Application Of Sunscreen Will Last All Day

“If you have discovered the sunscreen that lasts up to 24 hours, please let us all in on that secret!” Dr. Idriss jokes. In fact, not only will one application of sunscreen not last all day, but it will last just a couple of hours. “Most sunscreens are tested for a specific amount of time, and that’s on average two hours,” explains Dr. Caroline Robinson, a Chicago-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of TONE Dermatology. “After two hours, the SPF protection goes down significantly, so you do need to reapply to maintain that initial level of protection.” If you are in the sun, reapplication every two hours is imperative, but if you’re mostly indoors, you can be slightly more lenient in reapplying so long as you apply before stepping outside again. “I tell people to bring a sunscreen brush, like ISDIN’s, with them wherever they go and quickly apply that to their arms and face and any exposed skin before going back outside,” Dr. Robinson notes.

Myth #3: The Higher The SPF, The Better The Protection

While this is not totally true, there is some logic behind the belief. “The SPF number does not reflect the duration of efficacy of the sunscreen; it indicates how long it would take for your skin to redden when using the product,” Dr. Idriss says. “So, for example, if you are using an SPF of 30, it would take 30 times longer for you to burn while using the sunscreen versus if you didn’t use it all.” There is also proof that the higher the SPF, the more protected you will be—but only to a certain point. “SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB, whereas SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%,” the New York dermatologist explains. “This may seem like a negligible gain in protection, but if you are prone to sunburns or skin cancers, that little gain can make a world of a difference.”

Once you go above SPF 50, though, the difference in protection is quite small. Dr. Robinson says a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen is required to cover the whole face and about a shot-glass full is necessary to cover the whole body. “But if you know that you’re not going to follow those recommended amounts—and most don’t—then you can actually benefit from a higher SPF,” she advises. “In doing so, you can get a similar protection to an SPF 30, which is what those measurements are based on, but you can get it with less than the nickel- and shot-glass-sized amounts.” Essentially, it will be more thinly spread than the recommended amounts would, but because it’s a higher SPF, it will be roughly as powerful.

Myth #4: People With Darker Skin Tones Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

“This is a misconception I’ve been fighting for a very long time,” says Dr. Robinson. “While people with darker skin tones are indeed less likely to burn, they aren’t immune from sun damage, and oftentimes, it will develop in the form of hyperpigmentation—potentially even more dramatically than sun damage would manifest on lighter skin tones.” Additionally, certain conditions, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots that result from acne or irritation to the skin) and melasma, can be worsened by sun exposure, especially in people of color. So, even if your sun damage doesn’t come in the form of the traditional sunburn or freckles, it’s still important to wear sunscreen in order to protect your skin from other damage.

Myth #5: If You’re Not Prone To Burning, You Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

Much like the belief that those with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen, there’s a misconception that if you don’t burn, you similarly don’t need SPF. “There’s this idea that just because you tan, you’re fine, but tanning can actually be a system of sun damage,” Dr. Robinson explains. “You can have enough exposure to the point where you no longer burn; your skin just goes straight to tan, and that’s not a good thing.” Immediate tanning can be an indication that your skin has skipped the warning response of burning entirely, and that’s actually a sign that your skin is damaged.

Myth #6: If You Wear Sunscreen, You Won’t Get A Tan

Many refrain from wearing sunscreen because they claim it will keep them from achieving that oh-so-coveted sun-kissed glow. But, as Dr. Idriss says, this is once again false. “Sunscreen makes your skin slower to react to UV rays,” she notes, “but it doesn’t prevent it from reacting altogether.” You can definitely still get a tan while safely protecting your skin with sunscreen.

Myth #7: Wearing Makeup That Has SPF In It Is Enough

Absolutely not! “Most makeups that include an SPF are not tested to the extent that sunscreens are, especially compared to the sunscreens that carry extra credentials, like an endorsement from the Skin Cancer Foundation, or anything like that,” Dr. Robinson explains. In order to reap the full benefits of the SPF listed on your makeup, you would need to use a hefty amount, up to the size of a nickel, and unless you’re a Kardashian, you’re probably not equipped to wear that much makeup. You also likely won’t be putting makeup on your ears, neck, chest, or any of the many regions of the body that are not the face but are equally susceptible to sun damage, and you won’t be reapplying makeup every two hours as you would sunscreen.

Myth #8: Spray Or Powder Sunscreen Is Just As Effective As Lotion

As new agents of delivery have come to the sunscreen market over the years, they’ve often appeared to be solutions to the stickiness and getting-it-in-your-eye tendency of traditional lotion, and while that can be true, spray and powder sunscreens can also have their shortcomings. “They can definitely be as effective, but a lot more needs to be applied in order to reach the same level of effectiveness,” says Dr. Idriss. Unlike lotion sunscreens, applying a spray or powder means that some of its contents will not land on the actual skin, so you’ll need to as much as double the amount you’re using.

Myth #9: Sunscreen Can Lead To Cancer Or Other Health Problems

While an alarmingly common belief, the idea that sunscreen can cause cancer or any other health issue is founded in no truth. “I wish this myth would go away because it’s been disproven time and again,” Dr. Robinson says. “Sunscreen does not cause cancer, and there have been so many studies to show that, but they sadly don’t make the headlines as much.” And if you’re really worried, do as Dr. Idriss suggests and simply opt for a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one.

Myth #10: There’s No Real Difference Between Chemical And Mineral/Physical Sunscreens

Although both types of sunscreen achieve the same goal, scientifically, they work very differently. “Mineral and physical are interchangeable terms, and the most common ingredient in those sunscreens is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide,” explains Dr. Robinson. “Those are metals, and if you think about a sheet of metal, you know that it literally just reflects light; so, physical sunscreens sit on top of skin and reflect the UV rays and scatter light.” Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb the UV light and put it through a chemical reaction (their namesake comes from this) that converts the light to heat. “Because the chemical sunscreens have to first absorb the light, they take a little longer to become active, so you can’t apply them while you’re outside or even right before,” the Chicago dermatologist notes. “You have to allow at least a few minutes, which the bottle will tell you.”

Some people can be more sensitive to the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, so for babies, children, and anyone with sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen is the way to go. Historically, some consumers have shied away from physical options because they can leave more of a white film, but some recent additions to the sunscreen market have gotten around that with advanced technologies. Dr. Robinson recommends SkinBetter’s SunBetter Stick, a physical SPF 56 sunscreen which uses a new technology to uniquely shape the zinc particles so that they sit atop the skin without leaving the familiar white cast. She also loves Eryfotona Actinica from ISDIN, another physical option that uses DNA Repairsomes to repair DNA damage that can come from sun exposure, and Revision Skincare’s IntelliShade TruPhysical, which has Vitamin C in it and effectively serves as two necessary products in one.

Myth #11: If You Didn’t Wear Sunscreen When You Were Younger And Already Have Sun Damange, There’s No Point In Wearing It Now

“Although most of the damage is actually accumulated while you’re younger (typically before the age of 18), it doesn’t make you immune to worsening damage,” Dr. Idriss says. Indeed, sunscreen protects from the visible signs of aging caused by sun exposure, but it also reduces your risk of skin cancer, and that alone is reason to start or continue wearing it even if you’ve already suffered some sun damage. “I recommend you adopt a ‘never give up’ attitude,” suggests Dr. Idriss. “You only have the skin you’re in, and hopefully your life will be long, so you might as well protect and enjoy it every step of the way.”

Myth #12: Sunscreen Never Expires

Of all the myths that exist about sunscreen, the notion that it doesn’t expire might be the most outlandish. “Sunscreen is doing a lot of work, so when you’re applying it, you want to be confident that you’re getting the coverage you think you are,” Dr. Robinson explains. Like everything in life, sunscreen has an expiration date, and you can find it by looking at the back or bottom of the bottle. As for any wiggle room when it comes to that expiration, like the “five-day rule” for milk, Dr. Robinson says, “we don’t take chances with sunscreen.”

Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels; Maciej Serafinowicz / Unsplash; Antonio Gabola / Unsplash; Taylor Simpson / Unsplash

This Is Why Your Dreams Are So F*cked Up In Quarantine

Just this morning, I jolted wide awake wayyy before my alarm clock went off. I’d had the craziest dream: I had a boyfriend who was not only really cute, but smart in a hot way, rich, and super attentive but not clingy. After an initial moment of joy (the coronavirus thirst is real), I quickly realized that this dream guy was, in fact, a dream. Let’s be honest, none of us have ever met a man that checks all these boxes. Turns out, I’m not the only one having f*cking bizarre dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic. The other day on the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast, Betches co-founders Aleen and Sami sat down with Dr. Deirdre Barrett, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, to discuss why our dream lives have gotten all screwed up from being stuck at home.

Why Our Sleep Is Being Affected

One huge reason we’re all experiencing weird dream lives is because we’re literally just sleeping more, according to Dr. Barrett. With state-wide lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders in effect, people are spending way more time at home than usual, allowing for random naps, late wake-ups, and passing out on the couch at 8pm from your fourth glass of wine (not judging—it’s always Wine Wednesday in quarantine). While we tend to have ramped-up anxiety dreams during any crisis, the extra sleep we’re getting is pretty unique to this pandemic. According to Dr. Barrett, “In most crises, people end up getting less sleep, but in this one, the average person is getting more because of the lockdown orders and the furloughs from work and school. I think we go around a little bit chronically sleep-deprived and we’re catching up on sleep right now, and so we have a big rebound in our dream life.”

What Types of Dreams People Are Having

Leslie Knope

If you’re having crazy anxiety dreams rn, you’re not alone. Turns out, if you’re freaked out about the virus IRL, it’s likely that you’ll be angsty in your sleeping state, too. For a lot of people, these panicky dreams don’t mention the virus outright, but manifest their anxiety in metaphorical—and freaky—ways. In a recent survey, Dr. Barrett found that bug-themed nightmares are the most common metaphor for corona (so yeah, murder hornets are def coming for you during your next REM cycle). She thinks part of this is due to our use of the word “bug” as slang for a virus, “but in a deeper sense, just lots of little things that cumulatively could kill you make them a good metaphor.” Great, time to go lock all of my windows.

If you’re on the more ~practical~ side (I’m talking about you, fellow quarantined Virgos), you might have dreamt that you actually had the virus. Waking up thinking you’re spiking a fever or having trouble breathing is really common, Dr. Barrett says. Virus dreams can also be super absurd (the dream sequence in The Big Lebowski, anyone?). One woman in Dr. Barrett’s survey reported dreaming that she looked down at her stomach and saw blue stripes on it, which dreamt-up medical authorities had told her was the first sign of COVID-19.

While the average person’s dreams are all wack because of general pandemic anxiety, many healthcare workers are having the ultra-realistic trauma dreams often experienced by combat veterans. “They’re dreaming literally about a patient who’s dying of the disease,” says Dr. Barrett. “They’re trying to put a tube down them, or the respirator is malfunctioning, and they’re trying to save their life and failing. That’s the nightmare, based on something that happens to them by day.” Because real life isn’t stressful enough for those on the front lines—they get to relive their daily pressures in their dreams too.

What These Dreams Mean

Woman waking up

Apparently, these same types of dream patterns happened post-9/11. Like our present-day healthcare heroes, Dr. Barrett recalls, “the first responders and the people who’d barely gotten out of the lower floors, and the people working in Manhattan…were the ones that had nightmares as bad as wartime.” At the same time, average people were anxiously dreaming about the attacks, like most of us are dream-panicking about the virus today.

And as if they weren’t already suffering enough, lots of patients with COVID-19 are experiencing fever dreams. One patient in her survey dreamt that doctors were replacing his lungs with robot parts (can you imagine??). “In the dream, he was ascribing his trouble breathing to the fact that he didn’t know how to use the robot lungs,” says Dr. Barrett. She says this type of fever dream likely signifies the patient’s “fear of having to be on a ventilator, but maybe just more broadly, a fear of what was happening in his lungs.”  

Fever dreams can also make normal things totally terrifying. While I wouldn’t mind a dream transporting me from my couch to a tropical island, for patients who are stuck in hospital rooms, changes in location can be completely jarring. According to Dr. Barrett, fever dreams “are probably not from a normal state of sleep. We think they’re sort of a hybrid of sleeping brain states, waking brain states, and just completely abnormal brain states all superimposed on each other.” Fever dreams can throw you for a loop and completely blur the lines between hallucination and reality.

How To Get Better Sleep

If you’ve been experiencing especially weird dreams since quarantine started, Dr. Barrett recommends keeping a dream journal in your spare time (which you now have plenty of). After all, Twilight was based off of a dream Stephenie Meyer had, so who knows? You could soon be sitting on the next hit YA series. And if you’re not sleeping well, crazy dreams might not be the only culprit, so be sure to practice good sleep hygiene. We all love a good late-night Netflix binge, but the blue light from our precious phones screws with our bodies’ ability to produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Dr. Philip Westbrook, former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, recommends that we put down electronics an hour before bedtime so our brains can relax. Establishing a pre-bedtime routine also helps our bodies destress and prepare for a good night’s sleep. This might include taking an Epsom salt bath, flowing through a few yoga poses, or doing your daily skin care routine. Do whatever helps you destress, but avoid getting too emotional. Texting your ex is NOT an appropriate activity when turning in for the night (or ever, tbh), because it makes your body produce stress hormones. 

The pandemic won’t last forever (right, Dr. Fauci?? Please confirm), but know that you’re probably not the only one in your group chat having crazy dreams. For now, focus on making changes that will help you get better sleep, and you’ll hopefully avoid further dreams about wasp attacks or unrealistic boyfriends.

For more insight from Dr. Barrett, listen to the Diet Starts Tomorrow episode below.

Images: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels; Gregory Pappas / Unsplash; Giphy (2)

Flat Tummy Tea’s Pregnancy Tea Isn’t Actually Safe For Pregnant Women

The evil monsters behind Flat Tummy Co that we love to hate are at it again, but this time they’re targeting the group that is perhaps the most vulnerable and least deserving of being targeted by this sort of sh*t: pregnant women. That’s right, Flat Tummy Co’s greed couldn’t be satiated by exploiting non-pregnant women’s insecurities and passing their crap off as health products. They had to go so far as to make women carrying actual human life feel insecure about not having a flat stomach. They’ve definitely faced continuous backlash for their sh*t, though, including from our favorite dietician Tracy Lockwood Beckerman (an actual professional who knows how horrible this stuff based on her actual scientific expertise), who spoke about it on the latest episode of the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast. Here’s everything she says we need to know about why Flat Tummy Co’s “Organic Pregnancy Tea” isn’t actually safe for pregnant women, or really anyone for that matter, and how the internet is freaking out about it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#ad You guys all know I looove @flattummyco shakes. I’ve just restarted them (it’s Day 2 today) and I’m already feeling so good. We had a huuuuge Christmas this year and between that, New Years and everything inbetween… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and they’re helping me get my tummy back to flat. I’m already feeling amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now, so if you want to start 2019 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out. PS. I’m doing the chocolate program?

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

If you don’t follow any of the Kardashians aren’t familiar with Flat Tummy’s regular antics, they are known for marketing their fake healthy products via sponsored Instagram posts by celebrities with large female followings, such as Real Housewives and the Kardashians. What a clever marketing strategy!!! Make women think celebrities’ impossibly flat stomachs are thanks to a tea they can buy themselves, and not the personal chefs and trainers and doctors that only the wealthy can afford! Social media has already made beauty standards for women unrealistically high, so why not just perpetuate lies and make them even unhealthily higher?! Hahahaha everything is so great over here in womanhood. What’s even crazier is the fact that they used Amber Rose, who actually is pregnant right now, to promote their pregnancy tea and try to convince people that it actually is healthy to use while pregnant.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#ad Okay listen up @flattummyco just launched an Organic Pregnancy Tea to help us moms with those bloated, nauseous, blah feeling days! It’s safe to take while pregnant and breastfeeding. This is not a detox tea – it’s specially designed to help reduce occasional nausea and support digestion during pregnancy – haters stop riding the bandwagon and think for yourselves.

A post shared by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on

Luckily Jameela Jamil, who’s been the one to call the Kardashians out for taking advantage of their audience just to get that Flat Tummy money, stepped in here as well. “FLAT TUMMY PRODUCTS FOR… PREGNANT WOMEN? Is this FDA approved? Are we… fucking… KIDDING? @US_FDA,” she tweeted with a screenshot of Amber Rose’s Instagram post.

I’m sorry, but isn’t the idea of a Flat Tummy pregnancy tea a little bit of an oxymoron? If there is one time in your life you probably aren’t going to have a flat tummy, it’s when you are pregnant. Are we really now trying to force the necessity of a flat stomach on literal pregnant women?! I can’t. I’ve truly seen it all.

But not only are these bullsh*t teas harmful to body image and don’t do what they say they do, they can actually make you physically sick. Beckerman says the “detox teas” are literally just LAXATIVES. Even worse, once you start drinking them, you physically will not be able to go to the bathroom without them. Which makes perfect sense from a money-hungry marketing standpoint, because then you just have to keep buying more! The truth is, these companies don’t give a sh*t about your wellbeing, but you certainly will be giving a lot of it when you’re running to the bathroom every five minutes after using their products.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#ad If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing… I’ve been out here working my a** off. I’ve been working out and using @flattummyco meal replacement shakes to help me get my tummy back to where it was. I know it’s not going to be an easy journey, but I’m feeling SO ready to do this and after using the shakes, I’m feeling really good and definitely feeling the difference. Baby weight is no joke! If you’re wanting to try them you should get on it because there’s a 20% off sale going on right now!

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Knowing what the ingredients in Flat Tummy products actually do, Beckerman explains, “What you’re doing to your body in taking this tea is a laxative-like effect on you. It’s making you feel dizzy, it’s making you feel lethargic, you’re dehydrated, your electrolytes are imbalanced. You feel sh*tty, you’re gonna lay down, you may even get the sweats and you don’t feel good,” which is what happens to a healthy person who doesn’t have a bun in the oven when they drink the tea. Imagine how it would affect someone who’s pregnant: “Now you’re immunocompromised, you’re carrying a child, and your system doesn’t work to take care of mom ‘cause it’s taking care of baby, so mom could pass out.” The cherry on top is that THEY AREN’T EVEN FDA APPROVED. To be fair, no supplements are FDA approved, because they are not evaluated by the FDA. But still, Beckerman states, “They did a recall of over 400 supplements in the last 10 years because… They had other things like weight loss stimulants that have been taken off the market for years because they cause heart attacks.”

When Tracy called Flat Tummy out for their unethical sh*t on her Instagram, they replied to a comment on her post! Someone pointed out that their website literally said that the Organic Pregnancy Tea isn’t actually safe for pregnant women, to which they responded in a comment (that they later deleted) that said their website was in the process of being updated. 

I’m sorry, but what kind of credible website selling “health products” doesn’t have accurate information ready about whether or not it’s healthy to take their products? Everyone, I beg of you, save yourself from the ridiculousness these greed machines are trying to force on us and realize that you and your baby will be better off without this bullsh*t. We all will be.

To hear more about the Flat Tummy hoax, listen to Diet Starts Tomorrow below.

Images: freestocks.org / Unsplash;  kimkardashian / Instagram; amberrose / Instagram; khloekardashian / Instagram

6 Tips To Not Give Up On Your Fitness Routine

Trying to get in shape is no easy task. It feels like there are constantly things pulling you in the opposite direction of your goals, like the Shake Shack that so conveniently sits on your route home from work or the couch that literally absorbs you oh so comfortingly when you even have a thought about going to the gym. Luckily, Sami and Aleen spoke to celebrity trainer Jordan Syatt on the latest episode of the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast to pick his brain about the most effective ways to go about staying committed to a fitness goal. Spoiler alert: most of them have to do with your attitude, so prepare to be told to stop whining and making excuses for yourself (in a nice-ish way, though, because believe me I understand the struggle).

1. Not Every Workout Is Going To Be Great

In order to stay motivated, you have to accept the fact that not every single workout you get through is going to be life-changing and exponentially increase your strength, just like you (unfortunately) can’t expect a six pack after doing sit-ups once. “For every five workouts, you’re gonna have one workout that’s f*cking amazing, you’re gonna have one workout that’s f*cking awful, you’re gonna have three workouts that are like, ‘eh, I got it in,’” Jordan says. “When you know that ahead of time… there’s no need to feel like ‘ugh, what’s the point’ and quit and just go off on a bender and not go back for a week.” So he’s basically telling us to suck it up and curb our need for instant gratification. Fair enough.

2. Stop Villainizing The Scale

Jordan thinks the way people are so scared to step on the scale and avoid it because they can’t possibly bare to handle its toxicity in their lives is so counterproductive to being strong and stable enough in their pursuit of fitness. The reason he believes that people shouldn’t allow themselves to be so sensitive to the scale is because the number the scale tells you is so arbitrary and has so little to do with actual fat loss. “Remember your weight will go up and down, and just because it goes up doesn’t mean you gained fat, just because it goes down doesn’t mean you lost fat,” he explains. He says your weight can spike and drop day to day, which he has proof of because he has literally graphed where his weight was every day for a 90-day period. “We should teach people how to step on it without making it an emotional thing… and really just to start looking at it objectively rather than a pass/fail.” A more accurate way to track your progress with the scale is by checking your weight not daily or even weekly, but only monthly. A month leaves enough time of progress to show the true trends of where your weight is going. “It’s all about consistency over time, and the more you can be logical about it and not let your emotions control your actions… the more successful you’ll be,” Jordan tells Sami and Aleen.

3. Determine Whether You Want To Lose Fat Or Just Get Healthier

If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle but you don’t feel like you need to lose weight in order to do so, eating clean is a good way to go. But if you actually want to lose a substantial amount of fat, then you simply need to be eating at a caloric deficit. According to Jordan, “Even if you eat clean, too many calories is too many calories. If you want to lose fat, you need to be able to eat the right amount of calories for your body to do that, regardless of whether you’re eating Twinkies or avocado.” If you ever slip up with keeping your calorie intake low, though, it’s really important not to treat it like the end of the world and feel like you’ve totally failed. “No one ever got skinny from eating one salad, no one ever got fat from eating one donut.” One mistake definitely won’t reverse all your progress, so it’s worth it to keep going.

4. Don’t Get Discouraged By A Plateau

When your body seems to be at a standstill and you go some time without seeing any further tangible results, Jordan says to keep in mind that “You’re still making progress, your body’s just catching up.” If you stick with your routine and persevere through the plateau, you will begin to notice that progress again. “Let’s say you’re on the train and the train stops to pick other people up. Do you just say ‘Ah, f*ck it I’m going home. I quit, I’m turning around’?” Obviously thinking about it this way makes giving up seem totally illogical but I WANT A FLAT STOMACH AND I WANT IT NOW, DAMMIT. It’s so frustrating when I can’t enjoy pasta AND I don’t even feel like it’s benefiting me in the way it’s supposed to, but I guess it’s worth it to keep trying.

5. Don’t Use Factors You Can’t Control As Excuses

Ugh, it brings me at least a little bit of comfort to think the way I look is because I just didn’t get the skinny gene, but apparently I can’t even do that anymore. “Genetics play a role in everything, but they do not determine your success,” Jordan says. What he means by this is that a person’s DNA can influence how and where they carry fat and other such things, but it can’t prevent them from getting in shape. People often try to even attribute their struggles with weight and fitness to things actually medically wrong with them at a hormonal or metabolic level, just to find out after a doctor’s visit that they’re totally fine. Jordan thinks these excuses people make for themselves just get in the way of actually doing anything productive to their health.

6. Believe In Your Ability To Succeed

I know this sounds like something you’d find on a cheesy inspirational poster in a high school classroom, but it’s so true. If you don’t think at all about the things that could potentially hinder you from your goals and instead focus on what you can actively do in order to achieve them, it will be so much easier. Jordan says, “If I can leave people with one message, it’s that you can’t f*ck up as long as you get back on track.” YOU GOT THIS!

To hear everything else Jordan Syatt had to say, listen to his Diet Starts Tomorrow episode below.

Images: Inspired Horizons Digital Marketing / Unsplash; Giphy (6)

Why ‘Wellness’ Is A Scam

Jessica Knoll is the novelist behind the New York Times opinion piece that blew up last week, entitled, “Smash the Wellness Industry.” In the piece, she describes her experience telling her obsessive dieting habits to f*ck off (she is obviously a more eloquent writer than I). Knoll joined Sami and Aleen in the latest episode of the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast to discuss the process she went through in order to realize the “wellness” industry is basically a scam. After struggling with chronic dieting and disordered eating, she learned with her dietician that “it’s trying to unravel a lifetime of poor messaging,” and admits, “after two years I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.”

On Influencers Pushing Fake Wellness

Jessica now thinks that what influencers and companies have been passing off as wellness is literally just the same thing as dieting. They call these new forms of diets “clean eating,” which just sounds so damn marketable. They trick you into thinking that the main idea is actual health. When reflecting on the way she used to think, Knoll said, “I followed all these healthy influencers on Instagram…what I realize now is that they would only talk about the things that affected your appearance, but so much of health has nothing to do with your appearance.” It’s scary as f*ck when you consider how strongly the “wellness” industry’s message is forced on us everywhere we go, especially in the unrealistic standard the media sets for what we should look like. “The models in these images are the 0.5% of our population that genetically look like this, or they’re doing harmful things to themselves to look like this,” Knoll says. And the ways wellness culture makes us feel like we have to diet in order to look like them are not only unhealthy, they just don’t work at all.

On The Problems With Dieting

After learning from her dietician Elyse Resch, who co-wrote the book Intuitive Eating and specializes in things like eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image, Knoll realized, “I could change these things that I don’t like about myself, but I can’t actually sustain the behaviors needed to change them, so the logic is off. I can’t actually do it so, moving on!”

While seeing the short term results of strict dieting can feel good, there comes a point where as soon as the dieter goes outside the lines a little bit, they won’t be able to control themselves around the foods they’ve been abstinent from for so long. “When you can’t have food, all you can think about is food because you’re hungry and you’re obsessed with it,” she explained. “There’s this Last Supper mentality that a lot of people who operate under a dieting mindset find themselves butting up against, which is that Bridget Jones ‘I should just eat all the chocolate tonight ‘cause I’m gonna start anew tomorrow.’” And the cycle repeats itself. Stigmas tied to weight are extremely harmful as well; they make people not want to work out, go to the gym, or even go to the doctor out of embarrassment and intimidation. “Dieting and shaming people about their weight—that’s not working. We’re already doing that, so maybe we should try something else,” Jessica told Sami and Aleen.

On Intuitive Eating

Knoll says that intuitive eating, which she now practices, is “about figuring out what tastes really good to you and what also makes you feel good. It takes work to figure out what that is, but then once you do, you feel like you trust yourself again.” Now that intuitive eating has made Jessica so in tune with her body, she doesn’t put herself down about her appearance anymore: “I’ve made this concerted effort not to bash my body and not to bash my appearance, and while it took time, those thoughts in my head have definitely quieted down because I’m not voicing them out loud anymore.” 

To hear more on what intuitive eating is all about and how it can help you, check out her episode of Diet Starts Tomorrow below.

 

Images: Louise Burton / Unsplash; Tenor (4)

7 Hacks To Help You Stay Healthy At The Beach

Summer seems like the most fun time of year almost by default, but it can be tricky to navigate for the people who are trying to stick to healthy habits. Temptation is everywhere: there are drinks constantly being poured, fried food, ice cream, and your skinny friend who orders whatever the f*ck she wants because she has that gene you weren’t blessed with that allows her to eat literally anything without gaining a single pound. While all this swarms you, there also exists the perpetual thought looming over your head of most of your body being exposed when you want to lay out in the sun or go for a swim. It seems almost impossible, but surviving a beach weekend really doesn’t have to be so difficult if you keep some healthy hacks in mind that will trick yourself into feeling like you’re actually indulging, which we talked about on the latest Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast episode. Here are some of the best ways you can skip both the food FOMO and the diet-breaking regret.

1. Bring Frozen Fruit To The Beach

Eating frozen grapes, mangos, or pineapples is basically like eating nature’s version of an ice pop. Freezing these fruits not only turns them into healthy and delicious snacks, it also makes them stay cold and fresh for longer when it’s hot out and slows down your eating to add a little extra control. If I went and ordered ice cream and then my friend whipped out some frozen mango I would feel like an unhealthy piece of sh*t who is jealous of her tasty-looking frozen mango.

2. Start Your Day With A Walk Or Bike Ride

It’s scarily easy to spend an entire weekend at the beach lying on a lounge chair and barely moving a muscle. If you decide to start your day with a nice walk, though, you will feel good about taking in the summer air and being somewhat productive, which will set the tone for a healthy rest of the day. You can also post an early morning Insta story to show everyone that going out the night before didn’t stop you from being the epitome of wellness and serenity that you obviously are.

3. Don’t Fall Prey To High Calorie Drinks

Squeeze half a grapefruit into a vodka on the rocks and you have yourself a nice, refreshing summer drink that will get you good and f*cked up without the calories of rosé or a margarita. Plus, grapefruit is great for your metabolism. You could also soak berries in vodka if you feel like supplementing your alcohol with some antioxidants, or if you want to go the extra mile, you can even put seltzer in a wine glass and then just use your imagination.

4. Do Not Skip Any Meals

Skipping breakfast or lunch during a beach weekend seems like an easy way to cut out calories but it ends up working in the opposite way. You’ll be so hungry that you’ll want to eat like a pig later, and you’ll feel like you deserve it because you didn’t eat before.  It may seem annoying to stay on top of your usual eating schedule when you’re trying to enjoy and relax at the beach, but your body will thank you for it later.

5. Bring Sporty Games To The Beach

If you bring fun activities to the beach, you’ll get in a workout without even realizing it. Bring a volleyball to play with or a football to throw around so you get your body in motion. The best way to do a workout in disguise, though, is by playing paddleball. Passing a tiny ball between wooden paddles is all fun and games, but when the little f*cker gets caught in the wind and you have to chase after it through the sand, you get some serious cardio in. You could also take advantage of the body of water in front of you and actually go for a swim. Fighting the current takes some exertion and makes you do more than just snore under the sun.

6. Bring Healthy Crackers Instead Of Chips

All the delicious crunch and none (or at least not as much) of the fat. If you must snack, eating fiber-filled crackers instead of chips will satisfy you AND keep you full. Keep the Lays out of sight and out of mind so you can stay on track like the healthful goddess that you are. I believe in you.

7. STAY HYDRATED.

This seems like an obvious one, but for some reason, it is truly so hard to remember to drink water. If you’re out in the sun all day and especially if you’re drinking, your body literally needs you to stay hydrated. Also, drinking water will keep you full so you won’t feel like you have to snack as much. So just do it! Drink water and while you’re at it put on some sunscreen so you can make the most out of your beach weekend as YOUR! BEST! SELF!

For more healthy eating hacks that will save you this summer, listen to the full episode of Diet Starts Tomorrow below.

Images: Giphy (7); Vitaly Sacred / Unsplash

Why Max Lugavere Doesn’t Believe In The ‘5 Meals A Day’ Diet Strategy

Living a healthy lifestyle during the holidays should honestly count as an Olympic sport. For many people, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the end, diet-wise. You feel like there’s basically no hope after you’ve eaten an entire bird, your body weight in stuffing, and pumpkin pie is seeping out of your pores. That’s why we had nutrition expert Max Lugavere on our Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast to give us some tips on getting through the holidays without wreaking havoc on your body. Here are some of our highlights from our chat with Lugavere, but to get all his advice, listen to our podcast linked below.

Hear the full Diet Starts Tomorrow episode above. To connect with Max Lugavere, check out his Instagram, podcast, and best selling book.

Images: Yakynina Anastasia / Unsplash

Instagram Knows When You Zoom In On Pictures

You may think Gen Z is all bad dance moves and Fortnite, but Dr. Emily Weinstein, a Ph.D. research fellow at Harvard University, has the most positive view on today’s kids. This week on our Diet Starts Tomorrow Podcast, we had Dr. Weinstein discusses with us the impacts social media can have on peoples’ mental health, specifically kids grades 8-12. Unlike most doctors and old people, she actually has a lot of hope that social media, in fact, won’t rot the youths’ brains and subsequently make social interactions a thing of the past. Instead, social media has the power to connect kids to each other, communities they identify with, and social change movements. That being said, there’s still a lot of bad sh*t going down, but you’ll have to listen to find out. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation with Dr. Weinstein:

Check out the full Diet Starts Tomorrow episode below to hear Dr. Weinstein’s full segment.

Image: Lisa Fotios/Pexels