6 Health Rules You Don’t Actually Have to Follow
Just like the time we found out that chocolate mousse can be good for you, we were also psyched to discover that a lot of the restricting health “rules” we previously believed to be true actually aren’t set in stone. Here, six common guidelines you don’t really have to follow.
You don't have to stop eating at 7 p.m.
Here’s the trick to eating late at night: It won’t make you gain weight as long as you make good food choices. Nutritionist Jamie Mast told Women’s Health, “A calorie is a calorie…If your total calorie intake for the day is greater than what you are burning, this can lead to weight gain regardless of what time it is.” Basically, it doesn’t matter when you eat but more importantly what you eat, how much you eat and how much you exercise.
You don't have to eat six small meals throughout the day
Similar to the prior: As long as you’re eating the right things and the right amount of those things in total, it doesn’t matter how often your meals are. In fact, people who eat six smaller meals may be more likely to overeat, calorie-wise. This isn’t to say we’re anti-snack, but it’s 100 percent OK to stick to three square meals—your metabolism isn’t going to shut down.
You don't have to eat breakfast every day
Good news for those who would rather sleep in past smoothie-making time: Eating breakfast doesn’t directly lead to weight loss. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no changes in weight in two groups—one of which ate breakfast religiously and another that didn’t. So go ahead and hit snooze if you really want to.
You don't have to eat everything organic
Organic food is great in theory, but it’s often cost prohibitive. Luckily, some foods are totally fine to eat non-organic. (A lot depends on its outer layer.) Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to learn where it’s OK to buy conventional.
You don't have to stop eating carbs
Bread lovers, rejoice. Not only do you not have to cut out carbs completely, you actually should include some good carbs in your diet (like brown rice, fruits and vegetables) to keep a balanced diet and maintain weight. In fact, according to a study, Japanese people, who follow the country's typical high-grain diet, have the second longest life expectancy in the world. (For reference, the U.S. is 43rd.)
You don't have to go on a juice cleanse to detoxify your system
We’re not here to comment on liquid diets. (Do what makes you feel the best.) Just don’t think you have to power through a cleanse for “detoxifying” reasons. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for and are in a constant state of self-cleansing, so there’s really no need to give it an extra push. Eat well and you’ll be just fine.