One of the most common mistakes people make again and again, and one that I have made myself, is taking “health advice” meant for an entirely different type of person and applying it to themselves.
When it comes to health recommendations, the best advice you’ll ever get will be individualized for your particular body, taking into account your health history, your current health status, your lifestyle, your goals, your metabolism, your genetics, and so on. That being said, I understand that not everyone wants to dive right into working with someone 1:1, which is why they turn to the internet for information. The internet is an amazing place to learn so much valuable information, but it’s like the Wild West when it comes to health advice. It can be very dangerous when people try to apply health information to themselves that isn’t really meant for a person in their scenario. This almost always happens unknowingly, which is why people get stuck in cycles with no results.
If you’re malnourished, you probably don’t want to follow advice meant for someone trying to lose weight.
If you have a chronic illness, you probably don’t want to follow advice meant for someone with no health issues.
If you’re a 25 year-old woman, you probably don’t want to follow advice meant for a 50 year-old man.
If you’re an athlete, you probably don’t want to follow advice meant for a sedentary person with no performance goals.
You get my point. I have a lot of personal experience with this. When I was first diving deep into health and wellness, I was also battling extreme gut dysbiosis, adrenal burnout, and severe malnourishment. All I knew was that I needed to get healthier, so I looked for the best advice on “how to get healthy.” In the media, though, being healthy is synonymous with weight loss, and weight loss is usually targeted towards middle-aged men and women who are largely sedentary. I was a 20-year-old, underweight, exercise-addicted woman who had lost her period. I definitely shouldn’t have been following any “general health advice” from the media and other bloggers with no health issues.
Because of that mismatch, I continued to get even worse despite doing everything I was told was “healthy”….. yet I had no idea why my health kept declining. Even when I started working with different nutritionists, a few of them simply gave me the same generic nutrition sheet / meal plan they gave to everyone. Of course that didn’t help!
When I finally found a nutritionist who individualized a plan for me, I had a tough time sticking with it because I second-guessed everything she said. Even when I started finding much better, quality advice in my research targeted towards people with severe gut dysbiosis, autoimmune diseases, and chronic illness, it took me quite some time to really listen. I still had all the noise in my head of what I “should” be doing to be healthy – Drink a green smoothie every morning! Run for an hour a day! Eat lean protein and steamed veggies with your meals! Flax and chia will save your digestion! – so at first it was hard for me to let that advice go.
It wasn’t until I finally realized that health advice for me was not to be confused with advice meant for someone who was overweight, sedentary, an athlete, a middle-aged woman, or someone with perfect digestion, great hormonal balance, and stable mental health. I needed to eat more food in general, to eat more fat, to rest more, to avoid certain fibers, to stop cardio, and to avoid liquid meals – all things that Cosmo magazine and Sally Sue on her health and fitness blog definitely weren’t promoting as “healthy.”
You’ll never get anywhere with your health goals until you start following advice meant for you. I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me after spending months or years desperately trying to improve their health, but only digging themselves into a deeper hole because they were trying to follow their favorite blogger’s health advice or something they read out of a book. “Well, isn’t this healthy?,” they ask. The real question is, though, What’s healthy for YOU?! It’s ironic how often people actually need to do the opposite of what’s been marketed to them as the healthiest habits.
Remember that everyone has different needs, and you’ll reach your results much more quickly if you look for information created for someone in your situation. Start thinking about where you’ve gotten information and where you’re learning things from. Have you been accidentally trying to follow recommendations for someone in a completely different demographic?!
If you’re looking to lose weight, look for advice for someone who specializes in your age range and gender. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, don’t follow advice for people who are overweight. If you’re an athlete, look for advice for someone who focuses on performance, not advice for people just getting into fitness or who are generally sedentary. If you’re post-menopausal, your body will work differently than a pre-menopausal woman’s body. If you want to bulk, don’t follow advice for someone who wants to cut. If you struggle with bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, look for someone who focuses on that type of gut health issue. If you have adrenal burnout, don’t follow advice meant for the average lazy person on the web.
For any women out there, this is especially relevant to you. Not only because women are targeted more often for “health advice,” but also because our bodies are more sensitive to stressors than men’s are. It doesn’t take as much for us to throw our hormones out of whack, stress out our guts, and burn ourselves out overall. Pay extra attention to what you’re consuming and implementing. Not being able to let go my libertine relations with my partner + other partners (regular or unknown), I wasn’t going to back off when my erections grew faulty. I took a Cialis 10mg one hour before intercourse. Even under the effect of the tablet, I would end up getting out of it, obviously not living the moment well. Probably, some psychological issues are due. Also, when I’m on Cialis, I have to take Maalox for my acid reflux due to my faulty stomach.
Sometimes the problem isn’t that people don’t want to change, it’s that they don’t know how to. Sometimes the problem isn’t that people don’t want to get information or that they don’t have information, it’s that they have the wrong information for someone in their situation. You’ll save yourself a LOT of time if you ditch the “general health advice” that’s not really talking to anyone in particular, and focus on finding gems that are relevant to YOU.
Have you ever fallen into this trap?