health

Six crazy lifestyle fads that need the boot (or at least a little less Insta-attention).

Uncle Tobys
Thanks to our brand partner, Uncle Tobys

My friend recently got married, and on the day, she looked stunning – slim, toned, bronzed, glowing.

She probably looked ever so slightly less gorgeous in the mornings leading up to the nuptials, though, due to her consumption of a “detox tea“.

She told me about it breathlessly, explaining she’d lost tons of weight drinking it in the month leading up to the wedding. The only problem, she said, was that the morning of consumption she couldn’t really be anywhere that wasn’t seconds from a bathroom.

“What’s in it that does that?” I asked her, mildly horrified.

“I dunno,” she said, shrugging.

The tea’s laxative effect was caused by an ingredient called senna, which a simple Google search informed me contains “sennosides” that irritate the lining of the bowel, causing a laxative effect. The Australian Medical Association does not recommend it to control weight.

What happening to good old-fashioned cereal for breakfast?

This got me thinking: What other ridiculous things do we do in the name of health or weight loss, that are actually kinda stupid?

Green smoothies.

OK, I don’t think green smoothies are evil, per se. I don’t think they’re going to make me the health queen of the world, though. Think about it: blending and juicing takes all the hard work out of it.

Kale, spinach, apples, pears – whatever you put in your green smoothie is something you’d normally chew, right? Imagine chewing through a big pile of kale. Your saliva is the beginning of the digestion process. It starts to break it down. Then you swallow it and more processes break down the fibrous vegie. But if you juice it, it’s just hitting your tummy, your saliva hasn’t been able to do its job. Your saliva is feeling useless. USELESS.

Some things are meant to be chewed; some things are meant to be drunk.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Some things are meant to be chewed." Image via iStock.

Paleo.

The paleolithic diet hasn't been a thing for about 10,000 years. Oh, until recently, when some genius decided it's the way humans are "meant" to eat. It wasn't really a choice of those early people, it was more just that there was literally nothing else to eat except the occasional woolly mammoth and some berries. They all died in their 30s, generally, and you can bet your Pete Evans cookbook they didn't have san choy bau burgers or cauliflower fried rice.

Retro running.

This is not, as I initially hoped, running in classic athletic wear - think vintage Adidas shorts, Reebok Classics, sweat bands - but running backwards.

It originated, as many awesome/ridiculous things do, in Japan, where you can find big groups of fools running backwards together. Why? Well, running backwards burns 30 per cent more energy than waste-of-time forward running.

Stretch all you like. You're still going to look goofy running backwards. Sorry not sorry. Image via iStock.

The baby food diet.

Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson is responsible for a whole lot of health and fitness trends I could really do without. I mean, this is a woman who recommends her clients eat baby food, bolstered by one proper adult meal at dinner. Of course you'll lose weight if you eat like a person who weighs 10kg! You’ll probably also develop anaemia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fitness apps for everything.

I started running, and felt pretty chuffed about being able to run for 15 minutes without dying/throwing up. So I told my friend of my achievement, and he asked me what my average speed is and which running app I use. "I don't use an app, I use my legs," I told him.

He was not impressed.

"I don't use an app, I use my legs." Image via iStock.

Coconut oil errthang.

I read that Miranda Kerr swears by coconut oil - she consumes tablespoons of the stuff everyday; she smothers her lithe body in it; she conditions her glorious locks with it; she moisturises her baby pixie face with the stuff.

"I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea," she's said.

You know what, though? I think Miranda might be slightly crazy in the coconut, because coconut oil is a saturated fat - her cholesterol is probably through the roof! Also I tried it as a hair conditioner and was in Greasetown until my next shampoo. I totally recommend it as a moisturiser, though. You won't get a pixie baby face, but you will smell like Hawaii.

What health and lifestyle fads do you think we can do without?

00:00 / ???