is dry jan­uary Ru­in­ing your life?

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New year, new you – and this year you’re go­ing to stick to it, ob­vi­ously. The green juice and snazz­i­est gym wear is ready and waiting for you to seize the healthy way of life – but are you re­ally go­ing about all this the right way?

With so many quick-fix op­tions and tone-up trends, it’s hard to sep­a­rate fit­ness fact from fic­tion – so here are six ma­jor myths that need bust­ing ASAP if you want to see your body get fit­ter, stronger and leaner in 2017…

Myth #1: Quit­ting carbs will Help me lose weight

‘Carbs are very mis­un­der­stood and es­sen­tial for weight loss,’ says fit­ness and nu­tri­tion coach Martin Hut­ton. ‘Not all carbs are cre­ated equal. But empty carbs do the body no good, and cut­ting back on these items will help with weight loss. The body needs carbs – just make sure they’re the cor­rect ones.’ Make smart choices with un­re­fined, com­plex carbs, like whole­meal pasta, to add more fi­bre to your diet and keep you sat­is­fied for longer.

Myth #2: Giv­ing up booze For a whole month is A great detox

Cop­ing with­out a glass of wine for 31 days is pitched as the ul­ti­mate chal­lenge, but the Bri­tish Liver Trust ar­gues: ‘If you im­me­di­ately go back to drink­ing heav­ily, you still put your liver at risk. It’s far bet­ter to keep your liver healthy all year round.’ Cut­ting out al­co­hol com­pletely is an easy ex­cuse to binge later, so rather than a to­tal booze ban, try to get into sen­si­ble habits with two or three con­sec­u­tive al­co­hol-free days each week.

Myth #3: No more snack in gin the evenings

A box of Mal­te­sers on your lap at 9pm isn’t the best idea, but an Ore­gon Health & Science Univer­sity study found that scoff­ing the right late-night snack is to­tally fine. ‘Eat­ing at night is no more likely to pro­mote weight gain than eat­ing dur­ing the day,’ confirms study au­thor Judy Cameron. It’s what you’re eat­ing and how much of it, rather than when you’re eat­ing, that counts.

Myth #4: Drink­ing Smooth­ies is a Healthy choice

Un­less you’re fol­low­ing pricey plans of puréed kale and agave pulp, juic­ing isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the right choice, thanks to the of­ten calorific in­gre­di­ents and a lack of im­por­tant fi­bres. Pub­lic health nu­tri­tion­ist Yvonne Wake says: ‘It’s a healthy choice be­cause it gets us eat­ing our five a day, but fruit juices may con­tain too much sugar if packed with fruit. Veg­eta­bles such as broc­coli and spinach are a bet­ter bet in a smoothie, as they’re full of vi­ta­mins with great heal­ing pow­ers and nowhere near the same sugar level.’

Myth #5: Celebrity Bod­ies are the Best in spo

Re­mem­ber, it’s part of a celebrity’s job to look good. Most peo­ple’s lives aren’t able to re­volve around red-car­pet-ready train­ing. In­stead, aim to be­come the best ver­sion of your­self you can be – health­ier, leaner and stronger.

TV pre­sen­ter and body pos­i­tive blog­ger Grace Vic­tory says: ‘Yes, celebri­ties with abs ex­ist, but that’s not the only body type that’s beau­ti­ful. They have di­eti­cians, per­sonal train­ing and other means of look­ing like that. Yes, that is real, but it’s not fea­si­ble or achiev­able for ev­ery­one. It’s time so­ci­ety recog­nised that beauty re­ally does come in dif­fer­ent forms.’

Myth #6: Work­ing Out ev­ery­day will Get me in the best Shape pos­si­ble

‘When­ever you put your body un­der phys­i­cal stress, you need to give it the time it needs to recover prop­erly – not only to avoid in­jury but to im­prove in fit­ness, strength, and sup­port your me­tab­o­lism for the next time you ex­er­cise,’ says sports re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ther­a­pist, Tyler Over­ton. Sched­ul­ing rest days is cru­cial. Even if you’re a ca­sual gym vis­i­tor, avoid burn­ing out by lim­it­ing your­self to five days a week max.

Keep your liver healthy all year round

Make sure your new regime won’t do more harm than good

It’s im­por­tant to pace your­self

It’s al­ways bet­ter to opt for veg­gie juices

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