Get the facts!
How to delineate fact from fiction!
“I heard _________. Is that true?”
Fill in the blank with:
-Eating protein destroys your kidneys
-Creatine will kill you
-If I eat food in a certain order I’ll lose weight
-If I’m insulin resistant I can’t lose weight
-If I don’t have a protein shake after my workout, I shouldn’t have even worked out
-You can lose 20 pounds overnight if you take X pill/do X diet
-Diet soda causes cancer
-Or, something extreme like that… admittedly, some of these are more serious than others.
First of all, I don’t mention these things to make anyone feel any certain way about the questions they have.
If you have questions, ASK THEM!
I’d be happy to answer/have a conversation with you about them. And I’d much rather you have the answer than believe that it’s impossible for you to lose weight if you’re insulin resistant, or whatever the case may be.
I mention these because there is a LOT of information floating out there, and being perpetrated by people trying to sell you things, and it’s worth talking about how to navigate truths or falsehoods.
So, how do you figure out if things are true or false?
Where can you look?
How can you verify “facts”?
Here are some tips and places you can check to verify or further learn about information you may be seeing or hearing:
*Read past the headline. This is a big one. People want to grab your attention and can conflate the facts to do so. Keep reading.
*Check the sources. Do the articles or posts you’re reading have reputable source material attached to them? If not, keep moving until you find some. Many posts will site actual studies with identification numbers so you can type those into the google and see the actual study for yourself!
*Are there quotes from doctors, scientists, or other experts? Make sure that before you change your whole life around something you read online that it’s been verified by someone, or ideally multiple sources, that you trust, not just someone who is speaking from their own personal experience on Instagram. I also realize that I’m saying this and I’m someone who DOES share their personal experience on Instagram. What I mean is, one size doesn’t fit all, so one individuals’ experience shouldn’t necessarily be translated into the be-all-end-all for everyone. I hope this makes sense.
*Is this being reported elsewhere? Search for other sources to learn more or hear a differing viewpoint. One source is almost always not good enough.
*Who is publishing these facts or telling you about them? Understanding the inevitable existence of biases and the fact that people get paid when you click on their things should make you think twice about them.
*Are they trying to sell you something? If you read a whole article about how good Keto is for you and then see that they’re trying to sell you Exogenous Ketones at the end, stop reading. While it’s not true across the board that these things are scams, it’s worth being skeptical of.
*When in doubt, ask your doctor or a reputable resource. I can’t highlight this enough. Talk to someone you trust who knows you and your goals!
*If you want to check facts for yourself, aim to use sites that publish real studies and/or do not receive funding from anywhere that will sway their biases, like Examine.com, Google Scholar, or PubMed. You don’t have to be a literal scientist to read scientific material. Yes, some of it may be in science-y lingo, but, again, before changing your whole life or habits around one random fact, it might be worth digging through some of that scientific text to get the facts. Or, again, ask!
Let’s be honest. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, regardless of where you find yourself on the political/social/generational spectrum. It’s worth having some skills in your back pocket to helps yourself discern information you see!
And if you have questions about anything you see online, I’d be happy to answer if I can, or direct you to some reputable sources to consider. Write in the comments or send me an email at email@example.com!
As always, I hope this was helpful, and thank you for reading!