How to Make Your Kids Smarter

Be honest—haven’t you dreamed your kid will grow up and have some prestigious career, like a doctor, lawyer, or maybe even the president? Many parents are obsessed with helping their kids become more intelligent, but can parents really make a difference? Smarts aren’t all about genetics; resilience, curiosity, and a willingness to try new things play a big role, too. Try these 6 tips to help support your child’s development and raise a smart, successful kid.

Read, Read, Read

Reading with your kids is one of the best ways to boost their brain development. Whether you’ve got an infant or a young adult, try to read with them, not to them. Encourage them to interact with the story, whether it’s opening and closing flaps in a board book or allowing them to read a page or two as you go along.

Don’t Fix All Their Problems

When your child is hurting, you want nothing more than to swoop in and save the day. Hurt and bleeding? You’ve got a bandage handy. Trouble with friends at school? You’ve got their teacher on speedial.

It’s tough, but taking a step back and allowing your child to problem solve actually helps them in the long run. Problem solving teaches resilience and creativity, two important qualities that are characteristic of successful adults. Next time your kid comes home complaining about the kids on the bus, discuss the situation with them and encourage them to find a solution on their own.

Encourage Them To Journal

Emotional intelligence, or the ability to recognize and manage emotions in yourself and others, is a hallmark characteristic of successful people. It’s even more important than a high IQ! Journaling is one way to develop emotional intelligence from a young age, since it helps kids perceive and come to terms with their emotions.

Feed Them “Brain Food”

A healthy diet nourishes your child’s body and mind. Studies show that the best brain foods are just what you’d expect—whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and proteins like eggs and nuts are all great choices, as are salmon, yogurt, and beans.

Exercise With Them

OK, you’re not necessarily going to take your kid to the gym, but playful exercise, like going to the playground, playing tag, or enrolling them in sports can actually boost brain cells. If you’re struggling to get your kid interested in exercise, make it a family affair—go on a family hike or take a bike ride together.

Allow Independent Play

Today’s parents favor highly structured activities over unstructured play. But sending your kid outside without an agenda helps them to become more creative and curious. Instead of plying them with toys, educational television, or flash cards, try letting them explore for themselves.

In Case No One’s Told You Yet, You’re Doing Great

Your kid might not be the smartest, the most athletic, or the funniest in the class, but they’re your perfect kiddo. Don’t be too hard on them, or on yourself—remember, you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent for your kids.

Telling First Date Conversation Starters

first date conversation

You might think you don’t really need to prepare for a first date—after all, it’s not exactly an interview! Or is it?

Not to scare you, but first dates are kind of a big deal. Nobody likes to waste time on a relationship that’s going nowhere—and a good first date can help you pinpoint whether you might click or whether it’s better to move on. 

Keep reading for our favorite first date conversation starters that really help you get to know your date.

Ask About Where They’re From

Who knows, maybe you’re from the state or town! Depending on their answer, this question can spark great conversation—maybe you’ve been to the same parks, museums, or restaurants. If it turns out you’ve never even heard of where they grew up, their answer is still valuable—after all, their home probably has a huge bearing on how they see the world. Did they grow up in a small town, or in the middle of a city? Did they like it or hate it? Do they want to move back someday? You can learn a lot about your date by learning where they’re from.

Discuss Hobbies

You might love old rom coms, but is it important to you that your partner does too? Generally, it’s more important to find out if your date has hobbies than if they share the same ones as you—although shared hobbies are a great topic of conversation on a first date! If you spend a lot of time exercising, cooking, or going out with friends, you want to know that your date will either come along or be busy with their own activities.

Talk About Their Relationships

We don’t mean that kind of relationship, although discussing past partners can be helpful on a first date, particularly if you or your date is divorced or has kids. But discussing your date’s friends, family, and even coworkers can help you get a sense for who they really are.

Are they close with others? Do they invest in their relationships? Or do they blame difficulties with their family or friends on others? Your relationships say a lot about you, and your date is no exception—if they seem unable to build or maintain healthy relationships, then they might not be the best choice for a romantic partner either.

Bring Up Dealbreakers

Is spirituality super important to you? Kids? Living close to family? If you’ve got dealbreakers, don’t be afraid to bring them up on a first date. It might end some relationships before they start, but it’s important to be honest and put your goals and desires first. Don’t wait until you’ve fallen in love to talk about the future, which will put you in the awful position of choosing between your goals and your love. See if your goals align from the start, and let the relationship bloom from there.

Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on a First Date

Dating is tough, and nerves don’t help. If your first date wasn’t the instant connection you were hoping for but you think there might be something there, don’t give up. But be bold enough to step away from dates you’re really not clicking with. Your perfect match is out there somewhere!

Helpful Parenting Books for Every Stage

parenting books

Whether you’re the parent of a newborn, a middle schooler, or a full-blown adult, you know that parenting is fun, rewarding, and…tough. Half the time it feels like you don’t know what you’re doing, and once you finally get the hang of it, your kid changes! 

No matter what age your kids are, it’s helpful to learn from those who have already gone through it. Parenting books can help you navigate picky eaters, encourage you during the endless teenage years, and remind you of all that you love about your wild and wonderful kids. Check out these parenting books for support at every stage.

Best Parenting Book for Supporting Childhood Development: The Whole-Brained Child

Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your little one’s brain? Learn the neuroscience behind tantrums, self control, and more—as well as how to handle them in a thoughtful, respectful way. This book helps you understand why your child exhibits challenging behavior and shows you how to respond to it in ways that actually work.

Best Parenting Book for Potty Training: Oh Crap! Potty Training

Let’s face it, potty training is kind of hilarious…so a potty-training guide that’s funny and informative is just what we need! This helpful guide outlines how to get past diapers without bribes, tricks, or tantrums. 

Best Parenting Book for Conflict With Children: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Every wonder why your kids just won’t listen? Arguing with kids is one of the most frustrating situations for any parent. This book helps teach parents how to manage their own emotions before they get out of control as well as how to deal with their kids’ emotions with empathy and patience. The key isn’t overpowering your kids or giving time outs, it’s effective listening and clear communication.

Best Parenting Book for Co-Parenting: Parenting Apart

If you’re divorced or separated, your primary concern is probably the impact your relationship with your ex will have on your kids. Parenting Apart helps teach parents how to thoughtfully support and nurture their kids during and after divorce, no matter how old they are. If you’re trying to navigate this difficult situation, wisdom from those on the other side can really help!

Best Parenting Book for Toddlers: No Bad Kids

Once your kids start saying “no,” it’s hard to recall that innocent newborn you snuggled just the other day. Where did your sweet, good-natured kid go? Janet Lansbury helps parents learn to handle difficult situations with patience and respect and to understand how pushing boundaries is a developmental milestone for all children.

Best Parenting Book for Siblings: Siblings Without Rivalry

Are you close with your siblings? Every parent dreams their children will grow up to be lifelong friends, but in many families, the dream falls short. If you’re looking to nurture the relationship of your children, give this book a shot for practical advice.

You Don’t Have To Parent Alone

No matter what your family situation looks like, help is available—from parenting books to family counselors to friends and loved ones. Parenting books can be a great first step towards getting support. Have you read any of these parenting books? Which was your favorite?

8 Cellulite Treatments that Actually Work

cellulite treatments

A lot of people have cellulite, but that might not stop you from cringing when you see its characteristic dimples on your legs, stomach, or butt. If you’re rocking your dimply thighs, congrats! But if you’re looking for a way to reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body, what should you try first?

There are hundreds of creams, procedures, and treatments out there promising to get rid of cellulite for good, but which cellulite treatments actually work? We’ve rounded up the top cellulite treatments recommended by dermatologists, so you can feel great in your skin again.

Laser Treatments

Contrary to what some people believe, cellulite isn’t caused by being overweight. In fact, most women have cellulite, no matter what their pant size is! Cellulite is caused by fat cells—which we all have!—pushing up against cords of connective tissue.

While decreasing the amount of fat in your body can help reduce the appearance of cellulite ( we’ll touch on this later), breaking up the tough connective tissue bands can too. That’s why most office procedures for treating cellulite aim to loosen and thicken skin cells.

Laser treatments involve inserting a laser under the skin which breaks apart the cords of connective tissue that cause cellulite’s characteristic cottage cheese-like appearance. Laser treatments reduce the appearance of cellulite in most people, and results can last for 6 months or more.

Acoustic Wave Therapy

Acoustic wave therapy works in a similar way to laser treatments, but it’s less invasive. That’s because acoustic waves are used to break apart tough connective tissue from outside the body. Your doctor will manually manipulate a device over the areas you’re hoping to reduce cellulite, and after a few treatments you should start to see results.

Weight Loss

While your weight doesn’t cause cellulite, losing weight can minimize its appearance. That’s because you’ll have less fat pushing up against your connective tissue, making cellulite less pronounced.

Vacuum-Assisted Precise Tissue Release

This cellulite treatment isn’t for the faint of heart, but for some people, it reduces the appearance of cellulite for up to 3 years! If you get vacuum-assisted precise tissue release, your dermatologist will use small blades to cut your connective tissue, releasing them.


Losing weight through exercise is a one-two punch for cellulite—losing weight decreases the amount of fat in your body, and exercise increases your muscle mass, which can make your skin look more toned and firm. By doing targeted exercises for cellulite-prone areas, you can build muscle in your butt, thighs, and stomach, reducing the appearance of cellulite.


Subcision is similar to laser treatment in that it involves inserting something small under the skin that breaks up thick tissue. Instead of a laser, subcism uses a small needle to break apart tissue. Subcism reduces the appearance of cellulite for most people for 2 years or more!

Cellulite Creams and Lotions

While every so-called cellulite cream isn’t equally effective, if you’re looking for an everyday cream that will minimize cellulite, look for creams containing 0.3% retinol or caffeine. Caffeine creams can dehydrate your skin’s fat cells, which makes them smaller and less visible. Retinol products can thicken the skin by promoting collagen production, and it’s harder to see cellulite on thicker skin.


As mentioned above, collagen is important in keeping skin tight and firm. Some people find that taking collagen supplements can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

No one needs to be ashamed of cellulite—it’s entirely normal, and most people have it. If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of your cellulite, give one of these treatments a try!

Top 9 Must-See Mysterious Places in the World

top mysterious places

Are you looking for a vacation with a little less beach and a little more…intrigue? Then look no further than one of these mysterious destinations for your next getaway. Whether you’re searching for unexplainable phenomenon or cities rife with local legend, you’re certain to take a trip you’ll never forget.

Easter Island, Chile

Nobody knows why the statues on Easter Island were carved by the Rapa Nui people, but theories range from funeral momentos to the marking of freshwater resources. Whatever the purpose, the carvers were dedicated—there’s almost 1,000 of these statues populating the island, each standing about 13 feet tall.

Bermuda Triangle

OK, so you can’t exactly “visit” the Bermuda Triangle—and you wouldn’t want to, seeing as dozens of planes and ships have mysteriously disappeared while traveling through this area. But you can travel to its outskirts, from Miami to Turks and Caicos to Bermuda itself. Enjoy a sunny beach vacation while reveling in the mystery that surrounds these bright blue seas.

Area 51, U.S.

If you’re headed to Las Vegas, you might as well try and sneak your way into Area 51 while you’re nearby. After all, who knows what you might find—evidence of UFOs, confirmation of government conspiracy theories, and a time travel machine are all guesses as to what’s hidden in this top-secret desert compound.

Crooked Forest, Poland

If you’re into unexplained natural phenomena, then the Crooked Forest has to be high on your list of mysterious places to visit. This small copse of pine trees bursts out of the ground in a strangely curvy formation, and so far scientists aren’t able to explain why. 

Lake Hillier, Australia

No, it’s not photo edited, the water of Lake Hillier really is the color of hot pink bubble gum! But why? Nobody knows! This large inland lake sits right next to the Pacific Ocean, which, as you would expect, is deeply blue in color. So why is Lake Hillier pink? Algae? Bacteria? Extra terrestrial influences? It’s impossible to say for now, but locals don’t seem too worried—they swim among Lake Hillier’s thriving fish population without a care!

Stonehenge, England

Chances are you’ve heard of Stonehenge, but you really can’t appreciate the vastness of these mysterious stones until you’ve seen them in person. While most historians agree the purpose of Stonehenge was to act as a burial ground and temple for the ancient people living in the area, how it was constructed remains a mystery.

Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

Conspiracy theorists, this one’s for you! The Door to Hell, also known as Darvaza Crater, opened up in Turkmenistan in the last century. It’s a huge hole in the ground filled with flames that continuously burn. How it was created, and why it’s been burning for the last 50 years or so, remains a mystery!

Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

If you’ve ever heard of the seven wonders of the ancient world, then you might be familiar with the Great Pyramid of Giza. Sadly, it’s the only remaining ancient wonder, but it still manages to dazzle and astound viewers across the globe. Historians can’t figure out how this massive pyramid was built without modern tools or technology, but theories abound.

Roanoke Island, U.S.

For the spookiest mystery of all, consider visiting Roanoke Island in North Carolina. Early pilgrims settled here, but the entire colony mysteriously disappeared after a few decades, leaving just one clue—the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. What happened to them, and whether their ghosts still remain in the area, is endlessly debated.

Next time you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, try one of these mysterious getaways. You’ll be sure to have a trip you’ll never forget!

How To Determine Your Personal Style and Always Look Your Best

determine personal style

Have you ever looked back at a photo of yourself and wondered why in the world you were wearing that? Or have you ever impulsively bought an article of clothing only to donate it with the tags still on because it just didn’t look like you?

With new trends going viral every month and the world of online shopping at your fingertips, it can be easy to mindlessly make clothing purchases you don’t even like. That’s why it’s helpful to determine your personal style—not only will you prevent yourself from buying clothes that don’t look good on you, you’ll stay true to yourself and achieve a timeless look that others will envy. 

If you’re not sure what your personal style is, use these 5 tips to figure it out.

Tip #1: Go Through Your Closet

If your closet is cluttered but you feel like you have nothing to wear, it might be time for a fashion refresh. Sort through your existing items and pick out the pieces that you love (if you have any!). Lay them all out and look at them together. What do you love about them? Do they have similar colors, fits, or vibes?

Tip #2: Find Celebrity Style Inspiration

The internet can hurt or help your sense of personal style. On the one hand, social media can influence you to try fleeting trends you later regret. On the other hand, you gain endless access to style inspiration from people you admire.

Hop on visual-heavy social media, like Pinterest or Instagram, and search for a celebrity whose style you like. Keep in mind, you’re not just looking for outfits you think are cool—ask yourself, could you actually imagine wearing that? Once you’ve found a few you really connect with, bookmark their page and return to it when shopping or trying to make a fashion decision.

Tip #3: Make a Mood Board

Celebrity fashion inspiration: check! Next, take a few photos of your inspo’s everyday outfits and create a mood board. Note what colors, styles, or jewelry pops up as you sort through your favorites. How do these items make you feel? Once you’ve put together something visual, take a photo of it so you’ll have it handy to reference next time you go shopping. 

Tip #4: Don’t Make Hasty Judgments

When you’re trying out a new look, it’s easy to get insecure. The first time you wear sneakers with a dress, statement earrings, or bold colors, you might want to run back inside and change before anyone sees you. But just because those items haven’t been a part of your look before doesn’t mean they don’t suit your style now.

If you’re nervous trying out a new look, wear it once or twice at home before heading out. Don’t give up on it on your first try—stick with it until you start to feel more comfortable.

Tip #5: Don’t Make Hasty Purchases

The best way to determine your personal style is to reflect on the pieces you’re dying to have, like that deep plunging one-piece swimsuit you’re still drooling over, or the baggy jeans you’ve been debating about for months. The pieces that stick in your head long after you tried them on are the ones you really love. 

What’s the catch? You can only figure out which pieces these are by waiting to make purchases. If you’re trying to figure out your personal style, impulse buying is not your friend. Next time you’re shopping online or at the store, check out some pieces you’re interested in and then leave. If you find yourself thinking about them day after day, they probably point to your personal aesthetic.

Finding your personal style is a journey, and it can change over time. By developing a sense of confidence and ownership over your appearance, you’ll create a unique personal style to be proud of.

Never Put These 6 Plants In Your Kid’s Room

plants kid's room

We’ve all seen the Instagram-worthy newborn nurseries filled with neutral throw pillows and thriving green plants. But before you go crafting a jungle in your little one’s room, do some research—as it turns out, not all plants are safe to have around children, and some may even be toxic if chewed on by a curious teething baby.


Keep these 6 common house plants out of reach of children for their safety.

Dumb Cane

This common house plant is prized for its spotted green and white leaves, which make it fit beautifully into most homes. Unfortunately, its leaves are more than just pretty—they contain calcium oxalate, which can be dangerous for children if ingested or touched. In small quantities, dumb cane leaves can irritate the skin, but if a large number of leaves are swallowed, it can cause severe stomach upset.

dumb cane


Caladium leaves are recognized by their lovely pink and green heart-shaped leaves. These beautiful leaves should be looked at, but not touched, since they can irritate mucus membranes and cause vomiting.



You might have a philodendron around if you like large, palm-like plants that don’t require much maintenance. While these plants are easy to care for—even for sleep-deprived new parents!—they’re not the best option for families with young children. Consuming philodendron leaves can cause swelling and irritation in the mouth, which can lead to trouble breathing for some kids.


Similar to philodendron, pothos plants should be kept away from kids. Their leaves can cause burning and inflammation in the mouth, which could result in trouble swallowing or breathing. They can also irritate the stomach and can cause vomiting or diarrhea.


English Ivy

English ivy may make the outside of your home look particularly picturesque, but it can wreak havoc on your family members if eaten. These leaves irritate the throat so severely that it can swell from the mouth down. It’s best to keep this plant away from vulnerable children.

english ivy


Oleander is a less common household plant, but it’s worth mentioning because it is extremely poisonous and can cause a slow heart rate and even death if ingested. If you suspect your child has eaten any oleander leaves or flowers, it’s important to take them to the emergency department.

What To Do If Your Child Has Eaten A Poisonous Plant

If you suspect your child has eaten something dangerous, call the poison control hotline immediately. It’s also a good idea to call your child’s doctor and have them evaluated, particularly if they’re showing signs of stomach upset, rash, or swelling.

Keeping Plants Out of the Mouths of Kids

The best way to prevent your child from getting sick from a house plant is to fill your home with safe, non-toxic plants. It’s impossible to keep an eye on your kid every second of the day, so prevention is the best safety strategy.

If you do have dangerous plants at home, move them into a room with a locked door so you can ensure your little one won’t be able to access them.

This list of dangerous plants is not exhaustive, so if you have questions about whether a house plant is safe to put in your little one’s room, do some research before purchasing it. Remember, making thoughtful decisions before you buy will help to avoid accidents in the future!

The Best Unique Housewarming Gifts

best housewarming gifts

If you’ve ever moved into a new home, you know how overwhelming it can be—when did you get so much stuff? And where are you going to put it all in your new place? Though housewarming gifts are always well intentioned, sometimes gifts like throw pillows, blankets, or coffee table books can just add to the moving clutter.

When you’re giving a housewarming gift, you want to give something useful and thoughtful that isn’t going to add to the mess (and stress!) that inevitably comes with moving. Check out these unique ideas for housewarming gifts that your loved ones will treasure through every move.

Personalized Cutting Board

Does your bestie love to cook? Then why not gift them one of these adorable personalized cutting boards? Every cook needs a solid cutting board for those veggie-heavy meals, and this one will make them smile each time they pull it out.

Indoor Herb Garden

Herbs are great to have on hand for cocktails, cooking, and more! Even if your bestie moved into a windowless apartment, help bring some greenery inside with this smart herb garden that uses LED lamps to mimic sunlight. Best of all, it’s so tiny it will easily fit on a windowsill or any other nook and cranny of a cluttered new house.

Return Address Stamp

For a super thoughtful gift, design a custom return address stamp with their new address. Not only will it save your friends tons of time (and hand cramps!) when sending out thank-you notes and new home announcements, but it’s a gift they’ll use over and over—until they move again, that is!

Funky Kitchen Towels

You don’t have to know the ins and outs of their new home design to know that kitchen towels will come in handy. For a personalized touch, give these beautiful towels with an ode to their home—new or old!

House Portrait

Is your friend leaving their first home or moving into it? Either way, commemorate the home that will always hold a special place in their heart with a custom house portrait. Just provide a photo of their home to a designer, and they’ll whip up a custom portrait to be hung somewhere special by someone special. Choose the color, frame, and format for a one-of-a-kind housewarming gift that matches your friend’s style.

For a smaller and less expensive option with the same loving touch, commission a custom house Christmas ornament!

Custom Doormat

There’s nothing quite as warm as a friendly doormat. Make every step into their new home even more welcoming with a custom doormat showcasing their family, funny inside jokes, or other personal touches. With the option to change colors, fonts, and text, you’ll be gifting your loved one something that will make them smile time and time again.

For a doormat that’s endlessly customizable depending on the day, season, or mood, try this neutral doormat!


If all else fails, there’s always wine! Say “congratulations” in the best possible way with a celebratory bottle of bubbly. For a more thoughtful option, gift a wine or coffee subscription. They’ll get happy mail every month with another reminder of how much they mean to you!

Housewarming gifts don’t have to be bland. Give your friends a gift they’ll appreciate and enjoy next time they move for a tangible reminder of how much you love them.

How To Tighten Loose, Sagging Skin

tighten loose skin

Our bodies handle a lot of change throughout our lifetimes—and extreme changes that occur due to weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or aging can cause skin all over the body to become loose or saggy. 

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce the appearance of loose skin, no matter where it is on your body. Try these 5 tips to naturally tighten your skin for a firm, youthful appearance.

Take Collagen Supplements

Collagen is the protein that binds skin cells together, making them appear tight and firm. While collagen is naturally produced in the body, many things, including aging, UV exposure, and a poor diet, can cause your body to underproduce collagen.

To boost collagen throughout the body and maintain tight, wrinkle-free skin, some people take collagen supplements. Using skin-firming creams formulated with retinol, an anti-aging product, can also help stimulate collagen production and produce firmer skin over time.

Firm With A Gua Sha

Gua shas exploded into the skincare market a few years ago, but they’ve been used to treat facial skin in China for centuries. They’re a little handheld piece of jade shaped like an oblong heart, and, when used properly, they can decrease inflammation in the face, stimulate collagen production, reduce dark undereye circles, and tighten skin.

To tighten skin using a gua sha, apply a few drops of facial oil and gently rub it in by running the gua sha over your face and neck in the direction of lymphatic flow (towards your hairline). Use your gua sha at least once a week to see results.

Perform Regular Exercise

Exercise can both prevent the development of loose skin and reduce its appearance once you have it. By maintaining a healthy body weight throughout your lifetime, you’ll minimize the potential of developing loose skin due to weight gain and loss. 

If you already have loose skin, exercise can minimize its appearance. Exercise develops the muscles under your skin. Your skin has to stretch to cover bigger muscles, which makes it appear tighter.

If you’re dealing with loose skin on your face or neck, try specific exercises targeting this area to reduce the appearance of sagging skin.

Utilize A Daily Moisturizer Containing Hyaluronic Acid

While most anti-aging firming creams won’t give you an immediate face lift, using a daily moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid can help reduce the appearance of loose skin over time. Keeping your skin moisturized will help it to remain plump and hydrated, and hyaluronic acid makes moisturizers even more effective by attracting and preserving water molecules.

Try A Non-Surgical Dermatological Treatment

If creams, supplements, and exercise aren’t reducing the appearance of your sagging skin, you could try a non-surgical treatment at your dermatologist’s office. These procedures are great for loose skin throughout your body since they can be performed on any body part.

Ultrasound, radiofrequency, and laser treatments are non-invasive treatments that use heat to stimulate your body to produce collagen. They typically don’t show immediate results, but they do tighten your skin over several months, and the results can last for more than a year.

If you’re willing to try a slightly more invasive treatment, laser resurfacing is a great option for tightening loose skin. Laser resurfacing tightens skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles within 2 weeks.

If you’re struggling with sagging skin, you have many options to reduce its appearance. Experiment with different skin-tightening methods to find the one that works best for you!

6 Untrue Weight Loss Myths

weight loss myths

There’s a lot of misinformation about weight loss out there. The truth is, many of us want to lose weight, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. The simplest way to a healthy weight is eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. That’s it! If you’ve heard any of these weight loss myths, consider them debunked.

  1. Diets Work

Diets can work, but just because a new fad diet starts going viral on social media doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Sure, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Atkins, paleo, keto, or Whole 30—if you can sustain it. The problem is that most people think diets promise a quick solution to their weight loss problem, when in reality, only long-term lifestyle changes will sustain weight loss over time.

If you’re trying to lose weight, focus on less dramatic, incremental changes, like daily exercise or gradual diet change, rather than going all-in on a diet for a few weeks. Yo-yo dieting, or gaining and losing pounds frequently due to diets, actually causes you to gain weight over time.

  1. Carbs Are Bad

Carbs get a bad rap, but they’ve been enjoyed for far longer than the obesity epidemic has been going on, so they really shouldn’t take all the blame. The truth is, depending on your biology, a low-carb or low-fat diet might be more effective for you.

You don’t have to eliminate carbs entirely, but try to stay away from refined carbs, like sugar, since these do cause you to gain weight.

  1. Counting Calories Matters

You wouldn’t think a 100-calorie scoop of ice cream was equally as healthy as a 100-calorie scoop of hummus, would you? When it comes to counting calories, the quality matters just as much as the quantity. Simply focusing on consuming as few calories as possible won’t help you lose weight if the calories you’re eating are made up of unhealthy fats, refined carbs, or sweets.

  1. You Can Eat Anything You Want If You Exercise

Exercise is an important addition to any healthy lifestyle, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Yes, exercise burns calories—a lot, depending on the activity! But it takes a lot of energy to exercise, which can make you disproportionately hungry. In fact, some people actually gain weight when they exercise, since they eat more calories than they burn! 

Don’t be afraid to indulge every once and awhile after a strenuous exercise, but don’t completely ignore your diet when you workout either.

  1. Snacking Makes You Gain Weight or Lose Weight

Some people subscribe to the idea that 6 meals a day are better, while others try to avoid snacking completely. The fact is, it doesn’t really matter how many times a day you eat as long as you’re making healthy choices.

For some people, snacks between meals help prevent them from overeating at mealtimes. Other people might snack out of boredom instead of hunger, which could cause weight gain. The total amount you consume each day matters more than when you eat, so if you’re hungry, grab a healthy fruit or vegetable and go on with your day!

While we’re busting myths, just remember: weight is just a number. Mental health, dietary choices, exercise, relationships, and many other factors make up a “healthy” life, so try not to obsess over the number you see on the scale!