Busting Common Myths That Everyone Believes: Lifestyle Edition


As a young professional or university student, you may be surprised to learn how some things we learnt growing up are misconceptions. Get ready to separate fact from fiction as we debunk a few lifestyle-related myths and set things straight!

You Don’t Need to Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth

I learned this when I was fourteen and on an immersion trip to China: my roommate, whose dad is in dental care, brushed her teeth and skipped the obligatory swish-with-water. She shared how rinsing actually washes away the fluoride left behind by the toothpaste, reducing the protection it offers against cavities.

Fluoride works by strengthening tooth enamel and preventing mineral loss. When you brush, the fluoride is absorbed by your teeth for about 30 minutes after. Simply spit out excess toothpaste after brushing and avoid rinsing if possible, or at least until that half hour is over so that our teeth and mouth hygiene will benefit from allowing the fluoride in toothpaste to do its job.

Skipping Breakfast Won’t Help You Lose Weight

Yes, skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. In fact, eating breakfast may be one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy weight and metabolism!

Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism after a long night’s rest. Eating breakfast helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and provides fuel for your day. When you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and slows your metabolism to conserve energy. This makes it harder to lose weight.

Eating breakfast also prevents overeating later in the day. If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to feel ravenous by lunchtime and make poorer food choices or eat larger portions. Starting your day with a balanced breakfast, on the other hand, gives you energy and helps you avoid impulsive snacking or binging at mealtimes.

What constitutes a good breakfast?

A good breakfast includes lean protein, fibre, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Some options include:

  • Oatmeal with nuts and Greek yoghurt
  • A veggie omelette with whole-grain toast
  • A smoothie made with Greek yoghurt, leafy greens, berries, and chia seeds

Eating Carbs at Night Won’t Make You Gain Weight

You’ve probably heard the myth that eating carbohydrates, especially starchy ones like rice or potatoes, after dark will lead to weight gain. The idea is that since you’re less active in the evening, your body won’t burn as many calories to use up the carbs, so they end up stored as fat.

However, that’s not really how metabolism works. As long as you stay within your daily calorie needs, the time of day you eat certain foods won’t matter much for weight loss or gain. It’s excess calories over time that really impacts your weight.

So there’s no need to cut out carbs for dinner or have a lighter meal in the evening. Focus on maintaining an overall balanced diet with appropriate portion sizes, and you can absolutely enjoy some rice, potatoes or pasta for dinner without guilt.

The bottom line is that no single factor will make or break your weight loss goals. An occasional indulgence won’t hurt, so enjoy your carbs whenever you want and don’t feel bad about it!

Cracking Your Knuckles Doesn’t Cause Arthritis

We’ve all heard the myth that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis (joint inflammation). The truth is, there’s no evidence for this. The crack sounds you hear are gas bubbles being released from your joints.

While knuckle cracking may lead to swelling or decreased grip strength, arthritis comes from damage to the joints over time. The older you get, the more wear and tear your joints experience, increasing the risk of arthritis. Knuckle cracking alone does not cause this.

The bottom line is knuckle cracking is an annoying habit, but it likely does not cause arthritis or long-term joint damage on its own. That said, for some people, it can lead to other issues like joint swelling or decreased grip strength.

So feel free to crack your knuckles if you want temporary relief from air pressure in the joints. But keep in mind that joint cracking combined with other risk factors like ageing, injury, or genetics can potentially speed up joint degeneration over time. Moderation is key!

Shaving Doesn’t Make Your Hair Grow Back Thicker

We’ve all heard how shaving your hair will make it grow back faster, darker and thicker. The truth is that shaving has no effect on hair growth. Shaving removes the dead portion of hair above the skin, but it does not affect the living hair follicle below the skin’s surface.

Once you shave, your hair may appear thicker for a short time. This is simply because the blunt cut end of shaved hair reflects more light, giving the illusion of being thicker. As the hair continues to grow, this effect disappears. Shaving also does not stimulate hair growth or alter the colour or texture of new hair. Hair growth occurs in a cycle and is controlled by your hormones and genetics. Your hair will continue to grow at its natural rate and texture, just as it always has.

Now that you know the truth, you can make smarter choices. The most important thing is knowing yourself and what makes you feel your best. With the facts straight, you can optimize your routines. So go forth with newfound knowledge, and make your life a little healthier and happier.


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