Be Aware of Fake Medical Journal Websites

I follow a lot of health, fitness, and weight loss pages across social media pages. It is always frustrating to see articles promising impossible weight loss results for an impossibly small amount of work, but the most frustrating thing I find is fake medical journals.

It goes something like this. You are on a social media site and you see a sponsored or shared post about how someone found the secret to losing weight. You click the article and it takes you to a website that appears to be a medical academic journal of some sort, complete with other articles, databases, and a web address to tie it all together. The author of the post will likely discuss an ivy league researcher or a medical doctor that found the secret to weight loss and how cheap and easy it actually is! You will then read all about some supplement and the article will conclude with a way to purchase the product.

On the surface, it looks great. But, in reality, it is nothing short of a scam. There are a few quick ways to determine if the health journal or health news website you are reading is a fake:

  1. It is trying to sell you something other than a book or subscription to the journal. Real health journals or health news sites will not try to sell you anything except more information.
  2. The author of the article does not match the author who shared the content. People often make social media accounts impersonating a researcher and pretend their article just posted. If the name of the person in the social media account does not match the author on the website, it is probably not real.
  3. Every additional web page takes you to an order form. Before you buy something from a website, see what else they published. Click other tabs on their website and see if they are publishing real content or if the entire website is a single page.
  4. The URL has multiple web addresses. What I mean by this is the website’s URL might be something like ‘medicaljournal.org-clickly.com.’ If you see something like this, the second URL is the real website you are on. In this example, you are visiting clickly.com and not medicaljournal.org.
  5. It’s too good to be true. On average, healthy weight loss is no more than a sustained 2 pounds per week. Anything more than that should be under the supervision of your doctor and often comes from prescribed medications to supplement your nutrition and exercise plan, or surgery.

Next time you follow a link to a website that looks like a medical journal or a health news website, take a few extra seconds to scan the website for any red flags, it may be a fake. If you are thinking about purchasing anything to aid with weight loss, talk to your doctor beforehand. Some herbal supplements can react with medications you may be currently taking, making it essential for your doctor to clear you to take it.

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10 Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

Every year we take to the gyms for our new year resolutions to lose weight. Often time a month of working out then leads to 11 months of business as usual, and the resolution doesn’t go very far. This year, try to take baby steps with your resolution at first, you don’t need to jump in all at once. The idea is to make incremental steps toward a healthier lifestyle instead of trying to go all in at once and being overwhelmed. Here are a few healthy new year resolution ideas that can help you lose weight and become healthier without much added time commitments.

1 – Eat at home instead of eating out or ordering out. In the time it takes to get ready to head out, drive to a restaurant, get your food, eat it, and get home, you could have cooked a much healthier meal at home. Learning to cook and choosing what are in each of your home cooked meals is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your health. Not to mention it will also be great for your wallet.

2 – Plan for cravings. If you know you’ll end up reaching for a snack before dinner, make sure you have healthy snacks laying around. Some fresh fruit will always be more filling and nutritious than a bag of chips.

3 – Commit to at least 10 minutes of exercise per day. No matter how busy we are, we should have at least 10 minutes of free time. To build your momentum, every day you should¬†spend at least 10 minutes doing something active. If you are stuck at home, at a minimum do some stretching, but there are plenty of great exercises that don’t make up much space, such as crunches, squats, and push-ups.

4 – Drink more water. Start to consciously keep track of how much water you are drinking per day. If you find yourself drinking less than about eight 8oz glasses per day, try carrying around a bottle of water with you to make sure you are getting enough. Also, replace soda and other drinks with water. Even diet soda can be bad for your health considering the artificial sweeteners have often lead to an increase in weight instead of weight loss.

5 РGet at least 7 hours of sleep per night. To help with this, avoid drinking caffeine later in the day. Caffeine is a stimulate that can keep you awake longer. Also, avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol, although a depressant, acts as a stimulant shortly after consuming small doses. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up fairly early to kick off your day. Avoid taking sleeping aids as your body can easily become dependent on them.

6 – Keep an exercise and diet journal. Any time you eat something or do an exercise, write it in a journal. This way you can track your progress, and see how you are improving. You can also tell if you missed a workout, or if you are eating too many fats by keeping a journal. It can be easy to forget how much ice cream you ate when you are scooping it from a large container.

7 – Increase your flexibility. A good place to start is to try to be able to touch your toes while sitting down with your legs straight out. When you have a desk job your body becomes very tight which can lead to other issues such as back pain. Take time each day to stretch out so you can stay feeling young!

8 – Eliminate stress through exercise. If you feel stressed it can be tempted to go to the couch with your favorite comfort food. After the new year any time you feel stressed, try doing an exercise such as jumping jacks. The body and the mind are connected, so moving your body will brighten the mind.

9 – Cut back on alcohol. An average beer has about 140 calories per 12 fl oz, and your average whiskey coke has 200 calories. To get a good buzz going you may have consumed almost half of your daily recommended caloric intake. There is nothing wrong with the occasional drink or two, but keep in mind the more you drink, the more calories you are consuming.

10 – Make any resolutions you have S.M.A.R.T. If you set a goal, ensure it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. If your goal isn’t all of these things, then it becomes nearly impossible to achieve. So instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say something along the lines of “I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months by beginning to exercise and eliminating processed carbs from my diet”.

I hope you enjoyed these resolution ideas! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me at 2weekstohealth@gmail.com.