Over my writing career, I’ve gotten a first-hand experience of what fitness topics seemed to stir up controversy. These topics bring people out of the woodwork to defend their positions. The debates can turn heated and sometimes downright disrespectful. The following topics are sure to make you want to speak up and throw your opinion into the mix.
Healthy Parenting Advice
Don’t ever suggest a better way of raising another person’s child. Parenting advice is at the top of the list for controversial fitness topics. We all do what we think is best for our kids, and we all have our own philosophies for raising them. However, suggest something that goes against their way of thinking and people will let you know.
We all want our kids to be healthy. Suggestions for transitioning them to a healthy lifestyle are just that – suggestions. They aren’t meant to be forced onto anybody. If you don’t like them, you are free to go about your life and raise your kids however you wish. Trust me, these suggestions are not personal attacks on your beliefs.
Low carb or yes carb? Carbohydrates have gotten the blame for much of the world’s obesity problems. Popular diets like the Atkin’s Diet popularized the notion that carbohydrates are the cause of your weight loss woes. Make a statement that you should lower your carb intake to lose weight, and carb-lovers will shout their opinions from the rooftops.
I like carbs. They taste good, add variety, and provide needed glucose to fuel brain function and high-intensity exercise. However, they are probably one of the most confusing macronutrients for most people. Cutting out the processed carbs and sticking with whole foods would end most of the confusion. Regardless, we all have different sensitivities to insulin, so some people will do better on slightly lower carbs.
People don’t like being told one of their favorite addictions is bad for them. Soda drinking has become so popular that I wouldn’t be surprised if it surpasses water as being the most popular liquid people drink. In fact, half of Americans drink soda daily, and among those who drink soda, the average intake is 2.6 glasses a day .
My opinion on soda? It’s fine in moderation. That means as long as you can control the addiction and not make it a frequent part of your lifestyle, it’s OK. I personally haven’t had one for years. But hey, that’s my opinion, and plenty of other people are fine with having the occasional soda – and I’m perfectly OK with that too.
Artificial Sweetener Demonizing
Artificial sweeteners have become a necessity for many people to make their food palatable. They need sweetness, but they don’t want the calories. Artificial sweeteners mean they can have their cake and eat it too. But don’t tell people it’s bad for them. They actually already know this, but they don’t care. Sugar is addicting, and like most addictions, people don’t want pleasure to be taken from them.
I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. That and trans fats are not allowed in our house. I’d actually eat sugar over artificial sweeteners any day of the week. One by one these sweeteners have gone from being OK to use to proving to be dangerous to our health. I’m not taking any chances, but to each their own.
Organic is Better
With all the pesticides and other chemicals being used in our food, you would think this one is common sense. Oops – that comment probably offended someone. But let’s be serious for a second, I don’t need to even look at a single study. My common sense tells me that if I have to choose between 2 pieces of fruit, and one has been sprayed by a liquid that is poison to my body, I’m going to choose the non-sprayed one. Wouldn’t you?
People will say it’s fine if it’s washed, or that the nutrient profiles of foods are no different, but I disagree. Just like us, everything that goes into nurturing that fruit from seed to maturity has an effect on its life. I treat my body the best I can, and I expect the food I eat to be treated that way too.
My “Diet” is the Right Way to Eat
Do you have a way to eat that you feel is best? Do you follow the Paleo lifestyle? Are you a low-carb fan? Do you think veganism is the path to health and happiness? Good for you. I have nothing against your lifestyle. In fact, I’m happy that you found a way of eating that you can stick with and be happy about. After all, that is the key to long-term success – finding a lifestyle that is sustainable.
However, my view is not the norm. In fact, people will push their way of eating onto others like it’s a religion. It doesn’t have to be that way. People have been successful with nearly every eating style out there. The successful ones all share many of the same characteristics. Mostly, they avoid processed foods. If we can remain open minded about other eating styles, there is much we can learn from everyone. Remain close-minded, and your personal growth will come to an end.
Suggesting the End of Your Protein Powder Use
This one originally wasn’t on the list, but shortly after writing this article I wrote another article titled “6 Reasons You Should Stop Using Protein Powder.” In all honesty I had no idea the article would stir so much controversy. People are very defensive of their protein powders, and the mere suggestion that you stop using them makes people feel like their nutrition beliefs need to be defended.
I have been protein powder free now for a while, but not after using them religiously for at least 10 years. I understand the convenience factor and the ease to which you can get in additional protein with them. However, after digging down and really thinking about ways to improve my nutrition, I came to the conclusion that the powders were causing more harm than good. Am I saying they are bad for you? Not necessarily, but whole foods will always beat a protein powder that has been refined and stripped of its nutrients, and that is the logic I’ve decided to use going forward.