Everyone wants to binge on pie and ham over the holidays and then watch the weight magically disappear - and that goes for other health issues too.
But it won't work. The American Council on Science and Health doesn't want to be a wet blanket about that Fitbit you got for Christmas but if your dirty clothes are draped over the Total Gym you bought a few years ago, a fancy watch is not going to make the difference.
Obviously it's important to try things to stay in shape (or to get back into shape) so exercise is a great idea - we instead want to save you from making expensive mistakes that are not going to help at all.
So here is what still will not work as we enter the New Year:
Detox Tea - And Everything Else Detox
In 2011, Dr. Oz promoted a 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse so it's amazing that four years later this still has a shred of credibility. Actually, it's amazing that he's still on the air but that may explain the prevalence of Detox (Fill In The Blank). In 2015 it was tea but the year before that it was kale and the year before that, juice again.
Cleanses, even the juice kind, didn't work in 1993 and they still don't work in 2016.
What is a good, evidence-based, all-natural detox solution? Functioning kidneys and a liver. So reduce the gin budget a little.
Going to a Wellness guru
Actually, avoid any one calling themselves a guru. Even anti-science activist groups give gurus a wide berth. Yogic Flying Instructor Jeffrey Smith is a bit hit at nutrition conferences but famed anti-science economist Chuck Benbrook told all of the organic food marketing groups he represented to avoid Smith if they wanted any credibility at all, despite the fact that he is arguably the most popular anti-agriculture crackpot around.
"Wellness", of course, is a good, non-specific cure so it can mean anything. But you don't need to pay someone to give you platitudes about how to calm down a little, you just need to see a hipster with a retro t-shirt that reads "Frankie Says Relax" or dig out that old copy of "Chicken Soup For The Soul." You'll find it's all the same.
Anything That Comes From A Celebrity Or An Athlete
In 2015, Kristin Cavallari and her husband, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, dredged up the autism-vaccine link again. That was debunked by 1999 so why they are bringing it up now is a mystery of the Precautionary Principle. Basically, wealthy elites don't want to take any chances so they want your kid to be vaccinated and provide herd immunity for their special snowflake. But if you are not a reality television star or a henpecked husband of one, avoid putting your kids at risk.
Shailene Woodley used her vast knowledge of biology to tell us clay is one of the best things you can put in your body but Woodley is one of the worst things you can put into your health advice rotation. Though geophagy is practiced, why impressionable folks think we want to emulate cultures without running water is a mystery. There are lots of natural toxic chemicals in soil and clay so you are not getting healthier ingesting them.
Celebrity TV chef Sandra Lee set out to debunk oncology by saying all women should have mammograms starting immediately, and advocating drastic surgery even though it was unwarranted. Unfortunately, this fad caught on and, even more unfortunately, lazy journalists took to calling it Angelina Jolie syndrome. In defense of Jolie, she did the right thing it was Sandra Lee who showed what happens when a little misinformation gets in the hands of a cook on television.
Kim Kardashian is eating her placenta because she believes it relieves post-partum depression. That is reason enough for you to know it is ridiculous. And don't steam clean your vagina, regardless of what Gwyneth Paltrow says.
In general, if a celebrity says it, it's safe to avoid it. Except Amanda Peet. She's pretty smart.
Buying A Fitness Tracker
Going for a hike should be fun, not a second job. We had nanny government telling us how to do almost everything in 2015 and now people think they have to wear one on their wrists so they know how many steps it is to the coffee machine, or they won't exercise.
Shake it off. If you decided to get healthier this year, that's excellent, but don't use Shamanism as a crutch. If it helps, it helps, but don't buy one thinking it will motivate you. Unless spending money motivates you, in which case buy a lot of new workout clothes also.
Happy new year! Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.