We all have some bad habits that we are guilty of. There are some that are wreaking more havoc on our health more than we sometimes even know. This may be because we aren’t paying attention. Or that we haven’t realized how our habit has spiraled down into the bad category. Bad habits aren’t just biting nails or watching too much television. Thankfully for all of us, bad habits can be stopped, they can be broken, and we can start taking our health into our own hands.
Eating When You Aren’t Hungry
The first bad habit you will want to stop is eating when you are not hungry. This may be a meal, or even snacking when you aren’t hungry. We shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to eat breakfast, because someone else has said it is the most important meal of the day. Eating when you aren’t hungry can cause you to lose your natural hunger feelings. It also can increase your risk of diabetes, and heart disease especially if you aren’t eating foods the healthiest of snacks. Snacking when you aren’t hungry can also cause you to flood your body with unhealthy ingredients which can cause you to become more prone to overeat, causing unwanted weight gain.
If you find yourself one of these people who are eating when they aren’t hungry or snacking because you are bored then there are things you can do to break this habit. First stop eating just because you are having emotions, or are bored, or think you have to. If you aren’t hungry for a meal, fast until your body signals that you are hungry. Then eat whole foods that are healthy. Fueling your body with healthy whole foods will boost nutrition, control cravings, stop energy slumps, all along helping you lose weight. If you find that you are still wanting some kind of snack for mindless eating, try picking foods that are super healthy for you, activated almonds, healthy granola. But make sure they are truly healthy and aren’t packed with a bunch of salt or sugar. In time when you start fueling your body with healthy foods you will stay fuller for longer causing your body to not need snacks as much.
Eating Too Much Fast Food
Another bad habit that is hurting you more than you know is eating too much fast food. While eating too little fruits and vegetables. Eating too little fruits and vegetables can cause digestive issues along with other health issues such as vitamin deficiencies. Eating too much fast food can be an easy habit to pick up. It is fast, cheap, and easy who wouldn’t love that. Not only that but fast food usually tastes pretty delicious since it is mostly made up of not so healthy ingredients. Eating too much fast food can cause weight gain. Which in return spikes the risk of obesity related health issues such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, it can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system as well as cause poor mental health.
Changing these bad habits will give you almost immediate results. Adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to survive and help your digestion. Decreasing the amount of fast food you intake will give you immediate results as well. You won’t be putting on the pounds as quickly, as well as if you switch your fast food meals with home cooked ones packed with whole healthy foods your overall health should start to improve. You will have more energy from whole foods rather than processed foods. As well as decrease your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, inflammation, allergies, heart disease, and diabetes. If it is too hard to go cold turkey just start with changing your order slightly. Instead of getting soda, switch to getting water. Instead of getting a large French fry, get a small. It can also help meal planning. Plan out what you will eat each week so you have time to make food at home. Use leftovers for lunch the next day to keep you from having to eat out at work.
No Regular Exercise
The next bad habit is not doing any exercise. Sitting at work all day to go home to do more sitting is not a healthy habit to get into. It can weaken your muscles. Not exercising also gives you the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke. Just counting the one flight of stairs you climb at work does not count for your daily exercise. Though it is a good place to start.
If you hate exercising so much, try recruiting a friend. That way you have someone who will help you stay more accountable as well as make it more fun. Start small. You don’t have to start running five miles your first time out exercising. Shoot for 10-15 minutes to start. It could just be a walk around your neighborhood. Then gradually you can increase. If you don’t like traditional exercising then find an active hobby you can start. This could be rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing, or rollerblading. Find a local gym that offers different classes to see what you are interested in or to mix up your workouts. For low impact exercise look for yoga or swimming. There are ways to be active that don’t necessarily have to be walking on the treadmill at the gym, mix it up, make your workouts exciting so in return you are excited for them.
Not Making Sleep A Priority
Another habit that is doing more harm to your health than you know is not getting enough sleep. In this day and age it is more common than not to be overly busy and stressed. Where more people are putting quality of sleep way back on the back burner. Not getting enough sleep can cause havoc on your mental health as well as your body’s overall health. It can weaken your immune system, increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke. Not getting enough sleep can make you not think clearly. Being sleepy can also make it hard to keep your emotions in check.
Make bedtime a scheduled routine. Go to sleep at the same time every night if possible. Make the ritual of bedtime relaxing and enjoyable. This could mean taking a calming bath, before getting into bed to read for a few minutes before going to sleep. Eliminate the blue lights at least an hour before bed. This means your phone as well along with other screens or televisions. Have your bedroom be a dark quiet place. Watch the temperature of your room as well, studies have shown sleeping in a cooler environment helps the body fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Avoid naps during the day. Cut off caffeine too close to when you plan to go to sleep.
A habit that causes about 447,000 deaths in the United States is smoking. It is responsible for 20% of cardiovascular deaths, 30% of all cancer deaths, 90% of lung cancer deaths. It is also the main cause of mouth, throat, and bladder cancer. Even a little bit of smoke exposure can damage your body.
Before you think that stopping this habit is pointless because the damage is already done, that’s incorrect. After stopping for just a year you will drop your risk significantly for cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. The first step is to stop. Try patches, or nicotine gum. Tell someone you are trying to quit so they can help hold you accountable. Set small goals to start so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Increase the goals so that you will eventually cut out smoking altogether.
Some habits we develop aren’t harmful to our overall health. Some can be detrimental. It is best to get our habits in check so we can take control of our health and be the healthiest versions of ourselves.