Last Updated on August 30, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
It seems to me that most people have a vice of some kind that prevents them from reaching optimal health. Whether it’s an addiction to food or cigarettes, there’s always something that throws a wrench in the works. In fact, I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have bad habits or faults of their own that affect health. For instance, I know several “fitness experts” who smoke. Isn’t that a contradiction in a sense?
Not All Bad Habits are Obvious
According to society, habits that have a negative connotation are considered “bad.” However, does someone’s perception of what “negative” means influence what’s considered a bad habit? For instance, I see a ton of “truth” commercials regarding smoking but I don’t see anything of the sort for obesity. Does this mean that smoking is considered worse than being morbidly overweight?
Not all bad habits are easy to spot, though. In fact, a lot of people don’t realize they are doing anything wrong. It’s these which can cause the most damage. For instance, I know a lot of people who put more than enough salt on their foods. Coincidentally, some of these individuals also have high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. The kicker is that many of these people don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong.
Overeating is an obvious problem when it comes to keeping healthy. Unfortunately, not everyone understands what this entails. It’s easy to go to a restaurant and pull something from the menu because it’s cheap. However, most of the popular restaurants in the United States provide far more food than what you really need in one sitting.
Not everyone has portion control on their minds when they eat. It’s not something that is a common habit for a lot of people. But, it can reduce your intake while helping you lose weight if you try to keep it in mind. This is one of the biggest reasons why I lost 20 pounds and have kept it off. It centers around being able to moderate your intake of food, even if you’re favorite restaurant serves you large portions. There’s nothing wrong with a “to-go” box.
How You Spice Up Your Food
Salting your food may be only one of many bad habits when it comes to spicing things up. Ten years ago, I lost eight pounds simply by switching Splenda for sugar in my coffee. That demonstrates two things: a) I was using too much sugar in my coffee, and b) I drink way too much coffee. While some herbs and spices will actually improve the health value of certain foods, it’s things like sugar and salt that can be harmful.
When it comes to seasoning foods and drinks, not everyone keeps in mind about the health ramifications that come with every shake of the container. Something that could seem innocent enough could be preventing you from reaching optimal health.
Not Enough Water
There is a surprising number of people who don’t get enough water in their daily routine. You would think that the very thing that you absolutely need to survive would be a high priority. Even I don’t get enough water, and I’ve been researching health materials for more than a year. Why are so many people water deficient? Because we simply don’t think about it. Most people will drink when they’re thirsty. Unfortunately, many adults and the elderly become dehydrated because they don’t feel like they need water.
Dehydration is one of those bad habits that most people can do something about. When ever you walk into the kitchen to get coffee or something to snack, grab a cup of water first. Regardless of how it’s done, you need to figure out how to get more water in your day if you want optimal health.
Eating the Wrong Foods
Not everyone keeps health in mind when walking through the isles of the grocery store. Out of habit, many of them will fill the cart with foods and snacks that are often less than ideal for proper health. Unfortunately, many of us will buy foods that are cheaper just so we can fill our stomachs. This is often a bad choice, especially if someone doesn’t take portion control into consideration. For instance, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs may be filling, but it can be incredibly unhealthy if you serve yourself up an entire bowl for dinner.
While I believe you can eat virtually anything and lose weight, it doesn’t take into consideration the quality. For example, you’re not going to get a lot of the vitamins and minerals you need in macaroni and cheese. Eating the wrong foods includes those that are void of materials that promote healthy living. Case in point, I know a self-proclaimed vegetarian who became anemic because of an iron deficiency…because she didn’t eat meat. There are plenty of ways to get iron, which she didn’t take into consideration.
While some bad habits are apparent when considering health, such as smoking or excessive alcohol use, some are more subtle. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your body and what the impact may be. It may help you lose weight or otherwise live a healthier lifestyle.