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Five Habits That Destroy Your Healthy Lifestyle

You exercise, you rarely eat junk food, but you still don't feel like you are healthy. So, what could be causing you to come up short?

Chances are, it could be one of (or all of) these five habits that destroy your otherwise healthy lifestyle. Check out these top 5 Habits that will ruin your healthy lifestyle, and see our helpful fixes to break these habits:




Habit #1 - Going To Bed Too Late


Sleep is probably the most essential factor when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. It has many benefits:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved recovery from exercise
  • Improved cognition
  • Increased testosterone in men.
  • Help regulate appetite (A bad night's sleep can lead to increased hunger and reduced satiety, affecting Leptin and Ghrelin levels).

Studies have shown that getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night can improve sporting performance, concentration, and recovery from the previous exercise. So, what do you think that getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep is going to do? Nothing good, sadly. Frequently staying up late and therefore only getting a few hours of sleep will lead to poor health (as mentioned above).

It is important to remember, however, it's about the length of time you sleep for, rather than about what time you go to bed. You could go to sleep at 3 am and wake up at 11 am and consider that adequate sleep. While if you went to bed at 10 am and woke up at 4 am, you would not be getting enough sleep.


Fix-It:

  1. Set yourself a bedtime and wake up at the same time each morning (if your work/life allows this luxury).
  2. Aim for 8 hours every night. Turn off all electronic lights 30 minutes before you fall asleep. Consider natural sleeping supplements if you require extra help falling asleep.
  3. Exercise regularly and avoid caffeine after 7 pm if going to bed at 11 pm (or an equivalent time depending on when you go to bed).


Habit #2 - Following The 5:2 Principle


We're not talking about the famous 5:2 diet here (intermittent fasting). Instead, we're discussing an interesting phenomenon where someone will rigidly follow a diet and exercise regime from Monday to Friday. Then, when Saturday comes along, their diet goes out of the window and exercise grinds to a halt.

If you continually consume a sub-2000 calorie target each weekday and then average 5000 calories on Saturday and Sunday, this pushes up your average calories per day from 2,000 to 2,850+, leading to weight gain. Coupled with the reduced-calorie burning due to skipping the gym or avoiding your daily walk, your health will suffer.


Fix-It:

You can still take it a little easier on Saturday and Sunday but keep it within healthy limits. Maybe lower your weekly calories slightly to compensate, and then avoid a calorie explosion on Saturday and Sunday by planning your "cheat" foods.




Habit #3 - Eating Other People’s Food

This might seem like an odd habit, but anyone with children or partners will probably immediately understand this. Finishing off your children's or partner's meals for the sake of not wasting it can increase your calorie intake without realising it.

Fix-It:

Either:

1) Cook smaller meals,

2) Throw your partner/kid's food away

3) Save their leftovers for your lunch the next day.

Make a rule that whatever happens, you eat your meal and nobody else's.




Habit #4 - The Drunk Eating Cycle


While there are few reasons why you can't enjoy alcohol consumption in moderation, excess alcohol can lead to weight gain. This is partly because alcoholic beverages are often high in calories and because of drunk eating.

A packet of crisps with each round, kebab on the way home, and then fry up the following day, combined with 2,000 calories worth of alcohol, can seriously affect your diet and your healthy lifestyle.


Fix-It:

If possible, look for lower-calorie drinks, drop the bar snacks, get the kebab (you're only human), but pick the shish kebab over the doner (saving you about 500 calories). Of course, having prepared food for the hangover can also save you from a calorie-fest.



Habit #5 - Becoming Sedentary


Studies have demonstrated that 10,000 steps per day are an excellent target for improving fitness and lowering body fat. But most of us hit less than 3,000 a day. Instead, we sit on the way to work, sit at work, sit on the way home, then sit down and watch tv. This habit of sitting down most of the day can lead to hip issues, back issues, weak hamstrings, muscle loss, and weight gain.


Fix-It:

Aiming for 10,000 steps when you are currently performing less than 1/3rd of that is unrealistic. So instead, why not aim to increase your step count per day by 500?

Walk around the block after work, take the stairs rather than the lift, park a little further away from work each day. Or get yourself into a gym. You could even find yourself a more active job!



To Conclude


Having a healthy lifestyle is essential, but knowing how to maintain it for yourself (and your clients if you are a fitness professional) is an excellent way for building longevity and maintaining healthy habits.

Check out our CPD courses to learn more about health and wellbeing.