While most weight loss proclamations are well-intentioned, sometimes they look better on paper than in practice, actually doing more harm than good. Here are five so-called “healthy” habits worth giving up on, as well as better solutions.
Habit 1: I’m going to take up permanent residence in the gym.
Working out is an important piece of the weight loss puzzle, but moderation is key. Studies suggest that too much exercise can lead to a number of issues like hormonal imbalance, fatigue, insomnia and even depression. Many people also report experiencing a drastic increase in appetite after extreme bouts of physical activity, which can lead to overeating and negate the weight-related benefits. Plus, if you exercise so intensely that you’re injured or sore for days, it will be difficult to sustain this otherwise healthy habit.
Habit 2: I’m saying goodbye to fats completely.
Fatty foods have gotten a bad rap. The reality is there are good fats and bad fats. In humans, fat helps support normal growth and development, provides energy, allows for proper cellular function, provides protective cushioning for organs, and helps with absorption of certain vitamins. Bad fats are found in foods like meat, butter, lard, cream and trans fats (found in baked goods, fried foods and margarine) and can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to replace these with good fats, which are associated with a decreased risk of chronic disease. Good fats include plant-based oils like olive and canola, avocados, nuts, seeds, and dairy, since these also offer the nutrition your body needs.
Habit 3: I’m going to skip breakfast to cut calories.
According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, if you’re skipping breakfast, you’re doing something wrong. Research shows breakfast helps support brain function, energy and mood. And research suggests that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day, weigh less and have fewer risk factors for heart disease. Just a few reasons to load up in the a.m.
Habit 4: I’ll just crash diet to lose the weight.
Crash diets don’t work and many people who do them end up just gaining the weight back.
“Sustainable weight loss should not involve hunger or deprivation,” says Mandi Knowles, dietitian for South Beach Diet. “Your weight loss efforts should include sensible changes that are easy to follow.”
Find a weight loss plan that’s convenient and lets you know with confidence that you are losing weight the healthy way. Plans like South Beach Diet teach portion control through a low-carb, high-protein approach with meals delivered to your door.
Habit 5: I’m going to stop snacking. Snacks can account for more than a quarter of one’s daily calories. But if you munch on nutrient-dense foods (high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories), you’re more likely to maintain a healthy weight, according to the “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” So, snack wisely.
For more weight loss tips, visit palm.southbeachdiet.com.
To lose weight the right way, ditch extreme diets and exercise schemes. You’ll find more success with sustainable health and wellness habits.