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`Healthy’ Habits that are Actually Bad For You

This post is a great follow up to our last article about healthy breakfasts that aren’t so healthy. You may already know a few of these `healthy’ habits that aren’t healthy, but what if you don’t? Better keep reading, just to make sure!

You may have been working really hard to establish new, healthy habits into your lifestyle. If you’ve succeeded in doing so, congratulations! Now, the last thing we want to do is discourage you, but we implore you to take a peek at the following 5 habits many people think are healthy but are in fact unhealthy.

5 `Healthy’ Habits that aren’t so Healthy

1. Following Short-Term Diets. Did you know the term `diet’ was originally defined as, “the kinds of food a person, animal or community habitually eats?” Now when someone uses the word `diet’ they automatically define it as, “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”

As personal trainers, we truly believe the original definition of diet is what will result in long-term success for your health and fitness goals – that is, if you’re going to change your diet, then plan to make those changes for life. Fad diets fall into this second definition and we believe they are more harmful than helpful. Yes, you will probably see success on these short-term diets, but once they are over and you return to your diet (i.e. original definition), your body will return to it’s state prior to the fad diet.

We recommend you avoid taking advice from companies who spend umpteen amounts of marketing dollars to convince you that their product is the next magic potion for fast success in your weight-loss/nutrition goals. To achieve long-term success with these, you will have to continually invest in the company’s program and product. And 10-to-1, their product was manufactured in a lab.

The most successful nutrition program we know is balanced with all the food groups (except dairy!) and includes mostly low-glycemic meals, natural & wholesome foods, is sustainable for long-term and takes into account your own personal preferences and food allergies/intolerances. (Read: Diabetics Know a Thing Or Two)

2. Fat-Free & Sugar-Free Foods. Did you know that foods marketed as “fat-free” are loaded up with sugar? And that foods marketed as “sugar-free” are infused with artificial sweeteners? We all understand that too much sugar (including foods that turn into glucose in the bloodstream once ingested) leads to diabetes. Meanwhile, artificial sweeteners have been proven they contribute to weight-gain as the body does not register as satisfied when the fake sugar is ingested, so the person needs more to satisfy the body’s craving. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to neurological decline (like dementia).

3. Over-training. Is it possible that you’re working out too much? Yes, it is! (Read/watch this video: Are you Under-Training, Over-Training or Effectively Training?) If you’re over-training, you may be doing more harm to your body than good. And if you are working out a lot, then you need to be eating like an athlete. If you have any question as to whether or not you’re over-training, please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

4. Exercising Through Injuries. We understand you want to be healthy and avoid falling out of your routine, that you don’t want to jeopardize your hard work with the success you’ve achieved already. However, if you aren’t a physiotherapist, exercising through your injuries will only harm you! When you are injured, it is of vital importance that you seek the advice of an expert in the field so you can strengthen while you heal from your injury, without further injuring yourself.

5. Cutting Calories. So many people slash their caloric intake when they are hell-bent on losing weight or achieving a certain health or fitness goal. While starvation dieting may make sense to many people if they’re looking to lose-weight, it in fact slows down your metabolism and may promote vitamin deficiencies. Knowing which calories to cut and when are important pieces to an overall nutrition plan that will support your individual health and fitness plan. Read: Guilt-Free Late Night Munchies for an example.

Were you surprised to learn any of these `healthy’ habits are actually unhealthy? Do you know of any we may have missed on this list?

If you would like more of this type of information, please continue following our blog. And if you would like more hands-on learning, we would be happy to pair you up with one of our knowledgeable trainers!