A few bad health habits can be all it takes to steer you off track on your fitness journey. Now usually, we’re used to hearing what we should start doing in order to live healthier, but today we’re switching things up. We’re chatting through 5 things you need to stop doing that’ll help you live healthier.
From weighing yourself non-stop on the scale or guzzling down those sugary sodas – we’ve rounded up 5 unhealthy habits you’ve got to kick to get fit!
Bad Health Habit #1: The Scale
Rule number one: DITCH. THE. SCALE.
When you’re first starting your fitness journey, you’re likely going to gravitate towards the scale, obsessively checking how your numbers are looking every single day. As tempting as it may be to check if you lost that first pound after that intense Pilates class – the scale is a big no-no and distraction when it comes to getting fit.
Truth is, there’s way more to your health and fitness than how much you weigh. If you’re combining weight training in with cardio, chances are you’ll start to put on some muscle.
Fun fact: muscle is much more dense than fat and takes up less volume, meaning a 3x3cm cube of muscle weighs more than a 3x3cm cube of fat. So in other words, you might actually gain weight once you start burning fat and putting on muscle.
A better way to track your progress to get over this bad health habit? Take your measurements or take progress photos. Measurements are key indicators of how your size is changing in your waist, glutes, arms, etc. Taking progress photos is a great way to visualize the actual difference you’ve made on your fitness journey. You’re used to seeing yourself everyday, so the small changes often go unnoticed.
Take some pics and document your journey – you’ll thank your future self. The key here is not to get obsessed with your measurements and progress photos. Limit your photos to a max of 1x per week, and your measurements to 1x a month. Make a habit of checking in on your photos and measurements ONLY when that time rolls around.
Bad Health Habit #2: The Weekend Binge
So your Monday to Thursday fitness and nutrition game may be strong, but how do you rank from Friday night to Sunday night? If you’ve gotten into the bad health habit of the weekend binge, it’s time to ditch that tendency ASAP. A quick disclaimer: we are ALL about balance. Meaning, if you work hard, you play hard, girl! But everything in moderation. The 80/20 rule is a great way to balance a healthy lifestyle with some reckless fun. BUT, if your entire weekend consists of cheat meals and unhealthy binge, then we’re starting to sway into the 60/40 zone.
All of that hard work that you’re doing throughout the week gets cancelled out with some of your weekend decisions, if you’re on a weekend binge on the regular. Try to opt in for 1 or 2 cheat meals max on the weekend, and continue staying active and working out. Remember, health shouldn’t just be something you just cross off your checklist, but an actual lifestyle change.
Though the weekends always seem to fly by (and you abruptly find yourself back at work again on Monday (*sigh*), Friday + Saturday + Sunday actually account for 43% of the week combined. So, if you’re “giving yourself the weekend” to steer off track, that’s almost half of the week!
Bad Health Habit #3: The Negative Mental Game
The hardest part of any health journey is the mental game. You need to build yourself up to stay motivated despite how many times you feel like giving up. It’s hard enough as it is to start a fitness journey, avoid giving yourself an even harder time.
In other words, don’t fall into a trap of the negative mental game, aka – bad health habit #3.
If you’re non-stop scrolling through Instagram, constantly comparing your body to other people’s bodies, wondering why you can’t look like them, you’re guilty of habit #3.
Comparing yourself to someone else is one of the most unhealthy things you can do. You’ll get demotivated, go on an extreme binge, and either over-work yourself or deprive yourself to the point that it’s not healthy.
Health starts from within. That means, positive mindset, being proud and happy of YOUR body and mental state, and staying fit not just for vanity purposes. Being healthy is so much more than a hot bod and some killer abs. Your organs, your muscles, and every part of your sole anatomy needs to be nourished. Don’t forget that!
Stay positive, reward yourself for making it as far as you did, and stop comparing yourself to other people. Seriously.
Bad Health Habit #4: Eating Out…all the time!
Okay, okay, okay. We know. Eating clean is a struggle – especially when you don’t have time to cook. If you’ve fell into the habit of ordering in or getting takeout on a daily basis, time to ditch that unhealthy habit!
EVEN if you’re ordering in “healthy” food, chances are the food is packed with sodium, processed, and has some sort of preservative in it. Your best bet is to ditch the take out, and opt in for some wholesome home-made food for majority of the time. A few events of ordering in doesn’t hurt, but if you’re doing it on the regular, time to shake it up.
One of the easiest ways to ditch this bad health habit is to get into the practice of meal prep. For those that aren’t familiar, meal prep is when you make all of your healthy meals on one given day. This meal prep will last you for 3-5 days following. It’s as easy as grabbing and going, so no dishes, no cooking, and it’s just as easy as ordering in. Check out our ultimate guide on meal prepping for beginners to learn how to ace your meal prep game.
Bad Health Habit #5: Drinking Your Calories
Bye-bye daily sodas, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, and more. As delicious as some of these drinks are, truth is, they’re PACKED with sugar and not great for your health. To put it into context, there are 53 grams of sugar in one fountain drink (16oz) of Coca-Cola. According to Healthline, the American Heart Association says the max amount of added sugars you should eat in a day is 37.5 grams for men, and 25 grams for women. K, WHOA. One fountain drink alone exceeds the amount of daily sugar a woman should have – for two days! Not to mention, sugar has an effect on your skin – so definitely a bad health habit you want to ditch if you want that glow!
Drinking carbonated water is a great alternative to soda, especially if you crave that fizz.
On the flip side, if you do have a sweet tooth and prefer getting that sugar fix, ditch the sugar for healthier sweeteners instead. Personally, I love stevia. It takes a few tries to get used to the taste, but once you do, it tastes ah-mazing in coffee, homemade lattes, and more. You can find my personal favorite type of stevia here – it’s called Truvia. And that’s how you can enjoy delicious lattes on the regular – guilt free. 😉
And if you don’t like stevia, you can try out a few other natural sweetener options like this 100% raw and unfiltered honey or Blue Agave All Purpose Sweetener.
Remember: taking care of your health is a journey, not a box-checking activity. There is so much more to being healthy than meeting the “ideal beauty standards” of what’s trending right now. You’ve only got one body – take good care of it, appreciate it, fuel it, and thank your body for carrying you through your entire life.