We are all creatures of habit and as we look to improve our health, lose weight, perform better, we are forced to assess our daily habits and see what we can improve upon. Below are 9 common, daily habits that people, including me, do that hurt our progress in the gym and out. By addressing these and replacing them with healthier alternatives, we can improve our health, increase our energy and look better in the mirror.
1. Hitting snooze. Set your alarm and wake up the first time. One way to make this easier is to understand that we typically sleep on 90 min cycles and come into the lighter stages of sleep every 90 minutes or so. If we wake up on these cycles, we tend to be more alert and wake…versus hitting snooze and waking up in a deeper sleep cycle and being out of it, groggy and upset that we have to wake up.
2. Adding sugars, sweeteners and other flavors to our morning coffee. Adds unnecessary chemicals and calories. Ideally, you would have a tall glass of water first thing in the morning. I typically do this as the coffee maker is brewing. Then, avoid adding a bunch of nonsense in your coffee. Chemical flavors, soy milk, sugars, sweeteners and other additives are horrible for our bodies.
3. Eating cereal, bagels and other starches and sugars for breakfast. Starts the sugar roller coaster that repeats all day to keep energy. Convenient quick breakfast foods are typically loaded with sugar and are the worst way to start our day. Ideally you would have a breakfast higher in protein and healthy fats, like eggs, avocado, good meats, veggies or similar.
4. Lunch on the Go. Fast foods and quick lunches can add tons of calories and no quality. Ideally you would plan your meals and have yourself surrounded by good, quality foods during the day. Eating at restaurants provides lower quality foods, higher calories and creates too much temptation to eat bad foods.
5. Afternoon coffee, soda or energy drinks. The sugar high and lows, combined with loads of caffeine is an exhausting roller coaster. It not only provide
6. Quick trip to the vending machines, quickie mart or coffee shop pastry, candies and snacks in the afternoon. This craving usually occurs because of habit and low blood sugar levels after a heavy carb laden lunch. Keep raw nuts at your desk and in your car. If you need a quick snack, stick to a small handful of nuts and it will help control your blood sugar levels, as well as providing healthy fats, which are good for your brain, heart and many other systems in your body.
7. Dinner at a restaurant. Dining at restaurants is hard on the waistline, period. Sure, you can make wiser choices, and that’s fine once in a while. Its always better to cook at home with high quality foods. If you are not a cook, don’t worry. Shopping and preparing good foods is something that you will learn over time. We have shopping lists, sample days and many healthy recipes available on our site.
8. Beer, wine or cocktails at night. The average American drinks 400 beers per year. Considering that 1/3 of Americans don’t drink, that means the people that do, drink at least a couple every night. If you are interested in a healthier lifestyle, losing weight or performing at your best, I would avoid drinking alcohol every night. If you have a couple drinks once a week, no problem, but the daily intake adds up a lot of calories that will pack on the pounds.
9. Mindless snacking in front of the tube. The average American watches 4-5 hours of television everyday. Many of us, mindlessly eat in front of the tube, meaning we tend to eat way more than if we were actually paying attention to what we were eating. Plus, most snacks are worthless calories anyway. Avoid snacking between meals and best to get the sugars and starchy snacks out of the house period.
How many of those 9 habits do you do frequently during the week?
While, we understand that people are not perfect, it is our job to help people live healthier lives and reprogramming bad habits is essential. Start by assessing your daily habits, then make improvements over time. Just like any habit, changing it takes focus, consistency and patience over time to make it stick.
So, take a minute and review your day. How many of these are habits for you? What do you think is a better alternative?
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