Shake Off These Bad Habits for Healthy Living

Let’s be honest, we all have bad habits. Some are more harmful than others, and the time has come to say goodbye to those things that are holding you back from healthy living. Here are some habits to let go of sooner rather than later:

-Mindless snacking: It’s one thing to have a snack because you’re hungry; it’s another to eat because of boredom, stress, anxiety or fatigue.  The average American consumes almost 600 calories per day in snacks! That’s a fourth meal. Add that up in a month and it’s almost five pounds! If you’re going to snack, at least choose something with nutritional benefits.

-Too much sitting: Most people sit behind a desk for eight hours or more every day. This isn’t just an energy zapper but it actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Every hour try to move for just five minutes. It may give you that added boost you need to get through your day.

-Fast food: I know we are all busy and stressed and sometimes you need something quick, but fast food is not the way to go. If you see a drive through, keep driving! Prepare your meals the day before or keep Zumba Shake Shake Shake™ around so you aren’t stuck in a situation where the choices are less than desirable.

-No time to relieve stress: Stress causes weight gain and increases the risk of many chronic diseases. Sometimes just taking a few slow, deep breaths can take the edge off. If you have more time, go for a walk, meditate, or take a bath. Find something that soothes you.

-Drinking your calories: Whether its juice, soda, or alcohol; beware. These beverages don’t fill you up, but they do add on the pounds. A 20oz soda or juice has about ¼ cup of sugar. Measure that out and I think you’ll agree with me that it’s not worth it.

-Not getting enough sleep: Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep can increase blood pressure and the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Make the effort to get enough sleep and it may benefit your health and your waistline.

-Not drinking enough water: Dehydration is like trying to paddle on a dried out lake. You can’t go anywhere. Your body needs proper hydration to lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, and remove toxins. Carry around a water bottle to remind you to drink throughout the day.

Start making some changes and you will notice a difference. Bad habits like these make us feel worse which makes it even harder to make good decisions. Change isn’t always easy but good decisions are always worth it!

Anastasia Conover MS, RD, CSR

Anastasia Conover graduated from West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She continued her education receiving a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Now she teaches nutrition classes, does nutrition counseling, and develops healthy recipes and diets to help people reach their health and wellness goals. She also devotes her time to community outreach focusing on kidney disease education.

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