14 Unhealthy Habits to Break Right Now

Wednesday, April 06, 2016
14 Unhealthy Habits to Break Right Now

We all deserve second chances and new beginnings... where we can plan things right, execute our goals skillfully, and reap the benefits really fast! Each and every year, we make health oriented resolutions, but do we stick to them? A 2002 study showed that about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, while around 46% stay on target during the next 6 months. Whether you succeed in turning resolutions into reality or not, it is the fact that you are trying that counts after all. Discover 14 unhealthy habits you should break right now!


1. Peeling your apples: Apples help promote weight loss by suppressing your appetite thanks to their fiber content. However, if you are peeling the apples, you will not be getting enough fiber to suppress your appetite, and this defeats the purpose.


2. Believing that the best oils are those that are cholesterol free: Many oil brands market their products as being “cholesterol free.” Be a wise consumer and do not fall into their trap. All vegetable oils, being of plant origin, have no cholesterol in them! So in a nutshell, these brands offer no added value. Cholesterol is strictly found in animal sources such as butter, meats, eggs, fish, and dairy products.


3. Thinking butter and oil are equal/interchangeable: While many of you would think oil is lower in calories, the truth is that both are equal in calorie count (45 calories per tsp)! Does that mean they are interchangeable? Definitely not! Oil ranks best followed by butter as the latter has saturated fats that clog your arteries.


4. Using the same old toothbrush: If you have spent the past year brushing with the same toothbrush, your oral health is at stake. A toothbrush needs to be replaced every 3-4 months, according to the American Dental Association, and even more often if you have weak immunity.


5. Assuming smoking arguileh is the better choice: This is a common misconception. Hookah smokers may inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers because the smoking session usually lasts for about an hour. Additionally, they are exposed to higher levels of carbon monoxide, which contributes further to health hazards. Bottom line, ditch the smoking habit!


6. Skipping meals to lose weight: This is what many people do, without paying attention to the fact that they would be decreasing their metabolism (ability to burn fat) and possibly eating a larger next meal.


7. Protecting yourself against colds with vitamin C: Wish that was true! The only favor vitamin C can offer you is to shorten the duration of symptoms, but not prevent colds. Food sources of vitamin C include papaya, broccoli, guava, oranges, bell peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, and strawberries.


8. Using antibiotics on a whim: While antibiotics will help with your bacterial infection, antibiotics won’t do you any good if you have a viral one. Even worse, with time you would develop antibiotic resistance, which means they would no longer be effective when you truly need them most! So leave the decision making to your doctor in order to provide you with the necessary prescription upon the right diagnosis!


9. Shopping for low fat goods to lose weight: Do not fall into this marketing trap! Quite often, food products labeled as low fat have more sugar added to boost the flavor, which may end up giving us the same number of calories or sometimes even more in the end. Also, we often tend to eat more of such products thinking we are well-protected by the label against weight gain.


10. Thinking that skipping the salt shaker is enough: While skipping the salt shaker is beneficial, it is not enough, as there are hidden sources of sodium elsewhere. Processed food, canned goods, readymade soups, soy sauce, pickles, and stock...are all loaded with sodium. Read labels and pay attention to your sodium intake.


11. Sweetening with brown sugar to reduce calories: Sorry to put you down, but both types of sugar have the same caloric count with the minimal difference of 1 cal per tsp, which makes it not worthy enough to put brown sugar on your table as a healthier choice!


12. Storing eggs in the fridge door: Well, this seemingly handy storage space proves to be the worst place as it is the warmest. The best way to prevent bacterial growth is to keep eggs in their cartons and store them in the lowest shelf above the vegetable drawers.


13. Believing liquid calories do not count: Sadly, they do! One regular glass of wine has around 130 calories. A can of beer has around 150 calories. A can of soda has around 160 calories. One glass of champagne has around 90 calories. A serving (30mL) of Rum, Whiskey, Gin, Tequilla, Vodka, or Arak has around 75 calories. A serving (15mL) of liquor or cognac has around 35 calories. A cup of fruit juice has around 120 calories.


14. Indulging in nuts since they are your heart’s snack of choice: True, nuts help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol), however, they need to be consumed in moderation since they are loaded with calories. We don’t want you to protect your heart at the expense of extra kilos! So nibble on no more than 23 almonds, 49 pistachios, 35 peanuts, or 14 English walnut halves.