Health and fitness is a very complex subject that causes a great deal of confusion amongst people of all ages, athletic abilities, shapes, sizes, and genders, from all corners of the earth. For example, if you were to speak to one person, they may swear by following a low carbohydrate diet in order to lose weight, while another person may tell you that you should actually be consuming plenty of carbs each day in order to function correctly. Another person may tell you that high intensity exercise is the key to success, whereas another may swear by low intensity exercise instead. In reality, health and fitness in general is very complicated and it is certainly not something that should be taken lightly. To make matters even worse however, a lot of people find themselves making some pretty fundamental mistakes in regards to their health and fitness regimes, that they believe to be healthy, when in reality, they’re anything but. Take a look at these 4 examples of unhealthy habits that people may mistakenly believe to be healthy.
1. Starving yourself
Although the topic of fasting often pops up on many health and fitness forums, with many experts endorsing the practice, for the most part, fasting, and starving yourself is most certainly not healthy, and is certainly not something that any health and fitness professional should ever recommend. One of the main reasons why people exercise and keep fit is to help them lose weight, and to keep their weight under control by preventing themselves from gaining any. The problem with starving yourself however, other than the fact that it is very bad for your health, that is, is the fact that it can actually hinder your weight loss progress by making it harder for you to lose weight, and easier for you to gain it. The reason for this is that, by starving yourself and depriving your body of calories, you’re basically depriving your body of energy. Our metabolisms are responsible for taking calories and stored body fat, and converting them into energy to get us through the day. In order for the metabolism to function correctly however, it needs calories from foods and drinks to begin with, otherwise it slows down. Put simply, by starving yourself and not eating, you suppress your metabolism which means that you gain weight easier, lose weight harder, and will have less energy as well.
2. Weighing yourself daily
Another very common unhealthy habit that people get into when it comes to health and fitness, is weighing themselves daily. While weighing scales can be useful for giving you a rough idea of how much progress you’ve made, the reality of the matter is that weighing yourself on a daily basis is very unhealthy, especially when it comes to your mental health and well-being. You see, the problem with weighing scales, is that they measure weight, not FAT. There are people out there who will have fantastic workouts all week, eat healthy foods, drink water, and do all of the right things required for losing weight in a healthy and controlled manner. When they step on the scales however, they may have lost very little weight, or may have even gained weight according to the numbers, which can be depressing and unsettling. In reality however, they may have lose several pounds of fat, and built a few pounds of muscle, but as the scales don’t know the difference between fat and muscle, the numbers obviously can’t reflect this. Even if they’ve just had a drink of water and a healthy meal, their stomachs will still be full, so they will obviously weigh more. By weighing yourself daily, you can find yourself becoming fixated on numbers, which is not healthy at all. By all means weigh yourself once a week, or perhaps once a fortnight, but once a day is simply not healthy.
3. Over exercising
Another very common mistake that people looking to get fitter and healthier tend to make, is over exercising and pushing their bodies too hard each day. The human body can only take so much stress before it begins to react negatively and the thing you have to remember is that exercise is a form of stress on the body. If you perform the right amounts, you reap the benefits, but if you push yourself too hard, and try to do too much each day, you won’t make any progress at all. If you over-exercise, you will be constantly tired, your muscles will constantly ache because they won’t have time to heal themselves, and you won’t lose as much fat as you should because your metabolism will slow itself down, your body will secrete stress hormones such as cortisol, which promotes weight gain, and you simply will find yourself feeling run down and running yourself into the ground. By all means exercise each week, but make sure you allow yourself a good two or three days to recover, and that you aren’t trying to do too much exercise every day.
4. Fad diets
For people trying to lose weight that may be struggling from time to time, fad diets may seem very appealing, especially as the creators promise things such as “dramatic weight loss” and “fast results” etc. In reality however, many of these diets are extremely unhealthy as they will be far too low in calories, and may even promote the use of artificial powdered supplements and meal replacements instead. Ok, they may help to lose weight, but the main problem is the fact that as you will be so hungry while following these diets, the second you break your diet, or hit your target, you will be tempted to head out and binge eat, rewarding yourself with all of the foods you worked so hard to deprive yourself of for so long. Not surprisingly, binge eating is not healthy and often time, you’ll find the weight creeping back on, and before you know it you may have even gained more than you lost. Instead, simply follow a healthy and balanced diet, watch your caloric intakes, drink plenty of water, get plenty of fruits and vegetables, and get some regular exercise and physical activity.