July Series: How to Be Resilient: Good Habits for Changemakers — Eight Seemingly Harmless Habits That Are Actually Bad for You
Just like there are bad habits that are actually good for you, there are things that people do habitually that they think are good when they’re really not. Maybe it seemed logical but then turned out not to be true once science looked at it.
1. Squeezing Your Pimples — Many people like to squeeze their pimples (or spots as some people call them) thinking that it will clear them up, but this is not really good for them unless you can do it properly. If you don’t do it right, you could end up with a nasty skin infection. Talk to your doctor or an experienced, qualified beautician about the right way to deal with skin issues, so you don’t hurt yourself. Skin is the body’s biggest organ and is there for our protection so it pays to take great care of it.
2. Eating Unnaturally “Low-Fat” Food — Due to all the bad press that fat gets, a lot of people think they’re doing the right thing when they buy low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat dressing and so forth — but it’s not good for you. The main reason is that they usually replace the fat with sugar to make it palatable. Eating natural fat is much better for you than sugar, plus it satisfies you for longer.
3. Eating Six Small Meals a Day — This is a common diet idea that people think they need to follow. It’s common in all types of diet plans and is supposed to help control hunger by keeping your blood sugar steady. Sadly, studies are showing that this doesn’t really work because people who eat smaller meals report being hungrier more than those who eat fewer larger better balanced meals.
4. Drinking Bottled Water over Tap Water — Most bottled water is infected with plastic residue. If you live in a place with potable tap water, you should use it. You can get an in-home filtering system that will cut down on chemicals like bleach and fluoride.
5. You Drink Juice Every Day — One problem with juice, even if it’s freshly squeezed, is that all the fiber has been removed. When you drink juice without the fiber in it, you are just bombarding your body with a high dose of sugar that your body thinks is just sugar. Oops!
6. You Don’t Eat Carbs — Many people see friends giving up carbs and gluten, so they think this is for them. The truth is if you have no medical conditions that are helped with a low-carb or no-gluten diet, you could be harming your health. People without certain health conditions need carbs — including fruit, veggies, and grains. It’s all about balance and knowing what your body needs for its current state of health. Be responsible and kind to your body and find out.
7. You Do Juice and Smoothie “Fasts” — Lots of people today like to do “detoxes” to clean their bodies, and often do this with with smoothies or juices. The bad thing is, most of the time these are high-fruit-based recipes that can really harm your blood sugar and your metabolism. If you are using smoothies remember it is not just about having a foamy frothy sweet drink of juices. Mush up kale and roughage and some lovely green raw leaves in with everything and adapt to enjoy a different kind of smoothie which actually is good for you. Personally I would not use them as part of a fasting regime — I prefer to keep to a natural, well balanced meal plan and enjoy a range of foods that aren’t processed.
8. You Work Out for Hours Per Day — Exercise is good for you, but professional athletes know that daily training is not actually good for anything other than ensuring high performance on the day of the contest or event. Normal people should not train daily like that at that level, and should take breaks from working out. As a yoga teacher I have found that doing a yoga session of 60–90 minutes three times per week is a good average for most people. But the point with yoga is that classes are constructed to have warm ups, cool downs and a rest period at the end. Each of which is very important for overall health. It is not good to make up your own unbalanced sequence.
If you already do some of these things, research them further so you learn enough to make a considered decision about what you will do in the future. The point of what we are doing in this series is to help you develop habits which support your long term resilience and a positive mindset as you successfully and joyfully tackle the incredibly different world we now live in.
This article is part of my July series on Good Habits For Changemakers: How To Develop A Resilient Mindset … so watch this space for more ideas and support.
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