The voice of a “Healthy” Person: “I live a really healthy lifestyle. I hit the gym at least 4 times a week and I eat a salad almost every day. I even go to yoga class a couple times a month.”
Regularly I hear some version of this, often followed by,
- I can’t lose weight
- I’m tired all the time
- I’m so moody
- I can’t focus
- …fill in the blank
As it turns out, many people who do have generally healthy habits still struggle with ailments that frustrate them.
“I’m doing the right things, so why do I still feel like crap?!”
If there were simple and fast rules that applied to everyone, we’d all be fantastically healthy and happy, living the dream. But it’s not always so simple.
And there are some not-so-healthy habits that sabotage the good habits.
Dr. Susan Blum, a functional medicine physician, shares that even seemingly healthy people face regular pitfalls—moments or habits that sneak in to their lives even though they’re eating well 99 percent of the time and working out five days a week. “They often ignore the other things” because most of the time they’re really on it health-wise. But those things that seem tiny sometimes aren’t.
Here are a few of the most common traps you may find:
Your glass of wine is poured, or you grab a beer before your coat is off
“If you’re a generally healthy person, then alcohol in moderation seems to be okay,” Dr. Blum says. (Phew!) “But people don’t realize how much they’re actually drinking.” If you’re drinking multiple drinks per night, try sticking to one glass or skip a few days and only pop the cork during a designated time frame, like Thursday through Sunday.
You answer emails during dinner (and at yoga, and in bed…)
If you’re super stressed all of the time, your cortisol levels will spike and all kinds of negative effects will follow, like five bonus pounds of stay-put muffin top, brittle nails, and more. “Stress hormones are often to blame,” when people are confused about health issues, Dr. Blum says. “They will undermine everything else.” It’s important not to burn the candle at both ends for too long.”
Your bedtime is way too late (or non-existent).
Most people are not sleeping enough, and Dr. Blum says getting to bed at a reasonable hour is often the culprit. After working long hours, and then dealing with family demands, late night hours are often the only ones people have to themselves. And the energy deficit you’ll have the next day isn’t the only problem. The body actually repairs and restores itself at night, so without sleep, it’s no wonder your body breaks down.
You live on take-out.
Really, who wants to cook after a 12-hour work day? But there’s lot hidden in restaurant food – much of it extra sugar and salt. Try taking an hour or two on the weekend to prep veggies, grill or bake chicken and pre-cook a pot of quinoa or rice. It’s amazing how fast you can pull a delicious meal together with just a few basic ingredients.
You skip breakfast.
It often seems like all you need is coffee when you’re running out the door, until that mid-morning crash. Eating breakfast and lunch, and making sure both include a protein source, will help you maintain short-term energy and long-term health, Dr. Blum says.
Your household and beauty products are full of chemicals.
Lots of healthy people refuse to buy non-organic produce for fear of pesticides and then, whoops, slather parabens on their skin and spray their counters with toxic cleaners. “The environment is really making people sick—we’re just exposed to so many things,” Dr. Blum says. You can’t totally avoid toxins, but you can start to pay attention, check labels and switch to non-toxic (or at least less toxic) products. Check out EWG-Skin for cosmetics and EWG-Cleaners for cleaning products.
Wishing you healthy habits!
P.S. It’s not always so straight forward, and that’s why I’m here. I can help you figure out what might be the actual cause derailing your healthy habits. Want to learn more? Let’s have a chat and find out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now
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