So, you think that you are doing everything right – going to the gym, eating your salads and taking tons of supplements – but something seems off.
Healthy habits may be difficult to start, but are even more difficult to retain, especially when small actions can easily kill them. Here are 5 things to keep in mind that easily kill your healthy habits and how to prevent them from happening (hint: you are probably at least doing one).
1. Undervalue quality sleep
Undervaluing a good night of quality sleep can have serious negative effects on your health. A sleep deficit can lead to bad moods, stress and weight gain, which can be why you have difficulty getting rid of those extra pounds.
Our internal clock loves a sleep/wake schedules, and many do not even know the importance of maintaining a regular sleep cycle. In order for the body to gain a good quality sleep, it is essential to have accomplished a certain routine.
Having an unregular sleeping pattern can cause the body to not be able to go into a deep sleep and REM sleep, which are the most important stages of your sleep. It is in these stages that the brain processes information and helps to remember things we have learned throughout the day.
Waking up when the alarm clock goes off is also important, even though the snooze button is often more tempting. If you feel very tired in the morning and feel like curling up in a ball, it’s probably because you woke up from a deep sleep stage and have an unregular sleep pattern, which makes it feel like you barely slept at all.
Though if maintaining a regular sleep routine throughout 1-2 weeks, you will feel and be more rested when you wake up in the morning.
2. Underestimate the importance of morning/night routines
Though sleep itself is important, the way you sleep also plays a role. Investing in the right mattress and pillow is probably the best investment you can ever make because it will last you many years! I can talk on and on about how much I love my bamboo pillow, as it prevents the neck pain and headaches I once struggled with.
As you find your sleep essentials, whether it be a silk pillowcase or bamboo sleepwear, this will promote the quality of your sleep. This will also make you look forward to a good night sleep and prevent you from skipping one-hour past bedtime to watch your favorite Netflix show.
I’m a spokesperson for morning and night routines, meaning how you spend your time before going to bed and after waking up. It’s so important and efficient to have a healthy and efficient routine that makes you accomplish things before ending/starting your day. Routines are great ways to establish healthy routines like yoga and meditating (and there are tons of apps that can help you keep track of that!).
3. Unhealthy rewards
Rewarding yourself with a big piece of chocolate cake after finishing your article, or closing a deal at work can be very satisfying. Sounds like you? Candy and junk food are easy choices but are unhealthy solutions of rewarding yourself.
We are all guilty of this, and a piece of cake is totally fine to eat once in a while, through it’s when we overconsume that the special treat turns into a bad habit instead.
Instead, reward yourself with an experience, like a spa day at home or trying out a new brunch place with your friends.
4. Bad moods and stress
It might not be something we think about a lot, but bad moods can harm our healthy routines. Negative feelings of anger, anxiety and jealousy cause the body to release a stress hormone cortisol, which can be helpful in small amounts, yet long-term exposure can cause premature aging, increase blood pressure and make you gain weight. I think we all want to prevent these causes, and a healthy diet may be the key for just that.
Studies have shown that junk food can cause bad moods, and make bad moods worse. This is one more reason to stay on track with your healthy diet, and not skip back to fries and milkshake.
Stress is a common factor to headaches, premature aging, weight gain and is linked together with mood swings, as stress makes it difficult for us to control our emotions. In fact, stress can bring out diseases and even weaken our immune system.
To prevent stress, keep up with your healthy habits, like exercising to release endorphins, and meditating to keep control of your emotions and mind.
5. Going overboard with drinks
A girls’ night out, plus tons of cocktails is the perfect way to celebrate a Friday night for many people, but a couple of drinks can easily add up. Drinking and clubbing can easily become a habit at a young age, which has huge consequences for our health.
Even though we are probably told this a thousand of times, it’s important to saturate that alcohol together (and tobacco) is probably the worst way of treating your body and healthy habits.
A couple of cocktails puts back your training, meaning that it harms your workout routine and shape. Alcohol also messes with a planned-out diet, as it makes it harder for us to digest nutrition and vitamins.
This does not make night outs or clubbing dangerous, but we have all experienced times when we drink a little (way) too much and end up feeling awful the next day. This is what harms our bodies and the healthy habits we have worked so hard for.
Instead, stick to a maximum of two drinks for the night, and drink cranberry juice, or other juices, for the rest of the night. In that way, your friends won’t notice a thing and judge you for it, plus it’s a great way to save money!