7 Bad Health Habits That Are Worse Than You Think

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You already know these habits are bad. But like any bad habit, it’s easy to justify and make excuses for them — except maybe when you learn just how bad these habits really are:

Skipping Meals

Although there are contradicting studies about this, it is generally accepted in the medical field that skipping meals is not a good health habit to have – especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Why? Well your body can be a bit of a drama queen, and every time you skip a meal, it assumes that you’ll never eat again and that you’re going to starve! When your body goes into this “starvation mode,” it holds on to any nutrients you ingest, which in turn makes it harder for you to burn fat.

Also according to a study on overweight women by the University of Colorado School of Medicine, subjects who were used to eating in the mornings and then skipped breakfast had the most adverse effects than their “usual breakfast-skipper” counterparts. In other words, overweight women who were used to skipping breakfast did not have as many adverse effects, because this is what their body was used to. The women who were used to eating breakfast, on the other hand, became hungrier and experienced a larger spike in insulin when they ate lunch and later meals. So basically if you’re trying to lose weight by skipping a meal, you’re fooling yourself, because you’ll probably just end up eating more during the rest of your day out of sheer hunger.

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After a long day of sitting in front of your computer at work, what do you do when you get home? Sit on the couch to rest? Well, your mind might be tired, but your body has basically been inactive all day! And that’s not good. Why? Well believe it or not, our bodies were not made to sit all day. If they were, our butts would be made of the same skin and tissue that we have on the soles of our feet. Gross!

According to new research, prolonged sitting – even for mostly active people – raises risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and death earlier in life. It was found that regular physical activity only reduced these risks by 30% if the person still sat for hours at a time. So to reduce those risks further, it’s preferable to not only get daily exercise but to minimize time spent sitting in the same position. Your best bet: move around, stretch, take a walk, use the stairs or get a standing work station.

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Eating Sugar

Did you know that added sugars make up at least 10% of the calories in the average American’s daily food intake? Some even go as far as consuming 25% of their daily calories in added sugar. It makes sense when you remember how delicious sugar is – hello, triple chocolate brownies!

Studies have shown that sugar can be even more addictive than cocaine, which is one of the reasons why we can never seem to eat enough. The problem is that sugar actually wreaks havoc on our bodies: it sends our insulin levels soaring, destroys our dental health, provides next to nothing in terms of nutritional value, effectively depriving our bodies of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to stay healthy.

What’s even more alarming is that sugar, especially the processed kind and its alternatives, are in almost all prepared foods nowadays, making it especially difficult to avoid.

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