5 Toxic ‘Good Health’ Habits to Recognize and Change

by Karishma Sharma – Follow @kaysharmaa

In this modern, progressive age, new health innovations, challenges, and fads are coming into play on a daily basis. While these can be exciting, they can also have negative effects. Here are five health habits that may seem ordinary, or good for you, but in fact are the opposite. Please look out for friends and family who may be exhibiting signs of behaviors like those below, as their behaviors may bring larger, more serious issues to light.

1. Excessive Calorie Counting

Calorie counting can be a really great way to lose weight if you are someone like me, who doesn’t like eating salad for every meal and likes to enjoy the frequent Chipotle bowl and cheesy macaroni. A great way to combat this, while taking care of portion control, is counting calories. However, this can become a slippery slope. It’s a bad sign if, one day, you happen to exceed your limit and start beating yourself up over it. It is okay to cut loose once in a while, but if you find yourself skipping meals or eating under a healthy amount of calories, then something is wrong. There are great online tools and apps for you to find the right, tailored calorie amount to lose a healthy amount of weight, such as MyFitnessPal.

According to a Paleo and nutrition blog post on Primal Toad,

“If you count calories, then you may become obsessed with calorie counting. You may buy low fat this, fat-free that. Can you lose fat doing this? Certainly. But it’s far from healthy. You are not getting all the nutrients your body desires.”

[Photo Source: aloha.com]

[Read Related: Feeling the Guilt? How to Eat Low-Calorie at 5 Different Fast Food Chains]

2. Over-Exercising

Working out is great for your body. Not only for the physical attributes, but also for relieving stress and other medical benefits. But there is a fine line between healthy workouts a few times a week and unhealthy workouts that push your body too hard and too frequently. If you find yourself at the gym for several hours every day and feel guilty for skipping a day, it’s time to reevaluate. Furthermore, if you find yourself on the elliptical for an hour because you ate Taco Bell, that’s another reason to evaluate. Do some research on your body type, how often per week you should be working out and for how long each session – you may be surprised.

According to The Telegraph, too much exercise can lead to heart problems, bone weakness, a weak immune system, and several other health complications. It’s best to research what is right for your body and talk to fitness professionals about it if you can.

3. Media Comparisons

I know, we all do it. We Instagram stalk our favorite fitness gurus day and night. Yes, it may seem healthy to create goals for yourself, but when you start to look in the mirror, self-loathe and wish you looked like someone else, there is a real, underlying problem. The key to a successful health journey is loving yourself first. Sometimes, media fitness gurus miss the mark on being relatable.

[Photo Source: livetradingnews.com]

[Read Related: Mexican Pizzas and Cheese Fries: Why I Strive to be a Relatable Fitness Instructor]

4. Crash Dieting and Intense Cleanses

Yes, the occasional low-carb week, or vegan week, or 2-day juice cleanse is okay. Sometimes it’s good to flush out the toxins in your body. The problem with this, however, is when you can’t remember the last time you ate a full meal that included protein or carbs, or when you’ve replaced all your meals for the week with shakes, or when you only eat vegetables for a month. It is unhealthy to rid your body of the necessary protein, carbs, and even fats that it needs to sustain it. So while diets and cleanses are good, be careful that you aren’t going too extreme. Indulgence and cheat days once in a while are more than okay.

A study written about by The Independent involved cutting back to 450-800 calories per day. This is the equivalent of around 3-5 bowls of cereal with milk per day – not a diet that maintains a good nutritional balance, as experts suggest. Lose weight wisely, friends!

[Photo Source: foodbeast.com]

5. Cutting Out Rest Days

Working out consistently is good, however, if you do not give your body proper rest time, then it becomes very difficult for your body to heal and continue to grow muscle. Patience is a virtue, and rest days are a must.

According to Lifting Revolution,

“We push our bodies beyond their levels and continue to push without even realizing it. Sometimes we just need to chill.”

That couldn’t be truer!

Remember, if you see your friends, family members, or even yourself exhibiting any of the above behaviors, help make a change. You can do it!

Karishma Sharma is a Bollywood Dance Fitness Instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. Her biggest hobby, her passion, and her dedication are all to fitness. She is also a dancer and is passionate about spreading her culture to those who may not be familiar. She aspires to keep her love of fitness alive each day in everything she does!


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