It’s that time of year again, when you might be kicking yourself because you’ve fallen off the resolution bandwagon. It's the time of year when you are bombarded by even more messages, tips, and tricks telling you to do this and not that if you want to be healthy, lose weight, and be awesome (for the record, you're already awesome!).
In light of all this, I'd like to try to help clear through some of this clutter and break down several things we typically “think” are healthy but actually aren't:
1. Chewing gum
Popular weight-loss TV shows say that chewing gum is a great way to get rid of cravings. Ever wonder why when you chew gum you tend to get bloated and perhaps even a little gassy?
Gum chewing can produce excessive air pockets, which can cause stomach issues. Not to mention most gum chewers opt for sugar-free gum, which means it’s usually filled with artificial sweeteners that can make our cravings for sugar even worse.
2. Eating protein bars
As convenient as these may seem, most store-bought protein bars are high in calories and sugar and filled with all sorts of weird preservatives and additives. If you really want to have your protein bar (and eat it, too), try finding one with less than 5 grams of sugar and minimal ingredients or try making your own healthy version.
3. Drinking “enhanced” water
What could be better than staying hydrated and getting extra vitamins? Well, most enhanced water products are really just sugar water. They also tend to contain natural colors and flavors, which actually are not natural at all. If you really hate the thought of plain water, try adding actual fruit to make your own healthy version of flavored water.
4. Avoiding fat
Pretty much all natural “real” foods contain some fat, which is awesome because our bodies actually need healthy fats to thrive. Fat is a great source of energy. Our bodies use the fat we eat and the fats we make from other nutrients in our bodies to provide the energy for most of our body functions. Fat is also required for transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream to where they are needed. So without enough healthy fats in your diet you could be missing out on very important nutrients.
5. Avoiding the sun
It’s not all about food when it comes to things we think are good for us! Avoiding the sun can cause a lack of vitamin D, which is essential for proper muscle and bone development. Sunlight also wakes you up in the morning and makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night, and sleep is an essential part of healthy living. About 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure is all you need.