New Years Resolutions That Are Actually Hazardous to Your Health
1. Suddenly exercising every day
This may be the most popular New Year’s resolution — but it’s also one of the most hazardous for your health. You risk your chance of injury, MSN tells us, because “if you’re already filling up any and all free time in your 2019 calendar sprinting and lifting, you’re not giving your body enough time to recover and rebuild.” Start with aiming to exercise 2-3 times a week first, making sure you have days off in between. Then, you can build off that after a month or so.
2. Cutting back on calories all together
Correct us if you’ve heard this before: Skipping meals can actually make you gain weight. Well, that’s because it’s true! Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and causes your body to store excess fat. Plus, AARP points us to a study showing that people who skip meals, particularly breakfast, or fast are at a higher risk of having hardened arteries and developing heart issues. Instead of skipping meals altogether, replace your typically unhealthy meal with something nutritious that will keep you full.
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3. Vowing to cut out all sugar
Revamping your daily menu is great. Just be careful when it comes to cutting traditional sugar with anything that says “sugar-free” on the label. “Many artificial sweeteners cause insulin (our body’s primary fat-storage hormone) to be released in your gut because they’re sweet like sugar,” MSN says. “Plus, when manufacturers take sugar out of products, they often add in bad-for-you fats like palm oil and cream to make up for the taste, they also use sugar alcohols, which can have a laxative effect if eaten in excess.” You’re better off having a nibble of something with real sugar in it than going to town on something with artificial sweeteners. (More on that one page 13.)
4. Vowing to cut out all dairy
Long story short: Although many celebrities have promoted cutting dairy out of their diets, this doesn’t have the same effect on everyone. Plus, eliminating whole food groups from your diet isn’t recommended anyway.) Additionally, depriving yourself of dairy — unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course — deprives your body of vitamins it needs for your bones and calcium it needs to help with your metabolism. Instead, cut back on the extra sinful dairy-oriented foods such as pizza and grilled cheese. If you still want to cut back fully, consult a nutritionist on the best ways to still get the vitamins and nutrients you need.
5. Investing in “waist-training” apparel
Want to invest in a couple pairs of Spanx? Go for it. But primeval corsets and other contraptions that supposed “train” your waist to be smaller? Think again. For starters, these contraptions don’t burn fat or rev up your metabolism, so you won’t lose weight by wearing one. Secondly, prolonged use can damage your insides. “It just crams all of your organs together,” Atlanta-based physician Dr. Tasneem Bhatia told USA Today in 2015. “So over a long period of time, wearing it too much and too frequently, it can cause damage too.” Buying into this quick-fix scam can also hurt your spine, the USA Today article says.
6. Getting your calories from liquids
Thinking your New Year’s resolution for losing weight can be better achieved by swapping out your solid meals for smoothies? Beware. “One reason liquid calories sabotage weight loss is all in the name: calories,” primary care physician Susan Besser, M.D., tells NBC News. “(People) who use liquids instead of food in a diet often think they are making healthy choices or lower calorie choices. But that isn’t necessarily so.” Plus, a lot of liquid substitutes leave us hungry, which can lead to consuming even more calories and subsequently binging. If you’re entering the liquid meal game, NBC recommends limiting your consumption to the occasional protein-packed variety and continuing to get most of your calories from solid food.