The mind is a strange thing. Uniformed it can make some questionable decisions about health and fitness, but even informed it can find some ways around it anyway. Here are some “healthy” habits we’ve all picked up that might actually be doing us a disservice.
We Focus Too Much On One Nutrient
Most fad diets work by completely eliminating a food group or nutrient, which sometimes works but is usually just a short term way to get us to ingest fewer calories. When we obsess about the fat content of food for example, we’re more likely to seek out lower fat alternatives…which aren’t always a great option. A lot of foods that have some of the fat removed have other things added for taste, such as sugar. And healthy fats are great for us in moderation and actually fill us up so that we stop craving other junk. Some studies have even shown that eating low fat yogurt can increase binges on carbs, and that when packages are labeled as low fat we end up eating up to 50 percent more of the food. That’s marketing for you.
You’re Stuck in a Food Routine
For many people, finding healthy foods they enjoy is such an accomplishment that they stick with the same meal plan everyday. That or it’s easier to not have to think about it and be tempted while branching out. The problem with this, is that eating the same thing every day can mean missing out on a lot of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants from other great healthy foods out there. Additionally, some research has found that eating the same things everyday can reduce the amount of healthy bacteria in our gut. Some of those healthy bacteria help with weight loss and satiety, so technically you could limiting your weight loss efforts a bit by not getting a little adventurous every once in a while.
We Use Reusable Shopping Bags
Okay this one is a little strange, but here’s how tricky our mind can be. Some research has shown that people who shop with reusable shopping bags are more likely to buy junk food than the people who don’t. And you know why? Because on some level we think we deserve a reward for doing such a good deed. Hmm. Ringing any bells? Don’t just stop bringing your own bags on your grocery shopping trips however, just be aware of the temptations and leave them be. A good shopping trick for avoiding that kind of stuff anyway is to stick to the perimeter of the stores. This doesn’t always work since healthy things like oatmeal and canned fish are kept in the aisles, but for the most part the stuff that’s kept around the edges of the grocery store is the freshest stuff, which means the least processed and the most clean. Think fruits and veggies, eggs and meats, dairy products, etc.