I get it, nobody is perfect and how boring would our life be if we were. But when minor slip-ups become habits, they can do real damage. Not only to our bodies but also to our health.
Don’t Lie to Yourself About Your Health
“It’s okay to have a second piece of cake or skip a week of workouts when you are overwhelmed with work, kids, life,” you tell yourself. Well, if it happens once, it could be okay but when you convince yourself that it’s always okay, it could become a big problem. I see people sabotage not only their bodies but their health by rationalizing that you can be “bad” here and there and then it becomes a pattern. These self-deceptions are enemies to your weight loss and staying healthy efforts and here is what you can do to stay on course for the long run.
1. LIE: “I can have 2 glasses of red wine, research shows that it’s healthy.”
REALITY CHECK: One glass of wine can derail your weight loss efforts by making your body work on breaking down the sugars that you have just consumed. Two glasses increase your breast cancer risk by 25 percent and your risk of ovarian and esophageal cancer increase as well, according to the National Cancer Institute.
2. LIE: “I can get by on five hours of sleep.”
REALITY CHECK: Not being able to sleep for at least eight hours per night is okay once in a while, but when it becomes a habit you become irritable and less productive. And when it comes to health consequences, it gets downright scary. Studies show that people who don’t get adequate amount of sleep are overweight and have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. Lack of sleep is also associated with increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
3. LIE: “It’s low-carb, so it’s healthy.”
REALITY CHECK: Food labeled “low-carb” aren’t lower in calories or fat, in fact, some have even more calories. Our bodies need carbs for energy, but make sure they are complex carbs, like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, lentils and brown rice. Studies show that low-carb diets can actually hurt your efforts to stay lean long term and could jeopardize your health as well.
4. LIE: “I don’t have to lift weights and do cardio, I chase my kids around all day and that’s enough.”
REALITY CHECK: Running after your kids is a workout but not in the way you think. You get a modest calorie burn, an immune system boost and lower blood pressure. But if you want your jeans to fit perfectly or show off your post-baby body at the pool, you need more than just chasing your little ones. Doctors and trainers agree that only an intense and sustained workout for 30 minutes or more provides maximum health and weight loss benefits. If baby duties leave you with no time to hit the gym, transform your stroll in the park to a 30-minute jog. And when your kid naps, strength-train at home. Build a workout around push-ups, lunges, squats, calf raises and tricep dips until you are ready to do more at the gym. I suggest to do 3 sets of 20 reps each for maximum benefit.
5. LIE: “I’m not overweight, I’m big boned.”
REALITY CHECK: How many people know that our bone mass is only 4 to 7 percent of our weight? That translates into 6-10 lbs, which means that being “big boned” is just an excuse. Check your body mass index (BMI) – a measure of fat based on height, weight and skin fold measurements and if the number is higher than 22-25, you may need to lose weight.