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Fitness Nutrition Forums

6 Small Habits You Don't Realize Are Sabotaging Your Health Goals

We’ve all got big plans for our fitness: massive weight loss, packing on the muscle, training for a marathon, or getting in the best shape of our lives. Sadly, things don’t always go as planned.

Sometimes you can invest weeks or months into your fitness, only to find out that you’re not getting the results you wanted. It may just be that these small habits are sabotaging your health goals and slowing your progress.

Snacking Wrong

Yes, there is a “right” way to snack. Snacking right boils down to eating the foods your body needs in order to keep functioning between meals. Typically, that’ll be a food that’s rich in protein and healthy fats but low in carbs. And no more than 200-300 calories at a time. If you’re eating larger snacks (which, let’s be honest, is all too easy), it’s possible you’re consuming more calories per day than your body is burning.

Skipping Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for two reasons: 1) it fires up your resting metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day; and 2) it establishes your eating habits (healthy or otherwise) for that day. If you don’t eat breakfast — and a healthy breakfast—you’re in for a less-than-awesome day of dieting. Starting off that morning right with a balanced, healthy meal is the key to success.

“Dieting”

Changing up your diet is crucial, but “dieting” — following a specific, restrictive diet plan — can often cause your innate rebelliousness to kick in. After all, when you “can’t” eat certain foods, they become the foods you want most of all. Instead of going on a “diet”, focus on improving your eating habits. Try to eat as much of the good, healthy food as possible and stop worrying about what you can’t eat.

Juicing and Making Smoothies

This has become a hugely popular trend among “health nuts”, but you’re in for a real shock: it’s mostly useless! Smoothies do use all of the nutrients from the fruits and veggies you blend, but juices contain all of the sugar, some of the nutrients, and little to none of the dietary fiber. You’re better off consuming veggies in their natural state, raw or cooked, rather than mixing them into a drink.

Avoiding Fat

Fat may be higher in calories than protein and carbs (9 calories per gram of fat vs. 4 calories per gram of carbs or protein), but it’s actually far better for you than you realize. A higher fat intake encourages better fat-burning and revs up your body’s fat-burning furnaces. On the other hand, if you cut fat from your diet, you simply train your body to store fats rather than burn it.

Exercising to Correct Your Diet

You can’t train away a bad diet! No amount of exercise will overcome poor eating habits. The key to successful weight loss and fitness is to blend a healthy, balanced, calorie-controlled diet with vigorous exercise. But you can’t eat unhealthy food and “work it off” at the gym. One big hamburger contains more calories than you can burn in an hour — there aren’t enough hours in the day to burn off too much junk food!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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