We as a society are constantly bombarded with articles, studies, and TV news reports about how to be healthy. Sometimes, you will see a study funded with actual money that claims something like, “Studies show that a steady diet of nothing but lard and bacon grease is a major contributing factor to obesity.” You don’t say? And you paid money to figure that out? Once in a while you actually get good info from these stories, but seldom do you hear about the ways in which “healthy habits” aren’t all sunshine and unicorn taints. Keep on reading to learn about six healthy habits that are actually bad for you.
Vegetarian or vegan diets. We as a species are natural omnivores, but who is to say biology is destiny? Humans break free from their biological “duties” on a regular basis, and non-meat diets are one of the ways we do that. There’s something many vegetarians don’t realize, though. By avoiding meat and dairy, you’re going to be sorely deficient in several nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids (which are found largely in dead animals and less so in veggies). Keep your vitamins in mind if you abstain from eating flesh.
Dieting in general. By no means are diets a bad thing-they’re great if you need to drop a couple pounds or a couple hundred. Here’s the thing, though; sometimes, people will diet improperly because they’re stupid. Did you know that if you don’t get enough calories each day, you’ll lose fewer pounds? The whole “starvation mode” thing is heavily debated; for the lay people, this refers to the human body supposedly ceasing to lose weight from eating too little. This makes no sense because if it existed, no one would ever starve to death. However, eating too few calories will slow down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.
<img id="12866" src="http://media1.break.com/breakstudios/2012/3/12/exercise.jpg" alt="Fat man jogging” />
Exercise. Of course working out is considered a healthy habit for most everyone to have, but if you’re really overweight and/or you sit on your butt day and night doing absolutely nothing, it can be unsafe to abruptly jump into an exercise regimen. Take it slow if you go from zero to aerobics, as it’s very possible to over-exert yourself and end up with an injury. It’s not going to feel too good if you give yourself an aortic dissection because you did too many jumping jacks.
Artificial sweeteners. It’s widely touted that you can be on a diet and still enjoy junk food with aspartame, Splenda, Truvia, or any other fake sugars on the market. Opinions on the healthiness of artificial sweeteners vary-some say they’re totally safe, and some say they’re carcinogenic. Here’s a little story: when you eat fake sugar, your body thinks you’re eating real sugar because of the sweet taste. And from sugar, energy is derived. So your body goes looking for this energy that’s not there, and as a result, you get tired because you’re tricking your body. Don’t consume too much of this stuff because you may find yourself more fatigued (and less likely to exercise).
Keeping busy. A lot of people like to fill their lives with busy schedules. Some of it is necessary (like jobs) and some isn’t. Work, exercise, class, social life, home projects, volunteering, caring for one’s children-take your pick. Being a sedentary land whale won’t do you any favors, but stretching yourself too thin is unhealthy and will result in serious mental burnout. Definitely get up and do stuff, but remember to take a break now and then, too.
Going outside. It’s always good to venture into the world of the living for some daylight and sun-sponsored vitamin D. However, when you sit down and think about it, there are a lot of ways you can be hurt or killed outside; you can get mugged, stabbed, shot, raped, run over, or get hit by projectiles. Yeah, this one’s not totally serious because you do need to go outside, but that’s where a lot of the dangers are, so tread cautiously. Remember to look both ways before crossing the road and all that crap.