Since a few years we are occasionally being told that there are some bad habits that are as bad or even worse for our health as smoking.
For decades I thought that smoking is the unhealthiest habit of all, but apparently there are other habits that are as unhealthy as cigarettes. Scientists and researchers say that some habits expose us to the same toxins we get from cigarettes. Other habits can increase the cancer rates as much as smoking does. And worst of all, the habits we are talking about today also make you fat.
The good news is that fixing those habits is easier than quit smoking.
According to scientists, the worst of all bad habits – besides smoking – is a sedentary lifestyle. Frankly, I have no doubt that sitting all day is very unhealthy. You don’t have to be a physician to understand what sitting all day can do to our body. But what are the alternatives when you have an office job? There are a few ways you can do about that:
- Use the breaks to for a short walk.
- Use a standing workstation in your office.
- When commuting to work, park your car further from the door so that you’re forced to walk a few steps.
- Instead of wasting your time in front of the TV, go for a walk in the evening. You will see that this will improve the quality of your sleep.
- If you want to do something very good for your body, go to the gym twice a week. 30 minutes each time is already enough.
- For the sake of weight loss, going on a daily 45 to 60-minute walk and going to the gym twice per week is enough.
- Maybe your issue is not the time but your own weight. If you are too heavy to move, then there is a beautiful thing called water. The heavier you are, the better you will be carried by water and you can move in ways you could never move outside of the water. Swimming therefore is not also healthy, it is also easy on your joints.
Although eating a good amount of protein is important for weight loss, many people eat far too much meat. The biggest problem is the growth hormone IGF-1 farmers use to raise their animals for bigger profits. That substance can promote the growth of cancer cells.
Ways to do it better:
- You don’t need meat for each meal. Reduce it to two to five meals per week.
- Only buy meat from organically grown free-range and grass-fed animals from licensed organic farms. You will see that their meat tastes much better. Although it is more expensive than the meat you buy in your supermarket, by reducing the amount you can reduce the costs and make the higher quality more affordable. Besides, since organic meat contains no or less toxins, you save money in health costs in the long term.
- Instead of meat you can eat several fish meals per week. In order to be on the safer side regarding toxins, I recommend to go with freshwater fish. Try to eat as much fish you eat meat. That way you get the best nutrients from both.
- Any kind of beans have very high protein levels and beans are ultra cheap. By adding two or three bean meals per week you can better afford the more expensive organic meat and fish. There is a large variety of legumes: red beans, Borlotti beans, white beans, green beans, lentils in all colors, peas, etc. and they are all high in nutritional value.
- Another very good source of proteins is eggs. Here too I highly recommend to only buying eggs from organically raised free-range hens. After a few times of eating organic eggs you will not want any others.
- Dairy products is another way of adding proteins. Cheese is great for that purpose. If you are intolerant to dairy products, you can go with Buffalo milk products, they are better to tolerate.
I personally loved cooking on my gas stove when I was living in Canada. Many households in North America are equipped with gas stoves. But did you know that every time you cook a meal, you’re getting a dose of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde? But not only that. According to scientists, these three contaminants released from gas stoves exceed public health guidelines.
Here is how to avoid that:
- While cooking or baking, open your window and/or use your vent hood. This can reduce pollutant levels dramatically. If you only have a vent hood and no window in your kitchen, use the back burners to make sure your vent hood captures the most of the pollutants.
Unfortunately it gets worse regarding cooking. The by far worst and most health hazard habit is using microwave ovens. And it doesn’t matter whether you just defrost some frozen food or heat the food in the oven. First of all, although the manufacturers will tell you, that their ovens don’t leak, they do. Secondly, as soon as you switch on the oven, the electromagnetic radiation goes up dramatically – in other words, they radiate a lot. Thirdly, microwaves alter the DNA in your food and thus your body does not recognize food as such but as toxins. Within only three minutes of eating something microwaved, your blood tests positive for cancer. I know scientists who call microwave ovens “The kiss of death”.
- Use your electric kitchen range to cook and bake.
- Heat pre-cooked food in your fry pan with a little bit of healthy oil.
- Invest in a steamer oven. They are as convenient as microwave ovens with the difference that the heated food tastes much better than the microwaved food and secondly, they don’t have any of the disadvantages microwave ovens have.
Using bad oils to cook is another health threat. For several years now health experts are warning from using the wrong oils. Most of the time these are cheap ones. When heated, they release compounds that are found in cigarette smoke, such as aldehydes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
- For heating food I use organic, native coconut oil/fat.
- For my self-made salad dressings and to sprinkle over the food to give cold and cooked meals a Mediterranian taste I use organic virgin olive oil.
- Since I love the smell and taste of butter, for baking and adding to vegetables and smashed potatoes, for example, I use organic butter (from organically fed and grass-fed animals). Do not use the other king of butter.
Many Americans are insanely sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation leads to symptoms like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and obesity. Studies show that poor sleep or sleep deprivation can speed up the growth of tumors.
Here is what you can do:
- Learn a methodical relaxation method like Autogenic Relaxation.
- If you feel tired in the morning, you are not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep. Listen to your body and the alarm signals it’s giving you. Take this seriously.
- Ask your doctor to send you to a sleep laboratory to get tested for sleep apnea.
- During the day, drink enough water. During the night the body intensively detoxifies and cleanses, and that requires enough water. Not drinking enough water can diminish the quality of your sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep anymore. .
- Don’t watch dark or action movies before going to bed because this causes a lot of stress in your nervous system.
- Instead of watching TV, you can go for a short walk around the block or get a dose of fresh air in your back yard.
Of course, I would never recommend to rather smoke than falling for the mentioned habits. Smoking is still a no go regarding health in general and weight loss in particular. I do understand that there are health experts and doctors who are telling you that just smoking a few cigarettes per day is not dangerous. I vehemently disagree. Especially with an addiction like smoking you can’t just be a little addicted. Either you are addicted or you’re not. And it is my deep hope that none of my followers, readers and clients is a smoker. Smoking and vaping is one of the worst addictions and far more dangerous than we are being told.
Be it smoking or one of these 6 habits, they all contribute to weight gain…some more and some less. Eliminating these habits ASAP will certainly make it easier to lose weight once you will have chosen a sensible weight loss strategy.
Happy and healthy slimming!