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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5 Habits That Are Killing Your Body

We eat healthy, we exercise, yet we never seem to get anywhere. Sound familiar? Many people are misinformed and tricked by food packaging into thinking they're eating healthy when they're really not. Or you seem to be eating small amounts but are seeing no changes. Here are 5 common mistakes people make that could be hurting your body, too.

1. Skipping breakfast. We've heard it time and time again, but its the most important meal of the day! People who skipped breakfast were more likely to take up smoking, drinking, less likely to exercise and more likely to follow fat diets. People who do eat breakfast were about 30% less likely to be overweight or obese.

2.  Mindless eating. Snacking is meant to maintain your blood sugar and keep you energized between meals, but if you're snacking when you don't really need it (on the couch watching Glee, anyone?) you could be sabotaging all your healthy eating habits.

3. Huge portions. Portion sizes have tripled in the past 40 years, and so have our waistlines. Its not secret that restaurant size portions are about 2-3 times more than you should be eating at a meal, causing us to see large amounts of food as standard, thus eating more at home, too. In a restaurant, eat until you feel satisfied, not full and take the rest for leftovers. Other ways to eat less: have salad before a meal, snack on almonds throughout the day, and make sure you're getting enough fibre.

4. Calorie-laden drinks. Not only alcohol can do damage to your diet, but smoothies, soft drinks, coffee and juice can be dangerous, too. A grande caramel macchiato at Starbucks carries 240 calories, and an eggnog latte sits at 470, compared to a cup of brewed coffee which has 5 calories. When thats just your morning java to get you going, that is waaay too many calories, not to mention sugar and fat. (Simple ways to cut these in half? Ask for skim milk instead of the standard 2%, go half-sweet on the syrup, skip the whipped cream, or try their "skinny" options which include all 3 of these.) Beware of the nutritional information on your drink of choice before gulping it down, as even some juices are loaded with sugar.

5. Processed, saturated & preservative packed foods. Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives and harsh chemicals to keep them fresh. Try to steer clear of these foods as much as possible, and load up on natural foods like fruits, veggies and whole grain carbohydrates. As a general rule of thumb: the shorter the ingredients list, the healthier the food.

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