Clean out some 'habit' clutter

Now that the weather's getting warmer, it's time to spring clean — and your closet isn't the only thing that could use it. Some of the "healthy" habits you practice religiously may be excessive, ineffective, and adding clutter to your already hectic life.


You drink eight glasses of water a day

Why you can shed it:

Eight glasses is a general recommendation and doesn't take into account different lifestyles. You're probably consuming water from other sources without even knowing it, such as in your morning tea.

Do instead:

  • Have a glass of water right when you wake up in the morning, because you're bound to be dehydrated after a night of sleep.
  • If you find yourself forgetting to drink enough water, fill a half-gallon jug with water and aim to finish it by the end of the day.


You weigh yourself every day

Why you can shed it:

A focus on shedding pounds can cause anxiety about weight and also increase the risk of gaining weight back over time. Scales don't always tell the whole story

Do instead:

  • Focus on body composition and how much energy you have on a daily basis.
  • Pick a goal that's measurable but gives you higher self-esteem once you accomplish it, like fitting into an old pair of pants or getting your blood pressure down.


You spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym

Why you can shed it:

Steady-state cardio has its drawbacks. Your body gets used to the routine and stops responding, meaning weight loss will plateau if you don't mix it up.

Do instead:

  • On cardio days use the treadmill on an incline or the stairstepper.
  • Mix interval training into your cardio routine to challenge your muscles and burn more fat.


You try not to eat after 8 p.m.

Why you can shed it:

There's no study out there that says eating after 8 p.m. will make you gain weight. The harm is that you might be tempted to eat more at dinner so you can make it through the night.

Do instead:

Certain types of foods may be more difficult to break down at different times of day. Stick to something lighter and easier to digest if you're going to eat a late meal.


You've eliminated fat from your diet

Why you can shed it:

  • When eaten in moderation, fat is an essential part of your diet and can actually slow down the digestion process, which makes you feel fuller, faster and longer.
  • Fat also helps you absorb more nutrients found in your food because it's processed slower in the body.

Do instead:

Fill up on healthy fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil and nut butters.


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