Top 7 Unhealthy Habits Keeping You from Fitness Goals – and better ones to do instead

Habits make up our everyday actions, but not all of them are beneficial. Unhealthy habits do more harm than good and can even cause us to stall on our fitness journey.

person in the sun, choosing a healthy habit vs unhealth habits
Habits are easy to make, hard to break – source

Fitness can be many things. Maybe you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve flexibility. Whatever your goal is, these habits are the worst thing you can be doing.

Some of these unhealthy habits are things you don’t even realize are bad for you! Others are habits so second nature, you don’t notice they are detrimental.

Whatever your fitness goals are, these are the most common unhealthy habits we’ve all done and what you can do instead!

7 Unhealthy Habits Keeping You Unfit

Habits are actions we do daily, almost without thinking. Some everyday habits, however, are the reason we are stuck in our fitness journey.

Here are the top 7 unhealthy habits you are probably doing, and what to do instead! 

Not Sleeping Enough

Your sleep schedule is incredibly important to health. We’ve discussed how our internal circadian rhythm, the biological clock that is light-dependent, affects how we age, but it also affects how we feel.

Having a poor sleep schedule can imbalance chemicals in the body. Poor sleep can increase ghrelin levels, a hormone in the body that is called the hunger hormone. It also lowers leptin levels, the hormone signaling that you are good.

This means you are more likely to overeat and even increase your craving for high-calorie foods.

What to do instead: 

Sleep at least 7 hours a night! Have trouble sleeping? There are breathing techniques and tricks you can try to help fight insomnia! Plus, there are a bunch of reasons we might not be sleeping right, some of which include bad sleep habits. Check out all the tips here!

Restricting Food

Restricting food and going on a diet is not sustainable.

First of all, crash diets may lead to quick weight loss that can actually slow metabolism and put the body into starvation mode. This is part of the reason people from the show, the biggest loser, gain their weight back.

Restrictive eating also causes binging when you do get a chance to eat that food, which causes negative feelings, higher restriction, and more binging. This negative cycle is not sustainable.

What to do instead: 

Eat what you want when you crave it. It is much easier to control proportions when you aren’t stressed about when the next time you can enjoy this food. You can even look for healthier alternatives!

Instead of sour cream, use plain greek yogurt. If you are craving pasta, look for whole wheat or legume-based pasta.

You can still eat your favorite foods, though. Love ice cream? Then eat it! Just do it a little bit less, learning to indulge without overeating and enjoying food.

Negative Attitude in Exercising

Having a negative or bad attitude, in this case towards working out, affects you greatly. You might feel like you haven’t worked out enough and need to make up for it somehow, so you go to the gym and try to burn as many calories as possible, lift as much weight as you can, etc. The next day you’re sore and tired, but force yourself to do it again.

This is terrible for health because it is not sustainable. You don’t have to push yourself 200% every workout, nor do you have to spend hours, or lift to the point of failure. 

Any movement is a good movement. If you just have time for a walk, just take a walk! Do some stretches, do yoga, or do any other movement that feels good

Additionally, you need to start being ok with not seeing instant results. Instant results are probably not going to last anyways.

What to do instead: 

Sure, you need to push yourself to see gains, but you shouldn’t have an all-or-nothing mentality. You can find workouts that you like to do that push you that you still like to do. Exercise will improve mental wellbeing, creativity, mood, and improving cognitive function. Working is good for sleep, which relates back to the need for proper sleep.

Plus, you need to give yourself time to recover after an intense day. You can start with working out 3 to 4 times a week and increasing it as needed. You might even find that you want to work out more when you see a positive change in your mental state!

Focusing on Aesthetics

You do not deserve to be judged for how you look, at any size, shape, or level of fitness, you deserve respect, you are worthy of good things, you are enough. With that said, it is ok to want to change how you look. Maybe you want thicker thighs, a bigger butt, or nice biceps. Perhaps you want to lose a bit of weight to see if you can get those abs. 

That’s ok to want, and you can have it as a goal, but it may lead to body dysmorphia. We are our own biggest critics, and focusing too much on looks in a fitness journey is detrimental to mental health.

What to do instead: 

Make fitness about how you feel instead of how you look. I know it’s hard, we all want results we can see, but it’s so important to appreciate all the other benefits exercising and eating healthy can have for you. You will start to sleep deeper, your mood will improve, stress and anxiety decrease, and you just feel better. 

No, working out is not a replacement for therapy, but does it increase mental wellbeing? Absolutely. Is it amazing for physical health regardless of appearance? Yup. Remember all movement is good movement. Just a 15-minute walk a day can change your life drastically.

Overworking and Stress

No surprise, an unhealthy habit is stress. Stress can have detrimental effects on the body. While we can handle stress in small doses, constant long-term stress will ruin the body.

High levels of stress cause migraine, the tension in muscles, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and even pain. Stress affects the respiratory system, meaning you don’t breathe as deeply or as well. Long-term stress also affects the heart, leading to high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and inflammation. All of this leads to detrimental health and decreased wellbeing. Chronic stress has been associated with high body, fat, decreased metabolism, and even chronic illness.

What to do instead: 

Stop stressing. Ok, it’s not that simple and it’s not as easy. Stress is a by-product of the society we live in. It’s hard when you have so much to do and so little time, but it is important to prioritize what you need and cut out what you don’t need. Having a routine in the morning, even one that is a short 15 minutes, can be amazing for reducing stress.

You can even start including activities designed to reduce stress, like yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation

Overworking puts you in a bad mood. Mindset and mood will affect the decision you make. A healthy mind leads to good choices which leads to a healthy body.

Take time for some self-care too. There are many different types of self-care that you can incorporate easily. Self-care is a form of self-love, and while self-love can be hard, self-respect is something we all deserve.

Not Getting Enough Sun

We need sunlight, if only to produce vitamin D, aka the sunlight vitamin. Sunlight is extremely important and it is vital we take it in in a way that is safe and controlled. In fact, vitamin d deficiencies have been linked to increases in visceral fat, a type of fat that surrounds organs, which is linked to a variety of health problems.

Overall, light, going out into nature, and getting some fresh air will improve mood and mental wellbeing. This means you are thinking clearly and making better decisions.

What to do instead:

Get some sun! Try to get at least 10 minute a day, 3 times a week for vitamin D. Otherwise, put some spf on and go on a walk outside to get all the benefits from light and the great outdoors!

Surrounding Yourself with Toxic People

The people around you affect you greatly. Show me your friends and I’ll show you the future. You can choose to surround yourself with people who bring you down, and that will reduce your physical and mental wellbeing greatly.

People take your time and offer you nothing in return. Some people take away your solitude without offering companionship.

What to do instead: 

Get rid of them. Ok I know, not that simple (again easier said than done). 

But listen, you do not need to give your energy to those who only take and give nothing in return. Find ways to change the environment of toxicity. Start setting boundaries respectfully. It’s ok to say no, it’s ok to remove someone from your life that does not belong there.

The Takeaway

Unhealthy habits are easy to form and hard to break. Maybe you have horrible sleep habits and need to stop going on your cell phone after 6 pm. Or maybe you try to make up for years of inactivity with long hours at the gym. Been there, done that. 

The good news is that habits can be broken, changed, and adjusted little by little. Just look at how effective micro habits are.

Sleeping enough, not restricting, and doing healthy activities are all great alternatives to unhealthy habits. 

Remember, any movement is good movement, you can enjoy ice cream on a fitness journey, and you do deserve self-care. Health starts from within! Take small steps for big improvements and watch how wellness flourishes!

Spread the love

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Currently it aopears lkke Movable Typee iis thhe topp
    bloghging platfofm oout thede right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are ussing oon youjr blog?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *