When the New Year rolls around, we all want to eat more vegetables, do more yoga, and stress less. There’s no doubt these common, clichéd resolutions will always reign supreme. But there’s also no denying the fact that health resolutions to work out more and eat less are the most broken. At seven days into the month, our vows to bring our lunches to work and take a long walk every day have remained somewhat upheld (can we blame rain in L.A. for skipping our afternoon stroll?). Here at Byrdie, we’re using 2016 to tackle a few health resolutions that usually fly under the radar—handbags and measuring tape included.
Scroll through for the bad-for-your-health habits we’re quitting this year (and you should, too)!
Denial is an excellent coping mechanism—one women employ quite readily when it comes to their diets. According to a British survey, women lie to themselves about their eating habits an average of 474 times a year, or nine times per week. “Oh, I only had a handful of those chocolate-covered pretzels in my desk drawer.” But the handful was more like a bowlful. “I barely drank any of that second glass of wine.” When in reality there were only two sips left. It would be one thing if you we’re understating your healthy habits, but that’s simply not the case. Most often we tell ourselves we ate a portion smaller than we actually did. When you’re not being honest with yourself about your eating habits, excess weight creeps on and unhealthy habits grow stronger.
Why do we need 10 different lip products, two pairs of sunglasses, solid perfume, a small hair brush, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and about a dozen other things in our handbag at all times? That’s a fair question. One we often laugh about, without thinking about the health implications of toting around all that extra weight. Carrying a heavy bag places undue stress on your neck, shoulders, and upper back and negatively affects your posture. Moreover, if you’re not switching sides regularly, you can develop uneven shoulders.
Apply some Coco Chanel logic to your handbag, and remove one item (or four) from your purse before leaving the house.
Many of us are still married to the bathroom scale (though hardly as much as our mothers’ generation was), but weighing yourself too often isn’t beneficial to your health. For starters, that number isn’t an accurate representation of your body—it doesn’t tell you how much is fat or how much is muscle. And if you’re weighing yourself more than once a week, you’re pretty much only tracking fluctuations in water weight.
Step off the scale and start measuring yourself. Your measurements are much better indication of your overall health. Losing less than half a pound of fat might not show up on the scale, but you could see a few millimeters difference on the tape measure.
Whether you consider this one a health resolution or a beauty resolution, it’s definitely a practice that needs revamping in the New Year. If the bad breath-busting benefits don’t swap you, consider this: Flossing prevents gum disease (as you know), but studies also show that people with more gum disease-causing bacteria in their mouths are at a higher risk for stroke, heart attack, and pancreatic cancer.
To make flossing easier, switch to floss picks like DenTek’s Comfort Clean Floss Picks ($6).
Sugar is the enemy of good health. (And we’ve written about it extensively.) From premature skin aging to excess belly fat to a shortened life span (yes, really), the sweet stuff is sabotaging your body inside and out pretty much every which way you can think of. And, to make matters worse it’s everywhere—even in savory and seemingly healthy foods. Saying goodbye to all sugar forever might not be realistic for you, but cutting back to the daily recommendation can have major health and beauty boons. The FDA and WHO agree added sugars shouldn’t exceed 10% of your daily caloric intake, which means no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams. The average American however consumes more than quadruple that measurement on a daily basis.
Will you be quitting any of these bad habits with us? Let us know in the comments!