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Health Habits You Should Never Do, According to Doctors

To stay healthy, avoid doing these things, experts say.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

It's easy to think we're invincible and those unhealthy habits we do regularly aren't a big deal, but that isn't true. The lifestyle choices we make greatly impact our well being and the better decisions we make, the healthier we will be. Eat This, Not That! Health talked with several medical experts who revealed the 12 habits to avoid and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Don't Eat the Same Food Everyday

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Dr. Simoni Baid MD Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and NASM certified says, "Eating a variety of types of foods of different colors, spices, textures, fermented, etc.. exposes the body to more vitamins and nutrients and also aids in less gastro-intestinal issues such as constipation or bloating." 

2

Stop Being Complacent

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Some people are creatures of habits, but Dr. Baid explains why that's unhealthy. "A routine such as: wake up, exercise, get ready, eat breakfast, go to work, come back from work, cook dinner, eat dinner, watch TV and go to sleep. Can create a sense of complacency. When the mind and body are not challenged they stop to grow, and when you stop growth, deterioration comes faster." 

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3

Don't Go Low Fat

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Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, aka "The VibrantDoc", a recognized leader in functional medicine and author of the new self-care book Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Reverse Aging, and Glow explains, "You absolutely need fat, for your brain, for your skin, for healthy organ function, and more. What matters is the type of fat you eat, not the fat itself. Instead of cutting all fat, cut processed and saturated fats, especially heated fats (like fried food), trans fats (like in processed food), and saturated fats (like in heavily marbled red meat). Focus instead on whole-food unsaturated fats, like the kind in avocados, raw nuts and seeds, olives, and fatty fish, and cold-pressed fats like extra virgin olive oil and cold-pressed avocado and nut oils. Research has shown time and time again that replacing trans and saturated fats with unsaturated fats (especially from whole foods) makes a big difference in heart health–these healthful fats lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides and boost your HDL ("good") cholesterol, all of which can help to prevent heart disease. While the research is conflicting on whether saturated fat is actually bad for your heart health, we know that unsaturated fat is actively good for your heart health, and a better replacement for saturated fat than swapping in refined carbohydrates."

4

Don't Do the Same Exercise Everyday

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According to Dr. Baid, "Doing only one type of exercise on a daily basis is setting yourself up for injury. Only running will eventually lead to knee pain. Only Yoga will eventually lead to joint laxity, only weight training will eventually lead to constant muscle soreness and possible muscle injury. 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity has numerous health benefits. Weight training is a great fat burner and known to support bone strength. Pilates/Yoga are great forms of stretching and flexibility training. The best would be to alternate these types of exercises throughout your week."

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5

Don't Go Thirsty

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Dr. Tabitha Cranie, MD with NWPH explains, "Water accounts for 60 percent of our body so it's not too surprising that drinking water benefits your total body health. Staying hydrated helps to keep your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. Keeping up with your fluids helps your skin stay supple, your body cool down when it's hot, allows your muscles and joints to work better, and helps clean toxins from your body via your kidneys."

6

Don't Check Your Phone Right When You Wake Up

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"The way we start our day primes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors," Dr. Sam Zand, Chief Medical Officer at Better U says. "Instead of allowing the external world to dictate your awakening, try to wake up to the sun or set an alarm with a pleasant crescendo. Once you're awake, fight the impulse to check your texts, emails and social media. Instead. Practice deep breathing, meditation, stretching, gratitude journaling, or intention setting. The rest of your day will thank you for it."

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7

Don't Eat a Sugary Carb Filled Breakfast

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Dr. Zand says, "Our body and brain don't need excessive calories to operate. When we indulge in that frosted breakfast cereal or sugary morning pastry, we are putting our bodies into rest and digest mode and adding inflammation to our system. Our mind and body slow down, draining our energy and focus. Instead, try a calorie-light balanced meal such as veggies, fruits, and nuts to start the day."

8

Don't Consume Negative Mental Nutrition

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What we read and watch makes a big difference in our lives, says Dr. Zand. "The news, entertainment, social media, and daily interactions we expose ourselves to are food for the mind. If we practice unhealthy mental nutrition, our brain strengthens neural pathways that do not serve us well. The more we watch political turmoil or morbid crime thriller series, the more our brain takes on this perspective of life. Our work in psychedelic therapy has taught us that the brain can benefit from a healthy reset, so that we can start the neuroprogram of healthier mental nutrition."

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9

Don't Gossip

employees gossiping about their hard-working colleague in the office

"When our focus becomes talking about others, we become consumed in unhealthy thought patterns, Dr. Zand explains. "Comparison, jealousy, resentment can infect the mind. Further, we lose sight of love and gratitude which have the power to beautifully connect us all through this human experience."

10

Don't Self Medicate

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According to Dr. Zand, "When our emotional conflicts cause us to want to escape, let's seek healthier coping skills. Self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, or any unhealthy outlet only suppresses our conflicts, and they can later re-surface in anxiety, insomnia, rage, or depression. There are many medications and treatments such as psychotherapy, regenerative medicine, and psychedelic therapy that provide structured and healthy healing."

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Are Aging You Faster

11

Don't Skip Meals

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Virginia Gruhler Holistic Health Coach with Simply Virgina says, "Most people think skipping meals is healthier because you're saving up calories for later. This actually does the opposite! By skipping meals, it slows your metabolism down and increases cravings, so you're likely to overeat later, and typically overeat on unhealthy processed food."

12

Don't Drink Protein Shakes

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While it's common to see people around the gym drinking protein shakes or even making one at home for yourself, but Gruhler says, "most protein shakes are filled with added ingredients that cause inflammation. Ingredients like syrups, dyes, artificial flavors and sugars are linked to a variety of symptoms like hyperactivity, irritability, headaches, weight gain, and allergies. It's best to eat high quality protein from a whole food source, like wild caught salmon or grass fed beef." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. . Read more