Fallen Off The Wagon Already? Ditch Your Bad Habits For Good This February!
As the first month of the year draws to a close, chances are your new years resolutions are already flagging.
Made with the best of intentions, plans to start hitting up the gym or cut down on drinking can easily be forgotten once your work and everyday life routine gets into full swing again after the holidays.
So what better time to renew your resolve for a healthier, happier you than during February?
According to a recent FebFast survey, drinking too much caffeine, soft drinks and alcohol, smoking and eating junk food and sweet treats feature heavily in the top 10 reported personal bad habits.
Whether you get involved in the charity cause, FebFast or go it alone there are plenty of health benefits to be enjoyed by ditching some of your bad habits.
Weight loss, more energy, better sleep and a healthier bank balance – just to name a few. If you are still in need of some motivation, find out how your vices are really affecting your health below.
Alcohol Alcohol – the social lubricant we all know and love. Bringer of good times followed by bad hangovers and regret, chances are many of us overindulged in this drug over Christmas.
It’s socially acceptable to drink on the weekend and even during the week to unwind after work, but when was the last time you took notice of how much you are actually drinking? Is it every day? Every second day? And how much are you drinking on those occasions?
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men) contributes to weight gain, heart disease, liver disease, gastritis and even increases the risk of developing certain cancers.
Since alcohol is high in sugar it also contributes to blood sugar fluctuations, insulin resistance and drinking to excess may eventually lead to diabetes. Psychologically, long term alcohol abuse depletes us of vital nutrients and mood-regulating neurotransmitters leading to withdrawal symptoms and increased risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.
The good news is, based on the feedback from last year’s FebFast participants, 97% of them enjoyed at least one lifestyle benefit from skipping grog for a month, 81% saved money, 60% lost weight, 63% felt sharper and 47% said their overall health improved.
Need some extra information or tips on how to avoid the booze? Read on here. Want to replenish some of those depleted nutrient levels? Start with a high quality multivitamin and mineral alongside a potent magnesium supplement for optimal energy levels and nervous system support.
Caffeine Sure, we’ve all had mornings where it feels like a pure caffeine drip is the only thing on earth that will get us moving. In fact caffeine use and overuse has become so prevalent, researchers have just defined caffeine dependance as a clinical disorder known as ‘caffeine use disorder’.
Enjoyable as it may be, the truth is you’ll feel a hell of a lot better on an ongoing basis without caffeine if you build up your energy reserves with the right nutrition and good quality rest. Imagine getting through your day without the groggy morning haze followed by a temporary moment of clarity before the 3pm slump and sleepless nights.
Caffeine found in coffee, tea, energy drinks and soft drinks boosts stress hormone levels in the body, setting in action a chain of events which results in insulin spikes, inflammation and eventually an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Caffeine also binds to certain nutrients, reducing our ability to absorb them and increases the rate at which we excrete water soluble nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. These effects contribute to electrolyte imbalances and fatigue.
Sugar There’s no doubt that sugar has addictive qualities. Who can honestly say they stopped at just a ‘small slice’ of cake or had just one of the sweet treats a well meaning co-worker brought into the office.
It’s no wonder we keep coming back for more once we are stuck on the repetitive roller coaster ride known as the sugar addiction cycle.
First up is the happiness and instant gratification you get from eating sugar. Your energy levels spike temporarily as insulin is released to help lower your rocketing blood sugar levels.
This feeling is not unlike the high you would feel from taking illicit drugs as sugar stimulates the release of the same neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin involved in drug addiction.
Now comes the scary part, the ‘dip’ in the ride if you like – blood sugar levels drop rapidly leaving you feeling like a zombie. Your eyelids are heavy and brain foggy. High insulin levels cause immediate fat storage and your brain is left wondering where your good mood disappeared to.
To end your sugar journey, the hunger and cravings for more sugar set in because your blood sugar levels are now low so the only logical thing to do is to have another brownie right?
An endless amount of research over recent years has confirmed the detrimental effects of sugar on health, ranging from chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer to obesity and inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Give your body a break for the month of February and enjoy stable energy levels, a good mood and weight loss by following these simple steps to a sugar-free life! Struggling to quit? Curb your carb cravings with the help of GlucoFactors Forte.
Digital Overload Find yourself checking your phone every 5 minutes for messages or social media updates? Can’t go a day without posting on facebook, instagram, twitter or another social media outlet?
If your phone/tablet/computer is becoming a permanent part of your anatomy it’s time to switch off and undergo a much needed digital detox!
Spending too much time on social media sites and the internet can have a serious impact on your emotional and mental state of health, contributing to irritability, constant fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression.
Aside from the impact on psychological wellbeing, our growing reliance as a society on digital technology and electronic devices means we are constantly being exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation.
Researchers have linked non-ionising radiation from WiFi devices and mobile phones to a range of damaging health effects including neurological degeneration, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction and even cancer.
Other commonly reported health effects include headaches, dizziness, tremors, decreased memory and attention, sleep disturbances and visual disruption. Some useful tips to keep you logged off (and sane) throughout the next month can be found here.
Final Tips for a Healthy February Preparation is the key to success with any change to your lifestyle or diet so prepare yourself thoroughly for changes you are going to make. You may also want to reassess and reaffirm your goals to help keep you motivated throughout the month (and thereon after).
Be accountable and get as much support as possible – get your friends and family involved and on board so you have some backup when you are struggling to stay on track. This may also mean that the people around you are less likely to try and coerce you back into unhealthy behaviours such as social drinking.
Some great support material can also be found on the FebFast website. Get moving – exercise is the best ‘drug’ of them all. The more you get outside and moving, the better you will feel physically and mentally. Better yet, exercise is a great way to fill in the time you may otherwise spend indulging in your vices.
Don’t let it all go once February is over by binging on the substances you have carefully been avoiding. If you are going to reintroduce caffeine or alcohol back into your lifestyle, plan to do it in moderation.
Same goes for your use of electronic devices and social media sites. When it comes to sugar, you should be well and truly feeling the benefits of living sugar free by now, so aim to keep your sugar intake as low as possible on an ongoing basis!
Want to Experience the Benefits of a Complete Detox? If you want to take full advantage of being vice-free for a month, why not combine a detox with your FebFast?
This is a great way to help your body clear toxins and will encourage you to establish some more healthy habits to keep your health goals on track long after Feb is over.
Check out our Express 2 Week and Comprehensive 6 Week Detox programs which include supportive nutritional supplements and thorough Practitioner guidance.
- How to Quit Sugar in 5 Simple Steps
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