6 Bad Habits That Are Good For You

So you have some bad habits, do you? No worries, it’s an imperfect world we live in.  But what if I told you that scientific research has been conducted proving that some of our most common vices like drinking, late night snacking, and even swearing, can actually improve your overall health, and elongate your life expectancy?
Continue reading to learn about 6 bad habits that are actually good for you!

1.  Snacking at night

Yup…topping the list is arguably one of the top 3 reasons people fail to ever reach their fitness goals (read Is Snacking Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts to learn more about this). The issue here is typically not the fact you’re eating late at night; the issue lies in with what you’re snacking on.  The reality is you can eat right up until you go to bed at night.  In fact, it’s encouraged! If you’re primary goal is weight loss, keep it light.  Some apple slices with almond butter (a tablespoon NOT ½ the jar) or even just the nut butter itself can help curve any sweet tooth, promote a faster metabolism, and most importantly, provide a needed serving of healthy fat, that your body mandatorily needs in order to let go of its bad fat. (nuts ‘n more make some superb flavored nut butters packed with added protein) If you’re trying to add some muscle, whip 1.5-2 tablespoons in a blender with casein protein and ice cubes.

2. Sleeping late

Our society has been conditioned for one reason or another to correlate sleeping late with laziness.  Although 8 times out of 10 that is in fact the case, a recent study at the University of Munich concluded that individuals waking up to an alarm, are 3 times more likely to be overweight than their tranquil counter parts, who rely solely on their bodies internal clock to indicate it’s time to get out of bed. If you physically cannot wake up at the time you’re supposed to without an alarm, and that probably applies to most of us, take it as your body telling you that you need to go to bed earlier!  When your body’s internal balance is disrupted and thrown off course, cortisol levels are raised, and the digestive process slowed, both to which may result in the accruement of body fat.

3. Coffee

The energy boosting powers of coffees most noted ingredient caffeine, has zero to do with its benefits from a health and wellness standpoint. Daily coffee consumption has been shown to reduce and minimize the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes.  Why you might ask?  Because most chronic diseases are directly related to inflammation, as such, coffee is jammed packed with anti-inflammatory compounds.  Coffee also has more antioxidants than the majority of the healthy foods we have available to us.  Please don’t consider this as a “Drink a triple chocolate mocha latte swirl on the daily and get out of jail free card”, because the only thing the copious amounts of added fats, sugars, carbs and calories will help you achieve, is love handles and an increased waist line.  Need some healthy coffee suggestions? Check out my blog article, Healthiest Starbucks Coffee Options.

4. Eating Chocolate

Your obligatory “super foods” no longer come exclusively from the produce department.  Some of those chocolate bars you’re constantly eyeing in the checkout aisle have been scientifically proven to do more than help cope with a break-up and heartache.  Cacao, the active ingredient in chocolate bars, is packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, which act as anti-oxidants, that serve to protect the body from aging, and help ward off disease. The issue is cacao on it’s own taste like rancid death.  Enter sugar, butter, and milk, which work out wonderfully for your taste buds, but are not exactly synonymous with washboard abs or a small waist.  So snack intelligently and in moderation.  Stick to dark chocolate, which contain the most anti-oxidants, and limit yourself to no more than 3 chocolate bars per week. Ideally, with a post workout meal when your metabolism is revved up and kicked into high gear.

5. Drinking

If you’re someone who likes to relax, loosen up, and wind down with a drink at the end of a workday, I have some good news for you. Provided you’re not getting absolutely hammered every night, drinking in moderation is one of the three key behaviors that may help you live longer, according to reports released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the other two are as you may have guessed, are eating healthy and exercising.) Alcohol, like fish oil, which is one of the best supplements you can put into your body, acts like an anti-inflammatory and increases HDL or “good” cholesterol, which breaks up any bad cholesterol that may be clogged within your arteries. The benefit associated is a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Stick to two drinks max, and if liquor is your poison, ensure you are mixing only with water or tonic.  If you’re more the beer drinker, opt with a light, lower calorie option.

6. Swearing

How the f’n f*ck can swearing possibly improve ones health?  It’s not anything mind blowing or highly sophisticated; but studies suggest that in “certain situations” it may be beneficial. Researchers from the University of East Anglia have concluded that employees swearing while in the work place amongst themselves or co-workers, help the employee cope with cortisol raising stress levels, and maintain their sanity on hectic workdays or in volatile situations. Think of it as a coping mechanism, or outlet to vent to a co-worker, rather than losing their mind and sanity when dealing with a client, customer, or co-worker.
Who the F*ck would of thunk it!?

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