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Get Healthy: Say Goodbye To These 10 Unhealthy Foods In 2016

Get Healthy: Say Goodbye To These 10 Unhealthy Foods In 2016

Food food food. We love our food. As a culture, we also highly value health. With millions of adults across the world resolving this new year to be healthier, we could all use a look at the biggest food mistakes we make.

Many of these foods can be enjoyed on occasion. While they are known for being unhealthy, reading this list may bring on some cravings. I have provided some healthy alternatives for when we crave these delicious-but-unhealthy foods.

Here are 10 unhealthy foods to give up in the new year:

1. Doughnuts

doughnuts

    First thing in the morning, it is hard to pass up a sugary sweet doughnut when you are ordering your coffee. What most people don’t know about doughnuts is that doughnuts are worse than most unhealthy snacks out there. One doughnut is about 300 calories.  Livestrong.com writes:

    “If you add a doughnut a day to your regular diet and don’t exercise the calories off or cut down on calories elsewhere, you will gain about one extra pound every 10 days.”

    Doughnuts have the potential to do some real damage to your body. It would be in everyone’s best interest to practice moderation when choosing doughnuts.

    Alternatives for your sweet tooth:

    One way to satisfy that sweet craving in the morning is to prepare a delicious bowl of Greek yogurt with some fruit and granola. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied and your body will thank you.

    2. Bagels

    SONY DSC

      Bagels are a conventient and delicious breakfast option, however reaching for a bagel first thing in the morning is a guaranteed way to pack on the pounds. Bagels are empty carbs that will quickly settle on your hips and thighs. Bagels lack the fiber that your body needs to turn it into something useful. Instead, the empty carbohydrates turn to sugar and fat.

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      Alternatives for bagels:

      A healthy breakfast alternative to bagels are English muffins. They are high in fiber and contain considerably less sugar than bagels.

      3. Fast Food Burgers

      burger1

        Fast food burgers are delicious, but commonly believed to be untrustworthy. Your gut instinct was right. According to Men’s Fitness, real meat makes up 2-14% of fast food burgers. Then what are we actually eating? Well, they fill the rest of the burger with fillers such as water, cartilage, and bone. It is also no surprise that these burgers are high in fat content.

        Alternatives for fast food burgers:

        Eat burgers from quality restaurants, places that are trustworthy and commited to making real food.

        4. French Fries

        fries

          They are potatoes, so they are healthy, right? French fries are an American staple that are not even slightly comparable to potatoes in terms of nutrition. Jonathon Bonnet, MD writes that removing the skin of the potato to make french fries is actually shedding the most nutritious part of the potato. Fries clearly lack any nutritional value, but what’s worse is their high fat and calorie content. According to Time magazine,

          “A medium order of fries has 365 calories along with 17 grams of fat, a full 26% of your daily value. Sodium clocks in at 246 mg, or 10% of the upper limit you should eat in a day.”

          It is easy to see why experts recommend staying far away from fast food. A consistent diet with this high fat content will quickly lead to weight gain and possibly obesity, not to mention the myriad of health problems associated with it.

          Alternatives for Fry lovers:

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          There is no replacing this scrumptious treat, but some healthy alternatives are carrot fries or zuccini chips.

          5. Chips

          chips

            Chips are a cheap, savory snack for so many occasions. The downside of this treat is that when chips are part of your daily diet, they have negative health impacts. While eating chips, it is easy to take in more sodium than is healthy, putting people at risk for high blood pressure. Chips are often high in fat, which puts people at risk for high cholesterol. These are all risks associated with frequent potato chip eaters, so there is no need to worry when consumed in moderation. However, chips should not be in your pantry when trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

            Alternatives for savory lovers:

            Baked chips are healthier than regular potato chips. Healthier than that are unsalted pretzels and air-popped popcorn, according to HealthyEating.com.

            6. Bacon

            bacon

              I’m sorry. Someone had to say it. The world has a love affair with bacon, but it is possibly THE worst food we can eat. High in sodium and cholesterol, bacon will slowly destroy you. Let’s let the facts paint the picture. According to WebMD:

              “You probably won’t be surprised to learn that 68% of bacon’s calories come from fat, almost half of which is saturated. Each ounce of bacon contributes 30 milligrams of cholesterol”

              We all know bacon is bad for us. Maybe we didn’t know it is THIS bad. In moderation though, it is soooo worth it.

              Alternatives for bacon lovers:

              Turkey Bacon! It will never be quite as perfect and satisfying as real bacon, but Turkey bacon cooked the right way can satisfy some of those bacon cravings.

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              7. Any Deep Fried Foods

              deep fried

                I probably don’t need to do much convincing with this one. Everyone knows eating delicious fried food is about the worst choice you can make. Fried foods instantly add to calorie and fat intake. Food absorbs fat from oil while it is frying. Making fried foods a consistent part of your diet greatly increases the risk for obesity.

                Alternatives for fried food:

                Opt to bake, grill, or steam your food. Skip everything fried.

                8. Soda

                Soda

                  Drinking soda is one of those habits we form when we are eating out or seeing a movie. Having soda with a meal is an American tradition and in the moment it feels very harmless. In reality, soda is liquid sugar. There is no justifying it. Soda is not part of a healthy meal.

                  Studies have found that drinking soda consistently can cause serious healthy concerns. According to Harvard’s Public Health website, adults who drink one sugary beverage a day have a significantly greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and are more at risk of having a heart attack than their non soda-drinking peers.

                  Alternatives for soda:

                  In order to keep up a healthy lifestyle, opt for soda water (sugarless) or ice tea next time you are out at a restaurant. These are simple choices that can make a big difference.

                  9. Microwave Popcorn

                  Popcorn

                    Dr. Oz has spoken out about the harmful effects of microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn has been found to contain health concerning chemicals in the bag. That delicious buttery taste comes from chemicals called diacetyl and PFOA . Diacetyl is what makes the popcorn taste buttery and oh so delicious, while PFOA is the chemical that lines the bag. What Dr. Oz has reported is that these chemicals can cause serious health problems such as cancer and thyroid issues.

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                    Alternatives for Microwave popcorn:

                    Buy some kernals at the store and pop your own popcorn on the stove. It take just a few minutes longer than microwave popcorn, but it is healthier and still tastes delicious.

                    10. Processed Meats

                    meats

                      The meat platter is a convenient and yummy way to bless a work party or family gathering. Processed meats are a common part of our culture. They are found everywhere we turn at the grocery store. The bad news is that processed meats are one of the unhealthier foods you can eat.

                      According to Authority Nutrition, eating processed meat has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Why? One of the reasons is that chemical compounds are added to processed meats. One example is sodium nitrate, added for flavor and preservation. However, nitrate in processed meat can turn into N-nitroso compound, a cancer-causing compound, when exposed to high temperatures. It is scary to realize that this fact is not widely known. It is important to know what we are putting in our bodies.

                      Alternatives for processed meats:

                      There are many choices for alternatives, but one suggestion for packed lunches is to roast a turkey at home and cut it into sandwhich-friendly slices.

                      We all have those cravings and every once in a while, it is okay to go for it. But, if we want to live a healther life in 2016, these foods should be the first to go. Commit to choosing healthier alternatives for your favorite junk foods.

                      Image sources: doughnuts, bagels, burger, fries, chips, bacon, onion rings, soda, popcorn, meat

                      Featured photo credit: 김목화 via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                      Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                      Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

                      1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                      It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                      But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                      Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                      Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                      “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                      And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                      Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                      2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                      Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                      You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                      Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                      Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                      3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                      A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                      But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                      Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                      Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                      4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                      This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                      Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                      What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                      This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                      If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                      5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                      This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                      What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                      The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                      Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                      6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                      Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                      For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                      A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                      Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                      7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                      Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                      Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                      Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                      If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                      8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                      I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                      Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                      Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                      There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                      Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                      If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                      Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

                      More Tips About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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