10 Bad Health Habits You Can Break

No matter how long you've been living with unhealthy habits, it's not too late to reverse course. Whether it's smoking, drinking, over-eating or something else, learn how to start living a happier, healthier life.

By Sarí Harrar and Debra Gordon

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1. Eating Too Much Fast Food

Why It's Dangerous
: A steady diet of double cheeseburgers and fries washed down with an oversize soft drink often leads to a bigger waistline and other related health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. Trans fat, often found in fast food, raises 'bad' cholesterol and blood fats that contribute to hardening of the arteries, as well as firing up inflammation, which contributes to the build-up of fatty plaque in artery walls.

Why You Should Stop: The health benefits of switching to a healthy diet are immediate and substantial. Making a permanent lifestyle change isn't easy. Fast food is super-convenient, surprisingly inexpensive, and thanks to all its fat, salt, and sugar, undeniably tasty. Healthy eating takes more time and thought, but it's worth it. In addition to losing extra weight, slimming your waistline and protecting yourself from heart disease and diabetes, you'll save money if you prepare your own meals instead of eating out. 



How To Reverse the Habit:

  1. Wean yourself off slowly: Cut back a little per week and buy a little less each time you go.
  2. Switch to healthier menu options: Replace pop with coffee or water, burgers with grilled chicken, and fries with a salad.
  3. End impulse visits: Avoid popping into a fast food joint just because you walked or drove by one, especially if you're not hungry or it isn't meal time. 
  4. Switch to grocery stores: Hungry and need a fast meal? You can usually find healthy prepared meals at your local grocery store.
  5. Try a local sandwich shop: Walk into one and order a turkey on whole-wheat with a salad on the side.


(Photo: Thinkstock)

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