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How your guilty pleasure is hurting your health

What’s your guilty pleasure? Here, we look at women’s top guilty pleasures, how they’re harmful to your health and tips to overcoming them.

Woman watching reality tv


What’s your guilty pleasure? Here, we look at women’s top guilty pleasures, how they’re harmful to your health and tips to overcoming them.

Guilty pleasures are something we engage in even though we know it’s not necessarily doing us any good. Some guilty pleasures are completely innocent — such as my personal favorite of taking a bubble bath every night with a glass of wine — whereas others, like smoking, are a little more harmful. Whatever yours is, we all have them. We asked our readers to reveal their top guilty pleasure then asked a health expert to chime in on the dangers of these pleasures. The results are in!

The top two guilty pleasures are junk food and reality TV!

Women tend to love to indulge in two things — junk food and reality television! Both are done at night after a long day of working and juggling kids. Everyone is finally in bed and you decide to engage in an episode of Real Housewives with a tub of ice cream. Sound familiar? We’ve all done it — some more than others — but how bad is it really for us? Tina Paymaster, a certified Health and Lifestyle coach, weighs in.

Junk food and your health

Tina on junk food: Junk food is void of vital nutrients that our body needs to perform everyday functions, protect our immune system and even regulate our moods. Junk food and fast foods are highly processed and full of harmful chemicals that can lead to a myriad of health conditions, from asthma to diabetes to cancer. The food industry formulates much of this food to hit what’s called the ‘bliss points’ in our brain so we crave these foods and often find it difficult to stop eating them.

Overcoming junk food addictions

Tina Paymaster

Tina Paymaster

Tina’s tips

  • Start adding more veggies and fruits to your meals and snacks. By introducing more food instead of feeling like you’re being deprived, your body will begin to naturally crave the healthier choices. In addition, if you start your meals with a salad or vegetable soup, you won’t feel the need to eat as much of the main meal as you will get filled up quicker.
  • When you’re craving something bad, drink a glass of water first. We often misunderstand thirst for hunger.
  • If you have cravings for sweets, it could be because you’re eating too much salty food or not eating enough protein. Introduce more healthy proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, greens and lean proteins into your meals and sweeter foods such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and fruits.

How to tackle a sweet tooth >>

Reality TV and your health

Tina on reality TV: Reality TV can be a guilty pleasure that hurts your health if you take it as reality. Most reality TV shows have a certain amount of scripting and are edited to make the people in the shows seem like they’re living the dream life. That is not reality. The people you’re watching do indeed go through hardships and less than glamorous moments. They have tons of makeup artists, personal trainers, nutritionists and stylists to make them look the way they do. Plus, the shows are edited and edited to create the perfect vision of their life.

Overcoming reality TV addictions

Tina’s tips

It’s important to watch these shows with a grain of salt (if you watch them at all) and take them as pure entertainment. When you start comparing your life to what you see on TV, you will constantly be disappointed and feel like you’re never living the life you want. Instead, step away from the TV and write down your biggest dreams and desires and do things to make them happen. Live the life that YOU want, not the one that you see on TV and be proactive in making it an amazing reality.

More women’s health

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10 Unbelievable body facts from Mary Roach

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