5 Health Habits It's Okay To Skip
3. Popping a daily multivitamin.
If you already have a healthy diet, pat yourself on the back and save your
money by skipping multivitamins. There's no evidence to show that they help (or
hurt) us, according to the National Institutes of Health. And if you aren't
eating right, experts say it's a mistake to rely on vitamins to fill the major
nutritional gaps, because they don't provide the vast benefits you get from
whole foods, which contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and much more. Already in
the habit? It's fine to finish up that bottle of vitamins, but there's no
reason to buy another.
4. Staying indoors when it's cold outside.
Going out in the cold won't actually give you a cold -- unless you're
camping out in a blizzard for days at a time. (Ditto for going outside with wet
hair.) "This is an old wives' tale that probably originated because we do
tend to get more colds during the winter months," says Katz. "But the
problem is the air inside, which becomes more germ-laden when we aren't
opening windows and letting fresh air in." One caveat: If you're cold
enough to be shivering, go in and warm up. Shivering is a sign that your body
is stressed because your core temperature has dropped, which can make you more
vulnerable to viruses.
5. Never eating after 7 p.m.
We've all got that friend who shed pounds just by cutting out her
after-dinner snacking and now swears by the 7 p.m. rule. But "it's a myth
that your metabolism slows down at night," says Tara Gidus, R.D., a
spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. The real secret to your
friend's weight loss was ditching the pint of ice cream she used to dive into
on top of a full day's worth of calories. Gidus suggests eating a 100- to
150-calorie snack, such as an apple or a handful of almonds, to keep your blood
sugar stable overnight. Which means you might not wake up very hungry -- so go
ahead and skip breakfast. Just don't tell Mom.
Originally published on October 11, 2008
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