Top 10 Unhealthy Things You Should Give Up For Lent


Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of the Lenten season. Traditionally, the faithful give up a vice, or just something they enjoy, for 40 days during Lent. HFR suggests using this as an opportunity to give up an unhealthy habit, and ideally to replace it with a healthy alternative. If your New Years’ Resolution hasn’t been going well, consider this a second chance!

  • Soda: Soda is crazy bad for your health but it is a notoriously hard habit to kick. Muster your willpower and hold off on the high-sugar, enhanced-aging beverage. But don’t just replace it with another sugary drink like the fruit juices they sell at the grocery store. Instead, stick to water! You’ll be amazed by how much more energy you have and how much better your skin will look.
  • Fast food: Fast food is a super villain out to destroy good health and nutrition. With soda as its partner in crime, fast food raises weight, lowers energy, and puts toxins in our bodies. It is laden with fat, sugar, salt and processed carbs. If you have to eat out, choose a healthy option. Better yet, prepare your meals at home.
  • Alcohol: There are plenty of benefits to cutting back on alcohol, from improved liver function to increased productivity and mood. Use Lent as a time to go cold-turkey and let your body completely detox. Spend the time and money you would’ve put toward drinking on other hobbies to increase personal fulfillment.
  • Nicotine: Quitting nicotine for good is no easy feat, but giving it up for forty days might just convince you to cease this deadly habit for good. Your body has an amazing reaction to ceasing smoking, including increased cardiovascular flow, more energy, and a better mood.
  • Road Rage: #^@%! Our commutes are literally killing us by stressing us out. Indulging in road rage may be cathartic in the moment, but it spikes our stress levels, which has a host of negative physiological consequences. The negative effects of stress range from hormone imbalance to raising the level of fatty acids and triglycerides in your body. If you take a deep breath, relax, and channel a meditative state of being, you will be much better off.
  • TV Binge Watching: This seemingly harmless indulgence can actually be a sign of depression and puts you at risk for obesity and other illnesses. Invest that time in something that pays better dividends: your physical health! Double down on your cardio and strength training or join a recreational sports team.
  • Processed Foods: Processed foods are full of refined sugars, carbs, and plenty of other ingredients that are low in nutritional value and can actually cause cancer. Replace all processed foods with organic alternatives.
  • Sugar: There is a common denominator to all the other unhealthy foods on this list, and that is sugar. We’ve developed an insatiable sweet tooth, but it is killing us. Remove sugars from your diet this Lent.
  • Staying up too Late: Late nights are no good, and not only because they leave us groggy and unproductive the next day. A good’s night sleep can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 80%. If you exercise, eat well, and don’t binge watch tv, then it will be easier to get the sleep you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • Procrastinating: We hope you aren’t here because you are procrastinating right now! Procrastination is bad for your health because it increases stress and anxiety as you rush to meet deadlines, or spend your day worrying about what you should be doing. Procrastination is also a bad habit that can negatively impact your health; chronic procrastinations might put off dealing with health problems because they are so used to avoiding unpleasant or challenging tasks. Get yourself in the right mindset by giving up this bad habit for Lent.

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