All the tips and tricks needed to shape up for 2013. Each day brings new, expert advice on how to look your best and live life to the fullest, while having a little fun doing it.
We're not going to lecture you about quitting smoking or giving up alcohol. We're not perfect and we're certainly not teetotalers. And while these vices may not be life-threatening, that doesn't mean they're not complicating your life. Here's what you need to know about beating (or at least getting a handle on) some of your guilty pleasures.
|Too Much?||The Problem||The Plan|
|Sugar||According to the AHA, a man should limit his added sugar to 150 calories (about 9 tsp) a day.||Sweets are a treat—literally. They release dopamine in the brain, which is why you'll always want more.||Swap out the empty calories for healthier alternatives like dark chocolate or fruit. Within two weeks, your tastebuds adjust to the reduced sweetness.|
|Late-Night Eats||There's a big difference between reducing a nighttime low-blood-sugar wave and mindless munching while watching TV or downing 7-11 fare after a long night out.||Fatty, spicy foods make it harder to fall asleep. Not to mention, lying in bed won't burn many calories. Plus, it throws off the natural eat/fast schedule that helps you efficiently process food.||If you've got genuine hunger pangs, nutritionist Alan Aragon suggests an apple and peanut butter or cheese, some yogurt and berries or a small bowl of cereal.|
|Masturbation||When it begins interfering with your work, sleep or social life. Or if you're using it in place of actual sex with another person.||As a stress reliever, it releases dopamine, which is why it's addicting. And too much can result in skin damage or worse: Premature ejaculation.||Sex, if you can get it. If not, work out. Exercise releases mood-lifting endorphins, and studies show men who work out have better sex.|
|Diet Soda||Health experts say that any more than two glasses a day is troubling.||Soda isn't great for your teeth or your kidneys, and the artificial sweeteners have been linked to everything from weight gain to depression.||Cut your intake by 25% for two weeks. Then by another 25% for two weeks, and so on. Replace the missing soda with sparkling water or iced tea.|
|Biting Your Nails||If you're over 18 and you're regularly gnawing at your nails, it's too much.||Chewed up nails and bloody cuticles lead to sores and leaves you at risk for infection. And according to the ADA, it can damage your teeth's enamel and alignment.||Keep nails trimmed short or get a professional manicure. When you spend cash on your nails, you're less inclined to bite. Or coat nails in the bitter agent Bite Free.|
According to a study by the University College London, it takes at least 66 days to break or form new long-term habits.