It seems like every other week there's a new workout craze or wellness trend that promises to help you become your best and healthiest self — and not only can that be totally exhausting to keep up with, it might actually be completely ineffective. With the industry booming more than ever, it can be tempting to try anything and everything to reach your desired goals. But according to the experts, you could be doing a few things that are actually sabotaging your workouts before you even set foot in the gym. Thankfully, by knowing which key fitness habits to break now, you can easily get back on track.
Just like in the fashion world, fitness trends come and go. One day spin classes are the best way to incorporate cardio into your routine, and the next it's all about HIIT workouts. And the same goes for some lifestyle habits. From post-workout drinks to paleo diets, you're probably inundated with ideas about what to eat, drink, and do for so-called clean living. That's where it's helpful to hear what's legit and what's not from the professionals.
As the celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak for a laundry list of stars including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian — oh, and you've probably seen him pop up on Khloé's Revenge Body series as well — he's made transforming bodies from the inside out his business, and therefore he knows that being your healthiest self starts well before you walk into your workout. In fact, he just launched his first lifestyle product, sweetkick, aimed to "change sugar-steeped eating habits" by way of a 14-day reset, sugar-control mints, and body balance powder.
While he's definitely got some opinions on keeping the sweet stuff out of your diet (more on that ahead), Pasternak's also got a few other notes about things that are probably holding you back from having an even more effective fitness regimen. Read on to see all his tips on which habits to kick now — and for good.
Being Unaware Of Hidden Sugars
Too much sugar can cause a lot of different health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure — not to mention the inevitable energy crash — but just because you're not downing ice cream sandwiches and soft drinks all day doesn't mean you're in the clear. "From ketchup to granola bars to almond milk and fruit juices, there is sugar everywhere in our foods," Pasternak explains.
But the trainer is careful to note that you don't need to say goodbye to sugar forever. "The goal here is never about elimination of sugars altogether but rather the challenge to get back to neutral and take back control of those pesky daily cravings," he says.
Giving Into The Juicing Trend
You've heard the hype about celery juice — not to mention juice-only cleanses — but Pasternak is making it clear that not only might there be a ton of myths around the trend, but too much juicing could also be potentially un-healthy. "Juice is incredibly low in nutrients and, if derived from a fruit, incredibly high in sugar," he says. "The act of pressing the water out of a fruit or vegetable leaves behind all of the healthy fiber and most of the micro-nutrients that mother nature made them with." His solution? Blending your fruits and veggies with the edible skin on for a smoothie or soup that's more nutritionally beneficial.
Not Taking A Break
You've probably heard the phrase "no pain, no gain" a lot when it comes to fitness, but overdoing it with intensive, cardio-heavy workouts is actually not to your benefit, as it could lead to injury. Instead, he suggests incorporating more walking into your regime. "If I have a meeting with people, we walk and talk," he offers. "If I have a phone call to make, I put my earpiece in and get my steps in. Not only is walking easy to do for people of all ages and all fitness levels, but it doesn’t require any special equipment or clothing."
Not Getting Quality Sleep
Pasternak explains that even if you're clocking in seven to eight hours of sleep, you may find yourself still groggy and easily exhausted — therefore finding less motivation and energy to get in your fitness. And the reason for this just might be your exposure to technology. "In the moments before we go to bed, scrolling through our phone, iPad, or laptop expose us to blue light that tells our brain it’s daytime," he explains. "Also, watching upsetting news on your phone or too much social media can add additional sleep obstacles." As a solution, he suggests powering down at least an hour before bed, and leave the Instagram story watching and emailing for tomorrow.