Trying to achieve health perfection can lead to high levels of stress and guilt when we do ‘slip up.’ When these haunting habits arise, instead of giving in to a full-blown binge, just take a deep breath and forgive yourself. Whether your guilty pleasures are partying, tanning, smoking, or eating too much pie, don’t stress, just stop before it’s too late. The detrimental side effects of these habits can be reversed if they are caught quickly enough!
Whether you partied too hard last night or ten years ago in college, your liver can be saved. Dr. Tram Tan, M.D., medical director of liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, claims that your liver can naturally restore itself within a few months to a couple of years. To speed up the process you can eat well (load up on fruits, veggies, and fiber-filled whole grains), exercise regularly, sustain a healthy BMI, and get a hepatitis B vaccine to protect your weakened immune system. For you coffee drinkers, you’re in luck! Four cups of coffee daily reduces the risk for alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver by 75 percent!
Fake n’ Bake
You insisted on having a summer glow year round (and forgot about the great health benefits of sunless tanning lotions and bronzers!) and hit the tanning beds regularly. Now, you worry about the 74 percent increase in your risk for melanoma and signs of premature aging. First off, make sure you put on a SPF 30 sunscreen daily, even if the sun isn’t out! Then, try a dual-wavelength laser like the Fraxel Re:store Dual to get younger looking skin. Additionally, these lasers may zap away precancerous cells, according to Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Boston. For all you chocolate lovers, now you’re in luck! The antioxidants found in cocoa soak up free radicals which limits UV-ray damage from your previous tanning escapades. Treat yourself to 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate (60 percent or more cocoa) each day.
Smokey the Bear
Your smoking habit is reversible! In fact, within 20 minutes of putting down a cigarette, carbon monoxide starts leaving your system and your blood vessels begin to revive themselves. Stop future damage (after quitting) by noshing on 12 servings of leafy greens monthly. Their phytochemicals may reduce your chances of lung tumors and cancer. Then, get a flu shot, avoid second hand smoke, and keep your car windows up when you’re behind a smelly truck because your lungs are more vulnerable to future damage than never-smokers.
Junk Food Junky
The munchies have gotten the best of you recently and your worried about your waistline and cholesterol. Today, swap out the trans, saturated, and refined fats in your diet for healthy fats. Stock up on olive oil, avocados, salmon, and walnuts which all help lower levels of the LDL (bad) cholesterol. These types of foods also help you feel fuller longer preventing binge eating later in the day. Then, get a good nights sleep! The less sleep you get, the more confused your hunger hormones get and the harder it is for you to pass on the french fries and milkshakes.