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We don’t need a nutritionist to tell us that prescribing to a diet of just cheeseburgers, donuts, and pizza is unhealthy. But, we are curious as to the other, more inconspicuous eating and lifestyle habits that can unknowingly derail our health and wellness goals. For example, how do lifestyle factors like sleep, hydration, and meal times actually impact our diets and overall health?
For some much-needed insight, we tapped Serena Poon, a leading chef, nutritionist, reiki master, and founder of the Culinary Alchemy eating method, which combines education, integrative and functional nutrition, and healing energy. Below, find the seven worst things you can do for your diet, in Serena’s professional opinion.
1. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Serena immediately confirmed that sleep plays a heavy-handed role in our diets. First and foremost, a lack of sleep can disrupt your digestion. “After one night you might just feel discomfort and crave comfort foods, but if you aren’t getting about eight hours of sleep on a regular basis, it could lead to bigger problems,” she explains. “A long-term disruption in your digestion could lead to inflammation and chronic disease.”
2. NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
“Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of a creating a healthy lifestyle,” notes Serena. “Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and our systems, especially our kidneys, need water to operate properly.” She adds that hydration can also distort our hunger cues. “Sometimes, you might think you’re hungry, when all you really need is a big glass of water.”