Four Dangers to Long-Term Health


Let me start with a simple encouragement: You are crushing it. Seriously. Your time is valuable, and you are using it to better understand how to increase your health by reading this article. You and I have a ton in common right now because we have a shared interest: your health. You’re worth it. I know it.

Now, I will be the first to admit I’ve struggled with and felt the consequences of what I thought were solutions to my health problems, which actually proved to be more dangerous than helpful. I’ve identified these four problems and provided solutions. And I believe that if you commit to fixing ONE of them in the next 60 days, you will likely see the other three drastically improve like a domino effect.

Danger #1: under-eating for weight loss

In theory, this idea seems to make sense. If you’re unhappy with your weight you’re likely connecting your unhappiness to overeating. So, the logical solution appears to be eating less. But, simply eating less will drain you of energy. This lack of energy typically leads Binge eating and regret, causing you to go deeper and deeper into the problem.

Solution: Instead of under-eating, try eating more whole foods (as opposed to processed foods). It is nearly impossible to overeat vegetables so try adding in a few servings per meal. Nutrient rich foods will help you feel full, while also helping your body’s processing, which will assist in weight loss. As nutrients increase, so will your energy, mood, and ability to stay consistent to your plan.

Danger #2: over-eating for comfort

This is a tough one. The psychology of eating for comfort typically goes like this:

Something went wrong ⇒ Food will fix it ⇒ I don’t feel good about myself now ⇒ Something went wrong, and I don’t feel good about myself ⇒ Food will fix it ⇒ Repeat.

By giving in to temptation, we create other issues that hurt our health, bodies, and confidence and can take a great deal of work to reverse.

Solution: Ask yourself, “Does this choice value me or hurt me?” If you want fast food decide to make the same item at home or replace it with a better substitute. Maybe you want a soda. Replace it with a soda substitute like Zevia or a flavored amino acid supplement (BCAAs). Maybe you want ice cream. Try a lower calorie version like Halo Top or substitute a homemade smoothie with fruits and a vanilla or chocolate protein powder. Adding work and thought to the act can break the desire to complete the act, then provide perspective to the situation that helps you to stay the course.

Danger #3: Getting insufficient sleep

According to Dr. Mathew Walker, author of the book Why We Sleep, insufficient sleep may be directly tied to weight gain, stress, and risk of diabetes.

In the book, Walker cites a study which took healthy people with no existing signs of diabetes or blood sugar issues and subjected them to sleep tests. Here’s an excerpt about the study and its results:

“Participants were limited to sleeping four hours a night for six nights. By the end of the week, they appeared to have pre-diabetes when challenged with a standard dose of glucose. In other words, lack of sleep – by itself! – moved a group of healthy people into the pre-diabetes range within six days.”

You need sleep. This isn’t optional—it’s necessary for health, as proven by other studies replicated in labs across the world.

Solution: Instead of looking to get “just enough” sleep, set a strict sleep time for two weeks (my recommended minimum is 6 hours a night). During this time, measure on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how you feel 5-10 minutes after waking up. Consistency is essential with sleep. If you consistently hit 6 hours a night that’s a great start! After two weeks, add 30 minutes and try to get 6.5 hours of sleep. Make it a game. How high can you score on your scale the next morning? See if you can get a 10!

Danger #4: Dreading your workouts

As a coach, this is the statement I hear the most in our new member consultations: “I used to be in great shape, but then I just stopped going to the gym.” How many things you love doing that you’ve given up in the last two years? Probably not many. One of the most ineffective things you can do is something you don’t enjoy. Don’t love the elliptical? Then you probably won’t be on it at 6 a.m. in two years. Haven’t enjoyed your training program this year? Then it doesn’t really matter how effective it is because you won’t motivate yourself to show up. Working out is a habit that consumes a lot of time and energy. If you dread it, sooner or later it will be replaced by a habit that goes in the opposite direction of your long-term health.

Solution: Find a program that works for you! At South Landing, this is exactly why we offer many different options to our members. Struggle to stay motivated? Group training will keep you motivated and consistent while working alongside others in pursuit of your goals. New to training and don’t feel comfortable in a group? We do personal training with men and women every day who are absolutely crushing their goals in an environment that matches their comfort level.


 Aren’t sure where to start?  Come and sit down for a free one-on-one consultation where we help you figure out what direction you should go.