20 Things to Stop Doing to Stay Healthy in 2024 – AND BEYOND

20 Things To Stop Doing To Stay Healthy

Achieving optimal health involves avoiding certain behaviors that can negatively impact your well-being.

We all want to achieve optimal health and improve our lives. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to the habits we engage in on a daily basis; because what we do – or don’t do – has a major influence on how well our bodies function. To make sure you’re on the right track, here are 20 things that you should stop doing to stay healthy in 2024 – and beyond.

Keep reading for more details about how these simple modifications can have surprisingly positive effects on your quality of life.

PS: Number 10 is the single most important behavior you should stop to improve your health.

1. Don’t skip meals to stay healthy

Research shows that adults skip breakfast more than any other meal. When you skip meals, your blood sugar drops and you can end up feeling tired, irritable, and lightheaded. Not to mention, you’ll be more likely to make unhealthy choices and may even end up binge eating. If you’re worried about overeating, opt to decrease the quantity of food you eat at each meal instead.

Skipping meals reduce energy intake and negatively impacts health.

zeballos & todd, 2020

Read also: Expert Tips For A Healthy Breakfast

2. Don’t go on fad diets to minimize health risks

Is it just me, or does it seem as if there’s a new dieting strategy or technique every month? Fad diets are not only ineffective – especially in the long-term, but they can also be dangerous. Most fad diets either lack or manipulate scientific evidence to validate their claims.

Fad diet is a trendy weight-loss plan that promises dramatic results. Unfortunately, there is no magical formula. So, in 2024, instead of following the latest fad diet, focus on making small changes to your eating habits that you can stick with for the long term.

According to research, some fad diets may be effective to some extent. However, there are many health concerns particularly for those with comorbidities. More studies and analysis, particularly over a longer period are required.

tahreem et al., 2022

3. Don’t eat mindlessly to stay healthy

Eating while watching TV, working at your computer, or driving can lead to overeating and make it difficult to know how much you’re actually consuming. In 2024, pay attention to your food and how you’re feeling while you’re eating so that you can be more mindful of your intake.

Mindful eating refers to being aware of the taste, smell, texture and appearance of food, as well as paying attention to our body’s physical signals for hunger and satiety – without judgment. It is focused on the process and not the outcome.

Notably, although the objective of mindful eating is not weight loss, practitioners report improved body weight management.

Nelson, 2017

4. Don’t forget to exercise regularly for optimal health

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s often one of the first things to fall by the wayside when life gets busy. So, for 2024, schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five times per week.

Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights, or taking a yoga class, exercise not only benefits your physical health, but your mental health as well – so it’s a win-win.

There’s undeniable evidence that ‘lifelong exercise’ increases life expectancy and delays the onset of at least 40 chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

Physical activity reduces stress and anxiety, improves self-confidence and memory while increasing bone and muscle strength.

Ruegsegger & Booth, 2018; Mohammed, 2016

Read also: 11 Amazing Benefits Of Regular Physical Exercise

5. Don’t make unhealthy choices out of boredom

Although there are some benefits of boredom including creativity and productivity, it can also lead to unhealthy habits. It’s a natural impulse to reach for something that will give us a quick high, and unhealthy choices can easily fall into this category. Instead, why not use those moments of boredom constructively?

Find something that engages your mind, or that conjures up pleasant memories. Take a stroll around the block and get some fresh air – anything that gives you joy without relying on short-term fixes.

One study found that boredom was the single most significant indicator of drug and alcohol use among teenagers – perhaps due to curiosity.

Boredom also increases comfort-eating, with one study claiming that middle aged civil servants in the United Kingdom who are more likely to get bored have a 30% increased likelihood to die in the next 3 years.

bbc, 2014

6. Don’t drink too much alcohol to stay healthy

Alcohol is high in calories, and drinking too much can cause a number of health problems. Limit your intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Short-term effects of alcohol include difficulty concentrating, mood swings, increased blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.

Long-term effects of alcohol include memory loss, hepatitis, increased blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and increased likelihood of throat, mouth, larynx, breast, liver, colorectal or esophageal cancer.

amdericanaddictioncenters, 2022

Read also: 12 Expert Tips To Decrease Alcohol Consumption

7. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods

While it is important to make healthy choices most of the time, it is also important not to deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Doing so can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment, as well as overeating or binge eating later on.

Instead, find a balance that works for you – allow yourself to enjoy treats in moderation while focusing on consuming whole, nutritious foods the majority of the time.

Food deprivation increases cravings in the short-term. Notably, some studies indicate that these cravings decrease with time.

meule, 2020

8. Don’t eat processed or junk food to stay healthy

Junk food may be cheap but the consequences are costly. Processed and junk foods are often high in fats, sugars, and salt, as well as other unhealthy ingredients that can have negative effects on your health.

Instead of eating these foods, focus on consuming whole, natural foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to promote overall wellness.

By making a conscious effort to avoid processed and junk foods, you can set yourself up for long-term success.

Short-term consequences of junk foodLong-term consequences of junk food
TirednessTooth decay
Poor concentrationPoor bowel movements
Poor appetiteIncreased inflammation & blood sugar
Health consequences of junk food

Poor diet affects mental health and resilience. In fact, during adolescence, diet has been shown to directly alter the major neurotransmitter systems.

reichelt & rank, 2017
20 Things To Stop Doing To Stay Healthy
“If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.” – Sally Edwards

9. Don’t drink sugary beverages

Sugary beverages like soda, energy drinks, and fruit juice are packed with calories and have little to no nutritional value.

Instead of drinking these unhealthy beverages, opt for water or herbal teas to stay hydrated while also avoiding excess sugar intake.

Not only does too much sugar cause chronic, internal inflammation, it also causes oxidative stress which decreases cellular function and repair.

(Markham Integrative Medicine, 2018)

Read also: 8 Tips To Decrease Your Sugar Intake Without Depriving Yourself

10. Don’t smoke cigarettes to stay healthy

Smoking is one of the worst habits you can have, as it can lead to a number of negative health outcomes such as lung cancer and heart disease.

If you are struggling with nicotine dependence, be sure to check out this post where I discuss the top tips to quit smoking. Read: 9 Top Tips To Quit Smoking Right Now. Quitting smoking is the single most important lifestyle change that you can make in 2024.

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and results in nearly one in five deaths each year. 

CDC, 2021

11. Don’t forget to take care of yourself

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important to make time for self-care. Whether it is through meditation, exercise, or simply making time for hobbies and socializing with friends, taking care of your mental and physical health is essential.

When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of those around you.

A survey of 2000 persons showed that 71% were dissatisfied with their overall health.

swns, 2019

Read also: Why Is Self-Care Important? + Top Tips To Prioritize It

12.Don’t use carbonated beverages

Carbonated beverages may seem like a tasty treat, but they should be avoided. Carbonated drinks contain large amounts of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other unhealthy ingredients that can lead to serious health problems.

Consuming too much carbonated drinks can increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, as well as high blood pressure. High consumption of carbonated beverages also increases your risk for kidney stones and gout, which are very painful conditions that can have lifelong repercussions. All in all, it is always advised to not use carbonated beverages due their lack of nutritional value and potential to do more harm than good.

Research shows that carbonated beverages principally affect the upper gastrointestinal system (mouth, esophagus, stomach) causing tooth erosion and acid reflux.

cuomo et al., 2009

13. Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle

In addition to sitting for long periods of time, leading a sedentary lifestyle can also have negative effects on your health. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to a number of health problems, such as heart disease and obesity. Instead, make sure to take a break every 30 minutes or so to move around and get your blood flowing.

According to research, not only does physical activity decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer and depression, but it also boosts academic performance and longevity.

tuso, 2015

Read also: 16 Expert Tips To Be More Active & Quit That Sedentary Lifestyle

"When you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can't stimulate in a sedentary position." - Twyla Tharp
“When you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can’t stimulate in a sedentary position.” – Twyla Tharp

14. Don’t eat late at night to stay healthy

Eating late at night can lead to weight gain and disrupt your sleep schedule. Instead, try to eat your last meal of the day a few hours before you go to bed.

This will give your body time to digest the food and help you avoid any unwanted weight gain. By making this small change to your diet, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Nighttime eating, especially before bed, increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. However, if you must have that night-time snack, make sure that it is small, nutrient-dense, a single macro-nutrient and/or low energy.

kinsey & ormsbee, 2015

15. Don’t forget to get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining your mental and physical health. Without adequate rest, you are more likely to experience mood swings, irritability, and decreased energy levels.

To improve your sleep habits, try making a few lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine and electronic screens before bed. By prioritizing your sleep, you can help ensure that you are well-rested and able to live a healthy, balanced life.

Adequate sleep improves overall health, and reduces the risk of getting chronic conditions like heart diseases and diabetes.

Nagai et al., 2010

16. Don’t forget to set boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s saying “no” to things that don’t align with your personal values, setting limits on the amount of time you spend working, or taking a day off from social media, having clear boundaries can help you stay balanced and focused.

Remember that it is OK to put yourself first, and that you deserve to live a life that is in alignment with your own needs and wants.

Although the increasing trend to work-from-home does have numerous benefits, it does make it even more challenging to establish boundaries between work and family life.

Employees who do not have established boundaries are at an increased risk for poor sleep, inadequate nutrition, and lack of relaxation.

plutt & wonders, 2020

17. Don’t forget that YOU are in control of YOUR life

You are the only one who can decide what’s best for you. No one else knows what you need or what will make you happy – only you do.

Trust yourself to make the right choices for your life. When you take control of your life, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Focus on solutions not excuses.

Choose an outcome, evaluate the means to get there, select a course of action, then evaluate and modify as needed.

van Woerkom & Meyers (2019)

Read also: 9 Simple Steps To Be A Better You

18. Don’t forget to live in the present moment

The present moment is all we ever have, so it’s important to focus on living in the here and now. When you are fully present, you can appreciate the beauty of life and connect with those around you.

To stay present, try to limit distractions such as your phone or social media, and take time to focus on your breath. By living in the present moment, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Persons spend most of their time focusing on the past or the future – instead of the present. However, focusing on the present has been shown to improve life-satisfaction and decrease negative ponder.

Notably, cultivating positive feelings will increase your chances of focusing on the present.

felsman et al., 2017

19. Don’t give up on your health goals

Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes time and commitment. If you stumble along the way, don’t let it discourage you – just get right back on track and keep working towards your goals. With determination and patience, you can create a lifestyle that is both happy and healthy.

20 Things To Stop Doing To Stay Healthy
“Winners are not people who never fail. They are people who never quit.” – Unknown

20. Don’t forget that YOU are worth it

You deserve to live a happy and healthy life. No one is perfect, but you are worthy of love and care, regardless of your flaws or mistakes.

Remember that you are a valuable and important person, and always do your best to take care of yourself. When you value yourself, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Final words on things to stop doing to stay healthy in 2024

Overall, it’s crucial to remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes time, effort, commitment – and SACRIFICE. However, it’s worth it to live a happy and healthy life. By avoiding these habits/behavior, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Related topics
What are the five most unhealthy behaviors that I should consider quitting?

Unhealthy behaviors can lead to serious consequences such as an increased risk of disease, depression, anxiety, or even death. If you’re unsure what habits should be avoided then this post is for you! Here we will provide an overview of the five most unhealthy behaviors and discuss how they could negatively affect your life.

By understanding the risks associated with certain activities, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to live a healthier lifestyle. So if you’re ready for some true self-reflection—and maybe the willingness to change—continue reading and find out which bad habits might be holding you back from living a healthier life. Read more

How can I live a more meaningful life?

Are you looking to add more meaning to your life? You don’t need to abandon everything and make some drastic change overnight in order to do this – even the smallest changes can have a big impact. In this blog post, we’ll discuss different aspects of daily life that can be altered in order to create a more meaningful existence. Read more


Abou Elmagd, Mohammed. (2016). Benefits, need and importance of daily exercise. International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health. 22. 22-27.

AmericanAddictionCenters (2022) Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

BBC (2014) Psychology: Why boredom is bad… and good for you

CDC (2021) Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

Cuomo R, Sarnelli G, Savarese MF, Buyckx M. Carbonated beverages and gastrointestinal system: between myth and reality. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Dec;19(10):683-9.

Felsman P, Verduyn P, Ayduk O, Kross E. Being present: Focusing on the present predicts improvements in life satisfaction but not happiness. Emotion. 2017 Oct;17(7):1047-1051.

Kinsey AW, Ormsbee MJ. The health impact of nighttime eating: old and new perspectives. Nutrients. 2015 Apr 9;7(4):2648-62. 

Markham Integrative Medicine (2018) How Sugar Fuels Oxidative Stress. 

Meule A. The Psychology of Food Cravings: the Role of Food Deprivation. Curr Nutr Rep. 2020 Sep;9(3):251-257.

Nagai M, Hoshide S, Kario K. Sleep duration as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease- a review of the recent literature. Curr Cardiol Rev. 2010 Feb;6(1):54-61.

Nelson JB. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes Spectr. 2017 Aug;30(3):171-174.

Pluut H, Wonders J. Not Able to Lead a Healthy Life When You Need It the Most: Dual Role of Lifestyle Behaviors in the Association of Blurred Work-Life Boundaries With Well-Being. Front Psychol. 2020 Dec 23;11:607294.

Reichelt AC, Rank MM. The impact of junk foods on the adolescent brain. Birth Defects Res. 2017 Dec 1;109(20):1649-1658. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1173. PMID: 29251841.

Ruegsegger GN, Booth FW. Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Jul 2;8(7):a029694. 

SWNS (2019) Why the majority of Americans don’t have time to take care of themselves. Available here.

Tahreem A, Rakha A, Rabail R, Nazir A, Socol CT, Maerescu CM, Aadil RM. Fad Diets: Facts and Fiction. Front Nutr. 2022 Jul 5;9:960922. 

Tuso P. Strategies to Increase Physical Activity. Perm J. 2015 Fall;19(4):84-8. doi: 10.7812/TPP/14-242. PMID: 26517440; PMCID: PMC4626000.

van Woerkom, M. and Meyers, M.C. (2019), Strengthening personal growth: The effects of a strengths intervention on personal growth initiative. J Occup Organ Psychol, 92: 98-121. 

Zeballos E, Todd JE. The effects of skipping a meal on daily energy intake and diet quality. Public Health Nutr. 2020 Dec;23(18):3346-3355.

Share On:

Related articles

Together we'll navigate our way to a healthier, more fulfilled life... One SOLUTION at a TIME.

Content Creator

My Personal Favorites
My Wellness Shop


This website is a participant in the Amazon services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Take a 2-min Quiz