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In a society that values appearances, it’s hardly surprising that most of us are predisposed to want to look our best. After all, we face images of beautiful people in the media every day, and you could even argue that personal confidence is key to wellness. The trouble is that, for more people than would even admit, this quest to always look the best is often pursued at the high cost of other crucial health-based factors.

This is a significant problem, and it’sno way to keep us happy in the long run. The question is, how exactly can looks-based pursuits do health-based damage, and how can you avoid that risk?

The damage of crash diets

While diets aren’t bad in themselves, crash diets, or at least those that limit nutritional intake in some way, can take a health toll, and don’t even do a great deal from a looks perspective (only 5% of people keep weight off after a crash diet). The pressure that these negative eating trends have on bodies, which are left to function without half of the nutrients that they need, can be severe and include everything from low energy levels to more serious issues like high blood pressure. To overcome this, diets should always be approached with balance in mind, and a focus on food groups like superfoods, which can still help us to lose weight, but in a far more nutritional way.

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The curse of high heels

Thought to be worn by 72% of women at some stage, high heels are a sure way to make a fashion statement. Unfortunately, they’ve also been linked to everything from hip and knee issues to the bunions that you can click here to learn more about. Perhaps most worryingly, the ongoing wearing of high heels has also been linked to often irreversible damage in the leg tendons. Proper shoe fitting is a key element for at least reducing these risks, but for the sake of ongoing leg and foot health, women should also think about at least alternating high heels with equally-stylish flats which enable much-needed recovery periods and foot support throughout the week.

The mental toll of comparison

Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest make it possible to save things like fashion inspiration, makeup tutorials, and basic outfit ideas that many of us believe help to perfect our looks. In reality, though, studies are continually discovering links between social media and mental illness. Far from making us feel better about ourselves, edited and often unattainable inspiration on these platforms can especially leave us feeling inadequate and lowl. To avoid this, professionals are continually highlighting the need to curate a more positive, less edited feed. While this can still provide plenty of inspiration, it significantly helps to avoid that unattainable image that may cause severe and ongoing negative feelings. 

Loving how we look is crucial for wellness right now, and taking steps to look our best is a great way to make that possible. But, ask yourself, are you harming your health on this quest in the ways mentioned here? 

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