If you are trying to lose weight but are watching the scale climb instead of drop, you may want to reconsider some of your life choices. You probably have a tonne of unhealthy habits that you do every day that are causing you to actually gain weight instead of lose it. These daily behaviours and choices that keep you out of that tight-fitted dress are, however, easy to change once you recognize what they are. Consider these Top 10 habits to kick to help you lose those pesky pounds and get you into your favourite skinny jeans again.
1. Diet Food Overdose
When you want to lose weight there is no better way to do it then exercise and natural, wholesome healthy foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Many people who start a diet focus on expensive diet foods, sugar substitutes, diet sodas and other calorie-reduced items that will not help you lose weight long-term. In fact, studies show that diet foods may even make it more difficult to reduce cravings for sweets.
2. Emotional Eating
This is a big one for anyone looking to lose weight. Chances are, if you are having a problem slimming your waist, it's because you are an emotional eater – a person who overeats when they are bored or has had a stressful day. To fight emotional eating, you have to get into the right mind - the mind of eating only when you are hungry. Before you rush to the fridge to soothe your feelings, stop and think about what you are doing. Think about how you are feeling and ask yourself if you are indeed truly hungry. When you do this you will soon train your body to eat only when it's hungry and you will be able to gain some self-control.
A lot of people try to hide the fact that they want to lose weight or that they are trying out a new diet. But you must ask for support if you are truly going to succeed. Find yourself a diet buddy who will help you reach your goals. One study from Brown University found that those who had a friend to diet with lost a lot more weight compared to those who attempted a diet alone. If you don't have any friends willing to help out, you can use online weight loss support groups.
4. It Takes Time
Most of us want to lose 20 pounds yesterday. If you are looking for results too quickly you will set yourself up for failure. I mean, you likely didn't gain 20 pounds in a week so you shouldn't expect to lose them in a week. Weight loss is a long and sometimes slow process. Instead of looking for results on a daily basis, focus instead on living a healthy lifestyle and focus on the long-term results.
One of the worst habits when it comes to over eating is doing anything else at the same time you are eating. In fact, there is a lot of research that shows those who watch television or use their computers while eating are more likely to be overweight or obese. Those who watch television and eat can consume 20 to 100 per cent more calories compared to those who eat without distractions. That's because when the brain is distracted, it takes more calories to get the same level of satisfaction.
6. Eating Out
Research shows that those who eat out two or more times a week are more likely to gain more weight per year compared to those who eat at home. So try and save restaurant dining for special occasions. If you have to eat out try to watch your calorie intake by reading the menu and nutrition information.
7. Drinking Your Calories
Sugary beverages, such as sodas, fruit drinks and flavoured waters are linked to increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers because they can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels that are metabolically damaging. And because liquids are less filling than eating real food, it may lead to over-consumption of calories.
This may be one of the easiest habits to break to help you lose weight. Get your sleep. Not getting enough zzzzzs is linked to excess weight and obesity because being tired negatively impacts areas of the brain that help us make informed, healthy choices. In fact, one study found that adults who were subjected to only five hours of sleep for five days ate about 6 per cent more in daily calories and consumed a larger proportion of calories from snacks at night. Most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
9. Over Spending
When you put yourself into debt it can have serious health consequences. In fact, some research has found that financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles and weight gain or loss. When you get yourself out of debt it can be like losing weight and it will help get you feeling better about yourself, which will mean you will take better care of yourself. You will be able to sleep better, stop overeating and just simply feel better mentally and physically.
We all know by now that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many of us still skip it, which can have serious consequences for your weight, energy levels and blood sugar. When you eat a healthy breakfast it signals to your metabolism that it's time to kick things up a notch. When you skip it, it keeps your metabolism running on low, which can lead to weight gain and sluggishness. You will also find yourself so hungry later in the day that you will overeat.