Do you feel like you’re doing everything right when it comes to diet and exercise, but the pounds continue to stubbornly hang on, or worse, that number on the scale keeps growing higher? You might be unknowingly making yourself fat.
By becoming aware of your “get fat” habits, you can quickly turn these into good habits that can help slim you down.
Eating low fat foods
Bad habit: Many people are still under the impression that low or no fat is the best way to go. Most foods that are labeled fat free or low-fat may have a few less calories, but the fat is replaced with sugar and toxic substances that are much worse than fat.
These foods digest quicker and will leave you with a sugar crash that ultimately increases the appetite for more. Eating fat does not necessarily make you fat. Consuming chemicals and other toxins can cause the body to store additional fat that it uses to protect its organs.
Good habit: Instead of aiming for low fat foods, choose whole, fresh foods from the earth. Consuming items that contain healthy fats, like nuts and seeds, coconut oil and wild-caught salmon, will help keep blood sugar under control, prevent cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Bad habit: People who don’t eat breakfast are 4 ½ times more likely to be obese than those who do. Not eating your morning meal will cause your metabolism to slow down and increase the chances that you’ll turn to an unhealthy snack when those hunger pangs suddenly hit.
Good habit: Rev up your metabolism by eating a breakfast that contains healthy fats, some protein and powerful antioxidants derived from fresh fruits. Breakfast smoothies are an easy way to accomplish this. Combining coconut milk with fresh, organic berries and a handful of hemp seeds will get your day off to a great start.
Watching TV while you eat
Bad habit: Mindless eating and TV watching. Research has found that people who eat while watching television typically eat considerably more than they normally would. Because you’re distracted, you’re not fully concentrating on what you’re doing, making it easy to overeat.
Good habit: If you really want to snack while watching your favorite show, eat sliced veggies or frozen grapes. Ideally, you should use the time to squeeze in a bit more physical activity, such as doing a household chore or even riding an exercise bike.
Not sleeping enough
Bad habit: Foregoing your sleep time for something else. If you do this on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that a lack of sleep is causing you to gain weight, or prevent you from losing pounds despite your best efforts.
Research has shown that not getting proper shut-eye modifies the body’s secretion of hormones that govern eating and can alter eating habits. Dieters who sleep five hours or less have been found to put on 2 ½ times more belly fat as compared to those who get eight hours a night.
Good habit: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, consider practicing meditation or deep-breathing exercises before bed and also turning off electronics one hour before you plan to sleep.
Your friends are overweight
Bad habit: If many of your friends are overweight, the chances of you becoming obese or overweight increase as much as 57%, according to a 2007 Framingham Heart Study. This is because people within a social network frequently engage in health-impacting behaviors together, like going to lunch and dining on fried or processed foods or going to a party and indulging in too much wine and cheese.
Good habit: Instead of going out to eat, plan other social activities such as going for a walk or a hike together. Find ways to burn calories instead of packing them on.
Are you guilty of any of these unhealthy habits? Don’t punish yourself – instead, change them to better habits that will help you achieve optimal health and a slimmer waistline.
– The Alternative Daily