Care to name a few of your bad habits? Can you think of anything you’re doing that may be breaking your weight loss efforts?
If your weight has been creeping up and you’re not sure why, the power lies in recognizing the caloric impact of the food you’re eating. It may also be some of your bad habits sneaking up on you. Because we all know bad habits and extra calories are best pals.
We need to separate these BFF’s so; you can get your weight loss groove on. We’ve all heard the adage, “old habits are hard to break.” We also know it takes 21 days to change behavior. Now, let’s give you the knowledge you need to stop sabotaging your weight loss endeavor and make the changes that are going to help you lose weight.
5 Bad Food Habits that Make You Gain Weight
- Junk Food: Consuming processed foods that have a high sodium content and adding table salt to your food can make you retain water. I forgot about this one — sneaky sodium.
- Carbs: Consuming heavy foods like lots of carbs, i.e., potatoes and bread, especially in the same meal, makes your metabolism slow down and your body stores the extra as fat. We don’t want that. Carbs also break down in your body the same as sugar. So you might as well eat that chocolate bar if you are reaching for a bag of chips. Try to replace rice with something like cauliflower rice and replace pastas with zucchini pasta. You can also opt for a lettuce wrap when eating a burger or sandwich. This will greatly reduce the amount of carbs you intake.
- Drinks: Do you drink anything you want like it has no calories. Adding a high-calorie drink is equivalent to having a 180-calorie or more snack with your meal. Can you see how easy the calories add up? Take a vanilla Starbucks latte for instance, there are 360 calories in that drink alone as well as 42 grams of sugar. That is more sugar than a 16oz Coke which has 39 grams of sugar.
- Fat-Free: Consuming those diet-saving low fat and fat-free items are not doing what you think they are doing. Truth be told, the companies that make those add sugar to replace to fat. Take a look at the label next time it may shock you as to what is added to compensate for the lack of fat. Fat also sustains your body and keeps you full to the next meal. Sugar just keeps you wanting more of it. So if you are eating foods that are fat free but high in sugar or carbs, your body will be hungry faster, making you eat more sooner, leading to more caloric intake and weight gain.
- Snacking: Do you love having a snack or dessert after supper? Avoid the carbs because that is just too much fuel you don’t need at that time of night. Also avoid sugar right before going to bed. Try something more sustaining with fat, like dipping celery into almond butter which is high in fat and low in sugar. Try to find the almond or peanut butters with no sugar added.
7 Bad Behavior Habits that Make You Gain Weight
- Gobbling: Are you guilty of eating too fast? It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it is full. Take back tasting and savoring the flavor of your food by chewing slowly and setting your utensil down in between bites.
- Skipping: Skipping meals, turns out, is not helpful but detrimental to your weight loss efforts. This popular weight loss tactic couldn’t be more wrong. It actually slows down your metabolism and makes you hungrier at your next meal. Remember your car needs gas, you need gas, too, or neither of you will run right.
- Time: Going right to bed after dinner, again, turns those unused calories into fat. Eating 3 hours before bed is good.
- Food Shopping: Going grocery shopping on an empty stomach is the straightest path to diet doomsville. All those tempting triggers will get to you, and you’ll come home with some weight loss enemies. In other words, shop on a full stomach.
- Frying: Frying your food is okay in moderation, but it has too many calories to have at dinner time. Try having those foods at lunch where you will have time to burn off the extra calories. Extra light olive oil and sunflower oil are good choices to fry with because they have heart-healthy unsaturated fats and high smoke points.
- Sleep: Going to bed past midnight is not the natural body cycle. Or not getting enough sleep, period. It’s stressful, and your body produces more cortisol, which keeps the fat around your belly. Eight hours of sleep is needed to maintain balance. Turn off those sleep-interfering gadgets 3 hours before bed is also a good idea.
- Emotional Eating: Eating when you’re bored or stressed or anxious. Stop checking your work emails at night. Throw those tennies on and let the wind ruffle your hair instead.
Losing weight is a challenge that’s for sure. But bad habits can be broken. None of us are perfect, so take one, or two of these and change a little at a time.
Being aware is half the battle. The key is to see food as the fuel that it is. Good quality fuel gets good quality performance out of you. You only need so much to get through your day. So, remember quality and amount.
You can make new healthy habits. Make changes slow and steady and allow for treats. The Greek poet, Hesiod (c.700 bc) said, “Observe due measure, moderation is best in all things.”
If weight loss has become a tremendous challenge for you no matter what you try, there is hope. The Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado offers bariatric surgery and you can speak to someone who can help. Regaining your health and getting your life back is possible and you have options so don’t lose hope!