Are a few bad habits keeping you fat? Fix them now, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your ideal weight and maintaining it for life.
Here are sensible, real-world ways to lose weight and keep it off by breaking these 10 bad habits:
1. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals just sets you up for massive food cravings, and overeating, later on. The biggest mistake of people who are obese? It’s skipping breakfast. You must start the day with a healthy breakfast to ‘wake up’ your metabolism, feed your brain as well as your muscles, and help you face the day’s challenges with energy and a clear head. Even if you think you aren’t really hungry, get in the habit of eating a small, balanced breakfast if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
What to eat for breakfast? How about oatmeal with berries or plain yogurt and an apple or a piece of whole wheat toast or a whole wheat bagel topped with nut butter? All of these are nutritious, fast to prepare, easy to take with you, and great for a meal or healthy snack.
2. Not keeping track of what you’re eating
It’s so easy to rack up the calories and gain weight if you barely notice what’s going in your mouth! Counter this by keeping a food journal. In in, write down what you ate, when, how much, and how you felt at the time. Review to learn your eating patterns and you will find it easy to identify such bad habits as skipping meals or too much snacking.
3. Ignoring the scales
Don’t have a good set of bathroom scales? They’re widely available and cheap at big box stores. Use them to weight yourself at least a few times a week to track your progress. Once you’ve achieved your ideal weight loss, if you creep up by even a few pounds or kilograms, you will immediately be able to adjust your calorie intake and get rid of them.
4. Forgetting to exercise
We all get too busy, or too caught up in life’s responsibilities or too lazy to exercise, but it is critical to health as well as to maintaining a healthy weight. Promise yourself that nothing is going to come between you and getting at least half an hour of physical activity that pushes you, every day and in three months (with proper eating) you could lose 10 per cent of your current weight and be well on your way towards, or have achieved, your idea weight.
5. Not getting enough rest
Did you know that people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be either overweight or obese? It’s true. You need about 8 hours of sleep each night, unless you are pregnant, ill, or a child or teenager, when 9 hours every night is better. Too much rest (including time on the couch) is also a bad habit if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
6. Eating too much packaged food
Fast food is not the only high-salt, high-trans fat, high-sugar food that packs on the pounds. Many canned and packaged foods also have too much of these fat producers, as do almost all convenience foods and most restaurant meals. To lose weight, prepare most of your meals at home, using fresh ingredients, especially vegetables, fruits, lean meats, poultry, fish, and limiting dairy, grains (choose whole grains) and nuts and you will feel better, live longer, and find it easier to manage your weight.
7. All day snacking
When you’re tired, bored, stressed or unhappy, you are especially prone to snacking mindlessly. To help break this bad habit, eat 5 or 6 smaller meals spaced out during the day, quit eating 3 hours before bed, and get rid of all the crackers, chips, pretzels, roasted nuts, ice cream, cake, cookies, pie and other snack items in your fridge or on your food shelves.
8. Relying on ‘will power’
Will power is a very good trait to have, but not putting yourself in the path of temptation is smarter. Lose weight and keep it off by just not buying those ‘bad for you’ treats, because if they’re in your house, the time will come when they’re calling your name, and you won’t be able to resist.
9. Eating in front of TV
Or while on the phone is a bad idea because it is too easy to eat too much when you’re concentrating on something else. Turn off the TV, sit down at the table, and have a proper meal that helps your brain get the message that you’ve been well fed.
10. Gobbling your food
Stress, short lunch hours, no time for dinner – these all cause us to gulp and run, which not only can cause health problems such as chronic heartburn, we actually eat a lot more than we need. To lose weight, slow down! Chew your food. Put your fork or spoon down between bites. Allow yourself to taste and enjoy every bite!