Ever feel like you’re doing everything right – following a meal plan, recording every entry in your food diary, and exercising like a nut – only to step on the scale to learn that you’ve lost little to no weight? When this happens, old habits are usually to blame. You might not even realize that you’ve held onto poor habits because you do them without thinking. One or more of the following 10 habits might be why the numbers on your scale are not moving in the right direction:
- Poor Hydration – When you’re dehydrated, you may feel like your hungry, which can result in overeating. Drinking the right amount of water also encourages the body to shed pounds; those who drink plenty of H2O most often always weigh less than those who don’t. So the next time you want to reach for a snack, reach for a glass of the clear stuff instead.
- Eating Low-Fat Foods – Low fat should equal fat loss, right? The opposite is actually true. Low-fat foods can actually make you fat. Why? Fat-free and low-fat foods typically contain more fast-burning carbohydrates than other foods, resulting in a sugar high and a hungry, grumpy, sluggish crash afterwards.
- Meal Multitasking – Anytime you combine other activities with eating, you are likely to consume too many calories. Watching TV, reading, working, and driving while eating should be avoided. Make meal time all about eating and let the other stuff wait.
- Skipping Meals – Common sense will tell you that if you skip a meal, you will probably eat more at your next meal due to ravishing hunger. However, there’s more to it than that. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism, which means your body slows the calorie-burning process. So not only will you eat more if you skip a meal, your body will not burn off the calories efficiently.
- Sleep Patterns – Studies have shown that those who sleep too little or too much often weigh more than those who sleep an average of six to eight hours per night. In fact, poor sleepers can weight up to 2 ½ times more.
- Liquid Calories – Juices, sodas, and alcoholic beverages contain massive amounts of calories, but they don’t make you feel full. For this reason, liquid calories are considered empty calories. If absolutely cannot live without a glass of wine or can of soda, keep it to a minimum. Allow yourself only one calorie-containing drink per day.
- Emotional Eating – It’s human nature to turn to comfort foods when emotion strikes. Learn to recognize emotional eating and replace eating with other activities you enjoy when you’re feeling down.
- Eating the Bread – Most restaurants offer some sort of complimentary food such as bread, rolls, or chips. Do not fill up on the free food. In fact, ask your server to bring the bread with your meal.
- Not Eating Protein – Foods high in protein leave you feeling full longer, which means you will eat less. Eating a diet rich in protein will result in fewer calories consumed and a lower body weight.
- Shopping Habits – Do you do most of your grocery shopping in the center aisles? If so, you’re probably purchasing the wrong kinds of foods. Most of the healthy food is located along the four walls of the store. Do most of your shopping here.
To optimize weight loss, you need to do more than add healthy habits to your lifestyle. You must also remove the negative or poor habits that are making you fat and sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. Here is some additional inspiration.