Not happy with your weight? The 6 habits you need to stop now!

Become aware of the unhealthy habits that are keeping you fat.

It is important to remember that these habits are extremely hard to get rid of, especially if you try to quit them all at once.

Hence, it is recommended that you don’t try and abolish them all at once. Slow and steady wins the race, and if you abandon just one or two of these per weak, you are more likely to see results in the immediate future.

01 – Unregulated eating schedule

The uninformed might think that not eating is the best way to lose weight, when in fact it could be argued it’s the opposite. Not only eating, but eating at the same time every day, can greatly help your weight loss.

Martin Ginis has said “Regulating yourself is a brain activity, and your brain runs on glucose,”

Skipping meals loses you energy, and an unhealthy biorhythm forces the body to have cravings at inopportune times, which in turn heavily contributes to weight gain.

Our recommendation: Divide your calorie intake into three meals (around 500 calories each), and a couple snacks (around 100 to 200 calories each), says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California at Davis.

02 – Eating too fast

Your body needs time to acclimate to the food you put inside it. Eating at different times of the day can be bad, but stuffing your mouth as fast as you can is just as bad – if not worse.

Savoring your food, and giving your body time to adjust, will prevent you from eating while you’re full.

17 healthy men ate 11/4 cups of ice cream in an experiment published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The men either devoured the ice-cream in 5 minutes or savored it over half-an-hour. According to study author Alexander Kokkinos, M.D., Ph.D., levels of fullness-causing hormones (called PYY and GLP-1), that signal brain waves to stop eating, were higher among the 30-minute men.

Our recommendation: Slow down and enjoy your food, says Dr. Kokkinos. Put away the newspaper and turn off the TV. You will be surprise at how effective this simple step can be. In addition, yoga tricks such as inhaling and exhaling while slowly counting to five in-between bakes – repeat this process three to five times before every meal. 

03 – Stuffing your face on weekends

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, done on rats to examine the effects of palmitic acid on leptin: a hormone that helps regulate appetite. Palmitic acid can be found in saturated fat, an ingredient often found in fast food and junk food.

“We found that within 3 days, the saturated fat blunts or blocks the ability of leptin to regulate food intake and body weight,” says study author Deborah Clegg, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern medical center.

What does this all mean? Well if you overeat from Friday to Sunday, it is highly likely that you train your brain to overeat on Monday as well.

Our recommendation: Be reasonable, overeating on weekends will undoubtedly destroy any hard work you’ve done over the weak. Be smart, instead of gorging on food during the weekend, reward yourself with your favorite meal on Sunday.

04 – Salty snacks are not your friends

Sodium, which is the prime ingredient in salt, causes us to eat meticulously and unconsciously. You would be surprise how much weight you’d lose if you skipped the peanuts at the bar, or the chips during the game, or – dare I insinuate it – the popcorn during the movie.

It is hard to replace these snacks with carrots or celery. Some would say it’s impossible. But if the ends justify the means for you, then this step should be the easiest one yet.

Our recommendation: Craving salty snacks, and salt in general, goes away after a couple of weeks on a reduced-salt diet, says Thomas Moore, M.D., an associate provost at Boston University medical center.

05 – Alcohol

First and foremost, drinking alcohol – even reasonable drinking – has shown to dissuade one’s willpower. And trust me, the last thing you want less of during a weight loss campaign is having less willpower.

You might roll your eyes at that, but here’s some numerical facts to persuade you. Try adding up the amount of liquor you drink, you will be surprised at the amount of calories you ingest. A reasonable two beers a night can mean more than 2,000 calories a week, that’s almost an extra day’s worth. It can take more than 2 hours of running to burn that off.

Our recommendation: It might sound like heresy to some, but just try quitting drinking for a weak, see how you feel and whether you still crave it afterwards. Most importantly get on the scale after that one weak and marvel at the results of this simple to follow step.

06 – Falling asleep in front of the TV

Studies have found that people devour more calories while eating in front of the TV. It is as simple as your brain being concentrated on what’s happening on the screen, partially ignoring the unhealthy and exuberant amount of calories digesting in your stomach.

Moreover, falling asleep in such a state means you will crave more calories once you wake up from your nap. So it’s a double whammy, you might say.

Woman watching television and looking serious

Our recommendation: Donald Hensrud, M.D., medical editor-in-chief of The Mayo Clinic Diet, says, “If you want to watch TV, be active at the same time or go work out and come back—then you can treat yourself with some TV.”

You have a DVR? Use it! Going to bed on a regular schedule is not only important, but healthy. Sleep is a fine habit when done correctly.

It is important to remember that these habits are extremely hard to get rid of, especially if you try to quit them all at once.

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