Is your lifestyle contributing to your weight gain? For healthy people – weight gain is caused by simply consuming more calories than you burn. Unfortunately for most of us, our healthy lifestyle education comes in the form of a blaring commercial that is trying to convince us that eating this "lite" food or using that "miracle exercise machine" will lead to a healthy fitness lifestyle!
In truth, a healthy, lean lifestyle takes effort and education. Hopefully, this advice on these five bad habits will get you started on a path to meet your weight loss goals.
- Skipping meals and then overeating when you make time to eat. Skipping meals leads to blood sugar fluctuations, moodiness, and fatigue. Habitually skipping meals also causes you to eat more when you do find the time for it. You feel extremely hungry after you skipped your meal so you "binge" and then feel worse. Try to eat healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals or eat small portions throughout the day.
- Not moving your body. The body is designed to move. Period. A regular fitness schedule can brighten your day and actually give you more energy once you get used to it. Daily activity prevents muscle atrophy and any movement (walking, doing dishes, cleaning, playing with the kids, etc) is better than no movement.
- Drinking cola or sugar drinks when you are thirsty. Soda is about 150 empty calories filled with sugar and caffeine and not one ingredient that your body needs to survive. True that some energy drinks can replenish your electrolytes in the short term, but that sugar fix will wear off. Bottom line, when your body is thirsty, the best option is always water.
- Snacking on empty calories. Being fat free or low carb does not make it healthy. Empty calories (calories void of nutritional value) do nothing for your body. If you absolutely need a snack, try keeping fruit, vegetables, nuts, or protein bars on hand to curb that craving. Even water can help fill you up until the next meal.
- Watching an abundance of TV. A recent article stated that you use less energy while watching TV than while sitting still! Anything is better than sitting on the couch all day in a vegetative state. There are even exercises you can do while watching tv!.
Most of us have developed at least one of these habits and are totally unaware of how unhealthy and destructive they can be to our lifestyle. Of course, I'm not telling you to never watch TV, or never snack – merely trying to raise your level of awareness and prevent you from sabotaging your diet efforts. Observe your habits and ask yourself how they are contributing to your current fitness level. You may be surprised what you see but you will then have the knowledge to get started and achieve your ideal weight.