The word ‘fat’ is one word most people don’t like to be associated with. Unfortunately, we keep doing things that invites this unwanted ‘guest’.
Do you know that there are little activities we engage on a daily basis that can determine whether our waistlines are trending outward or inward?
Here are some of the bad habits you should avoid if you want to get that size or body shape you truely desire:
1. You eat ‘low-fat’: It sounds crazy, but stop buying foods marketed as low-fat or fat-free, even weight-loss smoothies. The answer to “does fat make you fat” is “no.” Typically, low-fat products save you only a few calories. Only a few, you ask? It’s because food manufacturers replace harmless fats with low-performing simple carbohydrates that digest quickly—causing a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, rebound hunger. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that meals that limited carbohydrates to 43 percent were more filling and had a milder effect on blood sugar than meals with 55 percent carbohydrates. That means you’ll store less body fat and be less likely to eat more later.
2. You don’t drink enough water: Adequate water intake is essential for all your body’s functions, and the more you drink, the better your chances of staying thin. Because it helps cleanse your body of “unwanted guests”. So the more you drink water, the more your body is cleansed.
3. You’re sleeping too little or too much: According to Wake Forest researchers, dieters who sleep five hours or less put on 2½ times more belly fat, while those who sleep more than eight hours pack on only slightly less than that. Shoot for an average of six to seven hours of sleep per night—the optimal amount for weight control.
4. You eat too quickly: If your body has one major flaw, this is it: It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal, but compared to their fast-eating peers, they felt like they had eaten more. What’s 66 calories, you ask? If you can do that at every meal, you’ll lose more than 20 pounds a year!
5. You eat off large plates: One study published in the journal Obesity Science & Practice found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates, which means More food, more calories, and more body fat. Keep your portions in check by choosing smaller serving dishes. If need be, you can always go back for more, when you are hungry.
6. You watch too much TV: A University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. That’s an automatic 12-pound annual loss! Maximize those results by multitasking while you watch—even light household tasks will further bump up your caloric burn. Plus, if your hands are occupied with dishes or laundry, you’ll be less likely to mindlessly snack, which is the other main occupational hazard associated with tv time.
7. You drink soda—even diet: A 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better. When researchers in San Antonio tracked a group of elderly subjects for nearly a decade, they found that compared to nondrinkers, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day watched their waistlines increase five times faster. The researchers theorize that the artificial sweeteners trigger appetite cues, causing you to unconsciously eat more at subsequent meals. There are immense benefits of giving up soda.
8. You don’t set aside time to relax and destress: You manage to avoid the office candy bowl, which is pretty impressive—especially on super stressful days—but you’ve got to let off some steam somehow. If you don’t, it could lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels, causing sleep and immunity problems, blood-sugar abnormalities and weight gain. How should you chillax? First of all, note that what helps your friend relax may not work for you. Give a few different tactics a try and see what works best for you. Practicing yoga, meeting up with friends and unplugging from technology for an evening are worth a shot.
9. You eat dinner after 9 PM: No, it’s not because your metabolism slows down after this time—that’s a common food myth. But it is true that late-night eaters are more likely to gain weight compared to those who take advantage of the early bird special, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. It’s not because they don’t burn those calories as rapidly; it’s because these night owls are more likely to binge eat (after starving themselves since lunch) and subsequently choose unhealthy foods high in sugar and fat to quickly put in their rumbling tummies. Not only will these high-energy foods pack on the pounds, but many of them can make it harder to fall asleep. And if you didn’t already know, getting enough sleep is one of the answers to loosing weight.
10. You eat when emotional: A study from the University of Alabama found that emotional eaters—those who admitted eating in response to emotional stress—were 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese. If you feel the urge to eat in response to stress, try chewing a piece of gum, chugging a glass of water, or taking a walk around the block. Create an automatic response that doesn’t involve food and you’ll prevent yourself from overloading on calories.
Curled from: Eat this, not that!