20 Habits That Make You Fat
I found this article and thought I’d share it with you…along with some of my thoughts. It really is amazing when you look at some of these statistics and facts. It has a lot of great weight loss advice.
20. Eating “low-fat”:
It sounds crazy, but stop buying foods marketed as low-fat or fat-free. Typically, they save you only a few calories and, in doing so, they replace harmless fats with low-performing 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.
My thoughts: This really surprised me. I was always one to go for the non-fat foods when I was trying to diet, but I guess I should look more closely to the label!
19. Not seeking nutrition advice:
Good news here: By reading this, you’re already forming habits that can help you shed pounds. When Canadian researchers sent diet and exercise advice to more than 1,000 people, they found that the recipients began eating smarter and working more physical activity into their daily routines. Not surprisingly, the habits of the non-recipients didn’t budge.
My thoughts: Great news for you guys who are reading this! I always try to broaden my horizons when it comes to nutrition and fitness advice. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I do have a craving for the knowledge so that maybe I can better serve the people that I work with….and myself!
18. 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.
My thoughts: This one was a wake up call to me…pun intended. I really struggle with my sleeping patterns at times. I know I need to work on it more, but there are way too many nights that I get excited about an idea I have, or something cool that’s coming up soon, or a game that’s on TV and before I know it, it’s past 1am!
17. Eating free restaurant foods:
Breadsticks, biscuits, and chips and salsa may be complimentary at some restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you won’t pay for them. Every time you eat one of Olive Garden’s free breadsticks or Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, you’re adding an additional 150 calories to your meal. Eat three over the course of dinner and that’s 450 calories. That’s also roughly the number of calories you can expect for every basket of tortilla chips you get at your local Mexican restaurant. What’s worse, none of these calories comes paired with any redeeming nutritional value. Consider them junk food on steroids.
My thoughts: I know what you’re saying…because it’s what I was saying too. “But they’re soooo good!!!” I know. The thing is…we have to show restraint. I find that the easiest way for me to do it is to not put myself in that situation! No Olive Garden for me!
16. Drinking soda—even diet!:
The average American guzzles nearly a full gallon of soda every week. Why is that so bad? Because 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.
My thoughts: This was BY FAR the single most difficult thing for me to give up when I made the decision to do something about my fitness goals. Looking back, I can honestly say that I was extremely addicted to soda, and no…I’m not proud of it. It took a lot for me to make the switch to water. Did you know that the average person drinks 459 calories a day??? That is unreal! I am happy to say that I am clean and now in love with my Zero Water pitcher!
15. Skipping meals:
In a 2011 national survey from the Calorie Control Council, 17 percent of Americans admitted to skipping meals to lose weight. The problem is, skipping meals actually increases your odds of obesity, especially when it comes to breakfast. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Why? Skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger. That puts your body in prime fat-storage mode and increases your odds of overeating at the next meal.
My thoughts: I am going to be honest here. I am not the biggest fan of breakfast. I don’t know why. I love breakfast foods (even though a lot are not the best choices for me), I just don’t like to actually put the effort into cooking in the morning (probably my lack of sleep again!). I am so grateful I found Shakeology! I used to drink a giant liter of Starbucks coffee with espresso shots and flavor shots and whatever else they could pile into that thing in order to get me up! Then I’d usually crush at least one energy shot drink throughout the day. No more! Plus I actually eat breakfast. Win/win!
14. Eating 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!
My thoughts: I would have never thought that it took 20 MINUTES! That is unreal! I am definitely going to give this a try!
13. Watching 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—the other main occupational hazard associated with tube time.
My thoughts: If I am watching TV then it’s usually something to do with sports, and I find myself jumping up and down and running around the house a lot…depending on how my team is performing!
12. Ordering the combo meal:
A study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing shows that compared to ordering a la carte, you pick up a hundred or more extra calories by opting for the “combo” or “value meal.” Why? Because when you order items bundled together, you’re likely to buy more food than you want. You’re better off ordering your food piecemeal. That way you won’t be influenced by pricing schemes designed to hustle a few more cents out of your pocket.
My thoughts: This should NOT be an issue. I don’t see why in the world you would be ordering any type of fast food anyway….onto #11!
11. Facing the buffet:
Cornell researchers found that when eating at a buffet-style restaurant, obese diners were 15 percent more likely to choose seats with a clear view of the food. Your move: Choose a seat that places your back toward the spread. It will help you avoid fixating on the food.
My thoughts: NEVER would have thought of this! I do go to the casino every now and again, and happen to find myself in a buffet situation here or there. I am going to have to try this next time, because I know buffets can be detrimental to my goals!!
10. Eating off larger plates:
One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates. Translation: 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 seconds.
My thoughts: I’ve actually tried this, but not on purpose. I bought paper plates for a party I was hosting and thought I’d go with the package of 50 plates thinking I was getting a deal. They ended up being smaller plates (one reason I shouldn’t be trusted to shop alone!)….but it actually does help with portion control. I find that little time it takes for me to get up and go get seconds often is enough for “Good Craig” to step in and save myself!
9. Putting serving dishes on the table:
Resist setting out foods buffet- or family-style, and opt instead to serve them from the kitchen. A study in the journal Obesity found that when food is served from the dinner table, people consume 35 percent more over the course of the meal. When an additional helping requires leaving the table, people hesitate to go back for more.
My thoughts: I never put serving dishes on the table. As I said previously…I need that little bit of time to make a good decision when dealing with a second helping!
8. Choosing white bread:
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when obese subjects incorporated whole grains into their diets, they lost more abdominal fat over the course of 12 weeks. There are likely multiple factors at play, but the most notable is this: Whole grain foods pack in more fiber and an overall stronger nutritional package than their refined-grain counterparts.
My thoughts: I always wondered why you always hear to stay away from white bread! Well…there you have it! Whole grain for me!
7. Taking big bites:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took large bites of food consumed 52 percent more calories in one sitting than those who took small bites and chewed longer. By cutting food into smaller pieces, you can increase satiety and enjoy your food more thoroughly. A good general rule? The smaller your bites, the thinner your waistline.
My thoughts: This seems like it plays into the eating slower rule as well. I’m thinking I have a problem with this one too. I guess I’m going to have to cut up my food in baby bites and see how that works for a while! I’m also thinking it may be a more attractive way of going about things. Just sayin…
6. Not drinking 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. In one University of Utah study, dieting participants who were instructed to drink two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their thirsty peers. And you can magnify the effect by adding ice. German researchers found that six cups of cold water a day could prompt a metabolic boost that incinerates 50 daily calories. That’s enough to shed five pounds a year!
My thoughts: I have no problem with my water intake. As I said before…I am a recovering soda addict, but since I made the switch to water, I CRUSH it! My suggestion is to get a purifying pitcher and always have it chock full. We have two and we need to refill them multiple times a day!
5. Having overweight friends:
Research from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that when a friend becomes obese, it ups your chance of obesity by 57 percent. This probably has to do with the social norms that you’re exposed to. Rather than ditch a friend who starts to put on a few extra pounds though, suggest healthy activities that you can do together, and avoid letting him or her dictate the meal (“Let’s split the cheesecake!”).
My thoughts: As a Beachbody coach, I am always talking to my friends about making healthier choices. And to be honest, since becoming a coach, I have made so many new friends who are into their health and fitness as much as I am. It’s great to share common goals and meet people through them!
4. Eating too late :
Your body can burn flab while you sleep, but only if it isn’t too busy processing a full stomach. A new study in the journal Obesity looked at the sleeping and eating habits of 52 people over seven days, and it found that those who ate after 8 p.m. took in the most daily calories and had the highest BMIs.
My thoughts: While I generally agree with this rule, I would like to hear more research on it. Also I can’t stand the BMI scale! I don’t want to get started on that…
3. Not using a scale:
Looking at your body weight reinforces weight-loss goals and makes it difficult to cheat your diet. When University of Minnesota researchers observed dieters who weighed themselves daily, they discovered that the routine of stepping on a scale helped those people lose twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less frequently. Avoid being thrown off by natural fluctuations in body weight by stepping onto the scale at the same time every day.
My thoughts: You know we’ve all done it….gingerly stepped onto the scale after a big night out! I always weight myself in the morning! I feel I get the best results that way.
2. Drinking fruity beverages:
Most restaurants and bars have ditched their fresh-fruit recipes in favor of viscous syrups made mostly from high fructose corn syrup and thickening agents. As a general rule, the more garnishes a drink has hanging from its rim, the worse it is for your waistline.
My thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of fruity drinks anyway…unless we are talking about Strawberry Shakeology, but I am positive that the rule of thumb does not apply to that! I was watching the Biggest Loser the other day and they were showing how many calories some of those drinks have. I was floored!! It’s like a whole meal in a glass…and you know you are going to have more than one! No good!
1. Eating 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.
My thoughts: I always find that working out relieves more stress than any kind of food does! I know it sounds cliche coming from a fitness coach, but it’s true. I don’t usually eat because of emotions. My emotions often times dictate how strenuous my workout is going to be though!
Well…I hope you got some good information!As a weight loss coach I love finding good info from different sources.
As always…feel free to like, tweet, +1, or comment!