It is very easy to gain weight when we have bad habits. But, sometimes we don’t realize how many bad habits we have. Here are some that we need to avoid to prevent weight gain.
* Not eating enough calories When we don’t eat enough calories, our body goes into starvation mode, which means a slower metabolism that uses less calories and thus it becomes even harder to lose weight.
* Skipping meals When we skip meals, we end up hungry, and when we are hungry there is a tendency to reach for the high energy foods that give us instant energy, rather than nutritious foods that balance blood sugar and provide ongoing calories.
* Not exercising If we are inactive, our metabolism can become slow. Physical activity is necessary to convert calories into energy and to burn off the excess.
* Drinking juice (but not eating fruit) Many diets encourage juicing as a way to get nutrition without eating too much. Also, juice has a detoxing effect on the body. Juice is a way of maximizing the amount of nutrients you can intake in one drink, but, there is a downside. There are still sugars in fruit, which can be high in calories, and also cause peaks in blood sugar levels, leading to hunger later. Juice doesn’t contain the goodness of the fiber that you would get from eating a piece of fruit.
* Eating fast foods (for convenience) It might seem like the easy option, but think before purchasing fast food meals. They can be full of calories (even if they are ‘healthy options’) as well as sugar, salt and other additives, that can dehydrate the body, affect metabolism, reduce absorption and cause indigestion. Avoid them at all costs!
*Eating too fast A common bad habit is eating too fast. Again, usually because we are busy or don’t have enough time. Chewing food begins the digestive process in the mouth, because saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin to release nutrients from food in the mouth. Not chewing enough can result in digested food entering the stomach, that is harder to digest. If you want to get the most from your meals, slow down, relax and take time to chew!
*Not planning meals Eating healthy takes a little bit of preparation. If you don’t think about what you are going to eat, the chances are you will slip back into old habits or prepare what is quickest and easiest for you. Having an idea of what you are going to eat in advance, means you are more likely to prepare something healthy.
* Drinking diet soda Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, the artificial sweeteners still act like sugar in the body, causing an increase in insulin which can cause imbalanced blood sugar and lead to more hunger.
* Comfort Eating Many of us eat when we are not hungry, often snacking on fatty foods like potato chips or sugar snacks that are fattening. Comfort eating can be for a variety of reasons, like boredom, stress, depression, grief, or if watching T.V. eating when not hungry is a useless activity that will give you excess calories and make you gain weight. Try drinking a glass of water instead. This can make you feel full without the calories.
When we get rid of bad habits we must learn to adopt new beneficial ones. Failure to do so will only lead us back to the path of weight gain.
Copyright (c) 2010 William McKenna