There’s nothing easy about losing weight, and despite how quickly those kilos can pile on, they’re a real challenge to get rid of.
But are you actually improving? Or are you ruining your weight loss goals?
People are very habitual by nature. Our habits make us feel balanced, organised and ready to take on the world. Sometimes, those habits aren’t as healthy as they could be, particularly when you’re trying to lose weight. Often, weight loss will require a change in habits, but maybe not the ones you originally expected.
Do you have any of these 10 habits, which might be responsible for your lack of weight loss?
1) You Don’t Eat Breakfast
It’s amazing how many overweight people don’t eat breakfast. Often, they skip the meal on purpose to make them feel better about eating the rest of the day. Alternatively, they might feel like they’re too busy to eat in the morning. Both habits are bad for your weight loss. By not eating in the morning you’re more likely to eat more than you need to later, and may even binge. It’s better to eat a balanced breakfast, with lots of energy to keep you going throughout the morning.
2) You Aren’t Organised About Eating
Not having a plan about the foods you eat is an easy habit to fall into. When you aren’t sure what to cook, you often don’t have the right ingredients, and you fall back on unhealthy foods that are simple or convenient. Alternatively, you shop when you’re hungry and make bad food choices, or simply eat out. All of this can be solved by having a clear eating plan, and menu to follow.
3) You Love To Snack
Many people pick up the habit of ‘grazing’ during their teenage years, or during the busy years as a new parent where sit down meals are challenging to come by. This is a habit that make it easy to eat too much during the day, as you’re constantly opening the fridge or snacking in the pantry. Instead of doing this try breaking the day up into three major meals and two small snack times. A snack should be something healthy, like a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, or some basic vegetables. Nothing else.
4) You Eat Too Fast
The modern world is a much faster world than it has ever been in the past, and one side effect of this is that people tend to eat much faster than they used to. When you’re trying to lose weight, eating fast makes it difficult for your body to gauge how much food is in your stomach, and how much you need to eat until you’re full. This can lead to overeating. So slow down a little, and savour every single bite.
5) You Don’t Drink Enough Water
Water has such a massive impact on the effectiveness of weight loss, but many people discount it’s beneficial qualities. A thirst for water is often mistaken for early hunger pangs, which encourages people to eat more. Drinking between 2 – 3 litres of water a day is a great habit to have. It’s one that will reduce phantom hunger pains, and improve your ability to exercise and get healthy.
6) You Exercise Too Hard One Day
Exercise is great, and a necessary ingredient for weight loss and health. But people often make the mistake during the early days of getting fit and losing weight of pushing their bodies too hard. When they work out they exert themselves past their capacity, which can lead to injury and exhaustion. This in turn means you’re less likely to want to work out the next day, which breaks the habit you’re building. So take it slow, and listen to your body when you exercise. A little bit of pushing is good, but too much should be avoided until your fitness improves.
7) You Don’t Eat Mindfully
The modern human being is in front of a screen for much of the day, and we’re often sitting in front of screens to relax. This is a nice way to unwind for many people, but it’s a distracting setting for eating. When we sit and eat in front of a computer, a television, or even a phone we’re not being mindful of the food that’s going into our mouths. When we aren’t focused, we don’t feel full and we have an unrealistic idea of how much we’ve eaten. Try to focus more on your food, enjoy the tastes and textures, and avoid the screens at dinner!
8) You Always Clear Your Plate
When we’re young it’s often drilled into us that we should finish our plates at every meal. This is a challenging habit to break, and often an unconscious one. The problem with it is when we don’t have a good understanding of portions we often overfill our plates, and then finish all of the food anyway. Take some time to think as you eat your dinner if you really need to keep going. If you feel full, just stop, no matter how much is on your plate and put those leftovers away quickly before you’re tempted to snack.
9) You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an important ingredient for weight loss, but it’s surprising how little we value it. With the busy lives we lead, it’s common for people to be getting much less than the 6 – 8 hours recommended by medical professionals. Add onto that the extra sleep you need as you start a strenuous exercise routine and you have a recipe for fatigue. When we’re tired we feel less motivated to exercise, and more tempted to eat. Hit the sack early tonight and see how much better you feel tomorrow!
10) You Tell Yourself You Deserve It
After we exercise and spend time working on our body, it’s amazing how much better we feel. But it’s also amazing how easily we fall into the trap of ‘deserving’ something. Does this thought sound familiar: I’ve had such a great workout today, I’ll reward myself with a chocolate bar. Food rewards, particularly when they’re unhealthy, are bad practice. In many cases the rewards we feel that we’ve earned entirely negate the exercise we’ve done, leaving us back at square one.
Losing weight is a challenge, but it’s not impossible to achieve. There are inspirational weight loss stories taking place all over the world, all the time, and often a change in habits is at the centre.
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