It’s not just willpower, or a lack thereof, that makes us overeat and gain weight. Sometimes, it’s that sneaky bad habit you developed without even realizing it, like dashing out the door some mornings without breakfast, or munching chips in front of your favorite TV show. The next thing you know, one little bad habit can equal out to a lot of weight gain. The worst part is, you might not even realize what you’re doing to your diet.
Here, quick fixes for some of the most common bad eating and lifestyle habits that can cause you to pack on pounds :
- Mindless Eating – Continuing to eat even though you know you’re full? Can’t put down that bag of chips while watching TV? FIX : Eat from smaller dishes. Swap out a dinner plate for a salad plate. Never eat straight from the container.
- Night Time Munching – Often find yourself heading for the fridge well after the sun goes down? Eating before bed can greatly impair weight loss. FIX : After dinner, teach yourself to think of the kitchen as being closed for the night, and brush your teeth, you’ll want to eat less with a newly cleaned mouth.
- Skipping Breakfast – You’re in a rush trying to get out of the door so you head through the drive through at the coffee shop for your liquid breakfast so skip it all together. FIX : Have ready healthy breakfast food you can consume on the run such as whole fruit, yogurt, homemade cereal bars, and smoothies.
- Eating Too Quickly – Always in a hurry. Rush, rush, rush. Your brain doesn’t signal that you’re full until about 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve started eating. If you don’t pace yourself it’s easy to end up with more food (and calories) than you need. FIX : To slow down your eating, physically put your fork down between bites, take smaller bites, and be sure to chew each bite thoroughly. Also, drinking water throughout your meal will help you slow down and feel fuller as you go.
- Drinking Wine Every Night – Red wine is often associated as having health benefits. But the amount of wine can add up to extra calories. A 1/4th glass contains 125 glass calories. FIX : Buy smaller glasses, the smaller the glass, the less wine you drink.
- Drinking Water is a Challenge – Water is often not the first choice for refreshment but the effects of even the slightest dehydration on our health, attitude and appearance makes it worth grabbing an extra glass. FIX : Getting in eight or more glasses a day is easier if you drink every time you eat and when you work out. You need about half your body weight in ounces of fluid, for example, a 140 pound person needs about 70 ounces of fluid.
- Saving Calories for Something Sweet – Skipping meals to save calories so you can indulge in something tasty can often backfire and cause you to overeat. FIX : Stick to your regular eating schedule. You can still indulge but will be less likely to overdo it.
- Calories Don’t Count on the Weekend – It’s easy to get into a routine during the work week but when the weekend arrives, it can be a slippery slope when you think it’s “ok” to take a couple days off. FIX : Instead of going higher wild, splurge on one portion controlled treat, such as a small pastry from a local bakery.
- Multitasking While Eating – It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re eating when you’re too body focusing on something else. FIX : Instead of snacking while standing in the kitchen or while watching TV, prepare a healthy snack and the sit down.
- Meal Planning is for the Birds – If you’re always deciding what you want to eat when you’re hungry, you’ll never achieve a healthy eating plan. Relying on willpower is dangerous when you get home after a long day of work. FIX : Plan your meals for the week on Sunday. Keeping a well stocked kitchen is the first step towards developing healthy eating habits.