Losing weight seems to be a rather delicate topic nowadays. Advising someone to start working out or eating healthier might come across as a direct and personal attack. And, though it’s true that the media has hardwired our brains to think that being skinnier is always better; the point might come where our weight starts to interfere with our health; then, rather than an aesthetic socially induced choice, it becomes an issue that might tamper with our happiness, our health, and our life.
It’s always important to ask ourselves this question: Why do I want to lose weight? Whatever the answer is, it should always revolve around us and how we feel about ourselves without taking into account what others (unless it’s a health professional) might think.
Nevertheless, even if we actually want to lose weight, there are several bad habits that are a ‘normal’ companion to our everyday life and may end up sabotaging our own goals. And the worst part is that in a lot of cases we’re not even aware of it.
Here are 5 bad habits that are stopping you from losing weight successfully:
Not enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is what gives us the energy to function the next day. If we don’t charge up our own batteries, our body will try to store extra fat the next time we eat, because, as amazing as nature is, it “thinks” that this will become a habit and it needs to have enough energy to compensate for our lost sleep.
Not having enough sleep also affects the secretion of cortisol, which is the hormone that regulates our appetite. In other words, we’re setting our own bodies in survival mode and we will feel hungrier because we don’t have enough energy to go through the day.
Losing sleep might not be something we’re doing because we want to, it can be induced by stress, depression, long working hours, amongst other factors. However, no matter what’s happening in life, we have to keep in mind that we need to take proper care of ourselves. Before paying the bills or dealing with any stressful situation we need to always prioritize our well-being by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Not eating in a healthy way
This does not only refer to what we eat. The way we eat also plays a huge role in how our weight is managed. We all know there are certain types of food that will make us gain weight. But even if we’re eating only “healthy” food, not doing it properly can still tamper with our weight-loss plan.
Bad habits such as skipping breakfast, overeating at dinner, or doing our grocery shopping without having eaten first, are small and simple things that without us even noticing, will have a negative effect on the way we lose or gain weight.
Just as with sleep deprivation, skipping breakfast sets our body on survival mode, making it use the reserved energy it might have and forcing it to store more fat the next time we eat. Eating more than enough will force the stomach to grow bigger which leads to us needing more food to feel satisfied. Even buying food while being hungry becomes a massive willpower test that, if we’re being honest, not many of us can overcome.
We need to make sure we always have healthy snacks at home for those situations where it’s not either lunch or dinner time, but we still need to eat something. Keeping a bag of any kind of nuts at home, as well as fruits, will always be an amazing alternative to chips or junk food in general.
Leading a sedentary life
It’s always important to remain active. Having a 9 to 5 office job will certainly never be demanding enough to be considered exercise. If we go straight to the couch to watch TV right after we get back home from work, we will not only be getting our bodies used to do nothing, but we will be providing it with a lot more energy than what it actually needs and consumes. Thus, we start the path that leads to gain weight.
There are many activities and workout routines that we can follow to help us lose weight, but it really is a combination of quite a few things that will fit together as pieces of the puzzle to a healthy fit lifestyle.
Alcohol and soft drinks
We can’t always turn away from a couple of drinks after work, or a soda with popcorn when we go to the movies, but it should never become a habit. Being able to enjoy a weekend with friends while having some beers or cocktails is never a sin, but when we start to do it a bit too often, we might not only be gaining an immense amount of calories without even noticing, but we could also be abusing our food intake when abusing alcohol.
Our sugar intake with drinks becomes a lot more dangerous because we can’t really feel it, plus, continuous alcohol intake makes our body and digestive system slower, making it harder to process the sugar and a lot harder to process the existing fat,
Eating more than what’s necessary
More than eating too much, what we should think about is: Is it really necessary? We can’t always be loyal to our diet or our workout routine, and sometimes it will be OK to “cheat” but instead of going out of proportion with it, we can evaluate and make healthier choices within an unhealthy one.
For example, Next time we’re getting a hamburger with fries and a drink, we can stop for a second and say no if we’re asked whether we want extra bacon with it or choose water instead of cola, or simply getting a normal portion instead of having it large. It all comes down to smaller healthier choices that little by little will start to make a difference not only on our appearance but also on our habits and decisions.
Losing weight is something that will always require some effort, dedication, and discipline. If we never let go of the bad habits, we will be going around in circles without any improvement. You don’t have to turn your life over right away. It doesn’t mean we can never again get ice cream during the week or getting takeout after a long day at the office. But we need to be actively taking measures to ensure that we achieve our goals. By doing so, we will not only be benefiting our own body, but we will also have a happier, healthier, and longer life.
Did you find this article helpful? If you’d like to suggest any other bad habits we should give up when wanting to lose weight, feel free to leave a comment below.