Wednesday 21 February 2018

8 Unexpected Small Habits That May Make You Gain Weight

Obesity is a pervasive issue, but even if you are not obese you may be struggling with unwanted weight gain for seemingly no reason. Maybe it’s stress. Or maybe it has to do with your daily habits. Even those of us with reasonably healthy lifestyles can make small, habitual mistakes that cause us to steadily pack on the pounds.
Here are 8 weight-encouraging habits to try to avoid in your daily life…


If you’re chugging water all day out of disposable plastic bottles, you’re subjecting yourself to a lot of BPA. Science has shown that people who are exposed to greater quantities of BPA gain more weight than those who avoid BPA-containing goods. The best thing you can do is buy a reusable, non-plastic water bottle. Not only is it good for the planet, but it is good for your waistline.


Maybe you follow a well-rounded diet all day, but then come home from work with a hungry belly and an urge to decompress, so you immediately down 2 glasses of wine. Not only is wine very caloric, but drinking it on an empty stomach can spike blood sugar levels and cause your body to store fat. It’s fine to enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings, but save it for dinner or appetizers and keep it to just a glass.


Maybe your diet is teetering on perfection, but you’re still struggling with weight. If you sit too much, no matter how intensive your exercise program is, you might start to feel a little flabbier. If you have to work from a seated position, make sure you get up at regular intervals to go for a walk or do some squats. Try working from a standing position for small intervals. The average American sits for 9 to 11 hours a day. Reducing your sitting time by just 1 to 2 hours a day (taking 10 minute breaks every hour) can make a huge difference in your metabolism.


On the other hand, overexercising can cause weight gain, too. Exercise is stress on the body. In moderation, it is good stress. It makes us stronger, improves metabolic rate and blood sugar regulation and makes us feel happy. However, if you do not give your body proper recovery time, hormonal chaos ensues.
If you are forcing yourself to exercise too hard and too much, cortisol levels can begin to build and cause you to pack on the pounds as a self-protective measure. If you already suffer from mild adrenal fatigue, excessive cardio is only going to make it worse, especially for women.


We all know that soda makes us fat, but diet soda is equally dangerous. Yes, artificial sweeteners technically have no calories, but they do trick the body into thinking it has consumed something sweet. The body responds by upping its insulin production, but there is nothing to respond to. In this way, artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and encourage the confused body to store more fat.


When you drink coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, especially black coffee, it causes a cortisol spike. Yes, coffee does increase your metabolism, but when consumed on a very empty stomach it stresses the body, which can encourage it to cling on to that excess belly fat. If you must drink coffee without food in the morning, try buttered coffee or Bulletproof coffee. Combining your caffeine fix with grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil can ease blood sugar and cortisol spikes.


If you don’t sleep enough, your body doesn’t function properly. This goes for weight maintenance, too. Studies have shown that those who sleep less than 6 hours a night are at greater risk for obesity. And it makes sense. When you get too little sleep, you don’t feel like exercising. Your willpower is also weakened, meaning you are more likely to reach for sweets or junk food. Lack of sleep puts you at risk for gaining belly fat, which puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Do yourself a favor, skip the late night workout and get at least 6 to 8 hours on your average night.


When you decide what you’re eating for dinner, it’s easy to fall into the habit of focusing on the protein or grains of a meal. Do I want pesto pasta, sprouted lentil curry, tacos? The one thing that often becomes an afterthought is the vegetables. Instead of planning our meals around veggies, we might ask: Oh, how can I stuff/hide/add vegetables to this meal? 
Eating too few veggies can cause weight gain over time. Veggies are low in calories and high in fiber and nourishing nutrients, meaning that they form the base of a truly healthy diet. Give them a little more attention in your diet.
Sometimes our lifestyles need little adjustments along the way to keep us happy, healthy and fit. If you are struggling with a little weight gain, take a look at the smallest habits in your life. Small things can add up over time. Sometimes all if takes is one tiny shift to get yourself back on track, so don’t be discouraged!

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