Want to lose weight? Then stop making these mistakes.
By Paul Scicluna, 21 June 2015
Throughout life we all seem to pick up some bad habits here and there. The problem is that if we don’t recognize them they will trip us up, especially when it comes to weight loss. If you want to burn fat and not gain it then we need to identify behaviors that are stopping us from losing weight.
Unless you have really good willpower, don’t try and kick these behaviors all at once. Try and kick one or two and once you have control of them, then move on to the others.
There is lots of research and studies that show that we have only so much willpower. So trying to break several bad habits at once might be overwhelming. However, if you follow a slow elimination approach, you'll increase your odds of burning fat form your body and keeping it off for life.
1. TV Eating
Eating in front of the TV has become more prevalent these days. Once upon a time meals were only eaten at the kitchen or dinner table. You’re ingesting calories while burning none.
Studies have shown that people who eat in front of the TV consume up to 300 calories more than those who don’t.
If you want to watch TV, have a rule in place such as you have to exercise before you watch the TV or even do workout routines in front of the TV. So try and break this habit and keep food times away from the TV.
2. Skipping Meals
Studies have shown that not eating can interfere with your body's ability to control your appetite. It has also been shown to mess with your willpower, and this is not good when you are trying to lose weight. Skipping meals or healthy snacks affects many areas of your body, from slowing your metabolism to brain function. Your brain runs on glucose. And as self-control comes from your brain, if you skip a meal or a healthy snack, your brain may have limited willpower to say no when temptation to an unhealthy treat shows up, or when your hunger pains are driving you mad.
This is why skipping meals is not a good idea. Your brain needs fuel to help keep your willpower strong and keep you on track with your healthy diet.
So make sure you spread your meals evenly throughout your day so you have enough healthy food to keep your body function well and on track to your weight loss goals.
3. Pace Your Eating
If you watch most people eat these days, they bolt it down without hardly taking the time to chew their food. This is the perfect setup for overeating.
When people eat fast, they can pack a lot more food in before their stomach starts sending them signals that it’s full and to stop eating. This is a big problem as you have now consumed way more calories than your body actually needed. If your body doesn’t burn those calories then they’ll be stored as fat.
Studies have show that those who eat slowly have higher levels of fullness causing hormones, which signal the brain to stop eating when you’re full, than those who eat fast.
If you’re in a rush then try and slow down before you start eating. Take your time and enjoy your food, and eat it more slowly. Savor it. This will allow your body the time it needs to prevent you from overeating and it can send your brain the signal to stop eating when you're full.
Being mindful while you are eating at each meal time will result in less weight gain over time.
4. Weekend Bingeing
The weekends are great at sabotaging your weight loss efforts. This is where you need that willpower to stay strong. A weekend of bingeing on burgers, fries and the like has been shown to trick the brain into overeating on Monday and Tuesday. So where you think your in control and keeping your healthy diet to the weekdays, studies have shown that might not be happening.
You don't have to go cold turkey on the weekends. I always say that your reward for a healthy week should be one cheat day, but definitely not an entire weekend. That’s because your good efforts towards your weight loss goals from the previous week will be lost. And when I say one cheat day, I don’t mean an entire 24 hour period. I am talking about one wake cycle. For example, from when you wake up on Sunday morning until you go to bed Sunday night. That’s one wake cycle.
Also when you are on your cheat day, don’t go mad. If you’re going to have some pizza that’s fine, but you don’t need to eat a whole large pizza or a whole cheese cake. Enjoy your cheat day but don’t binge on your cheat day.
If weight loss is your goal then minimizing alcohol is a must. Notice I said minimize. If you have one glass of wine a couple of nights a week, that is not going to sabotage your weight loss goals. However having big nights out on the weekend will definitely sabotage the fat burning process. Try this out to see how many calories you drink during the week or when you are out. Write down how much beer, wine, or spirit drinks, including any sodas you are mixing with. Then calculate the calories. This process shocks most people.
Someone having just two beers per night can be adding more than 2,000 calories to their weekly calorie intake. That’s like adding an extra days worth of calories to your weekly intake and how are you going to burn that off? That could be an extra 3 trips to the gym for some people. So it’s not the quickest way to lose weight. Also when people are drinking alcohol they usually make bad food choices. These two seem to go hand in hand. This is certainly not a good weight loss plan.
If you have good willpower then why not try quitting alcohol for a week or two? You’ll be surprised at how good you feel. I’m sure you’ll also notice the weight loss if you’ve also kept to a healthy diet. So like I said, at least try and minimize your alcohol consumption so you don’t sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Take a step by step approach to eliminating these habits from your every day life. It will definitely help to improve your body’s fat burning process and will help you to achieve your weight loss goals sooner.