When many clients first start at Rushcutters Health, they explain the frustration of a few sneaky kilos creeping on slowly since they had kids, changed jobs, had an injury or started getting older. They then describe the horrible realisation of waking up one day overweight and wondering how it all went so wrong. Well ‘weight creep’ is actually more common than you might think and to say ‘just eat well and exercise more’ doesn’t help address ‘the little things’ or daily habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. So, stop beating yourself up about it and TODAY take back control of your body shape by avoiding these fatal 8 errors.
Inhaling Your Food
There is a worrying social norm of the need to always be busy. People seem to relish in telling people how busy they are and the thought of not being busy seems a fate worse than death! heaven forbid you have some down time on your hands…This leads to a slew of problems, one of which being that people tend to inhale their food, rather than eating slowly and mindfully. Eating too quickly could be making you gain weight. Eating too quickly delays the mechanism in your body that tells you that you are full and to stop eating, leading to an overconsumption of calories. If you’re a quick eater, try to consciously slow down by chewing more and taking smaller bites and try eating with family and friends, by simply having a conversation when you eat, you will naturally make you eat more slowly and consume less.
Research shows that up to a quarter of all adults are dehydrated from not drinking enough water between coffee, juice and alcohol. What is interestingly though, is that thirst is often mistaken for hunger which leads to you reaching for a crappy snack instead of just topping up your fluid levels. A really insightful study showed that people who drank two cups of water right before breakfast at far fewer calories at that meal than people who did not drink water. If you find plain water boring, try adding slices of cucumber, lemon or a few drops of lime juice to your water to jazz it up a bit.
You’re a Social Animal
Having a social life is important, but being a social juggernaut is not. Being too social is probably making you gain weight. Social situations always involve food or alcohol, which add unwanted calories to your diet. In addition, research shows that people tend to eat like the people they are with, so if your friends eat big portions or prefer unhealthy foods, you’re more likely to do the same. If you are serious about your health and fitness then maintain a healthy balance of fun and fitness.
Sitting is the New Smoking
In Western countries, the average adult sits for 8 to 10 hours a day. People who sit for long periods of time tend to be overweight, have higher rates of chronic illness and die younger. Sitting may seem harmless, but it’s something that needs to be taken seriously. People that work office jobs need to be extremely cognisant of the dangers of sitting for long periods of time and make morning or lunchtime exercise a priority to mitigate the damage of long periods of being seated. Another solution that is gaining more popularity is to work at a standing desk. Find a solution that works best for you.
Lack of Sleep
Most people simply don’t get enough sleep, which is strongly linked to fat gain. Lack of quality sleep leads to a down regulation in many beneficial fat loss hormones and also lead to poor energy during the day which drives down the motivation to exercise. Poor sleepers are more likely to gain belly fat, which is linked to a higher risk of harmful diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you are struggling with your weight and your sleep quality is poor, make improving it your number 1 priority.
You Don’t Unwind
Along the same lines as inhaling your food, too many people think they need to be busy all the time. Sadly, not taking time to wind down and relax is probably making you gain weight. Being motivated and busy at times can be good to finish a project, but being chronically stressed increases cortisol levels and the storage of belly fat. Meditation is one of the greatest ways to deal with stress as is yoga and going for a phone-free walk or reading a book.
Drinking Your Calories
Drinking your calories in the form of fruit juices, soft drinks and other beverages is a quick way to gain unwanted body fat. Your brain does not recognise calories from liquids in the same way it does from whole foods. Get your calories from foods rather than beverages. Whole foods take more time to chew and swallow, which means your brain has more time to process hunger signals.
Being A Weekend Warrior
Something we see is a person who eats and exercises perfectly Monday to Thursday then parties like Elton John Friday to Sunday. People obviously find it easier to eat healthy during the week because they typically have a daily routine with their work and life commitments. Conversely, weekends tend to have less structure. In addition, people may be around more unhealthy temptations, which can lead to weight gain. If you are serious about your health and fitness it’s important to still maintain a good routine over the weekend and employ sensible eating and exercise habits. Most people have more free time on the weekend so fill it with activities like going for a bush-walk, doing yoga, playing sport or going for a bike ride.
There are many things that can make you gain fat. However, you can make lifestyle changes today to account for them. By following just a few of the tips in this post, you can make sure you get the most out of your healthy diet and exercise routine and avoid sabotaging it by accident.
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