Shedding extra layers of fat and maintaining a healthy weight requires a bit of planning, a strong will and enough discipline to carry you to your goal.
Dieting is not just about knowing what to eat and how much should you eat.
It also involves learning how to eat and engaging in activities and lifestyle activities that compliment your dietary choices.
But what if some of your new dietary habits are making the process of losing weight harder? And what if other daily activities act against your weight loss efforts?
Identifying and moving away from these “fat diet habits” can be help you trim down your waist and learn what works on a long-term basis.
Fat Diet Habit #1 – Drinking Empty Calories
You may think that diet soda, vitamin water or light beer won’t add up to your caloric intake. If so, you are unfortunately, mistaken. The artificial sweeteners in soda and other diet drinks cause blood sugar and hormonal imbalances that increase cravings for more sugar, refined foods and fats.
In addition, people who drink diet soda tend to have worse eating habits than those that eat healthier meals. It seems like one bad habit leads to other bad habits so perhaps staying away from soda will help you make other healthier choices.
Alcohol, even the light kind will stress out your liver and slow down your metabolism. The liver regulates metabolism so if your liver is sluggish and stressed, you will have a hard time getting your metabolism up and running the way it needs to during the weight loss process.
What To Do About It – Drink Plenty of Water
Your body is 70% water. Not 70% soda, or coffee, or juice or vitamin drinks. Water. When you’re thirsty, drink water. If you crave something with flavor, have herbal teas (cold or hot). Sodas, and sugary juices have no place in your diet, especially when trying to lose weight.
Fat Diet Habit #2 – Eating Salty Snacks
Do you remember that advertisement about potato chips that said that you couldn’t eat just one? There is a reason for that. Sodium tells your brain to crave and ask for more so once you start eating salty foods, it will be very hard to stop.
Salty foods cause water retention, increase your blood pressure and with it, your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke. It’s a big no-no!
What To Do About It – Compliment With Spices
Salt is not the only condiment used to enhanced the flavor of food. In fact, there are dozens of condiments and spices available today that are great addition to any dish or recipe.
So head on to the market and stack up on spices like turmeric, sage, rosemary or cumin (just to name a few). If you must use salt, get raw sea salt or kosher salt and use it sparingly when cooking or when seasoning foods already in your plate.
Fat Diet Habit #3 – “Indulging” Once a Week
Indulging and overeating, even if only once a week, can seriously undermine your weight loss efforts. In today’s society, where portion sizes are out of control and empty calories abound, it will be very easy to lose control and end up adding up most if not all of the calories lost in just one day.
I’ve actually seen this happen with my clients numerous times.
What To Do About It – Reward Without Pigging Out
Be honest with yourself: can you indulge in one meal per week? If the answer is a hesitant yes, don’t even go there. The reality is that you need to work at it to stick to new healthier habits and instant gratification is not part of the equation.
If you can honestly indulge on only 1 meal per week (that’s only 1 of a total of 21 meals per week), do it, in moderation. Make sure to savor every bite thoroughly (i.e. do not swallow or binge eat) and enjoy!
Fat Diet Habit #4 – Not Sleeping Enough
No matter how busy you are, the reality of the matter is that you cannot survive long without sleep. Lack of sleep causes your metabolism to slow, premature aging and an increased risk of dozens of conditions from aches and pains to depression. It also encourages you to overeat, as your body is looking for sources of energy to help you stay awake.
Plus, if you’re exhausted, it’ll be very hard to head to the gym, isn’t it?
What To Do About It – Sleep
Sleep helps you increase your metabolism, rejuvenates, restores and heals your body. Listen to your body and intuition and make any necessary changes to add an extra hour of sleep to your routine, especially if your body is obviously craving it.
Even if you’re a busy mom with 2 jobs and a house to run, you’d be surprise how easy it is to find a bit more sleep time, especially if you get your family and loved ones involved and helping you with this.
Fat Diet Habit #5 – Not Getting Nutrition Assistance
Most of us grew up eating what was in front of us without ever questioning if it was good or not. We blindly believed our parents, who were extremely well-intentioned but also learned very little about what’s the best stuff to put in your body and why.
What To Do About It – Be Curious
Today, almost every urban area in the world has nutritional and health experts, from dieticians and nutritionists to health and fitness coaches, ready to help you figure out what works best for your body and guide you through a successful weight loss plan.
There is a plan and a style for every taste and every budget. Do your research and get knowing about the right fuel for your body.
Fat Diet Habit #6 – Eating Processed Foods
Refined flour (like in breads and most pastas and cereals), sugar, fat, salt and most dairy have little to no nutritional value. Eating foods with any of those ingredients literally makes no sense. You might as well be chewing on sugar paper or fried, doughy plastic.
They add to your waistline and provide no value other that a few seconds of instant gratification. It’s really not worth it.
What To Do About It – Stay Away From The Center Of the Supermarket
You should visit the center isles of the supermarket, to get deodorant, soap and toilet paper. Very few of the “foods” in those isles is worth anything to you. When shopping for grains, pick only whole grains. Most of what you need is in the produce section (that’s right: fruits and vegetables) and the periphery.