Trying to lose weight can be hard. Really, really hard. More often than not, the biggest obstacles in the way of our weight loss goals are our own bad habits. It is incredibly easy to start a bad habit, but it’s much harder to break one. If you want to lose weight, you should begin to attack your bad habits one at a time to start living a healthier life. These are some of the most common bad habits that hinder weight loss, and some tips on how to quit them:
Choosing To Eat Quick And Easy Food
When you come home at the end of the day and you’re hungry, it can be tempting to grab something quick, rather than cook a healthier meal. When you’re hungry, it’s easier to make bad decisions about nutrition. Every time you choose to eat a microwaveable meal or fast food instead of cooking for yourself, you’re reinforcing that bad habit.
The trick to solving this problem is to plan ahead. I like to make meal plans, and cook extra food ahead of time when I can. Make large dishes on the weekend, and store the leftovers in serving size containers throughout the week. That way, you’ll have something healthy to eat that doesn’t take long to prepare.
Putting Off Workouts
Sometimes, I just don’t feel like working out. Maybe I have a lot to do, or maybe I just haven’t had a good day. It’s easy to start to find excuses not to work out. The problem is, if you skip one day, it is likely to lead to another. Before you know it, you won’t be going to the gym at all.
Solve this problem by setting up a system of accountability for yourself. My personal favorite method is having a workout buddy. I know that my partner is relying on me to be at the gym and spot for him, so even if I’m not feeling a workout, I’ll go anyway to support him. It works both ways, so I know I can always count on him to be there for me too.
Not Sleeping Enough
Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your health, both in the short term and the long term. When you have a lot to do, it’s easy to make the decision to trade sleep for extra time. You’re not really giving yourself extra time by skimping on sleep, you’re just decreasing your alertness and productivity while you’re awake.
Even if your schedule is packed full, you should be trying to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Make a sleep schedule for yourself, and try to stick to it as strictly as possible, even on the weekends.
You may be in the habit of rushing out the door in the morning without breakfast. Just a few hours into your day, you’ll start to crave foods with high sugar content to replenish your low energy levels. As a result, you end up eating more junk throughout the day and feeling horrible.
Always make sure to eat a full and nutritious breakfast. Even something as simple as oatmeal with blueberries will help to give your day the kickstart it needs.
Snacking throughout the day can be detrimental to your waistline. If you find that you’re pretty much constantly munching on something, you might be ingesting several hundred extra calories each day that you don’t need.
Before you eat any snack, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Often when we graze, what we are actually experiencing is emotional hunger. If you can’t stop yourself from munching, just make sure all your snacks are healthy. Chomping on carrots or celery throughout the day is much healthier than snacking on candy.
Not Focusing On What You’re Eating
In the age of Netflix and YouTube, many people like to eat while watching something. When you do that, you tend to eat unconsciously, which is to say that we’re not really aware of how much we’re eating or how fast we’re eating it. You may end up scarfing down too much food if you eat while you’re catching up on Orange Is The New Black.
Try eating your meals and snacks without the TV or computer on. When you’re eating, focus on eating, and put all your mental energy towards eating. Take your time, and enjoy your food.
Not Drinking Water
Drinking water is so incredibly important, it should really be higher on this list. If you find yourself feeling thirsty, that means you’re already dehydrated. Another easy way of dehydration is the color of your pee. If it is clear, that means you’re hydrated. If your pee is yellow, however, you’re dehydrated and you need to get some water as soon as possible.
Make sure you’re drinking eight or more cups of water each day. I like to carry a reusable water bottle with me at all times. When it’s empty, refill it. Keep sipping at the bottle throughout the day, and you’ll easily make it to eight cups or more.
Cleaning Your Plate
You were probably taught as a child to clean your plate. Eat everything on your plate, or you’re wasting food. Of course, as an adult there is no good reason why you should clean your plate. Overeating is the fastest way to gain weight.
Eat slowly, and pay attention to your body’s natural signals that it is full. When you’ve had enough, stop eating. Store the rest in a container in the fridge for later.
Big Rewards For Small Tasks
After a successful workout, you may feel like you deserve a treat, so you allow yourself to indulge in a food you know you shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, when you do that you’re undoing all the hard work you put in during your workout. Losing weight is much more about your diet than it is about exercise, so rewarding yourself for exercising with junk food is never a good idea.
Find other rewards to give to yourself for when you have successful workouts. I like to save up TV shows and only let myself watch an episode after I’ve gone on a run.
Grocery Shopping While Hungry
This one is difficult. Usually when you go to the grocery store, it’s because you need food. You need food when you’re out of food, and if you’re out of food, you’re hungry. Going to the store hungry usually means you’ll be coming home with lots of junk you don’t need.
Instead, plan your trips to the grocery store. Know what you’re going to buy ahead of time, and don’t deviate from that plan. Get in, get your groceries, and get out. Of course, you should also make sure to always go to the grocery store on a full stomach. Eat a meal beforehand.