Sheldon’s Corner: 13 Things You Need to Stop Doing if You Want to Lose Weight
Nearly 2 billion people around the world are overweight and roughly 600 million of them are obese. A healthy weight leads to more energy, better sleep, and a longer life. If you’d like to get your weight in a healthy range, you need to stop doing these 13 things.
Eating Sugary Foods
If you have a severe sweet tooth, you could be sabotaging your weight loss before you even begin. Whether white, powdered, brown or liquid, sugary foods and drinks are a no-no when you’re trying to lose weight. If you absolutely must curb your sweet tooth, try a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar. Pure honey or stevia works well to sweeten coffee and tea.
Trying Every Fad Diet
Stop choosing eating and exercise plans based on what celebrities, TV doctors, commercials or even your friends and family claim will work. In a lot of cases, these diets are only a “quick fix” that cause you to lose water weight. Unfortunately, the water weight will come right back as soon as you start eating like you usually do again. Even if the eating plan is one that works for others, it may not be right for you. To find the plan that’s right for you, you’ll need to talk to your doctor and consider your dieting history and medical background.
Put a stop to your soda habit right now if you want to lose weight. It’s just sugar water with no nutritional value. Moreover, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of thinking it’s acceptable to drink diet soda instead. In many cases, people see no calories or carbohydrates and assume they can drink as much diet soda as they’d like. However, the drink still includes ingredients that will prevent you from slimming down.
Setting Goals That Aren’t Realistic
While motivation is one of the most important keys to losing weight, it can also be detrimental if you aren’t careful. Seeing the results other people have had with losing weight, especially if they have lost a significant amount in a short time, often causes people to set unrealistic goals while they’re motivated. When those goals aren’t met and motivation dwindles, the result can be weight gain. Set small goals and remember that most people only lose about one pound per week.
Having Bagels for Breakfast
Bagels, doughnuts and other types of bread are a staple around most American breakfast tables, but if you eat them regularly, you may as well be stapling them on your waist. Bread has high glycemic indexes, which cause your blood sugar to spike and make you feel hungrier. Opt for eggs, vegetables, fruits and other lean options in the morning to help you stay energized until lunch.
Claiming You Don’t Have Time
More than 40 percent of people say they don’t eat healthy foods because they don’t have time and a whopping 73 percent give lack of time as a reason for not exercising. Unfortunately, weight loss takes effort, which means you must take it seriously and make time. Choose one day a week to prepare healthy meals that you can toss in the microwave or eat right out of the fridge for the week. Take a walk during your lunch break or even do cardio exercises on commercial breaks if you just can’t give up your nightly TV time.
Eating Too Many Carbs
Avoid foods that come in a box or a bag. Crackers, potato chips, cookies, and many other items are laden with refined carbohydrates that offer no nutritional value. Also, they increase your blood sugar, which leaves you feeling hungrier and can make you feel tired or lacking in mental alertness. Stick to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options when you need a quick snack.
Underestimating What You Eat
Most people don’t realize how many calories and grams of fat they are consuming in a given day. You might think that bite-size candy bar doesn’t count, but if you have five of them in a day, you’re looking at an additional 150 calories or more. Even eating too many healthy foods can cause you to gain weight. Instead of guesstimating your food intake, use a tracking app or website, so you’ll know exactly what you are consuming and be armed with the knowledge to make better choices.
Falling Into the “Healthy Food” Trap
Just because the package claims the food is healthy doesn’t mean that it is. “Organic” doesn’t mean it uses healthy ingredients. Fat-free items are often laden with other chemicals to improve the taste and these chemicals usually slow weight loss. Instead of relying on the front of the package, look at the back. Focus on the calories, carbohydrates and fat grams. It’s also important to understand that even truly healthy foods should be eaten in moderation. Avocados are healthy, but they are also high in calories, so eating them multiple times per day can slow weight loss.
Sitting Around All Day
Between work, school, meals, driving and relaxing in the evening, you probably spend most of your day sitting down. Sitting for most of the day makes it difficult to lose weight and can even lead to other health problems. If your boss will allow it, set up a standing desk or even one that is wired to a treadmill. If you absolutely must sit for most of the day, get up and stretch at least once per hour. Take the time to refill your water bottle, walk a flight of stairs or do a quick lap around your office. This extra movement will add up throughout the day and may even make you feel more energized.
Keeping Your Goals to Yourself
Weight loss often takes teamwork. If you find that you struggle to stay on track when you work out or eat healthy alone, enlist a friend or family member to do it with you. Exercise can be more fun if you have a partner to play sports or walk with and losing weight with a friend helps you stay accountable when it comes to the food you’re eating.
Restricting Yourself Too Much
While many people are too lax when it comes to the food they eat, other people go too far in the other direction. If you restrict yourself only to certain types of food or if you do not eat enough calories and fat throughout the day, you are setting yourself up for failure. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to determine how much you should be eating. Stick to mostly healthy foods, but if you do feel the need to indulge, try a small square of dark chocolate or another healthy but yummy treat. Completely prohibiting your favorite foods means you are more likely to binge on them and undo your progress in the future.
Losing weight is not a linear process. You will likely plateau and stop losing for a while on your journey. You may even gain a few pounds here and there. This is entirely normal, and you can’t allow yourself to become discouraged and give up when this happens. If you stay the course, the weight will come off, even if it doesn’t do it as quickly as you’d like.
By following these tips, you are more likely to be successful on your weight loss journey. You’ll feel healthier and more confident in no time.
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