Have you noticed how supermarkets advertise ‘healthy’ products and foods that are labelled ‘fat free’ or ‘low fat’? When we’re looking to lose weight we automatically gravitate towards these products, believing them to be helpful in our struggle. However, they only actually save you a few calories in the short term. They then replace those harmless fats with low-performing carbohydrates that you digest quickly. This causes a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, you still feel hungry. I’ve talked myself into eating double the amount before now, as I reasoned that if there were only half the fat, then I could eat twice as much. However researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that meals that limited carbohydrates to 43% were more filling and had a milder effect on blood sugar than meals with 55% carbohydrates. This actually means that you’ll store less body fat and be less likely to eat more at a later stage.
I was astounded to read that an average American guzzles nearly a full gallon of soda every week. For those in the UK, this means that an average American is drinking almost 24 cans of pop every week! A 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33%. The diet soda is no better. Researchers in San Antonio tracked a group of pensioners for nearly a decade and they found that compared to those who didn’t drink soda, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day watched their waistlines increase five times faster. That’s FIVE TIMES FASTER! The researchers believe that the artificial sweeteners in the soda trigger your appetite which causes you to unconsciously eat more at subsequent meals.
3) Skipping meals
In a 2011 national survey from the Calorie Control Council (established in 1966 as an international non-profit association representing the low-calorie food and beverage industry) 17% of Americans admitted to skipping meals to lose weight. However, skipping meals actually increases your odds of obesity, especially when it comes to breakfast. People who cut out their breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese. This is because skipping meals slows your metabolism and makes you even hungrier. That puts your body in prime fat-storage mode and increases your odds of overeating at the next meal. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day (a poached egg and a slice of toast gets the body up and running) and it helps stop you for snacking until lunch time. If you don’t have time for a ‘proper’ breakfast, have a yogurt and a banana. Having a good lunch sets you up for the rest of the day until your final meal in the evening. Try not to eat one big huge meal. Dividing it up into three healthy meals a day makes sense and lets your body know that there will be a next meal therefore no more fat-storage mode. I now have a healthy breakfast and try to have a larger lunch and a smaller evening meal. It works for me. Why not try and give it a go? The only thing you have to lose is some weight.
For the second part of unhealthy habits that stop you losing weight, I will bring you a thought for dining out, a simple idea that could help you shed 5lbs a year and a new healthy habit for this Holiday Season.