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Ditch Your Unhealthy Habits & Increase Chances of Weight Loss


Let’s not kid ourselves: if weight loss was easy, then most of us would be healthy, right?

Even though there really isn’t such a thing as easy weight loss, there are some habits you can break that will make reaching your weight loss goals a little easier.

It’s almost hard to believe, but did you know that you make at least 200 decisions every day that will have a direct effect on your weight? Most of these decisions aren’t a matter of, “how many miles will I run today?” or “what is something healthy I can make for dinner?” Most of these decisions are small habits that are part of our daily lives, which makes “easy weight loss” more difficult. Here are just some habits we can break that will help us shed our weight.

Unhealthy Habit 1: Inconsistent Sleep Schedule

Sleeping is a good thing, but it can also be bad if you get too much of it. According to research from BistroMD’s very own medical weight loss experts, sleep habits can play a vital role in your weight loss progress.

“If you get between six to eight hours of sleep each night, you are less likely to engage in habits that can hinder your weight loss,” says Tessa Prior-Pullins, one of BistroMD’s leading dietitians.

“People who get less sleep tend to eat more because they feel tired, and often turn to unhealthy food like coffee and energy drinks for nourishment, which are full of empty calories,” says Pullins.

“People who get TOO much sleep are often less active, because their bodies have been in such a state of complete relaxation for far too long,” says Pullins.

Most people who fall into these two sleep categories often retain higher amounts of abdominal fat. So, what’s the best way to fight the fat while you sleep?

“Eat dinner at least two hours before you go to sleep so your body has a chance to digest your food properly. Eat healthy balanced meals, and try to shoot for an average of eight hours of sleep each night,” says Pullins.

Unhealthy Habit 2: Too Much TV

We have all heard that watching TV all day can make you overweight, and it’s true. The best way to avoid weight gain while watching your favorite show? Get your mind and body into the habit of multitasking while you watch TV.

It has been shown that overweight people who engage in activity while watching TV often end up cutting their TV time in half, and usually do something more productive with their time.

There are plenty of exercises you can do while watching your favorite show. If you are into yoga, place your yoga mat on the floor while watching your favorite soap opera, or set up your treadmill in front of your TV while watching your favorite game show. Any kind of activity is better than no kind of activity in front of the TV.

Unhealthy Habit 3: Too Much Soda Pop

This is an easy habit to develop, as most of us reach for our favorite soda when we need a boost at work, or if we go out to eat, and crave something fizzy and refreshing with our meal.

You can actually analyze your risk of obesity by measuring your soda intake on a daily basis. Basically, if you drink more than two cans of soda each day, you have just increased your risk of obesity by about 50%!

High fructose corn syrup is very cheap, it is highly addicting, and it is very easy for many food manufacturers to include it in their products. Foods that contain high fructose corn syrup are available to us in almost every store through soda, snacks, gum, and cookies, just to name a few.

If you crave a carbonated beverage, but don’t want as many calories, reach for carbonated-flavored water instead. They have about half the calories and are much better for you than soda. Better yet, simply drink more water.

On average, we are supposed to drink about eight glasses of water each day, which can also help you break the habit of reaching for your favorite can of soda pop.

Unhealthy Habit 4: Avoiding Fat

Fat is not the enemy, and you shouldn’t avoid it if you are trying to lose weight. On the contrary, the right portions of healthy fats can be good for you.

It has been shown through research and studies from BistroMD’s very own expert physician, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., that eating a diet with the proper balance of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fat can help you lose weight.

“Fat is not the enemy,” says Dr. Cederquist. “In fact, our bodies depend on healthy fats for energy during periods of the day when we are not eating.”

“If you have the right amount of healthy fats, you will feel fuller longer, which means fewer food cravings during the day,“ says Dr. Cederquist.

By breaking some of these habits, you can start to feel better about your weight loss, and start on a path that will seem a little “easier.”

To see how BistroMD can you get on a path of "healthy" habits, check out our new menu here.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on June 14, 2019.


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