Embarking on a weight-loss journey, and staying the course, is no easy task. And with temptations at every turn, sticking to your plan can prove very difficult.
You may have already learned to navigate around trigger foods and unsupportive friends, but what about the things you encounter in the comfort of your own home? Read on to learn what three things could be derailing your plan.
Your bathroom scale
It’s not a bad thing to keep an eye on your numbers. In fact, research shows that tracking your pounds can be a great weight-loss tool. But for some people, stepping on the scale every day or over-monitoring may mean setting themselves up for failure.
Lasting weight loss involves making lifestyle changes over time. All your progress won’t necessarily be reflected on the scale every morning, which can feel discouraging. Weighing yourself daily is self-defeating — and can be frustrating. Weekly weigh-ins are more productive and can give you a better idea of where you are netting out.
Diet soda and fat-free snacks
Tossing unhealthy food in the trash is a great first step in losing weight. But replacing it with diet drinks and fat-free snacks can work against you.
The fat, sugar and salt content in our favorite foods is what makes them so tasty. When you take one of those ingredients out, it’s often replaced with a different ingredient to make up for the flavor. Snacks that are labeled “fat free” are usually loaded with sugar or sodium to add more flavor. Plus, they can trick you into thinking you can eat more without packing on the pounds.
In the same sneaky way, a diet soda may seem “healthy” because it contains no sugar or calories, but artificial sweeteners make your body crave more sweets, which can lead to weight gain.
Instead of opting for fat free, replacing junk food with whole fruits, veggies, grains and protein that are loaded with nutrients will help keep you full and satisfied. Choose water or unsweetened tea over sodas and be wary of snacks with claims like “reduced fat,” “low-fat,” “fat-free,” “sugar-free” or “light”.
After a long day, few things can be as tempting as plopping down on the couch and reaching for the remote. But too much Netflix time can make it that much harder to reach your weight loss goals—even if you plan on exercising later. Mindless television watching can encourage unhealthy eating habits and takes away from time when you could be active.
When we veg out and become really immobile, our muscles aren’t working, our metabolism changes and our bodies go into this shut-down mode where we stop burning calories. When we go into hibernation mode, our bodies begin storing energy and increasing fat content.
So before settling into the couch, go for an after-dinner walk or try to squeeze in a quick workout. And if the remote proves too tempting, make your TV time work for your weight loss by getting active during those commercial breaks.
Question: What is the one bad habit you wish you could break and why?