1) Snacking On Sports Nutrition Products
Are you thinking that “nutrition products” must be healthy?
Well, that may not be true as certain sports nutrition products are not meant to tide you over between meals. Instead, they are meant to keep elite athletes going during intense workouts.
People think of these things as health foods, but they are actually very concentrated sources of sugar and carbohydrates and were never meant to be nutritious. They work like fast-burning fuel for the long, intense training sessions needed by athletes to prepare for marathons.
Fast Fix: Reach for snacks with a healthier balance of protein, healthy fat and carbs, like nuts and raisins, apple and cheese slices. Snacks like these are digested more slowly so they’ll hold you between meals and won’t get stored as fat like excess carbs.
2) Swapping Ice Cream For Frozen Yoghurt
Frozen yoghurt is lower in calories and fat than ice cream so how can that be bad, right?
Things can turn bad if you believe you’ve got extra calories to play with and fill a container to the brim then top it off with crushed cookies and chocolate syrup. You can literally end up with a lot more calories than anticipated.
Fast Fix: Stick with a small portion of vanilla or “original” unflavoured yoghurt. This will keep the calories close to what’s usually displayed. And if you want some toppings, just add fresh fruits, like berries, which are lower in sugar and calories than candy toppings.
3) Eating Six Small Meals A Day
The small, frequent meal advice can turn ugly too and this happens due to the size of the meal.
Rather than pile up the calories of three regular meals into six smaller portions of about 250 to 350 calories, some people actually consume six full-size meals and end up overeating.
Fast Fix: Use a calorie-tracking app that is readily available on most smartphones these days so you can see how many calories you are actually eating!
4) Snacking On 100-Calorie Snack Packs
Snack packs are tempting because they seem like a guilt-free way to indulge in junk food. After all, 100 calories is nothing.
But with these snack packs you really actually get nothing because they are absolutely devoid of nutrition. We have come to think of snacks as sugary, salty treats, but they are actually meant to help us fit in all of the recommended servings of produce, dairy and grains, things we don’t usually get at meals.
This is precisely why you want to choose snacks that contribute to your nutritional needs and not just provide sugar and sodium. Those kinds of foods can cause wild swings in blood sugar that can leave you feeling hungry again fairly quickly. That leads to even more snacking, which can end up sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Fast Fix: Create your own healthier portable snacks -- two a day are ideal -- from fresh whole foods. Good choices: Peanut butter on celery or a hard-boiled egg.
5) Going Out For Cocktails
Alcohol can be really damaging when you’re trying to lose weight. Why?
Firstly, it’s basically liquid sugar, and the calories tend to go right to your belly. Plus, some kinds of alcohol, particularly, red wine and beer, can actually increase your appetite while all kinds of drinks will relax your resolve so you can end up eating the kinds of high-calorie foods -- nachos, cheese sticks -- you’d typically resist.
Fast Fix: Pick a drink, like white wine, that doesn’t stimulate appetite, but limit yourself to just one and make sure to skip dessert and other fatty foods to compensate for the extra calories in that cocktail you just had.
6) Drinking Diet Soda
It sounds like the perfect diet beverage. But new research from the University of Texas suggests that diet sodas don’t actually help with weight loss.
In that particular study, guzzlers of two or more diet sodas a day saw waistline increases over 10 years that were 500 percent greater than nondrinkers. How is that possible? Well, when we believe we are saving calories with a drink, we tend to allow ourselves to eat a little more. Plus, diet drinks may actually also spur our appetites for junk foods.
Fast Fix: Replace diet soda with non-fat milk. Because it’s packed with protein, it’s more satisfying than other beverages, helps build muscle and aids in weight maintenance. Another alternative is green tea. Beyond its antioxidants and other phytonutrients, green tea has also been shown to heat up your metabolism slightly.
7) Sabotaging Your Salad
Starting out with a plate of dark, leafy greens is a good first step.
But how healthy your salad ultimately ends up being depends on what you add on top. After the usual bacon bits, sunflower seeds and chunks of meat and cheese, you could possibly end up with the equivalent, or worse, of a McDonald’s cheeseburger in terms of fat and calories.
Fast Fix: Top your salad greens with brightly coloured raw vegetables. But steer away from mayo-based salads (tuna, pasta, potato) along with anything crispy (noodles and croutons) or marinated in oil. Balsamic vinegar is still the best dressing if you’ve got a light hand. But if you need something creamier, opt for low-fat dressings over fat-free ones since they don’t have as much sugar.
8) Multi-Tasking While You Eat
We pride ourselves on being able to juggle several things at once, but treating meal time like one more thing to cross off the To Do list can lead to overeating. Why?
When we multi-task, we rush through whatever is on our plate, but we don’t remember eating so we end up eating even more.
Fast Fix: Disconnect from the electronics when you’re ready to eat. Even if you have to stay at your desk, shift your chair so you are not looking at your email. Our bodies want to have a sense of acknowledgement and satisfaction, and we don’t get that when we don’t use all of our senses to engage with our food.
9) Buying Only Fresh Produce
Eating fresh vegetables that you find at the farmer’s market may theoretically get you the most nutritional bang for your buck, but if they wilt in the fridge before you get around to eating them, you may end up missing out on your veggies altogether.
Fast Fix: Stock your freezer with ready-to-steam bags of frozen vegetables so you don’t miss a serving. You can keep them in the freezer for weeks, then pop a bag in the microwave and in four minutes, you’re downing some figure-friendly fibre, which will help you stay lean and trim.
10) Not Getting Enough Sleep
Simply put, it is harder to resist calorie-rich comfort foods when you are tired or are experiencing lack of sleep.
Fast Fix: Strive to get more sleep. We fare better at resisting temptations when we are well-rested. So how much more sleep should you get? It depends on what you need to feel fully alert and awake. For some people that may be five hours a night; for others it’s eight. Basically, any amount of sleepiness resulted in a greater tendency to overeat.
Credits to iVillage.com