We all try to watch how and what we eat, but I also wanted to talk about eating habits that cause weight gain. I know that with eating healthy, it sometimes feels like we’re darned if we do and darned if we don’t, but there is hope! If we stay on top of the way we eat, it can make a huge difference in our health and well-being! Check out some of these classic eating habits that cause weight gain so we can avoid these diet pitfalls!
1. Stop and Think
When you think about eating habits that cause weight gain, one of them happens to be not being as mindful when we eat. Think about it, you missed eating breakfast at home and you arrive at school or work starved. If someone happens to have donuts or pastries, it’s an easy way to satisfy hunger quickly. The negative is that those quick eats are typically nutritionally deficient with lots of sugar, fat and calories. Always stop, take a deep breath and think about your food choices before eating.
2. You Fear Fat
Another bad eating habit is strictly sticking to foods that are labeled low-fat or fat-free. For one thing, our bodies need fats. Secondly, most low or fat-free foods do not necessarily mean that they are good for you or low in calories. Try to stick to making your own meals as much as possible and leave the pre-made or packaged foods for those times you absolutely can’t get anything fresher and healthier!
3. You Don’t Eat Enough
Another possible cause of weight gain is when you don’t eat enough. I know this can sound confusing since a big part of weight loss is to eat smaller portions. We can get into trouble when we don’t enough and don’t get the proper amount of calories we need each day. Not getting enough to eat might seem like a quick way to lose but it can slow down weight loss, cause changes in mood and even trigger binge eating.
4. You’ve Got Juice
One of the top beverages consumed during breakfast is some kind of fruit juice. Some people also drink fruit or veggie juice in lieu of eating the whole fruit or vegetable. If you’re making your own juices at home, that’s perfectly fine. However, most store-bought juices have tons of added sugar as well as other additives that can make it a cause of weight gain if consumed regularly. Always read labels and stick to the serving size!
5. You Eat While Watching TV
A serious bad eating habit is eating while you watch TV! This is a hard habit for me to break because to me, there are very few things in life that are as satisfying as eating a yummy meal or snack while watching my favorite show or movie. The problem with doing so is that you can easily eat way more than you planned. We tend to go into auto pilot when we multitask, so it’s more satisfying mentally and physically if you take a break from the tube and focus on your meal while you eat.
6. You Eat out a Lot
I love to go out to eat. I’ve gotten a lot better at cooking at home but I can get lazy, and going through a drive-thru or getting waited on seems much more fun. It’s really hard to eat healthy when you don’t know what’s in your meals and how they’re cooked. We all get busy but eating out more than once a week can cause weight gain!
7. Dinner is Your Largest Meal
While we’re at it, let me confess to another bad eating habit I have: dinner is almost always my largest meal. It’s much easier for me to eat decent portions for breakfast and lunch since I eat alone, but dinner is a family meal so it’s hard not to make it a big meal! In reality, we need our nutrients and calories during the day since we’re most active. Dinner time is usually in the later part of the day so we don’t want to overdo it.
8. You Graze While You Work
If you’re one of those people who has a drawer full of goodies at work, it could be the cause of stalled weight loss or weight gain. Even healthy snacks like nuts, trail mix or fruit leather can cause weight gain if you eat them throughout the day without keeping track. I used to always crave something to eat whenever the afternoon slump hit, but now I stick to drinking water or sipping tea or coffee.
9. You Always Eat Dessert
For some, no meal is complete without dessert at the end. While I totally sympathize with my fellow sweets lovers, finishing off each and every meal with dessert is not the way to go if you want to lose weight. Desserts should be reserved for certain occasions, not every night. Too much sugar in the evening can keep you up or cause interrupted sleep from the sugar high.
Did you identify with any of these eating habits that cause weight gain? I certainly did! Weight loss can be challenging if you’re not aware of the different ways extra calories, sugar and fat can creep into our daily lives. If you have trouble keeping track, try using an app or journal to track what you eat; you might discover some other eating mistakes that can cause weight gain!