When you’re trying to lose weight, it can make you do all sorts of crazy things. But a lot of the eating habits you acquire are actually making you gain pounds instead of shedding them. Here are five bad eating habits that are making you gain weight.
Eating Before Bed
No one wants to go to bed hungry, but going to bed with a recently-filled stomach is a bad idea. Eating a meal or a snack right at bedtime will stimulate your digestive system, possibly making it harder for you to fall asleep. Your digestive system slows while you’re sleeping, so the food you eat before bed is more likely to “stick” with you. Try not to eat at least three hours before bed, and especially avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.
If you’re rushed in the morning and skip out on breakfast, you’re setting yourself up for failure in your diet. Even if you don’t think you’re that hungry, you must have at least something small in the mornings upon waking. Breakfast gets your metabolism going so it will be strong throughout the day. It boosts your energy. If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re likely to be much hungrier at lunchtime, which can lead to overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods.
Eating in Front of the TV
If you’re the type of person who likes to snack on something while watching TV, you need to banish food from the couch. Because you’re focusing on the TV show, you’re not focusing on how much you’re really eating. And because a TV show is usually a lot longer than it would take to eat a meal, you’re more tempted to get seconds in order to continue eating while the show is on. If you absolutely must eat while watching TV, bring only a portioned, appropriate amount of food with you, and resist the urge to get a refill on the commercial break.
It seems to make sense that if you eat less, you won’t gain as much weight. Lots of people take that logic to mean it’s a good idea to skip meals. Skipping meals is actually a bad thing to do, and it can make you gain weight. When you don’t eat regularly, your body will think it’s starving, and it will slow down its metabolism to keep you alive for longer. To avoid your body’s survival tactics, do not skip a meal or snack; eat something every four hours.
Eating Too Quickly
When you’re short on time, you still need to eat, so you might end up rushing through your meal and eating as quickly as you can. But eating too quickly will lead to overeating, and you may not chew your food enough for proper digestion. It’s very important to slow down, take your time, and deliberately chew every bite. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to feel full, so eating slowly will give you time to feel full and know exactly when to stop.
Jennifer Hawkins is a restaurant owner and chef who specializes in recipes with nuts. She also blogs quite frequently and loves to give advice to other cooks or people with no culinary backgrounds.
Photo Credit: SteFou!