11 Seemingly Innocent Habits That Make You Gain Weight

Did you happen to notice that you have been gaining weight lately?

Sneaky weight gain can happen to all of us, especially when we are no longer in our twenties. Many unexpected things could contribute to weight gain, and you may not spot them at first, but, in time, pounds could easily add up, leading to several health issues like diabetes and heart disease.

Following a balanced (and healthy) diet and exercising regularly can make a huge difference on the scale, but when you aren’t exactly the athletic type of person, only the thought of exercising could feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are other ways to control your weight. Changing certain habits starting today will pay off in a couple of weeks, so let’s discover them!

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Eating way too fast

These days we are busier than ever, and on most occasions, we don’t take enough time to enjoy our meals. Eating your meals quickly has only downsides. For starters, people who eat way too fast often experience indigestion and an upset stomach. Plus, they will also see changes on the scale.

Numerous studies pointed out that people who consume their meals rapidly are more prone to be overweight. This happens because the human body needs time to tell the brain that it’s full. So, people who eat quickly eat more than they actually need. If you’re also a quick eater, consider changing this habit, especially when you’re struggling to lose weight.

Not drinking plenty of water

While there’s no need to highlight the benefits of drinking enough water daily, it seems that some people need this friendly reminder. Staying hydrated boosts your mood, aids weight loss, supports brainpower, prevents headaches, protects you from various diseases, and improves physical performance.

Apart from that, old-fashioned water is responsible for maintaining blood volume, regulating body temperature, and keeping your kidneys in tip-top shape. Water does all of these and, yet, approximately 28 percent of American adults are dehydrated.

Not drinking plenty of water can make you eat more, too. Your body can mistake thirst for hunger. Try to eat plenty of plain water daily, and you’ll most likely shed some pounds.

Socializing too often

Now you may ask how on earth could socializing make you gain weight… Well, the answer is quite simple: social gatherings often involve alcohol and food like pizza, burgers, candies, you get it, the unhealthy ones… And we are not saying to give up on your social life (no way!), but to watch your plate next time you party with your friends and family.

Having a social life is essential, but so is owning a healthy body. Try to select the good foods from the bad ones and be mindful of your portion sizes. In general, we don’t pay attention to our portion sizes when attending social gatherings. Don’t you agree?

If you want to make a change in your life and eat healthily, you should give the Mediterranean diet a chance! Here’s the best book for beginners!

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Sitting Too Long

On average, American adults sit between 9 and 11 hours a day. For most of them, sitting for prolonged hours in front of a computer seems harmless, but as most studies suggest, those who sit too long are actually more likely to be obese. As a result, they also have increased odds of developing chronic diseases like cardiovascular issues and even cancer.

Another study discovered that people who sit for longer than 10 hours a day have a 34 percent higher risk of early death. The percentage is huge, so you must change this habit as soon as possible. If your job implies sitting for long hours, at least make sure you take a walk before and after work.

Even better, try a standing desk.

Not catching enough Zzzs

Did you know that more than a third of Americans of all ages don’t get enough hours of sleep? A lack of sleep could mean more than just weight gain. Sleep deprivation (no matter the reason or type) can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, immunodeficiency, mental health disorders, and several hormonal abnormalities.

You should get at least seven hours of good quality sleep a night. If something keeps you awake at night, such as the recurrence of an unfortunate event, or stress factors, talk to a professional. You may need prescribed medication to overcome your issues. In the meantime, you could try Chamomile tea.

Not having “alone time”

Spending time with yourself is not a Millennial thing. Studies suggest that “alone time” is quite beneficial. From relieving stress and anxiety to boosting mental health, this method is often used by successful people. Only 15 minutes of “alone time” can do wonders for your health, weight loss included.

Another great alternative would be meditation. Many studies have shown that this common practice can alleviate anxiety and stress better than medication in most cases. If you don’t like the idea of meditation, there’s also yoga. No matter what you choose, it’s good to be conscious of the problems surrounding you in order to absorb and process them accordingly.

Eating in front of a screen

You can’t lose weight when you’re constantly eating in front of a screen. It was scientifically proven that people who eat while watching their favorite TV shows, browsing the Internet, or simply reading the news are more prone to be overweight.

Why? Because you get distracted when doing two things at the same time (you’re not Napoleon!). Thus, you probably eat more food this way. Another interesting fact related to eating in front of a screen is that people who do this tend to eat even more later on a given day.

So, when eating your meals, try to avoid all types of distractions and keep your eyes on the plate.

Drinking Your Calories

It seems that sipping on your calories might lead to weight gain. So, soft drinks, fruit juices, and other types of beverages shouldn’t be consumed on a regular basis. According to nutritionists, your brain doesn’t count the calories that come from beverages, meaning that your body will require the exact same amount of calories to complete its daily tasks.

Rather than drinking fruit juices, consume the whole fruit. When consuming whole foods, your body processes the information when chewing and swallowing, allowing it to let the hunger hormone know that it’s time to settle. So, ditch the soft drinks and fruit juices.

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Photo by Syda Productions from Shutterstock

Not consuming enough protein and fiber

Both protein and fiber are important when trying to lose weight. When you’re not getting enough of the two, you are more likely to be overweight. Protein sources like chicken breast, lentils, almonds, oats, tofu, fish, and eggs inform your body to manufacture more fullness hormones and fewer hunger hormones (ghrelin).

Fiber, on the other hand, is crucial in losing weight, too, mainly because it keeps you fuller for longer and aids digestion. The more vegetables you eat, the better results you’ll have. In fact, a recent study showed that consuming just an extra 14 grams of fiber daily could minimize your calorie intake by up to 10 percent. This means that you can lose 4.2 pounds in about four months only by adding 14 grams of fiber per day.

Eat as many fiber sources as you can.

Taking the elevator

If your apartment is on the 20th floor, it’s quite understandable why you take the elevator every single day instead of the stairs. But if you’re living in a building with lower floors, you have no excuse. When you’re taking the elevator, you’re actually missing out on a super easy workout.

Studies suggest that every 20 steps you climb could translate to burning 8 calories. And yes, 8 calories may seem nothing to you, but try to count the steps next time you climb the stairs. We bet there are more than just 20 steps. So, whenever you can, opt for the stairs; it’s magic to your waistline.

Drinking way too many milky coffees

Most of us (60 percent of Americans, to be precise) can’t start the day without a morning cup of Joe. Coffee is the first thing that pops into our heads when we open our eyes, and the coffee itself is super-healthy, providing lots of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants… But what happens when we add sugar, milk, cream, or other popular additives?

Our healthy cup of Joe could easily transform into a caloric bomb. Opting for milky coffees contributes to weight gain, so ditch this habit. Stick to black coffee for your much-needed energy boost. And remember that moderation is key!

The way you eat does not only influence your weight but also your immune system. Here are all the fruits and vegetables you should add in order to have the best chance against viruses and bacteria!

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