Habits to Break for Weight Loss
You watch your portions. You get veggies into most meals and take walks on most days. Yet, still, the scale seems stuck. Even with such a healthy routine, sometimes things you wouldn’t expect—like what you order to drink or the time you go to bed—could sabotage your weight loss. It all boils to the little habits to break.
To help get the scale moving again, here are seven habits to break:
1. Drinking “diet” drinks.
Of course, you know not to order the regular cola with your meal, but you figure the lower-calorie diet version is an OK choice. Not necessarily. One recent review of research found that artificial sweeteners—the kind often used in diet drinks—may not be as beneficial for weight management as intended and that drinking them regularly may be linked to an increased body mass index. If you want something fizzy with your meal, opt for seltzer with lemon or lime. Of course, if you can’t stop dreaming of that diet soda, we’re not saying it has to be completely off limits. Just try to cut back. Moderation is key!
2. Not drinking enough water.
This is one of those habits to break for anyone. Every part of your body needs water to work properly. When you don’t get enough in your system, your body can’t carry out normal function, which can drain your energy. More tired means less physical activity. Plus, mild dehydration is often masked as hunger—prompting you to grab a snack when all your body really needs is a glass of water. Nutrisystem recommends drinking at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Click here for easy hacks guaranteed to help you drink more water >
3. Skipping resistance training.
You won’t curl a dumbbell and hate doing squats. Leaving those types of muscle-building moves out of your exercise regimen can slow your metabolism. That’s because muscle tissue determines your resting metabolic rate—or the number of calories your body uses to keep your heart beating, lungs pumping and body functions throughout the day. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the more calories you burn. Your body tends to lose muscle as you get older; regular resistance training can counteract these aging effects.
4. Rushing through a meal.
You may have heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating: It takes 20 minutes for the “I’m full” signals from your stomach to reach your brain. When you inhale your food, it’s much easier to eat more than your body really needs. One review of 23 studies found that fast eaters were about twice as likely to be obese, compared to slow eaters. To help you slow down, take smaller bites, chew 10 to 15 times and put your fork down between each one.
5. Stressing about everything.
It’s one of the more important habits to break for many, many different reasons—one of which is it causes your body to burn calories more slowly, which could lead to weight gain, according to a study. Plus, stress increases hormones that stimulate your appetite and the foods you’ll crave for comfort tend to be high in fat and sugar. Try different ways to help manage stress—such as deep breathing or meditation, getting more exercise, hanging out with friends or listening to music.
6. Going to bed too late.
This one falls under “habits to break that your parents told you”. Research suggests sleeping less than five hours a night may lead to weight gain. Part of the reason may be too little sleep messes with hunger hormones and stimulates appetite. Also, not enough rest may leave you too tired to work out. The sweet spot for sleep: Seven to nine hours a night.
7. Setting crazy weight loss goals.
It’s natural to want to see results quickly, but unreasonable expectations could sabotage your efforts. Experts agree that losing one to two pounds per week is healthy and sustainable. With Nutrisystem, you can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches overall in your first month and an average of one to two pounds per week after that.* Use this range to help set your expectations.
*In a study, avg. weight loss was 10.98 pounds and 7.7 inches.
Expect to lose an avg 1-2 lbs. per week. Results vary based on starting weight and program adherence. Inches lost from hips, waist, chest, thighs and arms in first month.
If you’re ready to lose weight, we’ve got you covered with our easy-to-follow weight loss plans. Click here to check them out >