I am clearly not an expert on nutrition, but if I’ve learned anything in the last two years, it’s the following 8 things. I’ve learned more, but these have been key factors in if my waistline balloons or diminishes, or at least what I’ve noticed.
1. Not Drinking Enough Water
Simple enough, drink water. But for some reason when I look back on my day, I’ve had maybe one glass. The key is remembering that half the time you’re not hungry when reaching for that bag of trail mix sitting in your desk drawer, you’re just dehydrated. Having two coffees in the morning or a can of soda doesn’t replace the water you need to hydrate, either. And the added calories from that soda, an unwelcomed friend. Keep a water bottle next to your desk and every time you want to snack, grab a few sips of water instead and see how you feel in 15 minutes.
2. Walking to the Store/Coffee Shop/Drug store on Your Break Isn’t Enough
It’s a start. Instead of taking the car for a 30 second drive, you walk the 5-10 minutes to grab your lunch for work. That’s a great way to get off your butt, but it’s not enough. Add in 30 minutes of heart-pumping, sweat-inducing excercise in your daily routine and you’ll start to see results. Burn calories with a run, some spin, a 30-minute Richard Simmons VHS, or even a hike with a friend. If you’re sweating, it’s working.
3. You Buy Groceries When You’re Hungry
I’ve done this a million times, then wonder how the cookies came home with me. When you’re starving, that bag of potato chips (baked or not) looks mighty fine and somehow made it’s way into the cart. Your hunger helps you justify the purchase. Whoops. Opening the bag on the way home to snack on a few isn’t helping the waistline either.Turns out all those foods you’ve been avoiding are hard to miss when you’re walking the aisles for dinner. Don’t do it.
4. You Don’t Eat Breakfast
Even Dr. Oz says a morning meal is your best ally. A big breakfast instead of a big dinner helps your body take advantage of its natural metabolic cycle. So go big breakfast, medium lunch, and small dinner – calorie-wise, that is.
5. You Don’t Eat Enough
Sure, the calorie tracker says if you want to lose 2 lbs a week that 1,200 calories a day is enough. Well, to be frank, if you’re excercising daily burning an additional 200-400 calories a day, you’re starving yourself. Fuel your body, just don’t over do it. And if you don’t eat the minimum, you’re body will go into starvation mode, meaning it will hold on to all that fat you’re trying to lose.
6. You’re Sleep Deprived
Working two jobs, trying to balance friends and family, while getting the house clean, planning meals, and trying to find time to workout can be exhausting. But if your body is worn out, you won’t be able to do any of those things and your body will actually increase your appetite, making you gain weight. Yikes!
7.Your Partner Isn’t On Board
Wondering why you’re gaining weight when you have a boyfriend? Could be that their unhealthy habits are rubbing off on you. It’s super hard to say no to that extra slice of Domino’s pizza when they’re eating it, too. The buddy system can actually keep you in check. If they’re hitting the gym with you, instead of encouraging you to sleep in, you’re more likely to keep up the healthy habits.
8. You Don’t Track Your Food
I’m totally guilty of this one. The moment I stop tracking my food, my calorie intake skyrockets. One cookie turns into four cookies, and I just put sour cream on my taco and extra cheese because I’m not measuring my food. It’s super easy to add an extra 500 calories a day without even noticing. MyFitnessPal.com (and the app) have been super helpful for me.