You’re probably here because you struggle to lose weight and can’t recognize the obvious bad habits for weight gain that you are guilty of. Taking a run up the stairs after you just ate three doughnuts isn’t going to fix your problem; consistency is the key, and you need to break these unhealthy habits. We’re not saying you have to stay away from donuts completely (though that will be ideal), but like everything in life, moderation is in order.
If you’re experiencing unhealthy weight gain, there are many things you may be doing wrong that you haven’t considered yet. Losing weight and maintaining weight is not just about physical activity and eating less – it’s a lifestyle
In this guide, we will look at what you may be doing wrong and which 25 bad habits for weight gain you should be getting rid of, along with the extra pounds and calories.
26 top bad habits for Weight Gain:
You Eat ‘Low-Fat’
This is the first bad eating habit we are guilty of. Eating low-fat or fat-free foods is essentially the same thing as drinking diet soda with a loaded burger – it gives you a bit of hope, but fat-free doesn’t mean much.
Fat-free basically makes it sound like a helping hand leading you to weight loss by not really doing anything. In actual fact, fat doesn’t make you fat. Stay away from anything that says “diet” or fat-free. Low-fat products will only save you a couple of calories thanks to the low-performing simple carbs that digest quickly, causing a sugar rush almost immediately.
You Ignore Sodium Counts
As you can see, this list of unhealthy eating goes on, and sodium counts are number two for a reason. Some saltiness has never been bad for those with no extreme health issues, but you should check the daily intake limit for sodium to err on the side of caution.
It’s said that over 50% of Americans consume too much salt. And yes, the sodium count comes mostly from processed food, just like most health conditions and diseases. So, stay away from junk food and check your sodium intake.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
Water will always be there for you in your time of need, whether to calm the nerves or help you maintain a healthy weight. If you are drinking enough water, good for you! benefits all your main body functions, skin, hair, and bowels. The more you drink, the better you can achieve and maintain your weight loss goal.
Water is probably the only miracle juice in existence, and it’s basically free. In fact, a study by the University of Utah proved that by drinking two glasses of water before each meal, you could lose 30% more weight.
You’re Sleeping Too Little or Too Much
Although sleep doesn’t make that much difference, you should look at all possible helpers to aid your weight loss journey. Did you know that sleeping less than six hours a night could cause you to put on more weight?
An average of 7- hours of sleep each day can contribute to weight loss. Who thought it would be that easy getting back in shape? Just kidding, you will still need to do strenuous exercise, live healthily, and follow a diet.
You Don’t Get Tested
You may not know this, but vitamins play an essential role in maintaining positive weight loss. If you are gaining weight while living healthy and exercising, you may suffer from an essential vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D especially is something you should be getting tested for to ensure you are getting an adequate amount.
High cholesterol and diabetes can easily be detected with annual exams. Still, a doctor won’t generally look at vitamin deficiency which can be dangerous and lead to various cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other risk factors.
You Eat Too Quickly
Slow down, enjoy your food, and eat mindfully – your food isn’t going anywhere. Your appetite should also not run away with your inhibitions. Stay calm, take a breath, and enjoy. By eating slowly, your brain will have enough time to tell you when you have had enough to eat.
You Eat off Large Plates
Don’t let your eyes lie to you; you can’t fit that into your stomach. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Instead, take a smaller plate and see how you feel 5 minutes after finishing that amount of food. If you are still hungry after 5 minutes, you can fill it halfway.
You Watch Too Much TV
Eating in front of the TV is distracting and can easily cause you to eat too quickly. Apart from that, watching a lot of television has been proven by the University of Vermont to make you eat more.
By reducing your TV time by 50%, you will be able to burn at least an additional 119 calories. Naturally, if you are on the couch, you aren’t getting physical, so switch off the telly and get moving! Or pop on Netflix, and do your squats while you binge your favorite series.
You Order the Combo Meal
If you are not thinking straight, are having a bad day, and have lost all respect for Mondays, you might end up at a drive-through looking at comforting combo food. It might feel quite exciting to some, but you will regret the combo option once your Tuesday comes knocking.
Unhealthy food is packed with trans fats and processed sugars that are detrimental to weight management. It leads to excessive belly fat and unwanted body weight.
If it happens to you, and you simply need fast food, don’t grab the combo; order the most petite snack on the menu.
You Ignore Nutrition Advice
This is easy; if you’re not getting the essential nutritional elements into your body, you’re not losing weight. If you want to lose weight, you will need to be healthy. Speaking to a nutritionist and getting the lowdown on what you need to consume daily can help you lose and maintain weight healthily and naturally.
You Drink Soda-Even Diet
As we’ve seen with fat-free and low-fat products, diet products are not beneficial to losing weight sustainably. Just one soda a day can make you gain weight and increase the chances of obesity by 33%.
As if that is not enough, your waistline can grow five times faster when drinking between one or two sodas a day. So, more water, less to no soda.
You Don’t Set Aside Time to Relax and Destress
This is certainly one of the unhealthy habits we are all guilty of. Life is hectic, and stress doesn’t only cause you to chew your fingernails or shout at your poor dog – it also makes you think about throwing your phone in the ocean and moving to Hawaii.
We never do that, so it’s best to sit down, close your eyes, listen to some music, and avoid a bucket full of ice cream. Not unwinding positively could lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels, which will cause sleep and immunity problems, as well as weight gain.
You Try Extreme Diets
Proceed with great caution the moment you decide to go on a diet. Following a healthy and honest diet is the best way to maintain your weight. Don’t starve yourself, and don’t just eat popcorn.
Fad diets and miracle cures are just mumbo-jumbo. Make sure you get in all the healthy nutrients your body needs while also eating healthy portions of the right stuff. It doesn’t take a lifestyle overhaul to stay clear of junk food or processed food.
You Eat When Emotional
Emotional eating – we’ve all been there. Just throw in the towel. It’s the end of the road and the path to the nearest fast-food restaurant. To make sure you’re not giving up on your weight loss journey, instead, get a punching bag or a zen garden for those emotional days. Do you know that healthy and perfectly thin friend who one day suddenly doubles in size? That’s emotional eating at work. Sure, comfort food has its place, but it should be an indulgence, not a way of life.
You Cook Too Much
Spend less time in the kitchen! Now, who’s smiling? We’re not saying go to the fast-food restaurant or eat a bag of whatever junk you can find. Cook less healthy food to ensure you won’t be overeating and make sure that your plate has all the necessary elements such as veggies, lean protein, and grains.
You Eat Free Restaurant Food
The real F word is free. Free is never free, and by eating free restaurant food, you will be paying for it in other ways. In fact, even with the complimentary snacks given before meals, such as breadsticks, you are overindulging and overeating.
You Avoid All Fats
As previously stated, not all fats are bad. Your body needs a certain amount of healthy fats to function at its best. Fat does not make you fat. Just remember, the key here is healthy fats. Indulging in trans fats will increase your risk of heart disease, strokes, and weight gain. But consuming healthy fats such as flax seeds and nuts can help you healthily lose pounds. These fats help absorb vitamins from diets and keep you full after eating a meal. Avocados are another great source of essential fats.
You Eat at Your Desk
Your workplace is not a coffee shop or a bistro. A designated area for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a great way to eat mindfully and at the right speed. This works the same as eating with the television on; you will gain weight if you eat while you are distracted.
You Eat Through Your Food Intolerances
If you have any food intolerances, they should be avoided, full stop. However, many people are not aware that they have intolerances and just go on feeling bloated or congested. Brushing off the knowledge that a particular food is not suitable for you can contribute to extra inflammation, weight gain, and a weakened immune system.
You Always End the Day With a Drink
Ending a stressful day with an alcoholic drink is the go-to for many, but does it really help? Let’s face it, the only reason why it works is that it makes you too lazy to think about your problems. You may even think that your nightcap is helping you to sleep. Wrong! Drinking within two hours before bedtime can cause your body to struggle metabolizing alcohol before transitioning into sleep. Feeling tired in the morning but slept the whole night? That’s because alcohol keeps your body away from a deep sleep.
You Keep Your Pantry Stocked With Unhealthy Foods
There’s no need to keep your pantry stocked. Only stock the necessities and maybe one indulgence for when it’s really needed. If you are peckish, grab a healthy snack like a handful of nuts to keep those extra calories at bay. Without unnecessary temptations in the kitchen, it could help you to eat less and lose weight quickly.
You Eat When You Aren’t Hungry
The most obvious and logical on this list. Don’t eat when you are not hungry; no studies are needed for this. Eat only when you are hungry, and always eat mindfully.
You Drink Most of Your Calories
When most of your calorie intake comes from liquids (like alcohol) or a sugary drink, you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re struggling to lose weight. And no, water doesn’t have calories, so you should still drink the right amount of water each day. Beverages usually lack nutritious fats and fibers, which are needed to help you stay full the whole day.
You Eat Dinner After 9 P.M.
Late Night? Wait for the morning. Have you had some late-night snacks? Midnight snacks? That’s probably why your waistline isn’t standing still. The kitchen should have a closing time, and it should be before 9 P.M.
You Order Lunch When You’re Hungry
Ordering lunch is never a good idea, except if you have a health store with healthy meals. Making your lunch in the morning can help you make a wise, calorie-conscious choice. If you are already at work and the stress, headaches, and red faces have already reared their ugly presence, you will probably indulge in unhealthy foods – which certainly contributes to unhealthy weight gain.
You Don’t Make Substitutions to Your Restaurant Order
Ask the chef not to add certain facts and salts can help avoid getting in so many unhealthy ingredients. Choosing an already healthy meal is good, but just make sure that your chef isn’t adding anything else to the healthy ingredients.
Put Those Bad Habits to Sleep
If you focus on these 26 bad habits for weight gain that lead to unhealthy behaviors, you will be able to easily maintain and lose your unwanted weight in no time. Make these 25 points your mantra, and stick it on your fridge.
This guide should become that little voice in your head that is always saying, “no, don’t eat that. Put down the sugary foods.” Memorizing this list of no-nos will not only help you to lose and maintain your weight and follow a healthy diet, but it will provide you with a healthy lifestyle full of benefits.
Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.