If You Keep These Habits, You’ll Never Lose Those Final Pounds
Everybody knows that it’s so much easier to put weight on than to get it off. You can easily put on ten pounds on a week-long cruise after spending too much time at the buffet, and take several months to shed that weight. In college, you may have fallen victim to the freshman 15, but those extra pounds stayed until long after you were a college graduate. Losing weight requires willpower; gaining weight means giving into temptation. Naturally, the latter of the two is so much easier (and feels better in the moment). It’s no wonder that some people, in spite of their best efforts, cannot get to their ideal weight for years. Here’s the real issue: some bad habits are exponentially worse than the good habits are good. What I mean is that making one little mistake can undo ten positive behaviors, at least when it comes to weight loss. If you keep these bad habits, you’ll never shed those final pounds.
Confiding in the wrong friends
Some of your friends take it too easy on you. In fact, some of them are also looking for excuses not to live a healthy lifestyle. These are not the friends you should confide in about your bad habits and your desire to lose weight. They’ll always tell you that, “You’re fine—you’re doing great. Diets are stupid. You don’t need to lose weight.”
Starting the day with no plan for your meals
Failing to plan your meals is the same as planning for failure. Of course you’re going to eat the free pizza in the break room if you didn’t pack a lunch. Of course you’re going to have a vending machine dinner if you didn’t pack a dinner for the late-night meeting.
You make food the activity
Stop making food the main attraction. Meet a friend for a walk, for a trip to a museum, for a bike ride, for window-shopping, or for tea if you must imbibe something. But not all socializing has to revolve around happy hour, frozen yogurt, tapas, and tacos.
You don’t keep busy
It’s possible that you use food to compensate for a lack of hobbies, social life, interests, time spent with family and more. If you keep a busy calendar, you won’t have time to sit around the house and snack.
Not getting enough sleep
Losing excess weight is nearly impossible when you’re sleep deprived. The hormonal and chemical imbalance your body suffers when you’re exhausted is a recipe for overeating.
Using food as anything but fuel
Food shouldn’t be a reward for a hard day’s work. It shouldn’t be how you console yourself after a bad date. It shouldn’t be your comfort after fighting with your mom. Any time you want to eat, ask yourself, “What is this food really for?” If it’s for anything but energy, skip it.
Ah procrastination by way of food. It’s a favorite among many! Is there something you know you need to do in your life? It could be something small, like finally going through your closet and pulling out things to donate, or something big, like finally applying to graduate programs. And, do you find that you eat instead of do these things? Cut that out.
Wandering into your kitchen at night
Just don’t go in your kitchen at night. Put some caution tape up if you have to. Activate a loud alarm on the perimeter of your kitchen if you must. Going in there at night—when you’re tired, your defenses are down, and your judgment is weak—is never a good idea.
Failing to watch your protein intake
You need to have some awareness of your protein intake if you’re going to lose weight. Women, unfortunately, tend to be protein-deficient. But if you don’t get enough protein, you’re going to reach for more carbs, fat, and sugar.
Starving yourself all day
While cutting calories is the key to losing weight, starving yourself all day isn’t. If you do this, come night time, you tell yourself you’re allowed to eat whatever you want. And you’re so hungry and eat so fast that you lose any real sense of when you’re full.
Telling yourself you’ll exercise later
If you have a window of time to exercise but just don’t feel like it, ignore the don’t-feel-like-it part. Not to go all Nike on you, but just do it. When you tell yourself that you’ll do it later, you never do. Life gets in the way.
Being jealous of fit people
If your friend loses weight, or you notice an old friend from high school is suddenly a fitness model, don’t be jealous—be happy for them! Jealousy is a negative emotion that may drive you to eat in some strange, twisted attempt to prove to yourself that you’re not jealous. But you are.
Justifying bad food
All of the justification in the world won’t change the fact that, tomorrow, you’ll wish you’d had the salmon instead of the macaroni and cheese. All of your excuses and explanations tonight won’t comfort you, or create a smaller number on the scale, tomorrow.
Saying, “At least I’m better than that person”
There will always be someone who is heavier than you are, exercises less than you do, and eats worse than you do. If you compare yourself to these individuals, you’ll never get to your best self.
Having no regard for calories
There are plenty of apps that can tell you exactly how many calories you, specifically, with your current weight, goal weight, activity level, height, and age in mind, must eat in order to lose weight. Don’t just guess the number—it’s probably off.