It seems counter-intuitive but some of the choices you make, the ones that seem healthiest, may be actually working against your weight loss goals. Here are 6 habits
that may be slowing you down!
You use reusable shopping bags:
A study from the Harvard Business School found that shoppers who brought their own bags to the store were more likely to buy junk food. Researchers suspect this was because people feel that they are entitled to reward themselves with a treat for having made an eco-friendly choice. Don't switch back to plastic, just adjust your thinking. Think of bringing that bag as the norm and not as a super good deed.
You obsess about one kind of nutrient:
Low carb and low fat diets are everywhere but cutting out too much of one or the other isn't a good strategy. Studies have found that eating low fat dairy can make you binge on carbs and 'low fat' labels cause us to eat up to 50% more of that particular food than you would otherwise. Fat is good for keeping you full and avoiding it will only lead to tummy rumbling and overeating! Cutting carbs is good for initial, rapid weight loss but as soon as you reintroduce them, you will gain the weight back. The best strategy is to eat a colourful variety of fresh, whole foods and not restrict yourself too much when it comes to specific nutrients.
You buy tons of "health" foods:
Research published in Journal of Marketing Research
found that foods labelled as "healthy" caused people to eat more of it and exercise less later on. The authors of the piece believe this happens because we believe that healthy food can be a substitute for exercise. There are no foods that can do what exercise can do.
You count calories:
Although keeping track of what you eat is important, counting calories may actually work against you. This is because when you restrict calories too much, you'll send your body into starvation mode which means a slowing of your metabolism and burning muscle for energy instead of fat. Counting calories can lead to making poor food choices too. A granola bar has fewer calories than 1/4 cup of almonds but the granola bar lacks the fiber, fat and protein you would be getting from the nuts. If you are eating fresh, whole foods, you will not need to count calories.
You think foods are 'good' or 'evil':
If you feel really good about yourself after you eat a kale salad but are beyond consolable after eating a donut, you may have fallen into this trap. If you are beating yourself up after a few diet mishaps, you may actually end up eating more. A study from the University of Toronto rigged scales to make it appear that participants had gained 5 pounds. After the weigh in, participants who felt shame ate more ice cream than those who weren't fazed by the gain. Guilt and shame are terrible for your waistline. But patting yourself on the back too hard for healthy food choices may also backfire. You may find you are giving yourself licence to indulge and cheat a little. The only way out of this trap is to remember that you are choosing healthier foods because they taste great and make you feel better physically. Not because they are 'good.'
You stick to the same healthy routine everyday:
Smoothie for breakfast, salad at lunch, salmon and steamed broccoli for dinner. Day in, day out. This should work, right? Maybe not. Recent research suggests that limiting your diet can also limit your healthy gut bacteria. Those bacteria play many roles when it comes to weight loss from appetite control to keeping blood sugar levels in check. And researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that people who incorporated a variety of new and exotic foods into their diet on a consistent basis had lower BMIs than those who stick to the same foods. Have fun, try new things! Being healthy doesn't have to mean being boring! For some meal ideas that will never get boring, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!
More than just a 30 day menu planner, this meal plan comes complete with a detailed nutrition guide and an added recipe book with over 70 offerings!
Are you guilty of any of these habits? Share with us.