We’re calling out two habits and two types of food that are thwarting your weight management plan. Kick them now and get on track for healthier lifestyle.
1. Sleeping less, later, and with the lights on
We can’t stress enough the importance of sleep. Even adults need seven to eight hours of deep sleep in the dark for essential bodily functions, including memory and learning, boosting the immune system, and cell regeneration and repair. Sleep also suppresses the hunger hormone leptin, so you don’t feast on a late-night snack and don’t wake up all-fatigued and craving for caloric dense comfort foods to restore your energy.
2. Mindless eating
Separate screen time from mealtimes. Digital distractions only make us less receptive to our body signaling that we are full and have had enough, and this leads to overeating. Pay attention to what you put into your mouth and aim to chew each mouthful at least 10 times. Take your time to savor the flavor of your food. When snacking, set aside a small portion instead of just reaching into the main bag to prevent binge eating.
3. Fat-free and processed “health” foods
Fact: Fat-free foods aren’t exactly free of fats. As they don’t have fats or have reduced fats, these foods depend on extra sugar, salt, and thickeners to improve their flavor and texture, making them the calorie trap that you want to avoid. Ditto with “health” foods like fruit-yogurt, cereals and granola. Look for and avoid sugar that is masquerading as “high fructose corn syrup,” “corn starch,” “maltose” and the like.
4. Fruit juices and smoothies
Contrary to popular belief, fruit juices and smoothies don’t seem to be pulling their weight when it comes to healthy options for weight loss. Under the blender, cells of the fruits break down, releasing sugar. The high sugar content then causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and dip quickly. These blood fluctuations make us crave sugar even more, feeding the vicious sugar cycle.
Instead, go for whole or cut fruits. The fiber fills you up and slows down the absorption of sugar, retarding sugar cravings and hunger pangs.