10 Bad Habits That Cause Weight Gain

So many times in my life this has happened – I step on the bathroom scale after a week of dieting and have my motivation crushed when I look at the number and realize that I have gained weight despite my efforts. Sometimes I know I deserve this setback because I didn’t follow my diet as I should have, but other times there seems to be no explanation for this devastating blow.

Bad Habits That Cause Weight Gain

These top 10 bad habits that can cause weight gain can leave a dieter feeling frustrated and confused when it comes to losing weight.

Truth be told, though, there are so many little things we do during our diets that can really sabotage our efforts to lose weight despite all of our good intentions. You probably don’t feel like you’re eating poorly or more than you should, so why is the scale saying that you are gaining weight? To help shed some light on this common dieting problem I have come up with the top 10 bad habits that cause weight gain that may be preventing you from reaching your goal.

  • Not eating enough calories – When you don’t eat enough calories, this causes your body to feel that it’s starving. As a result, it slows down your metabolism and will hang onto those calories instead of burning them for fuel.
  • Drinking diet soda – Research has shown that drinking diet soda can cause people to eat more than they should. This is due to the artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks that act like sugar in the body, causing insulin levels to spike, which can lead to more hunger.
  • Avoiding whole fruits – While drinking juice can give you some vitamins and minerals, juice also has more calories and less fiber than you would get by eating the whole piece of fruit.
  • Not exercising – Your body was designed to move, so when you don’t exercise, it can begin to slow down and burn fewer calories. Over time, this adds up to weight gain.
  • Muscle loss – When dieting your body is forced to use energy it has stored either in fat or muscle. Of course, we want our bodies to consume fat not muscle, but if you don’t work at toning your muscles you could start to lose them. This is why is particularly important to do exercises that helps tone and build muscle so that you keep the muscle you have instead of losing it when dieting. Each pound of muscle you have on your body burns calories, even when you’re not working out.
  • Not planning your meals – If you don’t have a plan to eat healthy, it’s going to be much easier to gain weight. Try planning out your meals for an entire week to see how this might help you in your weight loss efforts.
  • Eating fast food meals – Eating fast food can cause weight gain, we all know this. Even fast foods that are called “healthier options” are often riddled with calories. When trying to lose weight it is best to avoid fast foods all together.
  • Eating too fast – When you’re eating, you should be seated, slowly chewing each bite of food. Since the body needs about 20 minutes to send the signal to the brain that it’s full, if you eat too fast the brain does not have time to catch up with your stomach and it becomes very easy to overeat (for more information, read the post “Eating Slower Improves Weight Loss“).
  • Extreme low-fat dieting – While it might seem like a good idea to cut all of the fat out of your diet, when you do this your brain will cry out for sustenance, which can cause extreme hunger pangs.
  • Drinking your calories – Even some pretty innocent looking beverages can contain 200 or more calories. Instead of drinking your calories in beverages such as sport drinks, specialty coffees, juices and sodas choose water or unsweetened tea instead.

Losing weight is often just a matter of changing a few things in your diet and in your lifestyle. And just as simple as it is to lose weight by making small changes in your diet and lifestyle, it is just as easy to gain weight if some of these common bad habits are not addressed. By making sure you avoid these 10 bad habits that cause weight gain you will likely start to see your weight drop on a more consistent basis.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Gaining Weight When Dieting”, “Health Conditions that Cause Weight Gain”, and “Sports Drinks Hinder Weight Loss”.

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