55 Little Things that are Making you Obese and Overweight
If you sit and think, weight loss is not that hard to achieve! With the correct diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, burning fat and shedding weight is quite an easy task, you just have to put your mind into it. Making some small changes here and there, picking up a good morning habit from this list (10 Morning Habits for Effective Weight Loss), and shunning these 55 little things that are probably making you obese and overweight, will help you to your desired weight and body shape rather easily. By “obese,” we do not mean any particular body type and it’s definitely not intended at “body shaming,” it’s a condition where one feels unhealthy and the body is at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, and lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, arthritis, etc. Reducing one’s body fat percentage and losing weight is the most effective way to reduce risk of these diseases and get healthy in general. So, let’s find out what these little things are which are keeping you fat.
1. Cooking with vegetable and seed oils: Most vegetable and seed oils are refined and manufactured with a chemical solvent, and they are also usually high in omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids raise inflammation in the body which can completely stall the weight loss, and in fact, lead to weight gain. Read about “Why Inflammation Might be the Reason you are not Losing Weight.”
2. Not Chewing Food Properly: People who eat quickly and at a fast pace tend to gain weight compared to those who take their sweet time chewing slowly. When you eat too fast, your brain doesn’t get the signal from the fullness hormone “leptin” to stop once you are full. This means that you are eating more than you actually require for energy. Another interesting fact is that the brain takes about 20 minutes to register that you have eaten food and by slowing down, you can actually reach satiation point during the eating process itself and stop yourself from piling on extra pounds.
3. Not drinking enough water: It’s a fact that most of us do not consume enough water through the day, and most of the times, we are just thirsty and not really hungry. Frequent hunger pangs are most probably due to dehydration and if you can provide your body with more H2O, you can lose weight rather effectively.
4. Sedentary lifestyle: Even if you have reached your goal weight, falling back into a sedentary lifestyle will make all that lost weight bundle up right back. Indulge in at least 40 minutes of exercise, five days a week, to lose weight effectively.
5. Sleeping for less than 7 hours: Are you getting 7 hours of sound sleep? If not, this might be a reason there is no weight drop. If you have an uneven sleeping pattern or sleep for less than 7 hours, you can end up gaining a lot of weight too due to elevated cortisol and ghrelin level (hunger hormone) the next day.
6. High stress level/chronic stress: If there’s one factor that can prevent you from losing any weight at all, it’s elevated stress. Every person in this world has some level of stress in their day-to-day life, however, stress levels should not be in an elevated state always. Stress releases a hormone cortisol that raises blood sugar in the body, triggering more insulin release, and as we all know, insulin is a fat-storing hormone too, which leads to extra calories to be stored as fat, especially around the abdominal region.
7. Finishing everything that’s there on your plate because you do not want to waste food: Wastage of food is not acceptable at all, but that does not mean you have to finish everything that’s there on the plate. Practice portion control; also leftovers are totally okay the next day.
8. Eating in front of the TV or with phone in the hand: It’s a fact that we tend to overeat while watching TV or with our mobiles in our hand because our mind is distracted and we lose control over portion sizes. Eat with your family and friends instead of eating alone. It’s a psychological thing, it keeps you cautious of how much you are actually putting in your mouth or what you have decided to consume in the first place, helping you cut down on calories.
9. Not counting liquid calories: It’s wrong to assume that liquids such as fruit juices are healthy, and would not add much calories. In fact, liquid calories get easily digested (without the fiber content), spike up insulin and blood sugar level, and make you hungry in a short period of time all over again, leading to overeating. Eat your fruits in their raw form, to get maximum fiber out of them.
10. Too little fiber in your diet: A high-fiber rich diet is great for digestion and weight loss. Fiber helps you to keep fuller for longer, lowers cholesterol, and controls sharp spike in insulin levels. Here are some high-fiber items that you can include in your diet.
11. Extending cheat meal into a cheat day: We are all guilty of doing this – stretching a cheat meal into a whole day of binging! You are bound to have weight gain over the next few days.
12. High-sodium snacks: Food rich in high salt content causes water retention and bloating in the body. As we all know, salt can cause water retention and weight loss. Cut down on salt, in fact, eat salt in moderation without completely eliminating it from the diet.
13. Not Enough Protein in the Diet: What makes protein the real hero is the fact that it keeps you fuller for long. When you consume protein-rich food, it slows down the digestion process, making you feel satisfied and one would less likely make frequent trips to the fridge! When you follow a protein-rich diet for a month or so, you save so many calories hence you notice faster results.
14. Frequent Snacking: Insulin, which is also a hormone that triggers new fat cell creation, tells the body cells to store fat and also prevents breakdown of stored fat. Frequent snacking raises insulin levels in the body and too many insulin spikes through the day will result in creation of new fat cells. Restrict snacking to just twice a day, without indulging in high-calorie food. Opt for healthy snacks like apple and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or even peanuts.
15. Too many “whites” in your daily diet: Absolutely refrain from “white” from your diet – that means no refined sugar, white salt, white flour, etc.
16. You have replaced refined sugar with artificial sweetener: You are wrong if you think artificial sweeteners will lead to weight loss because some studies have linked artificial sweeteners to weight gain and even metabolic disorders. Instead of artificial sweeteners, here’s a list of healthy replacements for refined sugar.
17. Missing NEAT activities: NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and is the energy we use for everything we do in our day-to-day life except for when we are sleeping or exercising. Using the stairs instead of the lift, squatting on the floor to lift something up, walking while talking on the phone, every activity we do while being on our feet, comes under NEAT. All these activities help to burn some amount of calories and these bits of calories spent here and there, add up to a considerable amount when you are trying to lose weight. Read more about how you can include NEAT activities in your daily life here.
18. Going for the elevator instead of stairs: 15 minutes of climbing stairs will boost your metabolism, make you more active and tone your leg muscles (thighs, glutes and calves). It might feel like you are only working your leg muscles, but be assured that your whole body is active while you are climbing up and down.
19. Not substituting refined carbs with healthy carbs: Refined carbs can be unhealthy when consumed in high amounts. Maida is the most widely-used refined carb from which a wide range of food products such as white bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries are made. Refined, processed carbs cause weight gain, but whole grain and fiber carbs do not add lead to obesity. Here’s a list of the Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss.
20. Not Maintaining a Calorie Deficit: It is essential to go into a calorie deficit to actually lose weight and all the diet programs on Rati Beauty put you through calorie deficit without compromising on nutrition or health. When people take in more calories than they require, the surplus calories are stored as fat in the body. Calorie deficit happens when you eat less than the necessary calories so that your body reaches out to fat stores to run all functions smoothly. If the body doesn’t get the calories it needs to perform its necessary functions from the food you consume on a daily basis, you create a calorie deficit. Putting it simply, calorie deficit occurs when someone takes in lesser calories than those burnt during exercise, resting, and to perform daily bodily functions. If you are not burning enough calories through exercise or other activities, it’s a major reason for weight gain.
21. Eating too many “healthy” foods: This is a common mistake we all tend to make. We overeat foods that we consider as “healthy,” for example, oats, protein bars, smoothies, walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, even peanuts! Do keep in mind that they do have calories and can take up your calorie count a lot higher than you think.
22. Negative Body Image: As we have mentioned previously, having a negative body image of yourself can demotivate and prevent you from working towards achieving realistic goals. Every body type is different and not everyone is supposed to look a certain way. The goal should be to look and feel healthy, period.
23. Not cooking your daily meals: It’s hard to resist the temptation of eating out if you are a foodie, and with so many food apps, ordering from a restaurant is literally on your fingertips. Once a week of dining out is okay, but two to three regular days in a week of indulging in high-calorie food might not be okay. Cook your own meals and see the change in your body weight.
24. Crash dieting: Crash dieting involves sharply cutting down food and calorie intake. Cutting down calories drastically can also lower your metabolism. Women need anywhere from 1600-2400 and men need 2000 to 3000 calories per day to function normally. On a controlled diet, one can count up to 1200 calories, but not lower than that.
25. Picking only low-fat stuff: To lose weight and to lead a healthy life in general, you should consume the recommended intake of “good fat.” When fat content is ripped from food, it usually makes it bland and tasteless. To appeal to the tastebuds of consumers, companies add stuff like heaps of sugar, refined carbs, salt, emulsifiers, and thickeners which add high amount of calories to the body. Such a tendency defeats the whole purpose where one is actually going “low fat” to lose weight Stay away from packaged products that have been labeled “fat free” because what you are eating instead might be loads of sugar and other unhealthy filler ingredients which will pile on weight in your body.
26. Picking only sugar-free stuff: We cut down refined and white sugar from our diet, cutting down jam, chocolates, ice cream, and candies, but then munch on “sugar-free” biscuits and juices, which can do equal harm. All of these so called “sugar-free food items” contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc instead of sugar, which do not get processed by our body and is bad for our waistline, skin. Long-term use of such artificial sweeteners can cause headaches, stomach aches, etc.
27. Starting your day with the wrong kind of breakfast: Starting your day with a bowl of packaged cereal that you think is healthy? Think again because most of such cereals are high in carbs, loaded with sugar, and quickly raise blood sugar levels. So many carbs and calories in the morning itself will keep you craving for more food throughout the day. If you want to lose weight, skip the cereal and eat traditional Indian breakfasts such as idli, dosa, poha, chapathi, paratha. It’s much better to start your day with a nutritious homemade breakfast or even boiled eggs to kickstart the metabolism. Most breakfast cereals, are low on nutrients, have loads of sugar, and lack fiber – all of which are extremely important for weight loss.
28. Comfort eating/stress eating: Comfort food is probably one of the main reasons why someone gains weight rapidly. People often turn to food rich in high fat, calorie dense, sugary delights to find comfort from the daily grind. Detach completely from food as a source of comfort to prevent piling up of pounds.
29. Your brown bread is not brown enough: The brown bread that you pick for easy breakfast is most often just a colored version of your regular bread. Even if it’s not colored, it has preservatives, added sugar, gluten, vegetable oil, sugar and salt. So, eat your brown bread in moderation and do not go overboard.
30. Late-night snacking: Late night snacking is often not mindful and you may actually lose out on counting calories.
31. Unhealthy salad dressing/sauces/condiments: Salads are healthy but store-bought sauces, condiments, and dressings are not because they are usually high in calories, sodium, and even sugar. Make your own salad dressings to avoid piling of calories.
32. Not on Rati Beauty Weight Loss program yet: Eating less is not always the right way to lose weight, you need to follow diet routine to effectively lose weight. Follow Rati Beauty diet programs which teach you what to eat and when to eat, and above all, to lose weight the healthy way.
33. Doing only Cardio Exercises: We tend to give ourself the freedom to eat more food expecting to burn all extra calories through workout (mainly cardio), but cardio exercises can only burn limited amount of calories. Only controlled diet combined with exercise would lead to weight loss, otherwise you may just see more weight gain.
34. Magnesium Deficiency: Magnesium in the body regulates blood glucose levels and a good control over glucose matters a lot when it comes to weight loss. Maintenance of blood glucose levels also means there would be less insulin spikes and lesser creation of new fat cells. Magnesium helps to calm your mind down and decrease stress levels in the body, and also to increase serotonin (which is also called “happy chemical”) that regulates feelings such as mood and happiness. High serotonin level means you would feel good about yourself and life in general. Interestingly, people with major depression have been found to have magnesium deficiency, so up your intake of magnesium through a healthy diet. Food Sources of Magnesium: Quinoa, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, oats, flaxseed, capsicum, chia seeds are all good sources of magnesium.
35. Hitting the bed right after dinner is a very bad idea: Eating too close to bedtime is one of the major reasons for digestive disorders as it interferes with your metabolism and lead to weight gain. You need to stay awake for at least 2 hours post eating a meal for it to be properly digested and the nutrients to absorbed into the body
36. Calcium deficiency: It helps you burn more fat stored in the body. Prevents your body from storing fat. Adequate calcium in the body increases breakdown of fat in the bloodstream and preserves thermogenesis, accelerating the weight loss process.
37. Starting your day with bed coffee/tea? It’s not ideal to start your day with bed coffee or tea because of two reasons – the first one – both of them are natural diuretics which increase urine production and can leave you dehydrated, especially after 8 hours of not consuming any water when the body is already in a dehydrated state. Secondly, our body detoxifies itself when you sleep at night and toxins create an acidic environment in the body. The first thing we need to do is to alkalize our body and tea and coffee first thing in the morning wouldn’t help. Switch to a big glass of warm water with lemon squeezed into it to make the acidic environment of your body alkaline. This glass of water boost metabolism and flushes out toxins as well.
38. Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D boosts immunity, which is an extremely important factor in weight loss. Studies have also revealed that vitamin D deficiency triggers fat storage in the body for later use, especially around the waist. Appropriate vitamin D level also prevents the formation of fat cells. A healthy diet along with regular exercise and optimum vitamin D levels in the body will help you lose considerable amount of weight and that’s why, we at Rati Beauty, curate recipes so that one does not fall deficient of any vitamin, D or otherwise, to lose weight the healthy way. Additionally, vitamin D also boosts the release of “leptin,” which is the “satiety” hormone which tells the brain that your tummy is full and also improves insulin resistance.
39. Not eating at a fixed timing: Sticking to meal times is important, in fact, do fix your snack timing too to prevent frequent snacking and piling up of calories. Follow Rati Beauty app for more info.
40. Snack time means baked potato chips: No, not even baked potato chips are healthy! Potato chips are not okay, not even the baked ones because when potatoes are baked at extremely high temperatures, they release a compound called acrylamides, which can cause cancer. Research has found that baked chips usually have three times more acrylamides than normally fried chips.
41. Not practicing portion control: Portion control is an essential aspect, not only to lose weight but also to maintain optimum health and to prevent diseases. Here are 10 Tips to Portion Control.
42. You do not practice Mindful Eating: Mindful eating is essential to wight loss. It helps to increase levels of anti-anxiety neurotransmitter GABA which stabilizes your appetite and cravings. Here are some tips to practice mindful eating.
43. Missing out on healthy nuts: Several studies have shown that eating nuts is associated with weight loss. Most nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews have good amount of protein, vitamins, saturated fats that keep your weight in check. They also boost metabolism and help body burn calories more effectively.
44. Celebration means sweets: We usually eat something sweet to celebrate success or certain occasions, but sweets are made with refined sugar with high glycemic index that can cause insulin spikes which leads to storing of extra calories as fat in the body. Pick foods with low glycemic index (less than 55) to lose weight effectively. Some examples of low GI foods are apple, chickpeas, lentils, soy beans, brown rice, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, onion, radish, spinach, sweet potato, yam, etc. Also eat fiber-rich food to regulate blood sugar level and reduce craving for junk food.
45. Binge eating: Millions of people around the world suffer from binge eating. It is an eating disorder in which people eat large amounts of food without any portion control, even when they are not hungry. After the session is completed, the individual might sense a strong feeling of guilt. Regular binge eating sessions can cause obesity, heart-related diseases and diabetes. Here are 10 Tips to Reduce Binge Eating.
46. Storing High-Calorie Snacks and Food in the Fridge: Keep packaged and processed food out of sight and that way out of mind, and eventually, these foods which are high in calories, transfat, sugar, and sodium, would not reach your pantry and will not land in your plate either.
47. Eating a carb-heavy Dinner: Go easy on carbs and avoid eating fruits at night. Have you fruits after breakfast or by evening, not near to your bedtime.
48. Not all “fats” are bad: Cutting out all forms of “fat” from the diet will prove counterproductive. Saying no to healthy fats such as ghee, nuts, eggs which are extremely nutritious and are actually “superfoods,” can lower metabolism and prevent you from losing weight.
49. You have gone extremely low on salt: Salt is essential in your daily diet and runs a range of chemical reactions in the body. It’s not much of a culprit, eat salt in moderation, and pick any of these healthy salt options.
50. Processed food is easy cooking: Avoid processed foods as they contain unhealthy oils and carbs which leads to weight gain. Instead, you should rely on healthy carbs from whole grains, good amount of healthy fat and protein in daily diet.
51. Not filling half of your plate with vegetables: Cover half of your plate with vegetables during each meal and this way, your skin would glow, hair would grow healthy, and you would lose weight too.
52. Cannot think a world without ice cream: Most frozen desserts are marketed as “ice cream,” and come loaded with sugar, transfat, and preservatives. One can easily pile on calories by binging on ice cream, in fact, keep ice creams as part of your cheat meal and not as a daily indulgence.
53. You order what others are ordering in the restaurant or while eating out: While you are trying to lose weight, it would be wise to not get influenced by the kind of food others in your group are ordering. Since one needs to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, count calories strictly and order accordingly when you are eating out with friends or family.
54. You love breads, it’s a staple!: Don’t fall for the “100% whole wheat bread” tag printed on most of the breads these days. For a lot of people out there, bread is a staple breakfast, but far from being healthy, white bread and even most brown breads have refined flour along with sugar, salt and other preservatives. Keep breads as a cheat meal once a week, and for healthy breakfast ideas, do check out Rati Beauty diet program recipes.
55. Can’t ditch the cola! Cola and such aerated beverages have empty calories with zero nutritional value and pile on calories in the body. They are loaded with sugar and are extremely bad for weight loss. You shouldn’t even consume processed fruit juices as they contain unwanted sugar, instead, consume natural fruits in their raw form as they are healthier for the body.
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