You have a well-balanced, low-calorie diet combined with regular exercise, but still haven’t shed those extra pounds? Feel frustrated? Here are some “hidden” culprits of weight gain and some ways to avoid them.
Lack of Sleep
Yes, proper sleep in the amount of 7-8.5 hours a night helps burn calories. Research has proved that a lack of sleep increases ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases your appetite and decreases leptin levels, another hormone that suppresses the appetite. Upset your sleep and all kinds of things happen, so make sure you get your proper rest and develop a good daily practice of sleep.
Eating Too Quickly
Did you realize that it takes your brain 15 to 20 minutes to catch up with your stomach? What I mean is that it takes a while for you to realize that you are properly full. Eating too quickly, you will likely consume more than enough to satisfy yourself before you realize you are full. Now once you slow down and chew your food more careful pausing between bites, your system will signal to you that you are full before you have already consumed too much.
Eating when watching television or surfing the Internet can impact your food intake. Have you ever sat down with a dinner or snack and before you knew it consumed much more than you had intended. Studies show that when you are particularly engaged, let’s say in an exciting fast-moving sporting event or an adventure movie, you eat even quicker. Save your food for the table and focus upon what you are consuming.
Some medications may lead to weight gain due to changes in metabolism or appetite. If you suspect that a medication could be causing your weight gain, consult your physician. Do not stop the medication before first consulting your healthcare provider.
“Healthy” Restaurant Food
Maybe you are like me. You’ve chosen a salad instead of that cheeseburger with fries. Unfortunately, the dressings on those salads often include massive amounts of fat dripping off those lettuce leaves, not to mention croutons and other add-ons. To gain your intended benefits, either skip the dressing altogether or ask for a low-fat variety placed on the side, and skip any extras that come with your meal.
Use a smaller dinner plate. Our large plates can make a healthy portion appear like a ration. We instinctively are inclined to fill our plates, and in the process eat too much. You might even consider substituting your salad plate for your dinner one.
Your Drinking Habits
Research has indicated that diet sodas can actually cause weight gain and no one disputes that alcoholic beverages can throw weight loss into a tailspin. And while the fiber in apples counteracts their sugar content, apple juice is like drinking liquid sugar. So if you are trying to lose weight, think twice before you lift that glass or wine, beer, mixed drink, fruit juice, or soda. A regular habit of only a little bit daily adds huge amounts of calories over time. Instead, add some mint, a lime or lemon to a glass of filtered water.
Red or white wine (5 oz.) = 120 calories
Regular beer (12 oz.) = 150-198 calories
Light beer (12 oz.) = 64-136 calories
Martini (2.5 oz.) = 160 calories
Vodka and tonic (8 oz.) = 200 calories
Margarita (8 oz.) = 200 calories
Rum and Coke (8 oz.) = 185 calories