WEIGHT LOSS: FIVE HABITS TO BREAK

Eating while watching TV is a bad habit

Mayo Clinic Diet Journal recommends that we should break 5 habits to lose weight effectively. 

  1. No eating while watching TV—and you can only watch as much TV as the time you spend exercising. Watching TV is a sedentary activity, so break this habit and get moving. Also, some people tend to mindlessly eat, especially at night in front of the TV or another type of screen. This habit is not only associated with burning fewer calories, but it also can be associated with increasing your calorie intake from eating. 
  2. There are various ways to break this habit. For example, put a note on the TV: “No TV while eating” or “TV time equals exercise time.” If you have an exercise area in your house, you can walk on the treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle while you catch up on the news or watch your favorite program. 
  3. Another option is to look for alternatives. Many people find that if they turn the TV off, especially while with their family, the conversations around the dinner table are much more enjoyable and can contribute to good family dynamics. 
  4. No sugar, except what’s found naturally in fruits. Sugar contributes calories that are very easy to ingest—it’s high in energy density—which can contribute to weight gain. In addition, we need other nutrients to metabolize carbohydrates, such as sugar. Also, there are some direct negative effects of sugar, such as dental cavities. Furthermore, if you’re consuming drinks such as soda that contain sugar, you may not be consuming other healthier drinks, such as milk. 

››Alcohol counts as a sugar, so avoid it to decrease calorie intake, at least in the Lose It! phase. Also stay away from artificial sweeteners during this phase because they may increase your cravings for sweets. 

››You can reduce your intake of added sugar and artificial sweeteners in many different ways. For example, drink unflavored, carbonated water. In baking, try substituting a fruit puree, applesauce, or something similar for sugar. 

3. No snacks, except for vegetables and fruits. The snacks that people often eat are not that healthy, high in calories, and difficult to stop eating. That means the calorie intake from snack foods can be very high. Vegetables and fruits should be the main snacks to consume, but a small amount of nuts could be a good choice if you crave a more traditional snack. 

4. Moderate meat intake and use low-fat dairy. Meat is associated with increased calorie intake, weight gain, and poorer overall health. From a health standpoint, less is better when it comes to red meat, and especially processed meat. 

Low-fat dairy contains the same nutrients as full-fat dairy except for the fat content, and the saturated fat in full-fat dairy just adds extra calories and contributes to increased cholesterol levels. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

In the United States, a large amount of sugar has been added to the food supply. Sugar has been shown to contribute to increased calorie intake and increased weight. 

Try to eat just one serving—about the size of a deck of cards—of meat daily. Eating less meat increases the opportunities to eat a wide variety of other foods, such as whole grains, pasta, fish, vegetables, or tofu. 

5. No eating at restaurants unless the meal fits the program. When people eat out, they’re not in control of what they’re eating. Many of the dishes served in restaurants may taste good, but they may also be very high in calories. It can be hard to know since you’re not in charge of portion size or cooking techniques. 

If you can find things on a restaurant menu that fit the overall program, that’s okay, but be careful when eating at restaurants while losing weight. Research shows that eating out is one of the factors associated with increased calorie intake and increased weight. 

When you do eat out, keep in mind that restaurants are often willing to change recipes or modify them to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask restaurants to change the way a food is prepared or the amount that’s served. 

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