Losing weight is one of the most popular fitness goals, but it can be more complicated than simply eating healthy. Some people do all the right things and still struggle to lose weight due to bad habits they’ve developed over the years they might not be aware of. These bad habits might not always be apparent early in your weight loss journey. You might lose weight in the beginning, then run into a plateau.
Fortunately, bad habits can be changed once you’ve identified them and are willing to put in the extra effort required to break them.
Six Obvious Bad Habits That Are Interfering With Your Weight Loss Goals
Here’s a list of some of the most common bad habits that might interfere with your weight loss goals.
1) Snacking All Day Long
Many of us do this without realizing how many extra calories we take in. Each snack might not significantly impact your daily calorie intake, but all the snacks you consume over the course of a day will. Feel like having a serving of nacho chips? That’s an extra 150 calories, and that’s one of the healthier snacks.
Snaking on unhealthy foods is one of the worst habits people looking to lose weight can have, so come up with a plan to control your snaking if you want your weight loss journey to be successful.
Start by figuring out what your daily calorie intake should be to lose weight and factor in how many of those calories come from your meals. Anything else will be your allowance for snacks. Try to keep your snacks as healthy as possible to keep your calorie intake to a minimum. For example, a bowl of berries is a healthier snack than a bowl of potato chips. One is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are good for you, while the other contains unnatural trans fats your body doesn’t know how to process.
A simple trick you can use to curb your desire to snack is drinking a glass of water whenever you have cravings. People often confuse dehydration with hunger, so drink water when you’re craving a snack.
2) Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it sets your body up for the rest of it. Many of us often skip breakfast these days to save time as we prepare for our daily obligations, but that can lead to your metabolism working slower than it should and cravings for unhealthy foods as the day goes by.
Your body needs fuel in the morning to jump-start your metabolism, so your body burns more fat during the day. For example, you’ll burn more calories if you have a light breakfast and go for a morning jog than if you skipped breakfast and went on a jog.
If your morning schedule is too busy to make breakfast, drink a meal replacement or protein shake in the morning to kickstart your metabolism.
3) Drinking Calories
Most people have no idea how many calories they consume from beverages. Feel like having a beer? Well, that’s 150 calories. Need about six beers to get a nice buzz? That’s a total of 900 calories. That’s enough calories to count as an extra meal.
Soft drinks, soda, and other beverages that contain sugar aren’t much better. Most contain about 150 calories. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible since all the extra calories they pack can prevent you from losing weight. Drink more water instead, especially ice-cold water. Cold water is heated up by your body, allowing you to burn more calories.
4) Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is another bad habit that can hinder your weight loss goals. Many studies show that the less people sleep, the higher their body weight typically is. Research also shows that insufficient sleep triggers cravings for calorie-dense foods and carbohydrates.
The connection between your appetite and how much sleep you get is believed to be linked to hormones. Your body produces less of the hormones that impact your appetite when you’re sleep deprived, making it more difficult to stick to healthy foods.
5) Not Keeping Track Of Your Food Intake
Counting calories isn’t particularly fun, but it’s one of the most powerful tools available if you’re looking to lose weight. Start by determining your daily caloric intake based on factors like your activity level, age, current weight, and gender. There are countless apps and online calculators you can use for this. You’ll need to consume about 200 to 500 calories less than you need daily to lose weight consistently.
Start with the foods and beverages you consume daily when counting calories. For example, if you always start your day with a cup of coffee, figure out how many calories are in the cup. There are countless smartphone apps you can use to estimate the calorie content of foods and beverages these days, so take advantage of them. Bodybuilders a few decades ago had to count calories in an age when the internet and smartphones didn’t exist. These apps do most of the work these days. All you have to do is enter what you eat, and their algorithms do the rest.
Counting calories makes it easier to identify problems with your diet so you can reach your weight loss goals.
6) Emotional Eating
This might be the hardest bad habit on our list for some people to break. Some people turn to food when they feel frustrated, lonely, angry, stressed, or sad, which typically leads to overeating. However, eating will only fill the void for a short time, and you’ll be back where you are in a few hours, looking for more comfort foods to binge on.
The most effective way to break emotional eating patterns is to find better ways to deal with negative emotions, like going for a run or taking martial arts classes. These activities take your mind off negative emotions and lead to the release of feel-good hormones in your brain.
You may also like: