Step away from the cake. The following 5 bad habits are probably sneaking up on you, and the scale. If you’re noticing a gradual weight gain, one of these lifestyle habits could be the culprit. Are you guilty?

5 Weight Gain Triggers

1. Eating Too Fast- If you have a case of the munchies you probably consume food way too quickly while you eat. This means you won’t listen to your body’s signals when it tells you it’s time to stop. Overeating will lead to weight gain.

Fix it:  Drink a full glass of water before meals and drink while you’re eating to help you feel full rather than hungry. Learn to listen to your body and stop eating when you are satisfied, not when you are full.

2. Lack of Sleep- Once your sleep schedule is thrown off you may begin to experience gradual weight gain. Researchers at the University of Turin calculated that for every hour a person sleeps, their chances of becoming obese dropped by 30 percent. Eva Von Cauter of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago explained the process. “Our body is not wired for sleep deprivation. The human is the only mammal that does this.”

Fix it; Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per evening. Limit alcohol and food prior to bedtime and turn off all lights and electronic devices. A dark and cool bedroom will provide the most restful sleep.

3. You’re Impulsive– It’s fun to let loose and enjoy life, but this behavioral trait can also be the sneaky cause of weight gain. If you say yes to the appetizer, yes to the impromptu brunch, and yes to going out for drinks every weekend, soon you may begin to see the telltale signs that living life of the edge can be quite tipping on the scale.

Fix it: Be mindful of your choices and make smart decisions. You can go out and select lighter menu options, and decrease your alcohol consumption. Meal planning can help you avoid last minute bad choices.

4. You Like It Hot- Shedding layers and sleeping buff feels great and that’s why many people love to keep their thermostats set at a cozy and warm temperature. This could lead to weight gain. Cold temps help your body expend energy.

Fix it: Try your heat down a few degrees and allow your body to work harder burning calories while you sleep. You’ll save money, and increase your calorie spend.

5. You’re Inactive– It’s a bad habit to live an inactive lifestyle. If you spend most of your time being a couch potato you need to be especially careful of your food choices or you’ll likely experience weight gain.

Fix it: Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Even if it’s a walk in the park or a game of hoops. As people age their metabolism slows down. If you find yourself on Netflix dates more often than the treadmill, try to kick the habit. Be more active and introduce small tasks into your day that involve physical activity.

 Make a Healthy Change

While the cause of weight gain can be poor food choices or a medical diagnosis, many times the gain is an indicator of a bad habit. Ditch your vices and stay focused on eating smaller and healthier meals, and find a new hobby you love that encourages you to get moving. 30 days is all it takes to break a bad habit. You can start today and shed the weight.

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