Weight gain results from extra calorie intake. However, there are other factors that contribute to chronic weight gain including imbalanced unhealthy habits, desk jobs, and poor eating choices.

There are healthy foods like lean proteins, plant-based fats, whole grains, and fruits. And we have the sugary, unhealthy yet tempting foods that have high saturated fats, including processed and prepackaged foods. Unhealthy habits also lead to higher calorific intake subconsciously.

Researchers found that key habits that are the leading factor towards weight gain were ones that subliminally led to poor-quality food choices. Frequent visits to the fast-food restaurant, using vending machines or watching TV while you eat are all examples of such habits.

The same researchers also discovered that a single didn’t lead to weight gain but a combination of such habits collectively.

Bad Eating Habits that lead to weight gain

Inactivity, jobs with minimal or no physical activity and poor food choices are not the only things that cause your weight to creep up. Here is a list of the top five habits detrimental to health and how you can overcome them.

You eat too quickly

It has been found that people who dart through meals have a greater chance of becoming obese than those who eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your body’s instinct to stop eating to kick in which is the time it takes for the message to deliver to your brain from the stomach. If you eat too fast, it may be too late as far your daily intake is concerned and you may have already eaten a lot by the time the 20 minutes pass.

Solution

Slow down! Make sure you are taking at least 20 minutes to eat a single portion of your meal. Be mindful of the meal. Take in the beauty of the blessing in front of you. Observe the aroma and colors on your plate before you munch. Don’t count your chews. Count the pieces you break down while chewing. Make sure you do not have any large pieces to swallow. Observing and playing with your food or having a nice chat during the meal with loved ones can help avoid overeating and make sure you do not miss the ‘I am full’ alarm when it goes off.

You are Impulsive

Being impulsive can make you fat. It was found that impulsive people weighed 22 pounds more than the calm, collected ones. This suggests that impulsiveness is directly related to bad eating habits such as food cravings, not pre-planning meals and spontaneously dropping into fast-food diners.

Solution

Pre-plan your meals to avoid the habit of overeating. Set goals for yourself that are small and achievable which does not make you feel you have been thrown off track and turned into a different person.

Eliminate your impulsive attitude by being ready in advance. Pack healthy snacks for work so you do not end up buying from vending machines or food stands. If the lunch is takeout, cook extra food twice a week to keep leftovers for work.

You have the thermostat cranked up in your house

A chilly house is better for weight loss. When your home is warm and toasty you are more likely to become obese as cold temperatures encourage faster homeostasis to heat the body.

Solution

Keep your thermostat 20 degrees Celsius or below. Wear a warm sweater if needed. A cool environment helps you to burn greater energy so you can keep the metabolic rate high and body temperature healthy. This is not only good for the body but also light on the pocket as it will reduce your heating bill. Warming up muscles by stretching or walking can also burn calories.

You Focus on Pleasing people

Do you prioritize yourself last?. Empathy is a great quality, but it is also self-deprecating if done unnecessarily which could also get you eating more. Research proved that people pleasers are likely to eat more and unhealthy in social conditions. People pleasers ignore their body’s cues because they do not want to disappoint others. People pleasers love to mirror what others are doing to feel part of the posse.

Solution

The first step is accepting and admitting that you are human and vulnerable. It is easy to get into peer pressure in social situations. Second, pre-plan your meals so you can assertive and confident to say no when other food is offered. If you find yourself being nagged, you can excuse yourself by saying you would love to taste but also mention that you are laying off some things.

Chronically Skipping Sleep

If you are skimping on sleep, you are putting on unwanted extra pounds. Every hour you spend sleeping is thirty percent greater chance of avoiding obesity. Losing sleep overtime leads to weight gain.  Remember, lack of sleep makes people feel hungry (absence of Leptin). Also, it causes fatigue that makes people avoid exercising and becoming lazy.

Solution

Get sufficient quality sleep. You should be able to have seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Improve the environment you sleep in to improve sleep quality. Do not keep tablets, laptops, TV’s or smartphones near your bed. Keep away from smoking or eating large portions at supper. Move around. Active and fit people can sleep better.

Tips on Eradicating Bad Eating Habits

  • Before beginning your meal, plan on how much you will eat. Prepare just as much as you need so you are not tempted to overeat.
  • Do not consume processed, precooked and/or canned foods.
  • Avoid buying snacks.
  • Stop eating at fast food diners.
  • Make smarter choices: pick the lower calorie food.
  • Remove visible fats, oil, and skin from meat or chicken.
  • Stop being a couch potato if you want a sexy hourglass body. Avoid watching TV while you eat and do not eat on the sofa.
  • Say no to after-dinner treats.
  • Do not go grocery shopping while you are starving.
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