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These Unknown Bad Eating Habits Are Making You Gain Weight

These Unknown Bad Eating Habits Are Making You Gain Weight

Changing lifestyles and busy schedules have been having a huge impact on our eating habits. The increased stress levels involved in both study and our working lives have brought about a drastic change in the eating and sleeping patterns of many people. This has been one of the main causes of what is known as the “obesity epidemic.”

We are so busy in a day that we often fail to realize whether we skip meals or eat a lot more than needed. Insufficient amounts of sleep, the skipping of meals or overeating are the aftereffects of stress. They are contributing reasons why a person would gain weight too. Apart from these, there are many other common habits that can be proven to be bad and make one gain weight. Let us see these bad eating habits one by one.

1. A low-fat diet.

This is the most common myth that people follow. There is no doubt that a low-fat diet will reduce the amount of fat being consumed. But foods that are marketed as “low-fat” are manufactured using sugars and all kinds of chemicals to replace the flavor and texture of fat. This can be even worse than consuming fat.

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2. Taking big bites.

This is a common scenario when you’re at work or college. You need to rush for a meeting or a lecture and don’t have enough time to munch your food properly. This makes you take bigger bites that help you finish faster. Seldom do we realize that this later develops into a habit and is a big cause of obesity. Studies have reported that people who take bigger bites consume 52% more calories than the ones who take smaller bites and chew slowly.

3. Poor combinations of foods.

A lot of tasty new stuff gets introduced in the food industry. Companies try out various recipes where they add two or more ingredients to make the food look more tempting and taste different. Since childhood we have heard that we should choose a balanced diet. Combining foods not knowing whether they will work well together could be risky for the digestive system. The simpler the food, the easier it will be for digestion.

4. Eating food while you are distracted.

The only free time that most of us have during the day is when we are eating food. I have observed many people struggling to utilize this time too. People prefer reading newspapers or watching television while eating. They think this can be a time to catch up on the happenings of the day or enjoy their favorite program. Eating food while being distracted this way causes us to eat more than is actually needed.

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5. Eating bag to mouth.

On days when we have a full schedule, we tend to grab those fancy snack packets that contain high amounts of preservative-laden foods. It is advisable to measure out a portion onto a plate and then eat. This will let you know how much the packet actually contains and you can control your consumption rather than finishing the entire thing.

6. Going hungry for meals.

Planned an outing with friends? If you know you will be going out for dinner, don’t walk up to the dinner table starving. An empty stomach tends to ask for more. Snack on a few carrots, cucumbers or even almonds before you arrive. This will help you fill your stomach with something healthy, leaving less room for you to overeat.

7. Eating under stressful conditions.

This is the most common scenario experienced by professionals. Eating while you are stressed will make you eat more. We often fail to realize the amount of food that is consumed when we are stressed or depressed. At such times, it’s best to make note of everything we eat and thus avoid the heavy foods that may cause obesity. Another solution to this would be to indulge yourself in fun activities that will keep you stress free and involved in something else.

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8. Eating while you work.

We have already seen how eating while watching television or reading a newspaper can lead to overeating. Eating at your desk can result in overeating too. While at work you are busy as well as under stress. This makes you eat more. If you can, pack your food in a way that will help sort it according to the time it will be consumed. This takes some advanced planning so you can pack some healthy stuff rather than purchasing unhealthy, fat-laden food at the last moment.

9. Posture while eating.

We usually tend to snack on something or other that’s handy when we are moving about in the kitchen. We don’t tend to notice it, but people usually eat directly from the cupboard or straight from the refrigerator. This makes us unaware of what and how much we have eaten. Thus, standing and eating all that we can get our hands on is a bad habit! Simply serve yourself on a plate. Include little of everything that you wish to have and sit down to eat.

10. Eating too quickly.

A busy life and working schedule force us to eat faster. There are days when we don’t even have time to sit still and spend a few minutes eating peacefully. It is said that it takes almost 20 minutes for the stomach to inform the brain that it is full. Thus, it is important that we eat slowly and take at least 20 minutes to have a meal. This will aid in better digestion too. Follow the rule that says that a single bite should be chewed a minimum of 20 times.

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Breaking the habits.

There you have them—a few main habits that may result in serious weight gain. Avoiding these behaviors can help prevent weight gain and help you lead a healthy life. A few solutions that can help to avoid the above points are:

  • Planning your meals and strictly following that plan.
  • Don’t set yourself unachievable targets that will leave you craving more.
  • Participate in some stress management programs that will help you deal with all your stressful situations with ease.
  • Take a break and concentrate on the food you are eating.
  • Don’t expect a drastic change in your eating habits. It takes about a month to get used to a specific plan.
  • Eat three proper meals with about two snacks per day.

These tips will help you in better planning and prevent the addition of those extra calories. You’ll still be able to eat everything that you like, but you need to make sure you eat it in limited quantities. Avoiding these bad habits and implementing a better diet plan that doesn’t include overeating or starving will help in controlling the process of weight gain and keep you healthy and fit.

Featured photo credit: Bad Eating Habit via photopin.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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