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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 August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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